It is Spring. The recent surge in pollen count has been especially unkind to me. My poor little nose.
Speaking of unkind, I had a student in my section indirectly tell me she hates me for the simple fact that I am Japanese. In the midst of an East Asian History section, she expressed her discontent for the Japanese ways in the 19th century as she looked me directly in the eye--half across the room.
I do understand. Taking this class has been both eye-opening and sad for me, the latter emerging from the knowledge of the horrific things that my "homeland" had done to other countries in the past. It is not something I can take responsibility for or apologize for, but I've taken it into consideration for learning Japan's position in history relative to other nations. It also explains a lot of the hatred that my friends' grandparents seem to have for my race.
But this girl. She spoke so terribly of Japan that it provoked anger in even me. And for her to direct her anger specifically at me simply because I was the only Japanese person in that classroom was unfair and really, unprofessional. This is one of very few times I have been subjected to racism--I never take it well. I am a good person. That doesn't change because of the country my family is from.
After section, she came to half-heartedly apologize for her hatred of Japan which she told me was fostered by her family. Yeah, I get it. My parents can be racist sometimes too. But how is it that I grew up with the capability to distinguish an individual from historical events of their race that they are not specifically responsible for, and she did not? Cultural differences, I suppose.
It's sad to think that she has probably never experienced a friendship with anyone of a race that her family does not approve of. At this point, I do not want to be her friend. She seems like a first year, so hopefully her college experience will open up her worldview from one that was molded by her parents.
I will not be forced into shame for the person or race that I am.
On a much happier note, it is Friday (: After this class, I am headed home for a glorious nap to prepare me for some weekend fun.
Hope everyone has a lovely Friday.