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"Poor Filipino Trash!"

I had always wanted to use this in my book, but didn’t; perhaps I will in the future, if I ever get my pensionados at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition article published…

From Mary H. Fee’s A Woman’s Impressions of the Philippines (Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co., 1912), pp. 93-94:

I had a friend, a young Filipino girl, who has been one of the most diligent among the pupils of the American schools. …My publisher sent me a copy of a primer intended for use in the Philippines…. The publisher had spared no expense in his illustrations, and we were tremendously proud of the artistic side of the book. This Filipino girl had heard me use the expression “poor white trash”… When I took my book to her in the joy of an author in her first complete production, she looked at it a minute and burst into tears. “Poor Filipino trash!” was all she could say for a long time, and I finally pieced it out that she was enraged because the Filipino boys and girls in my book were sometimes barefooted, sometimes clad in chinelas, and wore native camisas instead of American suits and dresses. I pointed out to her that not one Filipino child in a hundred dresses otherwise, but my argument was of no avail. The children in the American readers wore natty jackets and hats and high-heeled shoes, and winter wraps… and she wanted the Filipino children to look the same.

One reply on “"Poor Filipino Trash!"”

Well, that’s the reality. Filipinos can’t afford American clothing. Besides, wearing jackets and the like in a climate like ours is totally crazy

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