“I don’t know if you care,” a friend told me. “But words do hurt.” Yes, they do. I understand the power of words. As a writer, it’s how I earn a living. And, as an immigrant whose skin color made it difficult to blend in as a “real” American, I grew up learning about the power of words.
There was a little boy sitting nervously on his bicycle as my dad talked to him. The boy had called my father a chink, and my father was calmly explaining that it wasn’t a nice thing to say, and that his parents would be disappointed to hear him say that to an adult. (Who’re we kidding? We all know that this kid probably learned to be a racist at home. But my father was giving him the benefit of the doubt.)