I first heard of Victoria Manalo Draves’ death more than two weeks ago.
Draves was an important, iconic figure in the Filipino American community. Born to a Filipino father and a Caucasian mother during a time when mixed-marriages were against the law, young Vicky Manalo was shunned as a kid in San Francsico from swimming among whites. It didn’t stop Draves from becoming an Olympic champion in 1948.
Of course, that doesn’t mean she gets the respect she deserves on the day of her death.
Today’s obit in the New York Times shows just how far Filipinos, even half-white ones, can be in terms of real inclusion.
It took the Times 19 days to report the death of an Olympic champion, excusing its tardiness by saying Manalo’s death “had not been widely reported.” I heard about it through the ethnic media.
So the mainstream’s elite newspaper is just 19 days behind in reporting a significant death of a Filipino American. At least now we can measure how far behind the mainstream can be.
So much for diversity in journalism. At least it wasn’t 19 years.