my America

My America is a thousand peoples, a myriad tongues, a full spectrum of colors.

My America is corn, and apples baked in pies, the injera I had with lentils last week, and the sushi I eat on my birthdays, ice cream, arroz con leche, and pizza both Chicago and New York, hot samosas, and pot roast, candied yams, and fried tofu with bok choy.

My America is being able to hear Spanish-language radio in any large city I visit, from Boston to San Diego.

My America is finding it odd when I don’t see people whose people came from East Asia walking down the street.

My America is speaking more than one language.

My America is my sister living in a Chattanooga suburb in northwestern Georgia, just like thousands of other Mexicans.

My America is having nephews and nieces who are part Hawaiian, Chinese, Irish, Swedish, and Ashkenazi.

My America is having fewer and fewer people ask if my best friend’s husband’s family was okay with their marriage (because she’s black).

My America is having people say my name right, or at least trying to.

My America is knowing that I can have good Lao food in Madison, Wisconsin.

My America is being horrified at hearing someone use “Oriental” to describe a person and not a rug.

My America is where it’s obvious that the bigots are trying to block nominations for purely racial reasons, and everyone knowing that they will fail.

My America is seeing people who look like me and my friends on television shows and in the movies.

My America is realizing that we’re all people, and yes, that means them, too.

My America is electing the better candidate for president, who is black, and that his experience as a black man is part of the reason why he’s better for us today than the white man he defeated.

My America is larger than just one idea of who we should be.

My America is knowing that the future belongs to the better people that we can be when all we the people unite.

My America is a dream that is slowly waking into conscious thought.

My America is happening, right now.