In my time at University of San Diego, one of the most valuable traits I have gained is the ability to be conscientious about social inequality and injustice. I'm not fully educated on everything, but I am constantly challenging myself to ask questions about things I don't understand and to identify those things that marginalize certain groups of people. I hope to take part in social movements to educate people about social issues and I hope that I can help people see and change their language/mindset about these little acts of intolerance that are embedded into our social lives.
So when I see things like this:
it makes me kind of mad.
To give some context to this comment, FUSO, the Filipino Ugnayan Student Organization on USD's campus was preparing a performance of a Pilipino folk dance called 'tinikling' for a cultural event called Pilipino Culture Night (PCN). It involves jumping between bamboo poles that are opened and closed to the beat of the music. It's kind of like a "don't-get-your-foot-caught-between-the-poles" dance. It does happen to make a lot of noise and we were practicing in the common room of a residence hall.
However, here's where it gets problematic to me: The comment directly targets Asians. Instead of saying "To the people," or "To the students," it says "To the Asians." It targets a specific group of people on our campus and makes them feel unwelcome in the community.
What makes me even more frustrated are things like this :
After a comment was posted explaining that students was practicing for Pilipino Culture Night, this comment appears, and I start feeling extremely angry and hurt.
So not only does the initial post target my cultural background and make me feel unwelcome in my community, there's this comment that further marginalizes my race (being my physical features) from my ethnicity (being my cultural and national origin).
It's not news that Filipin@s are constantly stereotyped in this manner. In 2010, radio personality Adam Carolla was under public fire for his comments about the Philippines.
"All they have over there is Manny Pacquiao and sex tours."
Many people defended him, saying that he was just looking for attention. I also stopped watching Glee after reading this article in the same year, publicizing an audition call for an older Filipina/Hispanic woman to play Sue Sylvester's maid on the show.
These aren't isolated events, people. It happens all the time. It's frustrating that I have to explain my hurt feelings, and the only ones who will listen are those who feel as I do.
So, what do we do? That was the question we were faced with, and this is what we came up with:
We can't let the little things slide because they make us more susceptible to the bigger acts of intolerance and flat-out racism. This video shows that we will not stand for it. The movement is starting off at the end of the school year, but I hope that FUSO will not forget what happened and how the USD community can change those pervasive acts of intolerance and marginalization on our campus.