I’m hearing generalizations and seeing insecurities,
tasting bitter stereotypes and smelling simmering irritability.
I’m making my way through the land of freedom and opportunity,
but I’m only feeling a nation’s ignorance and callousness.
“Hey chink, open your eyes!”
Why don’t you open your eyes?
Prankster youth, sarcastic and sharp, arrogant and American,
nurtured under flippant, culturally accepted racism
They throw taunts over their shoulders, cutting straight to the bone,
laugh it off as a well-played joke, insults sung as an anthem.
“Strike a funny pose! Peace signs! Stretch your eyes out!”
America’s sweethearts pull and stretch the shape of their eyes,
jeering and sneering into the camera lens, laughing in fake surprise
Mocking appearances in a culture where appearance is everything,
it’s clear how you really feel about people of my ethnicity.
“Geez, why do all Asian people look the same?”
Can we say lack of exposure?
I’m given puddle shallow opinions that there are only slight differences,
commentators broadcasting same skin! hair! lack of eyelashes!
I’m given razor edged ridicule oozing from every well meaning charmer,
shadowed reflections in their eyes betray their true character.
“You need to get a sense of humor. You’re too sensitive.”
Are you kidding me? Is that what you really believe?
I refuse to be the butt of racial slurs, phony bright smile pasted on,
kissing my way up, demure, submissive, and withdrawn
I refuse to silence my opinion of a nation stuffed with double standards,
spewing corrupted minds mouthing ignorant phrases, spiraling downwards.
I hear jokesters flinging out excuses and becoming defensive,
claiming innocence, obliviousness, but they only appear edgy and restive
I hear denial of responsibility, piles of excuses for lack of sensitivity
but I hear no apologies for crushing my pride and dignity.