because asians are cool

Hi everyone, my name is Vee. I’m a mixed race (Japanese/White), multi ethnic (Latina/Japanese) nonbinary, pansexual person and I’m here to tell you my little story and my experience with racism because of being part Asian. When I was a kid and I told people about being part Japanese (I was so proud of that aspect of myself because I thought it was so cool that I was part Asian and also part Latina!) I got made fun of. They squinted their eyes and pulled back their lips to show their teeth and yelled “ching chong wing wong!” at me. I was humiliated. I was upset. Worst of all, I was ashamed. I stopped going around and telling people for fear of that happening, for fear of them making fun of me for it. It still sometimes happened. I sat quietly sometimes, got furious other times, but all times it hurt and my shame continued.

I still get racist remarks to this day. I let it slip that I’m part Asian and people nod like it make sense and say, “ah, that’s why you’re so smart” and they want me to take it as a compliment. I never do. That doesn’t make me smart. That doesn’t make me anything but part Asian. It undermines how hard I’ve worked to be smart and good at school. It’s never a compliment.

The only thing that’s changed is that I’m proud of myself again. I’m proud to be mixed race and multi-ethnic. I want to learn more about my heritage (both my mother, who was half asian, and her mother, who came from Japan, are dead and therefore cannot teach me themselves about the culture) and their struggles. I want to learn more about my Latina roots and their struggles. I want to own my identity.

So my message to everyone: be proud of who you are. Be unashamedly proud of who you are because you are more than ugly stereotypes and racism parading as compliments. Grasp your identity and own it.

First #yellowout now #asianinvasion. Really? Can we as a community not be respectful of the Black community, and be supportive? Can we not be happy for our fellow people of colour for launching a successful and fun Tumblr event to celebrate themselves, without feeling the need to co-opt it and steal from it? What does it really take away from us to allow black people to have complete ownership over something they created? 

You want to have a Tumblr wide event that celebrates Asians. Fine. Be creative, Look at the issues we specifically face, and find a way to combat them. Don’t take another group’s idea just because it was successful. Especially since Asians have a history (and present) of anti-blackness. 

You know what would actually be a really cool thing? #asiansasartists . Because Asian artists are ignored and invisiblized. We are huge contributors to pop, music, fine art, literature, make up, clothing design, etc… world and yet there is very little recognition of it. We are creative and inspired, and yet our parents often discourage us from pursuing careers in the arts. We are stereotyped as too robotic, traditional, or perfectionist to truly be creators of groundbreaking art. So it would be really cool to have a day of posting and reblogging books, clothes, paintings, food, animations, music, or whatever else by Asian artists so we can see just how artistic our community is, celebrate that, and maybe find new authors to read, music to listen, and make up gurus to follow. 

If you all really want to do something, then be creative. Otherwise not only are you all being racist, you’re being boring about it.