Tag Archives: Social justice

Why Ferguson matters to Asian Americans

Why Ferguson matters to Asian Americans – Soya Jung on Racefiles


Thought of the Day

I don’t care if you dislike me because I don’t fit your perception of what an Asian person is SUPPOSED to be like. I’m living my life how I am with no apologies. Accept me as an individual AND as an Asian person.

I’m not trying to “act white” or “act black” I’m Asian and have always been and always will be. American society is more than these two races despite selective histories public schools teach (although I think the public schools I have attended don’t do Black narratives or history justice).

I was taught to see myself through the lens of a White person or identify with the struggles of a Black person (which I cannot do because I am not Black) BECAUSE Nobody told me what it meant to be Asian. The history I learned was always written by some White scholar, taught by White teachers and never noted the first person narrative of an Asian person.

I didn’t learn about discrimination to Asians second-hand; I learned it through having undergone painful firsthand experiences, coupled with my gender, immigrant status (albeit from a Postcolonial Pacific oceanic country), emotional disorders, and queer identity (all of which very much intersect).

So take me for who I am. If my personality offends you, fine. If my race offends you, that’s never okay. If both offend you first ask yourself why.

What is an Asian supposed to be like, anyway? docile, harmonious, quiet, peaceful, good at math/science??! Perhaps sometimes for some people (yes I acknowledge this, however probably not all at once) but you wouldn’t think someone who is White who had a certain alignment of traits meant that the traits were true for ALL White people. Not ALL White people are racists.

*It’s not always the White people who struggle with racial ignorance by the way. People of Color struggle with internalized racism and may treat POC the same way they’ve been taught to devalue POC despite being POC themselves. Which is warped, which makes Racism itself even more warped.

That’s all. Thanks for reading.

*Made with spotty grammar but no excuses.


Discriminatory policies towards sexual assault survivors on university campuses

On a similar vein to what happened at Amherst a couple months ago:

(Please be warned there is a trigger warning)

http://amherststudent.amherst.edu/?q=article/2012/10/17/account-sexual-assault-amherst-college

another personal account:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/savannah-badalich/the-student-government-leader-who-sexually-assaulted-me_b_5207669.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000046&ir=Women

Amherst, Columbia, Dartmouth and Harvard, have all had cases of male assailants involved in sexual assault that were put on probation and reprimands at worst. Even if the assailants were put on probation or their judicial boards were undergoing processes of examining cases of sexual assault, as Brown University now is examining a female student’s case, many female survivors at the above mentioned schools have had to continue their classes (but were probably discouraged to continue as in the Amherst student’s case) while their assailants were also on campus. 

Imagine going through a harrowing experience only to see one’s assailant continuing to share the same spaces as the survivor. Imagine the humiliation, not to mention symptoms of PTSD some survivors experience, combined with the additional stress of academics and seeing the world in a new, darker light.

I can’t imagine, because I personally am fortunate not to have gone through such harrowing experiences.

For those of you reading that are survivors, know that you are beautiful, brave and strong and deserve respect and love. I stand by you in solidarity and am sorry you had to go through so much pain and struggle to survive day by day.

Read the article on the Brown University sexual assault case: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/23/brown-university-rapist-strangle_n_5201644.html?&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

and sign the petition to keep survivors safe here:  

http://www.change.org/petitions/brown-university-justice-for-lena-and-sexual-assault-victims-everywhere

 

Also, a video done by celebrities against common things said to survivors:

http://www.upworthy.com/these-celebrities-bluntly-silence-the-shocking-sexual-assault-arguments-in-30-seconds?c=ufb1

 

Please spread this message to your loved ones. Demand justice and never stop fighting for what you believe in.

Thanks,

AL

 


“Why I Hate Black History Month”

Akilah Hughes’ opinion on Black history month.

“We have so much to talk about in Black history month, but the curriculum dictates we talk about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, Eli Whitney, Malcolm X…and you will read slave narratives.. but you won’t hear what all the other things Black people do and have done in this country since its inception”

“We have a month dedicated to Black history which is 8 people but we won’t take the time to break down stereotypes we won’t take the time to analyze the media which says Black people are a certain way, white people can be however they want to be…there’s a different way we can go about it. Black history is American history. Have we gotten to the point where we can teach American history that includes Native Americans and Latinos [and Asians, Eastern Europeans, Pacific Islanders, insert demographics I have not included]?”

Well said, Akilah.

While I I agree with some of her points, I think the idea of Black history month is not a bad one. Narratives especially from people of color and Black people, should not be forgotten. To forget is to disrespect, devalue the lives and experiences of love, pain, death, change of people who were living in societies that they were underprivileged in.
That being said, Why should there be solely ONE MONTH dedicated to Black history?

Too bad most schools teach the curriculum which is the history of White Americans (year round), while selecting only certain narratives such as slave narratives, Trail of tears, Cultural Revolution (omitting important parts and teaching from a skewed Western democratic perspective I might add…don’t even GET me started on how much Asian history and Asian-American history is omitted from the curriculum of schools I have attended).
The picking and choosing of which narratives are desirable (did I mention POLITICALLY APPROPRIATE, fuck politics) to teach in schools usually don’t focus on how people of color have, and are currently contributing to America since it’s inception [in Alikah’s words]? But that’s a whole other omission and another story.

But then, maybe I am putting too much faith in schools. Perhaps one shouldn’t expect them to be places where social ills are cured.

I’m still waiting to see a day when my future children will not live in a racist society or think their own culture inferior due to “whitewashing” and be interested in learning about their ancestors, native language, culture and take pride in their heritage.

Maybe that’s too much to hope for. Or maybe not.


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