Piercing Thoughts
by Pierce Thorne

In Defense of an Assassinated Character

Shame on you, Mrs. T. I seldom find the need for ad hominem, but in your case I see that it is called for.

Who are you? In particular, you are the would-have-been mother in law of a fine fellow whose character you maliciously assassinated. In general, you are all mothers of Taiwanese daughters who feel you are too good to let your daughter marry non-Taiwanese sons. By extension, you could also be Mrs. I, or Mrs. J as well. But today you shall be known as Mrs. T.

Shame on you, Mrs. T. You are a wicked person, for maligning the sterling character of a friend I hold in high regard. You shame yourself with your racial epithets, smearing a man that would have made the best of husbands for your daughter. Simply because he was not Taiwanese. Least of your epithets, you call him "Foreigner" in his own land, when you, instead, are the foreigner here.

Shame on you, Mrs. T. You are an ignorant person, for not taking the time to know the man you summarily dismissed, merely because of his ancestry. He loves your daughter, and your daughter truly loves him. An educated man, with a great career. A man of unblemished character, he would have walked through hungry wolves to make your daughter happy. He would have labored tirelessly to see your grandchildren raised well.

Shame on you, Mrs. T. You are selfish. You should see his school-boy pride as he learned to speak Mandarin and read Chinese to please you. But you value your own happiness above that of your daughter's. No, you might not have been able to speak to your future in-laws directly, not at first. But you assassinated their loving, caring characters as well, when you dismissed their willingness to accept you into their home, here in Mei Guo*, "Beautiful Country."

Shame on you, Mrs. T. You are a fool. Instead of this excellent man, you instead present your daughter with a candidate more to your liking. A musician. Already married, to his instrument. To his art. But to you, he is more suitable. Because he is Taiwanese.

Shame on you, Mrs. T. You are undeserving. Rather than concede that your daughter is right, you threaten to ostracise her. To evict her from the family she holds so dear. You torture your fine daughter with endless abuses, merely to exact her obedience. Any mother that would banish so wonderful a daughter as yours does not deserve to have her!

Shame on you, Mrs. T. You are short-sighted. Your distant sisters across the strait have no such arrogance as you, and encourage their daughters to form alliances of marriage with the sons of America. When the Mainland Tiger awakes and pounces upon Isle Formosa, who will rise to aid your in-bred homeland? The husbands of mainland wives?

Shame on you, Mrs. T. You have lost a great son-in-law. You have only yourself to blame.

Can you offer a defense for Mrs. T? If so, I encourage you to write and enlighten me as to how what she did was right and good. (Or maybe you're interested in reading what others have written.)

* I've been informed that it's actually Mei3 Guo2 for reasons I don't pretend to fully understand. That detail aside, the argument stands.

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