AsAmNews National Correspondent
Whether you’re East Asian or Southeast Asian, you’ve probably been told to “go back to China.”
Most people dumb enough to say something like that aren’t intelligent enough to distinguish between Chinese and Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and Hmong etcetera.
South Asian Americans and Pacific Islander have likely endured equally hurtful words.
When Times Deputy Metro Editor Michael Luo wrote an open letter in the Sunday Times about his racist encounter with a White woman, it set off a torrent of comments from other Asian Americans about their own experiences.
Getting a forum in the nation’s premier newspaper liberated many who welcomed the opportunity to tell their stories on a major platform.
It’s was a cleansing experience for many, a chance to exorcise the painful memories inside them.
We all have our own stories to tell. I have many as well.
There was a handicapped kid outside a corner grocery store in a wheel chair who called me a chink.
I myself was just a child at the time and I didn’t have the words to respond. I did what Sister Mary would have suggested, turn the other cheek.
There was a time in high school when a senior sitting in the hall way pointed a stretched out rubber band toward my eyes while speaking ching chong.
I walked up to him, stood right over him staring him down, daring him to shoot me.
He put down the rubber band.
“Fu**ing racist” I blurted as I walked away.
To this day the episode still stings me, not because of what the senior did, but because a priest standing 20 feet away witnessed the whole thing and did nothing to admonish the senior. His lack of action sent a subtle message to those in the hallway that such action was condoned.
On Sunday at the Museum of Chinese in America in New York’s Chinatown, they held a town hall to discuss the recent Fox News piece on New York Chinatown. The hashtag that came out of that event #SpeakOutAAPI are words to live by.
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