I grew up in a country where we were basically homogeneous, meaning, we were of the same race, the Malay race, and although we have some indigenous people and Filipino-Chinese, they have really integrated into our society so that we don’t really think of them as none other than Filipinos. I am saying this because I will not even pretend to understand how it is to grow up in a heterogeneous environment where one is a minority and not the majority. As foreigners watching America from a distance, we watch with a bit of alarm - news about racial conflicts and how young Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Latinos, are being shot by the police just because of their racial profile. That is why when I first heard Khalid’s song American Teen, I admit I was amazed at his assertiveness, especially that in a Donald Trump environment – America seems so white and so anti-immigrant – as his disdain for Latinos and other non-white Americans has been openly expressed. Khalid proudly sings in the song “My youth is the foundation of me. I am proud to be American” – and here I see an African-American, tall, a bit menacing, but with a leathery yet beautiful and expressive voice and a name which is usually associated with Muslims. If your name is Khalid in the Philippines, we immediately assume you are a Muslim. So to see an African-American male with a non-white name proudly say he’s American – we embrace the idea with our whole heart – and wish that in the future – the youth from my ethnic group – the Filipino-Americans – can also proudly proclaim in a song “I’m an American teenager.” Don’t get me wrong, Khalid is not trying to be political, he is just proud of who he is.