Friday, March 14, 2008

Obama, Obama And Mama

It's the end of the week and your biracial bloggerette is back. If you've been missing me, know that I publish on Mondays and Fridays now.

So, how was your week? I hope it's been as interesting as mine. The interview I had with Megan Sukys of KUOW FM radio (an NPR affiliate) a few days ago aired today. You can hear the podcast here:

The whole hapa scene is growing, and now is the time for our community to make our presence known. (hint: buy a Hapa*Teez t-shirt at

Recently, I read in a ranting somewhere--that I didn't write--that if Barack Obama is half white and half black and he's called only black, then he should be called only white, too, according to the unwritten formula that everyone seems to subscribe to. I was so like, "right on!" because too many folks can't do the math.

Here's a big, fat clue: half white + half black = biracial. Duh.

Megan, the host of Sound Focus, asked me some pretty good questions, and she's really quite the researcher. At one point in our talk, I mentioned the One Drop Rule. You know, it truly blows my mind that in 2008, Americans still practice something that was clearly a beneficiary for slave holders.

On to more, ahem, lighter matters. Recently, I watched NHK (Japanese television) with my mom. She seemed to take great interest in a marathon even though we don't usually watch that sort of thing. In between cooking dinner and clipping grocery coupons, she would rush into the living room to see who was ahead in the race. To my amused surprise, she was rooting for--not her own fellow Japanese--but for a handful of Kenyans who were at the front of the crowded field.

"Come on, Kenya!" she yelled after I told her who the "black men" were. "They come from far away," she explained, indicating why she was supporting them.

But isn't that so typically Japanese? In other words, they're so obsessed with being the perfect host and, if you're a good host, you don't invite your guest to play a game with you and then beat him or her at it. If you're a worthy host, you allow your guest to win because you're supposed to make him or her feel good while s/he's in your home. Anyway, it's all very interesting to me how much of Japanese culture consists of good manners.

Which brings me back to Obama. Evidently, the Kenyan marathon runners weren't the only brown-skinned men that some Japanese were cheering for recently. It seems that there's actually a city called Obama in Japan, and that the entire town turned out to advocate for Barack Obama in the recent Vermont/Rhode Island/Ohio/Texas voting. Since it was also ohashi (chopstick) day, there was a lot of celebrating going on. Can you picture it? Isn't it just too cute to imagine a whole city of Japanese rallying around a Kenyan-Caucasian American presidential candidate just because he shares the same name as their city? Consummate hosts, those Japanese. And, yeah, my mom, too. There she is, above, serving sushi to my website designer and filmmaker, Mia G., who had stopped by to shoot some footage of her for a documentary.

Your Hip Hapa,

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