Danilo Danga, 33, is in his fourth year teaching special education at Baltimore's Calverton Elementary/Middle School. He taught English and social studies in the Philippines for eight years.My first thought was "What kind of rotten little kids yell 'Shut up, Jackie Chan!' at an Asian immigrant teacher?" and my second thought was "I bet I can guess!" I always remember the article Black Racism by Ying Ma, published in The American Enterprise, November 1998.
At first, he says, students disrupted class and cursed at him, yelling, "Shut up, Jackie Chan!" and other taunts.
Colleagues advised him to assert himself and offer rewards for good behavior. He did. Among the rewards was Filipino chicken adobo he cooked himself.
"Each year is becoming better and better," he says. "I'm excited to come to school every day despite all the challenges." [Schools in need employ teachers from overseas, By Emily Bazar,USA TODAY October 22, 2008]
"During my secondary school years, racism, and then the combination of outrage and bitterness that it fosters, accompanied me home on the bus every day. My English was by now more fluent than that of those who insulted me, but most of the time I still said nothing to avoid being beaten up. In addition to everything else thrown at me, a few times a week I was the target of sexual remarks vulgar enough to make Howard Stern blush. When I did respond to the insults, I immediately faced physical threats or attacks, along with the embarrassing fact that the other "Chinamen" around me simply continued their quiet personal conversations without intervening. The reality was that those who cursed my race and ethnicity were far bigger in size than most of the Asian children who sat silently.And whenever you suspect that problems at a school are racial, you can look up the school on Greatschools.net, which shows that Baltimore's Calverton Elementary/Middle School is 4% non-Hispanic white.
The racial harassment wasn't limited to bus rides. It surfaced in my high school cafeteria, where a middle-aged Chinese vendor who spoke broken English was told by rowdy students each day at lunch time to "Hurry up, you dumb Ching!" On the sidewalks, black teenagers and adults would creep up behind 80-year-old Asians and frighten them with sing-song nonsense: "Yee-ya, Ching-chong, ah-ee, un-yahhh!" At markets and in the streets of poor black neighborhoods, Asians would be told, "Why the hell don't you just go back to where you came from!"