I have so much shit to do before I leave for Chicago tomorrow afternoon, but I have to make this post now.
I will be honest with you. Growing up Asian-American, I have been unbelievably fortunate to have never been discriminated against for my race in my life. My parents didn't cling to the culture when we immigrated here and tried to distance me from the stereotypes so many of my Chinese friends embodied. As a result, I've never felt the need or desire to emphasize the fact that I am Chinese, or Asian, or anything other than "eighteen-year-old Annie from Chicago, IL." When I auditioned for Yellow Face
in February, I wasn't trying to make a political statement. I was just humoring my friends and looking for something to do. But now that the show is officially over, and especially compounded with the tsunami earlier this week, it's become quite clear to me that I have been going about this entirely the wrong way.
In the past seven days, I have witnessed more racism and hatred towards Asia than I have ever even believed
could exist in my life. From the incredible ignorant and hateful tweets catalogued at karmajapan
to Alexandra Wallace's rant about Asians in the library
, for the first time in my life, I don't feel safe or accepted in my own country.
But I'm not scared--I'm angry. I'm angry that there are people who are only worried about the tsunami because anime/video game production will likely stop for a long time while thousands of people are dying
Actually, scratch that. I am furious.
I'm furious that people who have been harboring long-time resentments are taking advantage of this chaos to come out of the woodwork and toot their anti-Asian sentiments.
I am in complete and utter disbelief that people honestly think that this is retribution for WWII.
There are few (if any) countries in the world that are not to blame of some atrocity on one level. If you are going to sit there and tell me that Asian-Americans in any way "deserve this," you don't deserve to call yourself an American because you don't know the first thing about what America stands for. The past is past. Do not blame us for the decisions made by past generations. You better reevaluate your life because tomorrow, this could happen to you and if it does, I can't guarantee that you'll receive the same mercy. Don't take our country for granted. We may be, quote unquote, "the most powerful country in the world," but that title is arbitrary. If every nation in the world decided that they hated us, we wouldn't stand a fucking chance.
This has been a huge wake-up call for me. We've been given so much shit for being "model minorities" because we as a race are generally complacent when pushed around. I'm not going to deny it--I've seen it happen. I've had it happen to me, but not anymore. If people can pull this kind of shit on a day like this and get away with it, it opens up the doors to allow them to do it any day.
There is no minority in America who is not currently fighting some sort of discrimination and I think we have a duty, as rational and compassionate people, to be more vocal and proactive about calling out those who have the gall to tell us that we deserve it. We are no longer going to be those who stand idly by while ignorant assholes make baseless, hateful claims.
Public because this is something that can't be kept to myself. You can link it if you want, but there are probably plenty of other posts who are saying what I feel far more eloquently than I ever could (please let me know if you find any!!!).