Since publishing my book about 2 months ago I've had a chance to reflect a little bit about not so much the content in the book, but the why behind the book. Why did I write it?
The short answer is I wanted (and still want) to challenge the idea that racism is the main problem facing mixed people.
I have realized that this is a pervasive idea; in fact it is an even more deeply-rooted, enrapturing accepted truth than I thought. I don't think it is a majority of people who believe it fully (but it is a majority who silently accede), nevertheless, the loudest voices in half-Asian media, whether they are more liberal Critical Mixed Race Studies people and/or Reddit r/hapas/ people, all somehow come together to share the opinion that what is pivotal is the bad stuff people have done to them. And I duly hat tip to the Historian and author of one of my college textbooks, Prof. Bernard Lewis, who said there are two kinds of peoples, those who arrive at the sum total of cultural introspection (forgive my fanciful paraphrasing) to ask "who wronged us?" and those who ask "what did we do wrong?"
If you are half-Asian and you allow yourself to believe that racism is the idea, it is the explanatory missing link which distinctly sheds light on why half-Asians are "this" or "that," "accepted" or "shunned," "bullied" or "casted," "X" or "Y" or "Z," despite the fact that you are wrong (because though racism may be one factor it is just another damn factor and not the pivotal factor, not by a long stretch), the real downer is that you will have joined the "who wronged us?" camp.
This is what gets me fired up. This is what gets me excited, I guess in both the positive and negative sense of the word.
Half-Asian people find it hard today to find a community amongst each other. They find it difficult to share meaningful stories, ones that cut across a semblance of meaningful experience. They find it hard to be honest about wanting, sometimes yearning, to date each other, to talk about real issues, the one's members from real, true-life, bonafide communities talk about. And I think the root cause is half-Asians have half-innocently and half-unwittingly bought into the philosophy of "who wronged us?" Half-Asians, I believe, have a natural disposition to prefer asking "what did we do wrong? But the racism idea seems to pop up, very often. And too few half-Asians stand up to say "no."
Why I wrote my book? To say no to "who wronged us?" I say who didn't wrong us should be rhetorical. On the flipside, who do we not owe a debt of gratitude? To the Arabs for Algebra, the Aboriginals for the Rainbow Serpent, the Inuit for their myth of Sedna whose fingers became the ocean's seals and walruses. Yes, yes, and yes. Everyone and everything. Its an informed magnanimity, a painfully aware one that's the highest ideal.
It is not in my nature to want to try and wield a megaphone. I am shy. I am introverted. But it is time to call it like it is. Half-Asians do not lack for choice. It is the opposite. I'm here to tell you that despite the reality that there are obstacles some of which could be construed as "racist" glass ceilings and "racial" rudeness and stereotyping and the presence of many douchebags, half-Asians face the problem of too much choice. Today the question is not who can tear down walls, but rather who can build bridges. And to build bridges I invite you to say "no" to those who lure you to "who wronged us."
The main problem is the refusal to ask "what did we do wrong?" which is no less than a surrender of one's agency. Most times the answer to that question is "absolutely nothing. I'm good." But you still got to ask the question, that's the important part. Only in that question is there a community. Only in that question is there a dialogue.