Editor's corner/ Over a cup of tea
Heidi M. Pascual*
Publisher & Editor
* 2006 Journalist of the Year
for the State of Wisconsin
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There should be help.
Social Security Disability and SSI -
Programs designed to help individuals
who are disabled from work.
IF YOU APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY
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Congratulations to our outstanding Asian
American students who just graduated
from Madison-area high schools with
grades 3 and above!! They were featured
in our sister publication, The Capital City
Hues, together with other students of
color, in the 2013 Hues' Row of
Excellence. Asian American students
comprised more than a third of all these
students. Great job!
Congratulations, too, to our writer, Marlon
Eric Lima,who just graduated from
UW-Madison with a degree in
communication. Eric has been such a
wonderful team member, without whose
work the past two years, Asian Wisconzine
wouldn't have been at the top of its game.
Despite his hectic academic work as a
scholar and an artist-performer, Eric found
the time to help us. Thank you, Eric, and
we wish you the best in your future
spring weather, a slightly warm water, and a scenic moonlight . It was a perfect, peaceful moment for tired muscles
normal for Americans who continuously search for that elusive American Dream. There were no other people using the
pool that night, so it was great having the pool for ourselves!
After my 10th lap, however, we had company. A woman carrying a bag and a plastic drinking cup with a straw came in.
On first sight she appeared tipsy.
“Hello, good evening,” I said to her. No answer. “Hmm, not a friendly neighbor, I guess,” I whispered to myself, and I
decided to continue my laps.
She went into the water after removing her shorts but didn’t attempt to swim. She stayed in the shallow end of the pool,
wiggling her legs in between sips of whatever liquid she had in her cup.
I was just getting back from the 11th lap when I noticed that my sister was trying to start a friendly conversation with the
woman, but she rejected any form of neighborly connection. I caught my sister asking her, “What’s your name?”
“Doesn’t matter; I’m Lady Gaga!” was the curt response. My sister swam away disappointed. I was about to take an
extra lap when the woman began to shout, “You go back to your country! Go back to China!”
“What? What’s the matter with you? We’re not bothering you, and we’re Americans, too!” I was upset as I addressed
her, and to think she thought we’re from China! Well, we have brown skin, not the porcelain skin my Chinese friends
have—though for a brief moment I kind of liked the comparison.
‘I don’t care; go back to your country! You’re just guests here,” the woman spewing her hatred some more. The ranting
went on and on.
I stepped out of the pool and told my sister we had to go. “I can’t waste my time listening to this trash,” I said. My sister
was equally pissed off but she was more combative than I, so I took her arm as we rushed out of the place.
Instead of going back home right away, we went to our neighbor who’s a member of the Housing Association. We were
advised to call 911 and to report the incident in writing to the board of the association. When the police officer arrived, I
noticed he is a person of color just like us, so I saw the possibility of the woman telling the police officer "Go back to
your country!" should she meet him face to face.
Anyway, my point is, there are people who still have the mentality of racial superiority, regardless of whether or not
they're actually the trash of this society. I learned minutes after the incident that his woman, aside from her drinking
problem, is out of work and on medication for depression. There had been some complaints about her in the
neighborhood, although not in any way related to racial hatred.
Maybe this woman is mentally unstable. However, regardless, I'd be more sympathetic to her sorry situation if she
weren't a bigot. Her demeanor that night reflected a heart full of anger...or a damaged brain.
I am still waiting for the Homeowners Association's action on my sister's and my reports about our sad experience in
the community pool..
Face to face with bigotry
In my more than 12 years in the United States, I have experienced very subtle forms of
racial discrimination and racial hatred. But I am open-minded about it because deep
inside, I know that many, even among people of color, practice this politically incorrect
behavior privately. Not only once did I witness some people of color expressing disgust
over others not their kind especially when they talk about competition in the workplace,
terrorism, religious practices, cultural ‘abnormalities’, criminal activities, and stuff like
those. So I try to understand people’s behavior toward me, for instance, particularly if I am
in a group that doesn’t know me well. I try to understand others because I know the feeling
of how it is to belong in either situation.
For the first time, however, I recently came face to face with the real thing, no masks
One night, I was swimming with my sister in a community pool, enjoying a comfortable