Look no further than our own ‘kababayan’ | Inquirer Opinion
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Look no further than our own ‘kababayan’

05:02 AM April 01, 2021

Re: “Not the best of times for Asian Americans,” by Ramon Farolan (3/22/21): Indeed, it is not the best of times for us and our Asian kin. So we cried foul and offered our sympathies to the victims — primarily Chinese, some Filipino brethren, and six Korean women — who paid the ultimate price for the hate and name-calling fomented by Donald Trump.

But guess what, Mr. Farolan, we Filipinos could be our own worst enemy! It is not difficult to hear and see our prejudices directed at blacks and people of color. We have our homegrown rednecks, and they need not come from the boondocks. The most educated among us are as guilty and capable of stereotyping, name-calling, and being openly prejudicial toward our Asian brothers—Pakistanis, Indians, Koreans, and Chinese, among others. We can be outright hostile to blacks and dark-skinned Africans. We constantly and openly judge others; the darker the skin, the more prejudiced we become.

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Our preoccupation with fair skin has even become the primary adjective when describing a person (iyong “maputi”; maganda, medyo “maitim” lang!). According to Filipinos, all the other beautiful attributes beside fair complexion favor characteristics that are not Asian or black—high-bridged nose, blue eyes, blond hair, etc. I don’t know whether we are the only country that sells “whitening soap.” But here, any talk of Adam and Eve being Ethiopian blacks is out of the question.

EDWIN DE LEON
[email protected]

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TAGS: Asian-Americans, Edwin de Leon, Letters to the Editor
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