My brothers were adopted from Cambodia as babies. Now my family lives Florence, population 8,000, which probably has enough Asian children to count on one and a half hands. These facts inspire some interesting conversations about race. When Star Wars 3 came out my brother, 6 at the time, asked me why there were no brown jedi. I was at a loss until he reminded me that Master Windu, Samuel L. Jackson, was brown. “There you go!” I said.
“But I don’t know what I will look like when I grow up,” he said in a voice that seemed to say he had vague hopes of flowering into the likeness of Jules Winnfield. Our most recent conversation about race was on why there are other Asians in Florence, namely a Samoan family:
Billy: Him and his brother are Samoan, does that mean they’re from Hawaii?
Dad: No, it means they’re from Samoa.
Billy: But how did they get to Oregon?
Dad: Probably the same way you did! On a plane!
Billy: But, but why? For the historial cultures…?
Dad (accusatory): Historial what is this word? I've never heard this word. Why did you come to Oregon?!
Billy: I came because I had to. MAYBE they came for the historical cultures.
Me: Maybe they came because they love Oregon wines.
Ricky: I came for the girls.