Why I write about the past

Someone privately messaged me and asked why I wrote so much about things that had happened in the past. Do I write about it so much? I’ve been writing professionally for the past three decades and I’d estimate that my pieces surrounding race issues encompass less than 1% of everything I’ve ever written.

Konnichiwa and death threats

A while ago, I used to do segments on a local radio station. It was a popular show with a host who was vaguely shock jockish. We got along fine, and it was a good forum to promote the newspaper I worked for. One day, they called me at work and put me on the air live to tell them about some of the music acts coming to town that weekend. They kept me on the line as they began another segment, in which they called a bunch of establishments that were operated by Asian Americans — dry cleaners, Chinese restaurants etc. I would soon find out that the sole purpose of these calls was to make fun of the people speaking accented English.