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An Open Letter to all the Adam Carolla's

Adrienne Formentos adrienne.formentos@students.dominican.edu

So. I want to say I expected better, but in fact, I'm not at all surprised by your total ignorance and racism.

The first time I heard about your tirade about Manny Pacquiao's illiteracy, prayers to "chicken bones," and the Philippine's reputation for sex tourism I found myself caught in a bit of struggle. You see, as a Filipino-American woman I was not at all shocked to find you think little of my motherland and its hero.

I'm well aware of the terrible things that occur in the Philippines: I'm fully aware of the poverty, government corruption, the fact that provincial government officials orchestrate mass murders of political opponents, the fact that more than one president has royally screwed over the general population in favor of personal interests at the expense of the people's trust in democracy.

I'm well aware of the materialism, the constant desire to be whiter, lighter in skin, the trends in plastic surgery to obtain a straighter European nose. I know that television flashes images of American copycats, men and women who sing, dance American pop culture without knowing their own, I know about the commercials that advertise the hybrid colonial-consumerism of lightening soaps and awful soap operas that follow the lives of rich and beautiful mestizos.

I know about the economic disparity between rich and poor, the fact that people live in corrugated metal tin and cardboard box homes next to huge air-conditioned malls fulls of Western stores and franchises, the well-known fact that most people survive on less than $5.00 a day.

I know about the now infamous sex industry that exploits women and children, the fact that this industry is catered to white men who desire sexual satisfaction from "oriental" women who can't read or write their own names but can give $2 blow jobs, the fact that these women can get HIV/AIDS from the mass numbers of men who don't bother using condoms, the fact that Catholic-religious influence continues to support the system of no artificial contraception.

I know that Filipinos lie, cheat, steal, kill, and exploit. I know that many Filipinos are illiterate, live in the streets with no shoes. I know that Filipinos in the Philippines crave what relatives in America have. And I know that Filipinos in America sometimes forget their roots, support the consumerism, materialism and selfishness of American culture and continue to buy shoes, clothing and items made in the homeland by poor people for less than $.05. I know that Filipinos in America only remember they're Filipino during PCN.

But you know what I also know? I know that thousands of Filipinos fought alongside Americans during WWII. I know that the Philippines was a barrier against the Japanese slowly making their way to Australia. I know that 68 years ago, April 9, 1942, thousands of Filipinos and Americans died together during what would come to be known as the Bataan Death March. I know that my grandfather was one of them. I know that in 1898 the U.S. annexed the Philippines as property from Spain without the Philippines' consent. I know that during the war that followed Filipinos were called "Brown niggers." I know that during this war, in some instances all Filipino men and boys over the age of 10 were shot to death.

I know that Filipinos have constantly been written out of the history books and have gone on to be unrecognized for decades except as a group of dogeaters and yo-yo toting islanders with little industrial innovation compared to their Asian counterparts. I know that Filipinos have few celebrity role models to look up to, aside from 50% of Prince, Rob Schneider, and APL.

I know that Manny Pacquiao has surfaced in the past few years as a ground-breaking hero to the Filipino people. I know that all crime stops when he fights. I know that even Muslim militia groups that have kidnapped American missionaries put down their guns when he takes to the ring.

I know that my people must mean nothing to you. I know that the country where my parents come from must be little more than a piece of shit on a world atlas in your mind. I know that, by extension, I am nothing more than a piece of ass for men like you to hit because women like me are only good for sex. I know that, by extension, my Catholic heritage- a religious institution established 2,000 years ago and then forced upon the Philippines by armed Spaniards- is apparently just a pile of chicken bones. I know that by extension I am nothing more than a 140-character apology via Twitter, undeserving of your attention and verbal acknowledgment.

I know you must have had a hard life to have so little time to recognize your own racist perceptions and ignorance of history. I know you must have it real difficult, living in a country that does not discriminate against you because you are Caucasian. And so, because you had such a hard life, I feel I should apologize to you.

Adam Carolla, I'm sorry growing up in a middle class family was such a difficult lesson. I'm sorry you had to suffer the struggles of having an education. I'm so sorry you've found success in mainstream American entertainment. I'm sorry you've found financial success in life. I'm sorry you have a good marriage and two beautiful children. I'm sorry you have fans who like and appreciate you.

That must be really tough, dealing with all that hardship and struggle. It must be really stressful, having had a television show that showcased jumping blond women with huge breasts. It must suck having a radio show where you're allowed to insult, put down, and voice your open prejudice against Hawaiians, the Chinese and Filipinos. I feel terrible that you live a comfortable life.

But mostly, I'm sorry that people like you exist and I'm sorry that people like you think insulting an entire nation and people and culture is OK.

I'm sorry that people like you constantly shit on and then laugh about people like me, who probably are nothing more than insignificant blips on your racist radar. I'm sorry that people who think like you- the 12-13 year old boys and racist-loser high school virgins that bash on gays, ethnic minorities, and anyone different- are around to create noise pollution. I'm sorry that people like you live in this world. I'm sorry that people like you can have the freedom to express hatred and stupidity. I'm sorry that you're allowed to have a forum of incompetence that is passed off as "comedy."

If you have any shred of dignity and integrity, you'd acknowledge how much of a douche bag you are. You'd see that women like me are more than upset about being objectified. You'd see that countries like the Philippines wouldn't be in such deep shit if it wasn't for years of imperialism. And of course you'd see that Manny Pacquiao is a boxer, who's put folks in the hospital from sustaining injuries during a fight; by extension you'd acknowledge that people like Pacquiao are fully capable of punching you in the face and leaving permanent damage.

But, then again, I'm not surprised by your lack of knowledge and information. I'm not surprised that you're going to laugh this off and expect the world to laugh along.

I'm not laughing. I'm pissed. I'm angry. But most of all, I'm motivated. I'm motivated to succeed in life, to spread knowledge, to educate fools like you who think with their dicks instead of their brains. I'm motivated to move on with my life to become a more dignified kind of woman, the kind who helps those who suffer because we can't move on as people if we don't. I'm motivated to read as much as I can, to write as much as I can, to do as much as I can because assholes like you are born every day and I feel it's my patriotic Filipino-American duty to fight that tragedy. I'm motivated to do something with my life and my time, which is why all I can give is this letter. Because you're worth nothing more. Because you don't deserve any more of my time, or patience, or anger, or open-minded amusement at your racist, comical jeering. No, you don't deserve any of it because I'm tired of thinking about you and writing about you.

Now, excuse me while I go on with my life, doing things that matter.

Yours Truly,

Adrienne P. Formentos


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