It may help to know some history from my prior post. Genova was physically bullied a lot more in elementary school and the little in middle school. The worst was the time I told you about already. It was when the two white boys pushed her down and scraped her face in the concrete.
“Go home,” the boys would say, implying some country not here.
Genova, bro, and me, we’ve been told to go “home” to a lot of countries. There’d be some interspersed mock Chinese with them.
“Go back to Japan!” “Go back to China!” “Go back to Korea!”
Chinese would be the language you’re mocking and bullying me about. But I’m now Korean. No point arguing the points of confused racial verbal abuse. Genova didn’t argue either. She didn’t fight. They pushed her around, and she cried. They confused her kind soul for a weak one. She has always been one of the nicest people to me. Even as kids, if there was a bigger piece of pie or dessert, she would give it to me or little bro. When we got older, I could call her after a night of partying too hard for a place to crash and someone to talk to.
We had some severe parents, they didn’t allow us to go out with our friends … almost ever. No one was allowed in the house. My dad always kept us busy with chores or assignments. He was a control freak. But Genova is a very intelligent person, friendly and social. She crafted a great argument that loosened the parental grip a touch. Sports and extra curricular activities would help her get into a better school.
Boom. Fuck yeah, Genova. She and I would pick the clubs with the most trips, most people, just whatever. It was our ticket out. She ran cross-country played soccer and ran track. She was a leader in our community service org., a writer for the school newspaper. Debate team, “mathlete”… Check, check, check. Yes, please. Genova’s response to the trauma was the “tend and befriend,” way. She made lots of friends, and even the administration loved her.
Still, the school experience in America left the scars of racial self hatred on her. She says it was a negative experience. We’ve talked a lot about how messed up everything was back then.
Genova ended up graduating as the valedictorian, getting a full scholarship to a state university, and finishing elsewhere for her B.A. in English Literature. We are close and talk at least weekly even now. She is still among the nicest people I know.