This is a
simple column by a complex woman who refuses to be contained.
I donít have SARS!
Great. SARS, now.
Get this: In Toronto, Canada Ė and coming to a United State near you Ė a growing number of white people are reverting to type by blaming anybody Asian-looking for bringing in the contagious, deadly virus that has so far killed mostly Asians in Asia, primarily Hong Kong and the Chinese province of Guangdong.
Presuming all us Asians as feral savages eating anything that moves, including rats and rat feces, these lovely white people insist on the kind of segregation that the homosexual community only had a mere taste of during the 80s AIDS epidemic, a taste, because SARS is easier to catch, but harder to pinpoint.
Of the 4.7 million Toronto residents, 410,000 are visibly Chinese. SARS has already crossed the border, hitting Maryland, Washington, probably the heavily ethnically mixed populated areas of Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Manhattan next. Major problem.
And, itís not just in friendly Canadaóusually a welcome mat for immigrants legal and illegal. Over in Everett, WA, not too far from where I live, a teacher got in hot water for refusing to shake hands or touch an Asian studentósomething like thatóout of fear that just because this kid has a flat face and slanty eyes, by God he must have SARS too!
Now that Operation Iraqi Freedomís over and done with, the media can and will focus heavily on the SARS epidemic, giving the issue their usual hysterical, melodramatic, paranoid overkill. Just what we donít need.
My worry over this predictable reaction did a slow burn. Had I been 18, fresh out of high school and suffering from the pimply face bullshit of cliques and stereotypes, the worry wouldíve turned into hermetic dread within a 15-minute span, just ask CNN. But Iím 38, I have a toddler and a husband to take care of, and the bullshit washes over me as just another series of pain in the fucking ass events on a crash course to hell anyway.
So anyway, whenís the punch, kill? Tomorrow, in two weekís time, the next time I head over to Fred Meyer to buy some baby food and a whiter-than-white redneck spits in my son Jamesí face...just in case?
After 9/11, I was too busy breathing a sigh of relief that the assholes driving the planes into the buildings were dark-skinned, Allah-toting Muhammad mongrels, not a slanty-eyed, flat-faced freak among them. I had to travel, twice, to visit relatives, from Florida and New York, to Hawaii; believe me, I didnít need the extra airport security hassle (I already endured my share at border checks when visiting Victoria or Vancouver...one time, having to explain my entire bizarre parentage, mother a whore, father a patsy Army sergeant, me a bastard from a drugged rape encounter).
In the 70s, Viet Nam weighed heavily in peopleís minds, especially stupid white people. And there ya go. I, a Korean-American bastard child of rape, responsible for the death, destruction and peace marches of an entire hippie generation, simply by breathing out my stank, feral poison.
In the meantime, while every minority under the moon and the sun is blamed for every calamity, white people remain strangely, infuriatingly immune.
Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal building in Oklahoma. Adolf Hitler ordered the massacre of thousands of Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and any other non-Aryan unmentionables. Captain James Cook and his British shipping crew infested the islands of Hawaii, spreading contagion to the natives and decimating their numbers. Colonists traversed across the country, heading West, leaving measles, typhoid, small pox, and assorted other uniquely whiter-than-white diseases for the native Americans to fend off, unsuccessfully.
Where are the calls for rounding up white people and setting a torch to them? Is the base of the crowd of human nature that superficial that by virtue of skin color, assumptions of cleanliness and purity automatically exclude this insidious group of The Washed?
Granted, itís tougher to single out white people. They all Ė hardy har har fuck me with a dildo Ė look alike, one Irish/German mix is as good as another Australian/French. Tougher still, to sort through the Euro trash.
Asians arenít all alike, either, but try telling that to the neighborhood racist whose ancestors probably fucked the entire lot of black and blue slaves from here to the Eastern hemisphere, along with a couple Samoans and Portuguese while they were at it... but came out looking like Pete Rose (what the hell nationality is Mr. Gamblerís Anonymous, anyway?).
For the record, I havenít set foot in Hong Kong or China, or anywhere else in Asia. The only Asian places Iíve been came from early early childhood, born in Seoul, shuffled off to Tokyo, back to Seoul, and then off to the good ole USA to soil the good virginal white people minding their own business, accessing bank notes and acquiring propertyóover 30 years ago.
Not that I blame anybody for the reflex flinch. Until SARS is a lapsed Asian flu, is another shot in the ass every Christmas, I donít want my mother sneezing and slobbering over us from Hawaii, and Iím telling her to stay put. I donít even feel like going out of the house lately, and I have my first church attendance in 20 years to consider coming up. Itís bad enough I went to a 100-day birthday party for the baby of a former co-worker of my husbandís last month, theyíre as Chinese as Lucy Liu, they even had karaoke set up with Jackie Chan singing Chinese love songs, and I touched their slobbering, sneezing baby!
The deeper bug, Iím afraid, hits all cylinders of the esoteric, the spiritual, the meaning behind this.
Just another night several weeks ago, conservative radio talk show host Michael Reagan pondered the evolution of race, chronicling back to his boyhood when inter-racial dating and marriage were unheard of and considered verboten, illegal, immoral. Some of the rationalizations for consideration had little to do with racism, and everything to do with harm to the DNA of the human race, similar to the repercussions of incest. Besides being horribly wrong on every level, you donít go around fucking your (first) cousin, brother or father, thus producing a legion of one-eyed bandits into the eventuality of extinction or quite possibly, a world filled with degenerative Southern units. Many believed the same of racial mixing, believed in the innate physiological differences between blacks and whites, and just forget the yellow fever entirely, they were another species altogether. Just as Abraham Lincoln, for example, would never procreate with a lion, Michael Jackson should never have dipped his stick sample into that white Debbie chick.
As a Korean married to a German/Irish/native American, Iím forever gnawed by the suspicion that I may have tainted something God, Fate and the Universe never intended.
This SARS thing taps into my deeply embedded dread that somehow, like my bastard raped roots before me, I am supposed to quietly blend into the background from which I came, grow roots, and die, as if I never happened. An accident begets guilt, begets, Jeezuz, what if the KKK white supremacists are right? For the wrong reasons.
At greater issue, should people stay put, grouped according to environmentally and coincidentally carved races, and revert to the farming communities, pre-Industrial revolution? Farther back, into mythology, should people have merely been content to follow His word, and left the knowing to the God(s) above?
Weíve been cast out into the wilderness with nothing clothed but the sweet turned bitter from the fruit of knowledge, and wanderlust.
Without even an Imodium.
To read more of Coggie's Work:
What It's Worth"
Soap Town USA
"The Carol Banks Weber Show"
"General Hospital News and Gossip"