October 20, 2008

Sometimes it pays to be Asian...

Of course, sometimes it doesn't pay to be Asian either. When I was in the seventh grade, for instance, my classmates would often confuse me with the other Asian girls in the school. They would confuse me with Tiffany Lin or Christina Fang or Jih-Fan I-Forgot-Her-Last-Name because, well, we all had dark hair and almond-shaped eyes. Ugh. Silly white people...

But sometimes it does pay to be Asian.

Yesterday morning, Justin and I headed to the Obama rally in Fayetteville and, boy, were we excited! We arrived at the Crown Coliseum a full hour before the doors opened and waited patiently in the long winding line. Unfortunately, once the doors opened, utter chaos broke out over the crowd and everybody pushed and shoved their way to the front. Our precious place in line had been lost. *Sigh* Justin and I resigned ourselves to sitting in the nosebleed section where we would have to use binoculars to see Obama.


Yet not all hope was lost! As we wormed our way through the Coliseum, a young Obama volunteer asked us if we would like to sit in a section of special seats within camera shot of the speakers. Um...hell yes! We greedily took the green wristbands she offered us and found two cushy seats close to the podium.

It was apparent to both Justin and me why the Obama volunteer offered us this special access. In a stadium full of African-Americans (around 80% of the audience was black compared to 50% in the special section), my Asian face stuck out like an atheist in Provo, Utah. Since I was the only East Asian at the Coliseum (literally), I became the beneficiary of some sort of political rally affirmative action.

A part of me felt bad about sitting in such nice seats due to the color of my skin. (To be fair, Justin's whiteness helped us out too.) I do understand why Obama's campaign wanted to create a multicultural backdrop to his speech---I've seen McCain's camp do it too---but what's so wrong with having an all-black camera shot? Or all-white? Or all-Asian?

But a part of me didn't feel bad at all. Why? Because I my feet were tired and my nerves were frazzled for waiting in line for two and a half hours. I just wanted to sit down---and preferably close to Barack Obama.

11 comments:

  1. Wow!!! That's so cool! How was it? Did you get to shake his hand?!

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  2. PS - Whenever Shena and I go anywhere, people tell us we look like sisters. This is in the Bay Area where there are definitely enough Asians around... we still think it's interesting and maybe has something to do with talking in a similar way?

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  3. Awesome!! Gotta love affirmative action! Ha!

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  4. The rally was good! I wish we had more speakers though. It would have been nice to hear from some of the local candidates running for office in NC.

    No, I didn't get to shake his hand. :o( We had nice seats but we were still too far away to get a handshake. Would have been awesome though!

    It's funny how people confuse you and Shena to be sisters. I don't think you two look like one another at all! (And Shena is half-white too!)

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  5. hilarious - but so fun you had great seats! p.s. way impressed by your bread making skills.

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  6. Way to go! Glad to hear that you guys get to be the beneficiaries of the newly crowned "battle ground state" that is NC. We really get very little out here and since my absentee ballot had not yet arrived...I may not be able to vote. That is enough to make this girl cry! I do love to vote

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  7. When we went to an Obama town hall back in January, we got picked to sit on the stage too. I think it was because Gabe was wearing his Autozone uniform. Yay working class whites! haha... Don't you love being a demographic?

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  8. Liz, I really hope you get to vote! And isn't it crazy how NC is a "battleground" state? Both Obama and McCain have made a few appearances here. Whodda thunk?

    Lex, I remember watching a video on your blog of Obama speaking with you and Gabe in the background! I tried to convince Justin to wear his military uniform to the event (as a ploy to get good seats) but he said he wasn't really allowed to. That's okay though. Guess all we needed was my Asian-ness and his whiteness for the special seating. :)

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  9. Remember when grandad thought we were the same person? that was fun :)

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  10. Lisa, hahaha. Sometimes being Asian means you look half-Mexican. Or vice versa. :o)

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  11. Hahaha. I'm not sure if I should apologize or tell you that you are welcome for such a fabulous anecdote.

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