Half-Asian sublimation: My unexpected, internalized racism

This article struck me as I am learning (or at least trying) to find balance between my Asian and American identities. I am incredibly proud of my Chinese roots, but racism is so insidious. It is almost impossible to escape some internalization of these prejudices.

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One response to “Half-Asian sublimation: My unexpected, internalized racism

  1. It seems to me that we all experience from time to time some pressure to conform to some ideal that we don’t normally embrace or to be something that we aren’t. For example, girls often feel pressure to conform to highly idealized (!) standards of beauty, leading in some cases to extreme problems like eating disorders or even suicide. Kids feel pressure to drink or use drugs or join gangs. Minorities are torn between being proud of what they are and trying to be like the majority… and loathing themselves for selling out. It takes courage to be true to oneself and grace to do it without appearing bitter, combative, or a prig.

    I understand how it feels to be the outsider who both wants to fit in and to be himself. How does one make others understand, “This is who I am”? How does one convince people that Who I Am is just as valid and valuable as who others say I ought to be? And, if persuasion fails, how does one live in peace with the world as it is?

    What do you want in your life? To live it as you see fit? That can be hard. That others – ALL others – accept you in what you do and who you are? That’s impossible, as there will always be those who, from ignorance or malice, simply won’t. Teach the ignorant as best you can, ignore the malicious as well as you are able. Take comfort in those who understand (or, at least, want to) and especially in friends and those who love you. They are the ones who ultimately count (though it’s hard to remember that when people are laughing at you or bullying you).

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