[box type=”default” size=”large”] He can’t fathom why case could happen in ‘Land of the Free’ [/box]Discrimination.
Before they are even old enough to understand the meaning of the word, many children are subjected to it. As a Filipino-American kid growing up in the United States, I knew something was different when no one else in my school looked like me.
I heard many saying “are you Chinese?” and “ching, chang, chongs.” It made me feel terrible. But I learned to live with it and made friends.
Looking back, I know I had it easy. I’ve spoken with several of my Filipino friends who were not so lucky. The discrimination that had befallen them as children was far worse than what I had experienced. Knowing this, I can imagine how difficult Filipinos in the 1970s and before suffered indiscrimination.
I am Randy Nibungco Montante, a Filipino-American who is proud of my heritage. On October 13th, 2013, a film depicting the trial and the circumstances surrounding the case of two Filipino nurses was shown at the Philippine American Community Center of Michigan (PACCM). I was one of those in attendance, and I was greatly intrigued by the plight of the two nurses.
It was about the case of nurses Filipina Narciso and Leonora Perez. I cannot fathom how I would have dealt with such harsh persecution in a country that is touted as the “Land of the Free.”
The events depicted in the film took place at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor, a place quite interesting to me as two of my aunts work as nurses there.
As a Filipino American, the discrimination I put up with as a child is nothing compared with the indictment by a grand jury. The fact that the entire government went to great length to find a scapegoat is ridiculous to me.
Nowadays, it seems to me that people no longer remember events of discrimination that happened years ago.
Strong role models like Narciso and Perez have paved the way for the next generation to stand strong and be proud of the place where they came from. I will do my best to live up to their legacy in all that I do.