Picture this: an Arab working for a Chinese roofing company. What I mean by Chinese roofing company though isn’t that the roofs are redone in an Oriental manner but rather the owners of the company are Chinese. Who speak about ten words of English between the three of them.
Now as a first generation adult, my brother’s cool with that. He likes these guys and they like him – they’re teaching him Chinese and he’s teaching them English. They even gave him Chinese tea – yuummm!! – and buy him Chinese food for lunch every day.
Enter an uncle who hears William’s been working for a Chinese guy. Reaction?
“I never liked the Chinese! Did you watch all those movies? They’re all two-faced! They act good but what goes on in their lives is freaky!”
*laughing because I thought he was kidding* “Why do you say that?”
*he’s dead serious* “Well, you saw their movies. Drugs, and bad sex, and gangs. Not good people.”
“You do realize those movies were directed by none other than hollywood – America? And don’t necessarily represent real Chinese people?”
“Enough already! I know them. They’re all very two faced!”
*I’m getting mad now* “But uncle, you have a daughter and a wife! You have a beard! How do you like it when other people stick us under a certain stigma or stereotype?? I want people to respect me as an individual, not as some secretive Taliban recruit with a bomb under my hijab!”
“Nonsense! We’re not like that! The media is garbage! But they are. Their movies say so. Khalas. Enough. Uncle knows best.”
Oh my God in Heaven you did not just say that! This guy is an ARAB! His daughter and wife wear the SCARF! They’ve been suffering under all those stereotypes and misconceptions for so long, and I know them personally. I know myself and the struggles I’ve faced because people are narrow-minded, biased, media-garbage guzzlers who routinely fail to exercise the grey matter between their ears!! And now this Arab who is a victim of stereotypes is actually holding prejudices against Chinese people…. because of the media!!!???
Cruel irony? Or just deserts?