Asia Carrera For President!

December 9, 2004

I held my tongue, but I started thinking, "What if this nation actually did elect presidents based on their face?" Asia Carrera for president, anyone? (Well, considering that she's a porn star, I know the male constituents wouldn't exactly be voting for her based on "face." But hell, she's a MENSA-certified porn star!)

When I flew down to San Diego for Thanksgiving, my second oldest auntie and her husband (my Uncle Johnny) picked me up from the airport (my dad is the fourth oldest out of ten). While they prepared merienda (early afternoon snack) for me, they asked me who I voted for in the recent election. When I told them, my Uncle Johnny shook his head and said, "You kids nowadays. Liberal talaga." He mentioned something about how some of my younger cousins voted for Kerry. He wasn't mad, but he said all this with a tinge of disappointment.

I mean, I understand why the first generation of my family is Republican: None of us would have been able to immigrate or be born in the States had my dad not joined the US Navy (and become a US citizen through his service, thus gaining the ability to petition his family to live here). My family started out poor in the Philippines, living in the shadow of Subic's US Naval Airbase just outside of Olongapo City. As a boy, my dad used to shine the shoes of American sailors and soldiers. Now everyone is middle class in America and can afford cars for their teenaged children. And thanks to the Navy, many of my cousins can go to college (on the US government's dollar) using military educational benefits.

However it boggles the mind that my family (still speaking of the older generation) can support a leadership that is trying to enforce a backdoor draft, that wages a drawn out and expensive war over oil ("terrorism") in Iraq, that puts in place something like the Patriot Act, and allows for unethical Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment-like testing on children in New York City. This laundry list could go on...

Many times I have wanted to sit down with certain members of my family and talk politics with them, but then the language barrier prevents me from doing so. There are certain words and ideas that don't translate. I often wonder if my family might think that someone like me is ungrateful?

P.S. - Just wanted to give a footnote salamat to my best friend Y for the BBC article link on HIV drug-testing. Triple5FunkyPinay holdin' it down!




my family came as a result of the brain drain and the majority of them vote democrat with exception to my uncle (dad's oldest brother) who is a republican - my mom says it's because he falls into the higher income tax bracket haha.
Yeah, my mom came over as a result of the Asian Brain Drain too. She came to the States a year or so after my dad did. She had already applied for some work visa as a nurse in the Great Lakes area before she married my dad. Did I ever tell you about that guy I had a crush on, but then it was all over once he told me he was a Republican--a "compassionate conservative." He was Filipino too. Ick.
This was a nice post, and I always appreciate hearing the first-hand account of how politics and family life intermix in different AA households. I know this wasn't meant to be a strong political commentary as much as a personal reflection, but I feel that you fall into that trap of classifying all members of a political party as one way or another.The issue of the war is certainly credible and I wish you could have focused more on that and other reasons as to why you couldn't understand your family members' views. The diatribe about Republicans I see on this blog (didn't mean to just single you out) feeds right back into the issueless system that the current administration is trying to promote. Please don't stoop to their level of "Us and Them". We are individuals and no person is bad because they associate with a single party, even that boy who had a crush on you.Perhaps you know this and your friends know that you know this. However, I think it is important that when writing on the Internet as a representative of a publication, you all be a little more conscientious to the tone. Otheriwise it is too easy for people to just (mis?)label hyphen as a liberal publication without giving the content and main focus of the articles/postings serious credibility. But don't lose the personal and candid feel of these posts in the mix.And yes, we are now a nation that votes on faces. Look back to every election since the TV was introduced. If you look at the 2 candidates and didn't know anything else, I bet you could pick the winner based on the popular idea of what is considered "better looking". (Yes, very subjective, but try it)Overall nice story, though. I'm gonna read this blog more.
Here's a story by our very own contributing editor Bernice Yeung, (writing for Alternet) that touches on the second generation discussing politics with their parents and trying to sway them to vote their way. parents and grandparents vote Republican. (They are in Texas after all). They are very socially conservative, but still, I wonder how it is that people of color can vote for an administration that I view as trampling on civil liberties & women's rights. I try to put myself in their shoes (I try to imagine how I would feel if I had a kid who was super-conservative.). It feels kind of like betrayal, no? Like, what did I do to you to make you so very different from me?We've talked about the war. They agreed with it at the beginning, and now, upon realizing that there are no weapons on mass destruction, they don't. Yet they still voted for Bush. I've tried to put aside my own feelings (and I admit, I struggle with that) and have asked them to explain why they vote the way they do, but everytime we get into this conversation, we get into a HUGE fight. Sadly, I've learned the best thing to do is to just not go there.