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Pet Sins July 2000

Chinese parents sabotage Black-Asian friendship

I am a African-American female medical school student attending a NYC medical school. Within my first year I started making friends of all different ethnic makeups. Within my second year I became friends with a Chinese male (born in Hong Kong). We are both the same age (21). We became friends because we have common interests (we both love heavy metal, and stuff like that).

Well, anyway we became such good friends that he invited me and some other people from our school to a Chinese New Year party at his house. I was the only one from the school to show up. Anyway, I met his parents and his brothers. They treated me nice. OK...fair enough. All went well, I even had a nice little chat with my friend's younger brother about sports. OK...fair enough.

It's after this party that things started to change between me and my friend. Within 3 weeks he gets an Asian girlfriend and starts talking less and less to me. OK, I understand he might be caught up with first love. Fair enough.

The next year, of the new entering freshman, the same brother that I talked to about sports, sees me eye to eye and just ignores me! Even up to today the brother just acts like I don't even exist! I went to a dance two weeks ago and he sat right next to me and said nothing! So I purposely initiated a conversation with him.....needless to say it seemed like he was forcing himself to talk to me. However, he was able to talk real smoothly to a former crush of my friend's (Vietnamese female) who could really care less. This had me steamed. But I digress.

Last month I attended a PTA meeting and saw my friend's father.....same reaction.....no acknowledgement of my existence. My friend....who I used to talk to every night, now just says "hello" and "goodbye" whenever he sees me in the hallway. Can you believe this?

About 4 months after the party, through various sources, I find out that his parents threatened him not be my friend anymore!!!!! These are the same kind parents that I met! I told my mom about this and she said " It's part of the Chinese culture to not accept different ethnic groups." What?! I am sure my friend invited different ethnic groups to his house before (he went to a predominantly White high school and had white friends only) and the parents said nothing because if they did say something he sure wouldn't have invited me in the first place. Every person I tell, says the same thing "It's the culture, he's not old enough to go against his parents wishes" Or "They weren't ready to accept the fact that their soon-to-be doctor son would date a Black woman" or "you know how it is....the Asians like White but not Black".....This has me super mad.

I know it's been a year since the party and even up to this day he still has his Asian girlfriend, and his brother still ignores me, and our friendship has been degraded to nothing, I say to myself that I should accept it and move on with my life and accept reality, but to think I was his friend, not even his girlfriend, and his parents threaten him?! For what? Do I pose a threat against the family's so-called racial sanctity? I just get upset every time it crosses my mind.

Sophie D.