Chinese, Japanese parents; I speak neither

Patricia Lee,
Cortez, CO

When people find out that my father was Chinese and my mother was Japanese, they sometimes ask if I am trilingual. Nope. I try to explain that they did not speak each others’ languages, either. English was the language of our household, as if by tacit understanding it was “neutral territory” languagewise.

My parents remembered that those two countries had fought each other. In fact, my father sometimes referred to Japanese as “red devils”. Fights tended to dredge up such garbage. My brother and I kept our mouths shut and our only language, American English.

What White people sometimes are ignorant of is that Asia contains MANY countries, some of whom regard another as an enemy even when any military war was over long ago.

Walls can be made by things other than skin color.


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