I grew up racist in the Deep South, and when I lived in the Philippines (we still have a small house in Quezon City), I discovered the culture there was very much like where I grew up - the respect for the elderly, the use of 'po' (just as we did sir and ma'am), the family politics, the ubiquitousness of religion, and even the food (chitlins, RC Cola, mustard greens and okra, and boiled peanuts, for a start). Whenever I go back to QC, it's like going home to the Delta of my youth.

There's also a lot of racism there, like between the different provinces - the Tagalog vs. the Kapampangan vs. the Ilocanos, and so forth - and between the different ethnicities, the 'real' Pinoy vs. the Bumbay (Indians) vs. the Intsik (Chinese)...but I've yet to see any malicious acts due to such friction. Even given the unrest in the southern islands, the Pinoy tend to be more peacefully-minded.

But I was able to unlearn my racism (again, thanks in large part to the Philippines). But yes, many Filipinos are racist. In fact, everywhere you go, you'll find racists. But then why is it in America, the whites are the most racist and commit the most racist acts?

It took a long time, but I figured it out - whites aren't more racist just because we're white, but because we're socioeconomically dominant in America.

Here's the rule: In any given country or region, the most racist group will be that ethnicity/race/religion that is socioeconomically dominant within that country or region.

See the way the Han Chinese treat the Uighurs, how the Brahmin Indians treat the Dalit (AKA "untouchables"), how the Mexicans treat the indigenous people - that rule holds wherever you go. And in America, it's WASPs - the white Anglo-Saxon protestants.

One more thing I learned about Asians - it's a big mistake to group them together as a single ethnic group. Try telling a Japanese and a Korean they're the same ethnic group, and you're likely to wind up with two black eyes.

Written by

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store