crankyskirt
silentlydrawn:


I was going to tell you about the huge turnout today at the US Senate, the most powerful legislative body in the world ! About the overflow crowd at the hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism held in the wake of the massacre at the Sikh Gurudwara in Wisconsin on a day, August 5, 2012, that will never be forgotten. Instead, here are excerpts from the testimony of an 18-year-old Sikh boy, Harpreet Singh Saini, who lost his mother, Paramjit Kaur Saini, in that terrible tragedy. Hardly able to hold back his tears, Harpreet told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights….
“A little over a month ago, I never imagined I’d be here. I never imagined that anyone outside of Oak Creek would know my name. Or my mother’s name, Paramjit Kaur Saini. Or my brother’s name, Kamaljit Singh Saini. Kamal, my brother and best friend, is here with me today.As we all know, on Sunday, August 5, 2012, a white supremist fueled by hatred walked into our local Gurudwara with a loaded gun. He killed my mother, Paramjit Kaur, while she was sitting for morning prayers. He shot and killed five more men - all of them were fathers, all had turbans like me.And now people know all our names: Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Suvegh Singh, Satwant Singh Kaleka.This was not supposed to be our American story. This was not my mother’s dream….It was a Tuesday, two days after our mother was killed, that my brother Kamal and I ate the leftovers of the last meal she had made for us. We ate her last rotis - which are a type of South Asian flatbread. She had made the rotis from scratch the night before she died. Along with the last bite of our food that Tuesday came the realization that this was the last meal made by the hands of our mother that we will ever eat in our lifetime…..Senators, my mother was our biggest fan, our biggest supporter. She was always there for us. She always had a smile on her face.But, now she’s gone. Because of a man who hated her because she wasn’t his color? His religion?I just had my first day of college. And my mother wasn’t there to send me off. She won’t be there for my graduation. She won’t be there on my wedding day. She won’t be there to meet her grandchildren.I want to tell the gunman who took her from me: You may have been full of hate, but my mother was full of love.She was an American. And this was not our American dream….Senators, I came here today to ask the government to give my mother the dignity of being a statistic. The FBI does not track hate crimes against Sikhs. My mother and those shot that day will not even count on a federal form. We cannot solve a problem we refuse to recognize.Senators, I also ask that the government pursue domestic terrorism with the same vigor as attackers from abroad. The man who killed my mother was on the watch list of public interest groups. I believe the government could have tracked him long before he went on a shooting spree.Finally, Senators, I ask that you stand up for us. As lawmakers and leaders, you have the power to shape public opinion. Your words carry weight. When others scapegoat or demean people because of who they are, use your power to say that is wrong.So many have asked Sikhs to simply blame Muslims for attacks against our community or just say, “We are not Muslim”. But, we won’t blame anyone else. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.I also want to be a part of the solution. That’s why I want to be a law enforcement officer like Lieutenant Brian Murphy who saved so many lives on August 5, 2012. I want to protect other people from what happened to my mother. I want to combat hate - not just against Sikhs, but against all people. Senators, I know what happened at Oak Creek was not an isolated incident. I fear it may happen again if we don’t stand up and do something.I don’t want anyone to suffer what we have suffered. I want to build a world where all people can live, work and worship in America in peace.Because you see, despite everything, I still believe in the American dream. In my mother’s memory, I ask that you stand up for it with me, today, and in the days to come…”Hope it touches every heart !!Photo: Harpreet Singh Saini after testifying in a hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism in the US Senate, earlier today. At left is Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (Democrat-Illinois), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights





Source

silentlydrawn:

I was going to tell you about the huge turnout today at the US Senate, the most powerful legislative body in the world ! About the overflow crowd at the hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism held in the wake of the massacre at the Sikh Gurudwara in Wisconsin on a day, August 5, 2012, that will never be forgotten. 

Instead, here are excerpts from the testimony of an 18-year-old Sikh boy, Harpreet Singh Saini, who lost his mother, Paramjit Kaur Saini, in that terrible tragedy. Hardly able to hold back his tears, Harpreet told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights….


“A little over a month ago, I never imagined I’d be here. I never imagined that anyone outside of Oak Creek would know my name. Or my mother’s name, Paramjit Kaur Saini. Or my brother’s name, Kamaljit Singh Saini. Kamal, my brother and best friend, is here with me today.

As we all know, on Sunday, August 5, 2012, a white supremist fueled by hatred walked into our local Gurudwara with a loaded gun. He killed my mother, Paramjit Kaur, while she was sitting for morning prayers. He shot and killed five more men - all of them were fathers, all had turbans like me.

And now people know all our names: Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Suvegh Singh, Satwant Singh Kaleka.

This was not supposed to be our American story. This was not my mother’s dream….

It was a Tuesday, two days after our mother was killed, that my brother Kamal and I ate the leftovers of the last meal she had made for us. We ate her last rotis - which are a type of South Asian flatbread. She had made the rotis from scratch the night before she died. Along with the last bite of our food that Tuesday came the realization that this was the last meal made by the hands of our mother that we will ever eat in our lifetime…..

Senators, my mother was our biggest fan, our biggest supporter. She was always there for us. She always had a smile on her face.

But, now she’s gone. Because of a man who hated her because she wasn’t his color? His religion?

I just had my first day of college. And my mother wasn’t there to send me off. She won’t be there for my graduation. She won’t be there on my wedding day. She won’t be there to meet her grandchildren.

I want to tell the gunman who took her from me: You may have been full of hate, but my mother was full of love.

She was an American. And this was not our American dream….

Senators, I came here today to ask the government to give my mother the dignity of being a statistic. The FBI does not track hate crimes against Sikhs. My mother and those shot that day will not even count on a federal form. We cannot solve a problem we refuse to recognize.

Senators, I also ask that the government pursue domestic terrorism with the same vigor as attackers from abroad. The man who killed my mother was on the watch list of public interest groups. I believe the government could have tracked him long before he went on a shooting spree.

Finally, Senators, I ask that you stand up for us. As lawmakers and leaders, you have the power to shape public opinion. Your words carry weight. When others scapegoat or demean people because of who they are, use your power to say that is wrong.

So many have asked Sikhs to simply blame Muslims for attacks against our community or just say, “We are not Muslim”. But, we won’t blame anyone else. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.

I also want to be a part of the solution. That’s why I want to be a law enforcement officer like Lieutenant Brian Murphy who saved so many lives on August 5, 2012. I want to protect other people from what happened to my mother. I want to combat hate - not just against Sikhs, but against all people. 

Senators, I know what happened at Oak Creek was not an isolated incident. I fear it may happen again if we don’t stand up and do something.

I don’t want anyone to suffer what we have suffered. I want to build a world where all people can live, work and worship in America in peace.

Because you see, despite everything, I still believe in the American dream. In my mother’s memory, I ask that you stand up for it with me, today, and in the days to come…”

Hope it touches every heart !!

Photo: Harpreet Singh Saini after testifying in a hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism in the US Senate, earlier today. At left is Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (Democrat-Illinois), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights
polerin

Asian-Americans (things that I was ignorant about)

stark0fthecanals:

There are two things that most people don’t know (even I didn’t know until 2 years ago): 1) May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (which I found out, going to a meeting about Asian-American scholarships)  2) Vincent Chin’s death served as a flashpoint that ignited the modern Asian American political movement. 
Here’s the story:

In 1982, a young Chinese-American man named Vincent Chin was brutally clubbed to death by two white men in Detroit, Michigan. The crime was motivated, in part, by anti-Asian sentiment stemming from widespread loss of auto manufacturing jobs to Japanese competitors; Ronald Ebens, one of the attackers, was heard saying “it’s because of you little motherfuckers that we’re out of work” to Chin moments before the attack. Despite pleading guilty to second-degree murder, Chin’s killers did not serve any jail time for Chin’s murder, and were only fined $3,000. Vincent Chin’s death served as a flashpoint that ignited the modern Asian-American political movement.

He would’ve turned 47 last Friday

deliciouskaek

Do you know Yuri Kochiyama?

dreams-from-my-father:

ancestryinprogress:

I’m giving this woman flowers every single day that she is alive to let her know that cradling Malcolm X in her arms as he lay dying is the most powerful thing she could have done for him in that moment, in that historical moment in our lives.

You see because she was still is an ardent social rights/social justice activist—on the behalf of Japanese Americans and for the causes of black people (diasporically and in the U.S.).

Their interracial friendship (a deep one) spoke volumes about Malcolm’s character and Yuri’s commitment. It was one that was not given due credit in Malcolm’s biopic. It is not often that her name is said along with his anymore. It is sad that people are forgetting just how down our Asian brothers and sisters were for us and we for them.

Born Mary Yuriko Nakahara in San Pedro, California, Kochiyama’s family was caught up in the racist dragnet that led her family to be imprisoned at an internment camp after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Even so, two of her brothers pledged their allegiance to the United States by joining the U.S. Army. She moved to New York City with her husband and became actively involved in the Harlem community. She was even a member of Malcolm’s organization, Organization of Afro-American Unity, a PAN AFRICANIST organization.

She marched with a Puerto Rican coalition (Puerto Ricans have alwayssss been the baddest at political upheaval and movement work, see: Young Lords) to the Statue of Liberty in a protest for Puerto Rican Independence. Puerto Rico is…not…independent..yet. Yes, that’s right…the United States is still a colonial power.

She wants reparations for Japanese American families who were interned in camps. She fights for the release of Mumia Abu Jamal. She fights for the rights of political prisoners. She deserves a Nobel Peace Prize (honestly) and was nominated for one in 2005.

Honestly, she’s a fucking boss. At 90 years old, she’s still a fucking boss. And as we remember Malcolm’s death and his importance to us, I will always remember Yuri Kochiyama as well.

Amazing!

the-real-goddamazon

I’d really love to see some solidarity between the Natives, Rroma, Blacks, Africans, Latinos, and Asians of Tumblr.

thegoddamazon:

Because really, we all face similar struggles (even though each is very different), and we’re all trying to do the same thing: gain fair treatment and respect from a society that marginalizes, stereotypes, and caricaturizes us.

jhameia

jhameia:

miswritten:

i don’t really want to respond on this larger thread because i don’t really have the capacity to engage in a more rigorous conversation about this right now, but

http://fascinasians.tumblr.com/post/14222638000/color-blinding-call-for-bloggers-rethinking-race-in i don’t think this person got what we were trying to say…?

most asian american critiques of media representation of “desexualized” asian (male) and “hypersexualized” asian (female) = stuff that is kind of low on my priorities list tbh. i know these stereotypes are  reality and i still don’t really care because of, uh, all the shit that people pointed out (including myself, titotibok, etc, like folks pointed out, most of the pushback against these stereotypes are rooted in trying to prove that asians are capable of participating fully in white cis heteropatriarchy. still waiting to see a good critique that isn’t about that or trying to attain whiteness or white masculinity or proper white femininity and womanhood…….

the “trust me, i’m not trying to be anti-trans” …rather than trying to reassure someone by telling them to trust you, maybe it’d be more useful to sit with some of the things that titotibok brought up instead of trying to rebut them. also if what was taken away from titotibok’s critique was simply “it’s anti-trans” and you think you can address that by saying something along the lines of “i don’t think you got my point,” that’s not cool. i’m pretty sure titotibok got the point. i’m not sure that you got theirs.

Furthermore, I would like to make it clear that it is slightly ridiculous to think that a virtual conference like this is “appropriating” previous racial relations (black/white). We’re re-thinking it because we’re approaching it from an often marginalized racial group that isn’t addressed when most people think about racism.

ok uh. wanting to create a safer space for queer and trans ppl and then totally dismissing a huge part of our critiques……. the racial analyses i was bringing forth are very much connected to my queer and woman of color politics, i think they might be for some of those who were also commenting as well

:\ maybe i’ll respond later… if anyone tries to start an argument with me on this post i’ll probably ignore you fyi. not trying to be rude or underhanded or run away from critique, just not reblogging on that thread specifically because i don’t feel like engaging w/ that person yet

also if that’s the attitude towards some of the critiques brought up (which i think were important, valid, and necessary), from one of the planners, then that’s …uncomfortable and alienating.

Given WHO is spearheading the conference, I’ve not really been comfortable with the idea from the get-go. I’ve seen more anti-black pushback from As-Ams with all sorts of weird deflections that refuse to take responsibility for the anti-black (and other kinds of oppressive) behaviour, especially right here on Tumblr. 

So I think there are two of my biggest peeves here re: having an online conference:

1) UTTER LACK OF MODERATION! Tumblr is not a safe space. When I first blogged about the spatiality of Tumblr, I noted that people literally have no control over where and how a post is reblogged. This is how a post of mine pointing out racism degenerated down into a post encouraging prison rape. Same with another post about whiteness, cue me getting into fights with people who don’t understand what whiteness is, possible only because I was on the ball chasing problematic reblogs. BUT this doesn’t mean other people are spared the shitty reblogs. Even if the people you follow are safe, what they reblog may not be. And you probably will be able to see all the problematic reblogs on your dash ANYWAY.

2) Why a conference? Look, I’m not averse to doing and pulling in academic work onto Tumblr. I’ve met some brilliant academics on Tumblr, have had useful conversations with them. But this was under the tacit lack of formality that accompanies Tumblr, with all the fluidity of conversation that Tumblr allows. Imposing a conference format where people write papers and shit like that? Takes away from this kind of impromptu conversation. 

Not to mention, given WHO is among the organizers? I am VERY LEERY of the adoption of a highly-formalized format and trying to insert Asians into an existing conversation about being POC in that manner. I straight out do not trust the organizers to create a space where marginalized peoples can speak and share and be addressed in return, not just because, see above, it’s impossible to create this space on Tumblr, but also because at least one of the organizers that I know of has outright dismissed arguments that don’t fall within her peculiarly formalized mode of engagement.

I’m sorry, if you say just ONCE “that person is not a faculty member of any institution” you can bet I’m going to SIDE-EYE YOU FOREVERRR.

Same goes for “sorry, I didn’t mean to”.

jhameia
neaato:

Zhang, the only female individual finalist, said her research was in part motivated by her family. Her great grandfather had liver cancer and her grandfather died of lung cancer when she was in seventh grade.
“I  asked, ‘Why does this happen. Why does cancer cause death? What are we  doing to fix this and what can I do to help,’” said the Monta Vista High  School senior.
Zhang said the  particle she designed improves on current cancer treatments because it  delivers a drug directly to tumor cells and doesn’t affect healthy cells  around it. The particle is also able to release a drug when activated  by a laser. The idea is still years away from being used in patients,  however. Zhang says it could take 25 years between clinical trials and  other steps before her research is helping patients.

neaato:

Zhang, the only female individual finalist, said her research was in part motivated by her family. Her great grandfather had liver cancer and her grandfather died of lung cancer when she was in seventh grade.

“I asked, ‘Why does this happen. Why does cancer cause death? What are we doing to fix this and what can I do to help,’” said the Monta Vista High School senior.

Zhang said the particle she designed improves on current cancer treatments because it delivers a drug directly to tumor cells and doesn’t affect healthy cells around it. The particle is also able to release a drug when activated by a laser. The idea is still years away from being used in patients, however. Zhang says it could take 25 years between clinical trials and other steps before her research is helping patients.

jhameia

jhameia:

Lanya Olmstead was born in Florida to a mother who immigrated from Taiwan and an American father of Norwegian ancestry. Ethnically, she considers herself half Taiwanese and half Norwegian. But when applying to Harvard, Olmstead checked only one box for her race: white.

“I didn’t want to put ‘Asian’ down,” Olmstead says, “because my mom told me there’s discrimination against Asians in the application process.”

For years, many Asian-Americans have been convinced that it’s harder for them to gain admission to the nation’s top colleges.

Studies show that Asian-Americans meet these colleges’ admissions standards far out of proportion to their 6 percent representation in the U.S. population, and that they often need test scores hundreds of points higher than applicants from other ethnic groups to have an equal chance of admission. Critics say these numbers, along with the fact that some top colleges with race-blind admissions have double the Asian percentage of Ivy League schools, prove the existence of discrimination.

The way it works, the critics believe, is that Asian-Americans are evaluated not as individuals, but against the thousands of other ultra-achieving Asians who are stereotyped as boring academic robots.

Now, an unknown number of students are responding to this concern by declining to identify themselves as Asian on their applications.

For those with only one Asian parent, whose names don’t give away their heritage, that decision can be relatively easy. Harder are the questions that it raises: What’s behind the admissions difficulties? What, exactly, is an Asian-American — and is being one a choice?

Olmstead is a freshman at Harvard and a member of HAPA, the Half-Asian People’s Association. In high school she had a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and scored 2150 out of a possible 2400 on the SAT, which she calls “pretty low.”

College applications ask for parent information, so Olmstead knows that admissions officers could figure out a student’s background that way. She did write in the word “multiracial” on her own application.

Still, she would advise students with one Asian parent to “check whatever race is not Asian.”

“Not to really generalize, but a lot of Asians, they have perfect SATs, perfect GPAs, … so it’s hard to let them all in,” Olmstead says.

Amalia Halikias is a Yale freshman whose mother was born in America to Chinese immigrants; her father is a Greek immigrant. She also checked only the “white” box on her application.

“As someone who was applying with relatively strong scores, I didn’t want to be grouped into that stereotype,” Halikias says. “I didn’t want to be written off as one of the 1.4 billion Asians that were applying.”

Her mother was “extremely encouraging” of that decision, Halikias says, even though she places a high value on preserving their Chinese heritage.

“Asian-American is more a scale or a gradient than a discrete combination . I think it’s a choice,” Halikias says.

But leaving the Asian box blank felt wrong to Jodi Balfe, a Harvard freshman who was born in Korea and came here at age 3 with her Korean mother and white American father. She checked the box against the advice of her high school guidance counselor, teachers and friends.

“I felt very uncomfortable with the idea of trying to hide half of my ethnic background,” Balfe says. “It’s been a major influence on how I developed as a person. It felt like selling out, like selling too much of my soul.”

“I thought admission wouldn’t be worth it. It would be like only half of me was accepted.”

Other students, however, feel no conflict between a strong Asian identity and their response to what they believe is injustice.

“If you know you’re going to be discriminated against, it’s absolutely justifiable to not check the Asian box,” says Halikias.

Immigration from Asian countries was heavily restricted until laws were changed in 1965. When the gates finally opened, many Asian arrivals were well-educated, endured hardships to secure more opportunities for their families, and were determined to seize the American dream through effort and education.

These immigrants, and their descendants, often demanded that children work as hard as humanly possible to achieve. Parental respect is paramount in Asian culture, so many children have obeyed — and excelled.

[some stupid bullshit about Tiger Moms]

“My math scores aren’t high enough for the Asian box,” [Tao Tao Holmes] says. “I say it jokingly, but there is the underlying sentiment of, if I had emphasized myself as Asian, I would have (been expected to) excel more in stereotypically Asian-dominated subjects.”

“I was definitely held to a different standard (by my mom), and to different standards than my friends,” Holmes says. She sees the same rigorous academic focus among many other students with immigrant parents, even non-Asian ones.

Does Holmes think children of American parents are generally spoiled and lazy by comparison? “That’s essentially what I’m trying to say.”

Asian students have higher average SAT scores than any other group, including whites. A study by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade examined applicants to top colleges from 1997, when the maximum SAT score was 1600 (today it’s 2400). Espenshade found that Asian-Americans needed a 1550 SAT to have an equal chance of getting into an elite college as white students with a 1410 or black students with an 1100.

Top schools that don’t ask about race in admissions process have very high percentages of Asian students. The California Institute of Technology, a private school that chooses not to consider race, is about one-third Asian. (Thirteen percent of California residents have Asian heritage.) The University of California-Berkeley, which is forbidden by state law to consider race in admissions, is more than 40 percent Asian — up from about 20 percent before the law was passed.

Steven Hsu, a physics professor at the University of Oregon and a vocal critic of current admissions policies, says there is a clear statistical case that discrimination exists.

“The actual dynamics of how it happens are really quite subtle,” he says, mentioning factors like horse-trading among admissions officers for their favorite candidates.

Also, “when Asians are the largest group on campus, I can easily imagine a fund-raiser saying, ‘This is jarring to our alumni,’” Hsu says. Noting that most Ivy League schools have roughly the same percentage of Asians, he wonders if “that’s the maximum number where diversity is still good, and it’s not, ‘we’re being overwhelmed by the yellow horde.’”

Yale, Harvard, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania declined to make admissions officers available for interviews for this story.

Kara Miller helped review applications for Yale as an admissions office reader, and participated in meetings where admissions decisions were made. She says it often felt like Asians were held to a higher standard.

“Asian kids know that when you look at the average SAT for the school, they need to add 50 or 100 to it. If you’re Asian, that’s what you’ll need to get in,” says Miller, now an English professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

Highly selective colleges do use much more than SAT scores and grades to evaluate applicants. Other important factors include extracurricular activities, community service, leadership, maturity, engagement in learning, and overcoming adversity.

Admissions preferences are sometimes given to the children of alumni, the wealthy and celebrities, which is an overwhelmingly white group. Recruited athletes get breaks. Since the top colleges say diversity is crucial to a world-class education, African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders also may get in despite lower scores than other applicants.

A college like Yale “could fill their entire freshman class twice over with qualified Asian students or white students or valedictorians,” says Rosita Fernandez-Rojo, a former college admissions officer who is now director of college counseling at Rye Country Day School outside of New York City.

But applicants are not ranked by results of a qualifications test, she says — “it’s a selection process.”

“People are always looking for reasons they didn’t get in,” she continues. “You can’t always know what those reasons are. Sometimes during the admissions process they say, ‘There’s nothing wrong with that kid. We just don’t have room.’”

In the end, elite colleges often don’t have room for Asian students with outstanding scores and grades.

That’s one reason why Harvard freshman Heather Pickerell, born in Hong Kong to a Taiwanese mother and American father, refused to check any race box on her application.

“I figured it might help my chances of getting in,” she says. “But I figured if Harvard wouldn’t take me for refusing to list my ethnicity, then maybe I shouldn’t go there.”

She considers drawing lines between different ethnic groups a form of racism — and says her ethnic identity depends on where she is.

“In America, I identify more as Asian, having grown up there, and actually being Asian, and having grown up in an Asian family,” she says. “But when I’m back in Hong Kong I feel more American, because everyone there is more Asian than I am.”

Holmes, the Yale sophomore with the Chinese-born mother, also has problems fitting herself into the Asian box — “it doesn’t make sense to me.”

“I feel like an American,” she says, “…an Asian person who grew up in America.”

Susanna Koetter, a Yale junior with an American father and Korean mother, was adamant about identifying her Asian side on her application. Yet she calls herself “not fully Asian-American. I’m mixed Asian-American. When I go to Korea, I’m like, blatantly white.”

And yet, asked whether she would have considered leaving the Asian box blank, she says: “That would be messed up. I’m not white.”

“Identity is very malleable,” says Jasmine Zhuang, a Yale junior whose parents were both born in Taiwan.

She didn’t check the box, even though her last name is a giveaway and her essay was about Asian-American identity.

“Looking back I don’t agree with what I did,” Zhuang says. “It was more like a symbolic action for me, to rebel against the higher standard placed on Asian-American applicants.”

“There’s no way someone’s race can automatically tell you something about them, or represent who they are to an admissions committee,” Zhuang says. “Using race by itself is extremely dangerous.”

Hsu, the physics professor, says that if the current admissions policies continue, it will become more common for Asian students to avoid identifying themselves as such, and schools will have to react.

“They’ll have to decide: A half-Asian kid, what is that? I don’t think they really know.”

The lines are already blurred at Yale, where almost 26,000 students applied for the current freshman class, according to the school’s web site.

About 1,300 students were admitted. Twenty percent of them marked the Asian-American box on their applications; 15 percent of freshmen marked two or more ethnicities.

Ten percent of Yale’s freshmen class did not check a single box.

Well I am going to go side-eye my application to Brown University now…

jhameia

Reasons why the “positive” racism, “model minority” stereotype for Asian Americans can be damaging:

fromonesurvivortoanother:

  • Any standard that is unrealistic and homogenous is inherently damaging by creating inhuman expectations.
  • This is especially true when Asian American socio-economic status, although higher on average than other non-white groups, can actually vary hugely between different populations. Hmong and Vietnamese communities are usually extremely poor, for example.
  • The society around you has been socialized into thinking that you can automatically succeed— so when you inevitably fail at something, teachers, guidance counselors, and others are less likely to perceive that you need help.
  • Obviously, if you’re broke, your parents have no time to help you out, and you have to face a language or cultural barrier, there will be problems. If no one thinks that people who look like you can even have said problems, then you’re basically stuck in the middle of an ocean without much help.
  • Having classmates ask you for answers, and not knowing them.
  • Or, if you do know the answer, but you refuse to tell them, they bring up the “model minority” thing and then you’re in a double bind— prove you’re intelligent and buy into the stereotype, or do what is honest and then be seen as not “authentic”, a liar, rude, etc.
  • You are automatically seen as less likely for a sexual or romantic partner because you might a) intimidate people with your smarts, or b) be an antisocial “nerd”
  • If you want to do something that is not math or science, like English, then people think it’s weird, because you aren’t supposed to be there.
  • If you decide that math or science is right for you, then you have to deal with lots of jokes about being where you “belong”.
  • Having to deal with the expectation that you are well-behaved, “well-adjusted” (whatever that means), and quiet. If you are loud, stand up for yourself, etc., it is more likely to be seen as offensive than if a person of another group acted that way.
  • If you succeed in class, your successes are automatically discounted based on your race (“oh, he’s asian! that explains his good grades”), rather than being praised as evidence of your hard work.
  • Rarely ever receiving praise, because it is expected of you and not seen as something exceptional.
  • Feeling as if you cannot raise your hand to ask questions in class, because someone will immediately draw attention to how you do not fit the intelligent stereotype. This, of course, only contributes to feeling like you are not smart enough.

These are only a few examples.

notime4yourshit

notime4yourshit:

to the white girl who saw a bunch of us little Southeast Asian kids watch her brother play a video game in the Asian grocery and said “these gooks are surrounding us.” 

Did we douse you in chemicals that twisted your future generations
to flesh pretzels
stripmine your resources
then fusion fuck your family dinner

Did we light garlands of fire
onto your sacred mountains,
push your people to tiny fingers of dry land
explore what was already found
then name your beautiful landmarks
after ourselves

Did we push your people into jobs
where toxic fumes turned your lungs to scorched wings
your nails breaking on our skin
to paint ours pretty

Did we spin your history to smoke
Hook you on snorting the ashes

Did we convince the entire world your men
have cocks small as minnows
scar barbed wire borders using plastic surgery
break your legs to
make you taller

Did we gentrify your love life

Did we convince your people
that we taught them the word love
and what it means to be free

Did we redefine torture
for our own benefit

Did we measure ourselves in fathoms
then force you to swim in us
until you drown?

these gooks are surrounding us

if only
that were true.

jhameia

Never enough

thickdumplingskin:

I’m a Chinese/Filipino, Black/Mexican “mutt”. My mom is the Blaxican half, dad is the Asian half. Mom is very much what you would imagine her to be: short, fit, naturally tan, and a giant butt that she is very proud of. Her thighs are about the same, and it’s always been a source of insecurity for her. Growing up she would look in the mirror and complain about it, saying how she wished her naturally six packed waistline could effect her “arroz con pollo” thighs. Not a day went by that she didn’t hit the gym in an effort to kill off the cellulite she cursed and stood in the mirror swearing about while I watched.

Until puberty struck I had the average skinny Asian girl body most do as a child. Then with the force of a truck, it slammed me. I shot up to 5’7, sprouted a set of 32DD’s, and my hips hit a solid 36 inches in the span of 3 years. To say I was devastated is putting it gently. A 12 year old with the body of a grown woman is going to catch hell from her peers without question!

I started the binge and purge cycle at 13. My grandmother (Chinese) would buy me diet teas and whatever else she could bring me back from Hong Kong, not knowing that I was hardly keeping anything in as it was. The pounds dropped and she praised me for my effort, but always said it was too bad that I “got my mother’s legs.”

That started my self hatred for being mixed. Oh, how desperately I wanted to look more Chinese! If only I looked more Chinese, I would have a more Chinese body, I wouldn’t have these awful thighs and these awful breasts that made me look so dumpy. My hips wouldn’t be so fat. The athletic, hourglass body I inherited from my mother had been dieted down but I still wanted more.

After battling with myself throughout high school and my freshman year of college, I finally stopped. The end of a serious relationship and a new intense job drove me into the arms of food. I gained weight and my grandmother lost it. How could I be so sloppy? My mother mourned the loss of my perfect figure. I binged more.

Eventually I met someone who convinced me that pursuing healthy exercise in the form of biking and Capoeira was what I needed. I got myself to a healthy and strong weight, feeling on top of the world.

About a year ago I was assaulted and it resulted in the pregnancy of my now two month old son. When I went to tell my father? His response was that at least my son would be mostly Chinese. Back to not feeling good enough yet again.

I spent my whole pregnancy on a bad binge and purge cycle that towards the end landed me in the hospital. My son is healthy, happy, and that’s what matters…but I’m afraid that I’m not. I’m lumpy and shapeless. Scarred and saggy. Binge after binge and it’s an uphill battle every day, but I know that I will get better. The doctor has given me the green light to exercise and I’m shopping to replace my old bike. Next month I will be signing up for Mommy and Me swim classes, even though it kills me to wear a one piece for the first time.

Above all else? I will remember that I am good enough. No matter what I weigh, how Chinese I look or don’t look, or how thunderous my thighs my be.

At least until I have my meet my soon to be, ultra old fashioned Korean in laws. Hey, I’m a work in progress.


Anonymous

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