Bullying takes place in all parts of the world. Bullying is universal and hurts anyone who encounters it. Knowing friends from Asia—specifically the Philippines—I went probing to find out how bullying goes down differently than in America. I found out some things that may startle you. It may even make you rethink your definitions of racism and hatred. This article may not be for those weak in the stomach. I was thoroughly disgusted myself.
When I spent time in my wife’s hometown of Taytay, Rizal (Philippines) we encountered a younger girl from the burroughs. She was sitting on the side of the dirt road and as the boys walked by they laughed. I asked my wife if she knew this little girl. She said no. The girl was probably in high school. She was dressed up in a traditional schoolgirls outfit. Dressed with a white undershirt and a pale blue hanging clothed dress. She was crying on the corner.
I walked up to her and asked her what was going on as she continued to sob replying that the boys were making fun of her. Me, being the nice guy (and Social Science major) I am, I asked if she needed someone to listen to her. Most of the time in Asian culture you won’t get a response from something like this, But I did. What she said shocked me. Coming through the tears was some true torture to this young girl’s psyche. I started to listen and she started to tell.
Rose: The boys like to call me ugly. They don’t understand the way I look.
Me: Why would they do that? What do you mean they don’t understand, Rose? You have a beautiful name!
Rose: The boys like to call girls monkeys! They said my nose was like a monkey’s nose and started to make howling noises at me! (Continuing to sob)
Me: That’s horrible! Why would they do that?
(Clearly the girl wasn’t aware of the racism intended. Maybe the boys weren’t aware of the racism intended either!)
Rose: I don’t know… but (sniffles)… it’s people like that who make me cry! He didn’t call me ugly, but he meant it! He called me ape face… (starts to sob harder).
Me: Rose, that’s a beautiful name for a beautiful girl. They don’t see that true beauty lies beneath the skin and one day you’ll have a king to treat you right. I promise Rose.
Rose: Do you really promise?
Me: Yes, Rose. I promise.
Rose: If you had not of come along I would have done something stupid with my friends. Are all boys like this?
Me: No, they aren’t. But you know what? Those ARE just boys, Rose. Wait until you’re old enough to meet a MAN to treat you properly.
Rose gives me a hug and picks up her school bag proceeding home.
Obviously the teenagers in this story aren’t aware that calling someone who is of color a monkey is racist. Maybe if I told them the true fact that skin color is not a race, it isn’t biological they would give it all a rest? Nah, probably not! What if they knew that race is something that is socially constructed? By this I mean the only differences we see in people are the ones we agree upon… how effed up is that hypocrisy? I could blatantly call each and every person a racist on the basis of our world’s social criteria in today’s world! Racism is happening around the world, not just the states! It’s utterly sickening.
Here’s a fun fact for you: People at the equator have darker skin to protect from Vitamin D poisoning due to sun exposure.
I had to stand up and speak out not just for Rose and her bullying, but to anyone who thinks it’s proper to call a teenage girl (or someone of a darker skin) a monkey! Making baboon noises was so 50 years ago… I wish it would have actually never been a thing to be honest!
Sometimes I’m sick of this world and its inequalities. Well, most times I’m sick of it. Other times I’m too busy to think about it, but shame on me for that!
I am here to speak up for the voiceless and shine a light not just for Rose, but for those who are being bullied, abused, and suffering from degrading racist remarks! Fucking stop this madness! I’m going insane just writing this shit!
Ugh… I feel really, really sick.
Ps. It’s not a valid excuse to say you’re not racist just because you are dating someone who is ethnic or “darker” skinned than you. Just DON’T pull that stunt… you will lose. I’m out of freaking breath… just out!
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