I get jokes and pokes
about my lack of pigment
lack of accent
and I hear the constant chorus singing
"Well you're smart because you're Asian."
"You don't look half Filipino, you're just like one of us"
"You must be a terrible driver"
"You must be adopted or switched at birth."
suffocated in a small town
rural ground country sound
in my graduating class
diversity is found
in my half-caste self
and my singular mexican friend
stereotypes shape the syntax
of the young mouths around me
as they convince themselves that we
are truly equal
my mother's accent is still mocked
her small stature and brown skin
makes her cute to the white world
but to me she is strength unseen
a witness of worlds of struggle
raised on a coconut farm
dirt roads leading to the tuberculosis infested slums
children sleeping on the streets
married a man much older
half around the world
sacrificing comfort of home
convenience of family
for children she hadn't had yet
to send her countless nieces and nephews to college
Because English is a second language
she has learned to speak in short sentences to avoid grammatical errors
to avoid preconceived notions of unintelligence
made by the whiteman for anyone who cannot create
the Standard American Accent
I order for her at restaurants
25 years in America cannot fix
59 years as a Pinay
yet she endures it with a smile
looks at me and my brother
wouldn't trade it for the world
my mixed race face is not detected in a sea of
those protesting their civil rights
searching for social justince
we sort people into files
I am filed under "white girl"
my pale skin light eyes indicate
starbucks, instagram, daddy's bank account baby
they look at me and know my entire story
your place is the kitchen
be dumb and be ditzy but not
strong cause if you're strong you're a "dyke"
and if you stand up for yourself you're a "bitch"
and if you're comfortble in your sexuality you're a "slut"
and if you're not promiscuous you're a "prude"
I get screamed at by drunken college males across the street
"SHUT UP YOU SLUT! FUCKING BITCH!"
While innocently talking to a friend
little did they know
I'm a virgin
and I was voted "Everybody's Buddy" in high school
instead they are encouraged by claps and hoots
show her her place
take her power
So I turn on my TV
Cheerleaders date football players and are caddy and bitchy
I was a cheerleader.
and if you like school you're a social outcast who has a questionable friend group
I liked school.
and if you're black you're sassy and witty
My friends are black.
and if you're asian you wear black rimmed glasses and like anime
No I don't.
and if you're gay you like fashion and can only be friends with girls
Not all of them.
Speaking of gay if you like theater you probably are
No you're not.
If you're a girl in sports you probably like other girls
Well, if you're poor you probably do drugs and act out though, right?
I wouldn't say that.
and not one of these people are slightly over weight or sport anything but pancake
each character mocks themselves and allows for open scrutiny on the things that make them
I'd like to see us embrace the diversity
and recognize adveristy
because the American Dream is a fairy tale
upper middle class USA tells their children
to justify the poor people's current state
"They didn't work hard enough."
"They all waste their welfare money."
I'm tired of the labeling
of the filing
of the boxing
You can't judge a book by it's cover
you can't judge a person by their
longstanding stereotypes and
their culture's famous counterparts
or their ethnicity's crime rates
To quote Immortal Technique
We are drowning in the melting pot.
And I would have to agree.