The “Invisible” Minority

If I enter a shop
I won’t be helped.
But the salesperson
won’t follow me around
in the store.

I can drive a car
and be yelled at
for being a bad driver
(as expected of my race)
but I won’t get pulled over
for the color of my skin.

For respect,
I have to make money
and dress well (professionally)
and even then,
I am thought of as “Other.”

But if I wear a hoodie,
no police officer will pull
a gun on me
and call me a “Thug.”

I am the silent “model minority.”
Some of us are racist for we have “overcome”
and don’t want to hear “excuses.”
Others see the shades of difference.

Some of us are ashamed of each other.
First and second generations look at each other
like aliens from Venus and Mars.

I might not speak my mother’s tongue
or if I do, I might not speak it
to my son and daughter.

We seek to fade away and become erased.

I put my head in my hands and wonder
at the wisdom of such an impossible feat.


Culinary Faux Pas

A few months ago, my family went out to celebrate my birthday. We ate at a French restaurant where a number of my relatives tried foie gras for the first time. Not knowing that the pate was supposed to be spread like jam, my father treated it like a slice of ham or chicken instead, by sandwiching it on a piece of bread. My younger sister, who was the most wordly of us and had eaten at a number of fine restaurants, cried out in alarm. My youngest sister, even though not having tried foie gras herself, berated my dad for not asking about how to eat it. I was just embarrassed, not of my dad, but for him. My own sisters were yelling at my dad simply for not knowing enough, as if reaffirming to themselves they weren’t ignorant, or nearly as ignorant.

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