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Home Columns Unsolicited Advice A Dose of Reality: Why Many Filipinos Remain Second-Class Citizens in America
A Dose of Reality: Why Many Filipinos Remain Second-Class Citizens in America PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Unsolicited Advice
Friday, 12 October 2007 06:18

The present plan of some self-declared Filipino-American "national" (sic) leaders to sue the ABC Television Network for $500-million is eliciting the best laughs among many Americans and even Filipinos in the United States. And if the Filipino-American community will not stop this ill-advised stunt, Filipinos will become the laughing stock of America and the butts of more ethnic jokes. We should not be surprised if Filipino Americans become the favorite topics of late-night American comedians.

The knee-jerk reaction of many Filipino Americans over the alleged racial insult by the television comedy series, "Desperate Housewives," has become more like a Comedia, if not a Zarzuela or a comedy skit. And Broadway does not produce any Comedia or Zarzuela.

You want a dose of legal reality? No suit against the ABC Network will prosper because of "First Amendment" issues. Unless a Filipino-American or Filipino physician can prove that he or she has been dismissed or demoted by an American employer or his/her medical practice has been ruined because of the "Desperate Housewife" joke, the contemplated case would just be dismissed as a "nuisance suit." But some self-proclaimed national (sic) leaders belonging to the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) and other Filipino-American organizations continue to milk the issue because they probably want to emulate the NaFFAA Seven Dwarfs and turn it into a milking cow.

These NaFFAA national executive officers (NEOs) and their allies should not be leading any advocacy for the community because they have so many skeletons in the closet. Readers should read the articles in the NaFFAAgate Section of this web site (http://www.mabuhayradio.com/Sections/NafaaGate.html)

and learn if these NaFFAA NEOs are crooks or not. Should people with tainted reputation be leading our community in lobbying activities in the American corridors of power? Even many Filipino-American veterans have questioned the hijacking of their lobby campaign by these same NaFFAA NEOs. To read more about the veterans’ lobby, please check this section, http://www.mabuhayradio.com/Sections/Fil-Vets.html.

Can the Filipino-American community not find honest people with untainted track records of advocacy to become their spokesmen and lobby leaders? And Filipino Americans refuse to ostracize the crooks in their midst and in their community organizations because they say that it is unkind to be displaying dirty Filipino linen before the American public.

Perhaps, American citizens of Filipino descent (ACFD) must ask themselves why some of them feel that they are "second-class" citizens of the United States. Perhaps the ACFD ought to remember what the cartoon character, Pogo, said: "We have met the enemy and the enemy is us." Yes, you, ACFD, are your own worst enemy, if not your own worst nightmare.

The problem with many of the ACFD, especially those who belong to the first generation, is that they behave like they are not American citizens. Many of them actually celebrate their Independence Day on June Twelve (1898) and not on the Fourth of July (1776). In short, after swearing allegiance to the United States, many of these ACFD could not cut their emotional umbilical cords to their former homeland that is the Philippines. They meddle in the internal affairs of the Philippines, even if many of them refuse to regain their Filipino citizenship by availing of the Dual-Citizenship law.

By acting like they have never left the Philippine archipelago and practicing Filipino-style politics (and all the dishonesty, etc., and etc.) even in Washington, DC, these ACFD actually pave the way for their being treated like second-class citizens of the United States.

I have always been a Filipino citizen. I always tell my grandchildren who are natural-born citizens of the United States to act like true Americans. I say to them that they should learn and appreciate the Filipino roots of their elders but they must be experts of American history first and foremost. I tell them that their national anthem is the "Star Spangled Banner" and not the "Lupang Hinirang." I tell them that while it is good to know Spanish and/or Filipino languages, they should excel in the English language. I remind them that their President is George W. Bush and not Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. I tell them that even if they renounce their American citizenship and move back to the islands, they will always be known as the "ABER Filipinos." ABER, as I have coined, stands for "American-Born, Educated or Raised."

One good trait among Americans – of all color, creed or what not – is their sense of humor. President Bush and past Presidents and even the current presidential candidates are subjected to the nightly doses of humor by American stand-up comedians or talk-show hosts like David Letterman and Jay Leno. But do American politicians sue these comedians for libel like their Filipino counterparts file criminal libel cases against Filipino newsmen for reporting the truth?

When self-proclaimed ACFD historians from the Filipino-American National Historical Society (FANHS) and other groups of "hoaxbalahaps" concoct supposed Filipino historical milestones in the United States, many of the Filipino-American leaders accept these hoaxes. In fact, many of the ACFD celebrate these fake Filipino-American "hysterical," oops, historical events as if they were the gospel truth. What real Americans would accept historical hoaxes?

You, ACFD, are supposed to be the model employees. You crow that Filipino Americans are the most-preferred job applicants and are most-likely to be the first to be hired by American employers. No doubt many of you are highly qualified and even the first-generation Filipino Americans are fluent in English. But do you know the real reason for your preferential treatment by American personnel departments? Because in general Filipinos are the employees who seldom complain about job discrimination and even sexual harassment by their bosses. And yes, Filipino-American employees seldom join labor unions.

Yes, you call yourselves American citizens but many of you refuse to register as voters. And many of you, even if you are registered voters, fail to cast your ballots during American local or national elections. Many of you want political empowerment for the Filipino Americans. But you do not put your wallets to back up the words from your mouth. And worse, some of you believe that voters have to be paid by politicians like the practice in Philippine politics. In America, voters donate money to the political-action committees of American politicians and not the other way around.

Yes, there are more-than 22,000 American physicians of Filipino descent. But how many of them are active in the American Medical Association? How many of them write articles for American medical journals? How many of them have done something extraordinary in the field of medicine that was worth a nomination for the Nobel Prize for Medicine?

Yes, there are now many Filipino-American lawyers. But how many of them practice in varied legal fields, other than handle personal-injury cases?

You, ACFD, should now be proactive because your country, the United States of America, faces so many problems. There are the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and against international terrorism. Social Security and even the Medicare, and yes, pension funds, face insolvency problems. The American infrastructure is crumbling and aging structures are bound to fail like that bridge in Minneapolis, MN. Too many Americans cannot afford health insurance, and so on and so forth.

The supposed insult to Philippine medical schools is the problem of Filipino citizens like me. Even the latest nursing-exam scandal is our problem. The corruption and what not in the Philippine government and other institutions are our problems. We, Filipino citizens, including the Overseas Filipinos who are registered Filipino voters, have the task of solving them. So, you, American citizens of Filipino descent, please solve your own national problems and leave the house cleaning of the Philippine homeland to the Filipino citizens.

And finally, if you, ACFD, so love the Philippines and not your adopted country of the United States, please join us in going back to the Philippines and in preparing to run for the 2010 elections. But if you choose to be a candidate for a Philippine political position, you have to surrender your American passport and reacquire Philippine citizenship. No dual citizen can run for a political position in the Filipino homeland.

So, please get your acts together, otherwise, you continue to become second-class citizens in the greatest country the world has even seen. You can of course always go back and become first-class citizens (again) of your former homeland.

Ok, ngarud? # # #

(To be continued . . .)



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Last Updated on Saturday, 20 October 2007 05:24
 

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