Authors, especially children's authors, like to think that their work is important. I did the TED talk, I share my stories and push my books because I thought it would build bridges, and open hearts and minds. I believed that people weren't racist, they were just unexposed. They just needed to see that people who didn't look like them could be as American and, more importantly, as human as they were.
I don't know what I believe now.
The election has told me that half of this country believes that I don't belong in this country, that many of my friends don't belong here and probably that even my daughter doesn't belong here. Regardless of the Constitution, where we were born or how long we've been here, we will never be American enough to them.
And, what hurts me so deeply, is that they don't want to change their minds.
People have told me the election was about jobs or healthcare and not about race. But, the end result is that it is now okay to always think of me as a foreigner, to always think of me as an "other."
I have stood up in a school in Taiwan and told the students that as much as I am proud of my Asian heritage, I am glad I am American. I have told families that the hyphen in Asian-American is a bridge between two cultures that allows you experience the best of both. I have told packed rooms how I wouldn't want to be anything other than what I am.
I still believe that. Because I still love America. But the tears fall because I know it does not love me back.