The Mop

She stood before the Chinese Authority. She stood straight, slender at five foot seven, her black eyes thin slits held level and unafraid, her thick black hair like a gorgeous mop. But it was a mop on a head that had never bowed to the floor. The Authority, old, stern, looked at her and asked, “Are you Chinese?” She responded with a curt “No.” “Then you are Japanese?” “No.” “Cambodian, Korean, Malaysian? What?” “No to all of the above.” “So, I suppose now you are going to tell me you are not even oriental.” “True. I am not.” “What are you then?” “I am me, a unique and self-possessed individual.” “Bah! I am talking about your race, not this nonsense individual stuff.”

“I am not a race. I do not represent a race. I am myself only. Do you think that because my eyes are a certain shape, or that because my face and skin have certain features and color that that is who I am? A person’s “who” is his soul, his mind, his character, which he himself creates, and which are not mere physical characteristics. A person’s “who’ is not defined by animal characteristics. I am not a mere animal; I am a human being. So, no, I am not a Chinese animal or an oriental animal. What are you? An individual or an animal? That is wholly your choice.”

“Guards! Take this one away! No, let her go! Don’t imprison her! Don’t shoot her! Just get her out of here! I’m not an animal! I’m not!”

She looked him straight in the eye, nodded her black-mopped head a little, turned, and walked away, a smile glinting in her beautiful eyes.

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