I’ve experienced firsthand how the “model minority” narrative– this strange tendency to assume that Asians are simply a quiet, high-achieving community tagging along with our white brethren into a melting pot of joy–effectively de-legitimizes our voices in conversations about promoting racial justice. Leaving our voices and experiences out of the fight for racial justice erases our long, often tragic history in this country and homogenizes all Asians into one, high-achieving blob. Leaving us out means turning a blind eye to the fact that 1 in 6 Filipino-Americans and 1 in 4 Korean-Americans are undocumented, that Southeast Asians have the highest high school dropout rates in the country, that Asian American students are the most bullied ethnic group in classrooms, and that Asian women are consistently hypersexualized, objectified, and orientalized via widespread media representations. If you choose not to include us in discussions on racial justice, you are telling us that our struggles don’t matter.
What's your major in college?
I’ve had days where it’s nonstop from 5:30 AM until 10:00 at night. Wake up, get ready, go to school- which is literally draining- come home, run two and a half miles in half an hour, work out more, shower, do homework, and then at one point in my life, get ready for another class from 7-9. I didn’t join clubs or play sports, but fatigue has always sat on me like a huge boulder. Teenagers “don’t live in the real world” and don’t know “what it’s like” yet they probably have more rigorous schedules than most average working adults. So cut them some slack instead of jumping at every opportunity to tell them what they’ve done or are doing wrong. These years are not easy, no matter how golden any generation but ours wants to call it.