Wow, what an amazing day it has been. Although I was out fairly late last night, I’ve been up since 7:30 am — riveted to the news coverage of today’s Inauguration. I did not venture out to the Mall for the Inauguration Ceremony nor the Parade primarily due to the frigid weather and the mass of people.
As noted earlier, I’ve been to many Super Bowls, Olympics and NBA All-Star Weekends — which also have massive crowds. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t want to be slammed around … and would prefer the comfort of my home. Plus, I wanted to intently be able to focus on hearing President Obama’s speech as well as the news commentary. And, I was still getting a feel for the Inaugural Celebration via the many activities at night.
One of the primary reasons I’m excited about President Obama and the change coming is that I can relate where he came from since I’m also from a mixed-race background. I’m half Japanese / half Irish-American. Although I lived on American military bases when growing up in Japan, I was always in the minority there since I’m half-Caucasian. Then, when I moved to the DC area when I was 16, I was again in the minority since I’m half-Asian.
I’m not complaining about being from a mixed background, but I didn’t really start to “get it” and “appreciate” until my junior year at AU when one of my classmates from NY told me how lucky and fortunate I am to be from two distinct cultural backgrounds. The light bulb went off … and I embraced the idea of being proud to be both Japanese and Irish-American.
Tiger Woods says something similar — to quote him directly …”I am the product of two great cultures. On my father’s side I am African American. On my mother’s side, I am Thai. My parents taught me to always be proud of my ethnic background. That will always be the case, past, present, and future. I feel very fortunate and equally proud to be both African American and Asian.”
I can totally relate to those feelings … and so does President Obama. He’s proud of his mixed-race background. And, these past few days, I’ve met even more and more people of mixed races. The times are indeed changing. In fact, the Hispanic, African-American and Asian demographics are continuing to increase … which will continue to lead to more mixed-race children.
So, change can be good. And, along with so many, many others … not just in the US, but throughout the world, I’m going to embrace this change and continue to do what I / we can to create a more level playing field and to help any and all. Peace.
January 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm
I can relate to what you wrote. It was not until college that I appreciated my biracial background. I took an Asian American history class in college and funny thing the Asian American students avoided me. That didn’t deter me from enjoying the class and I participated in a radio program sponsored by that department. I also took Japanese language classes and was able to better experience Japan when I went back for summer breaks by making friends outside of the base. By learning the culture and history of my parents countries I learned more about myself. I am proud of my parents and especially my mom. I remember a few times when people were rude to her becuase she didn’t speak good english. She never showed that she was upset and dealt with it with grace and dignity. The election of Barrack Obamais a big step in healing this country from centuries of discrimination and neglect. I am proud of our country, we have come a long way and have more to go.
January 23, 2009 at 11:17 pm
I am not biracial, but my family is transracial – I’m a Euro-mutt and my daughters are both Asian. Both are Chinese, but one is probably ethnically Vietnamese. Many cultures from which to draw and be proud.
Nice thoughts, Jimmy. Always nice to read positive attitudes.
February 3, 2009 at 11:21 am
Mindy – thanks for the wonderful. I’ll definitely check out your blog. I’m still fairly new to this …. so any advice is welcome.
February 1, 2009 at 2:15 pm
I am a bit late in catching up with your posts, so this is my first time reading this one. I just have to say I share your pride in a multicultural background. It’s a great thing to share with our President.
February 3, 2009 at 11:23 am
Thanks, fellow hapa! Yes, it’s neat that being of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic background has become more in vogue now. 🙂