Opinion

Fil-Am Family Gets Harassed by Racist White Man in Another Episode of American Racism

As the racist eloquently put it, 'Trump's gonna fuck you.'
IMAGE Instagram/jordanlizchan
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In another episode of racism in the U.S.A., a Filipino-American family became the target of a xenophobic white man when the said racist yelled obscenities at the family while they were celebrating a tita’s birthday at a lodge in California.

Little did he know that he’d become viral after the tita’s family member caught the incident on tape. The poor white man didn’t understand that you just don’t mess with a Filipino tita’s birthday.

These reports of racism are now becoming formulaic: White man or woman harasses person of color, gets caught on film, is promptly chastised by the Internet, white man or woman gets amnesia, and the cycle repeats itself again. Even during a pandemic, when the world gets wind of another racist incident in the U.S.A., we can only shake our heads and wonder at the bizarre turn of events. The U.S.A., a beacon of democracy and equality? Uh-uh.

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Anti-Asian sentiments have been growing in the U.S.A. due to the coronavirus pandemic, coinciding with the tension of the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement. Racism, whether against Asians, Blacks, Latinos, or Native Americans, is becoming predictable.

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In the video that caught the racist taunts in action, the racist shouts “Trump’s gonna fuck you,” while directing a middle finger at the family. Very textbook.

He goes on to shout, “You fucking need to leave. You fucking Asian piece of shit.” How eloquent! It’s as if they all have a group chat with a prepared script.

The staff at the lodge were quick to defend the family and demanded the man settle down. Another bystander, not shown on film, also tried to assist the family and stop the man’s tirades.

“We were celebrating my tita’s birthday, literally just singing happy birthday to her and taking pictures, when this white supremacist starts yelling disgusting racist remarks at us,” wrote Jordan Chan in a now viral video.

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“It is no coincidence that this man has the audacity to showcase such blatant racism on the 4th of July. White supremacy has a notorious habit of masquerading as patriotism! The fact that Donald Trump is our president (i.e. the most powerful man in the world) gives racists a platform and amplifies voices of hate.”

The white man was later revealed to be Michael Lofthouse, founder and CEO of San Francisco tech company Solid8, which is getting all sorts of bad press right now. Sucks for the PR team.

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Lofthouse later released a public apology via an ABC affiliate: “My behavior in the video is appalling. This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments. I would like to deeply apologize to the Chan family. I can only imagine the stress and pain they feel. I was taught to respect people of all races, and I will take the time to reflect on my actions and work to better understand the inequality that so many of those around me face every day.”

Of course, this was after Chan found another racist comment online from Lofthouse. Ah, the Internet. It makes investigative journalists of us all.

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Just last month, a Karen was caught on video shouting at a Filipino-American woman to go back to her country while the Fil-Am was peacefully exercising in the park. Meanwhile, another Karen, and her husband—we assume his name is Ken—confronted a Filipino-American for writing “Black Lives Matter.” On his own property. That he legally owns.

Lofthouse is just one of many unenlightened folks drinking xenophobic Kool-Aid, and his apology hardly made up for the trauma he caused.

“I think he shouldn’t just apologize to us. He should apologize to the whole Asian community that’s seen his video and from that point on, take all the responsibility that comes with it,” said Raymond Orosa, uncle of Jordan Chan, to the Asian Journal. “He did it and everybody witnessed it. He’s gotta be responsible for what he’s done and said.”

The Chans and Orosas won’t be the last Fil-Ams, or even Asian-Americans or persons of color, to face racism at the hands of their own neighbors. At least not until the U.S.A. remembers that, well, all the white people there are descended from European immigrants? Who stole the land from Native Americans? And then slaughtered them all? And then captured and enslaved Black people?

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But hey, that’s ancient history, right? I digress.

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Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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