I am an Asian American Woman and I Don’t Know What to Say

That’s about the gist of it in a nutshell: I am an Asian American Woman and when it comes to talking about racism, I don’t know what to say.

That’s not to say that I don’t have opinions, thoughts, beliefs, or even actively involved in the conversation — I identify as someone who is actively seeking to combat racism, A.K.A. an anti-racist.  Whether through my church community – which has claimed also to “sing the song” of Anti-Racism, or elsewhere — but to be honest, I’m not quite sure what that looks like, or how to go about it, or where to start. So then, can I even claim to really be anti-racist?

Racism is an effect of a system that has developed and redeveloped over a really long time – and as an Asian American second generation woman, I always had a hard time identifying with any of the history or even the stark reality of it beyond my own experience of prejudice and micro-aggressions stemming largely from ignorance, amongst other things.

Everything else was American History – and as American as I may claim to be, I never truly felt any sort of ownership over it. It was always the “other” ‘s story – a story to which my family and I were perpetual aliens.

In fact, even in my own desperate attempt to find some semblance of ownership to the story – I found myself sitting in a strange duality of the varieties of Korean Immigrant Culture in the U.S. and White Privileged Culture.  This duality being a simplification that only becomes even more confusing the second I dare to step outside Korea or the United States at which point I am always asked the question, “Where are you from?” to which if I answer “the U.S.” the immediate response is “No, like, your parents” or even a simple, “No you’re not”.

As Asian Americans, we aren’t allowed to claim the United States as our home or origin.

So how could we possibly feel any claim or ownership to the current story?

AND+YET+BUT+ALSO,

the United States is my home, my country, and my origin, and whatever is happening here, and whatever happened before, I am completely and absolutely a part of the story.

Documented or undocumented, born or immigrant, resident or citizen, we are part of the story.

So, now what?

I have spent a while listening, observing, & reacting, and feeling a lot of feels.

I’m going to continue to listen, observe, react, and feel a lot of feels, and I’m going to claim my identity as an Asian American, yes, AMERICAN is in there, and just as importantly, so is ASIAN

And I guess we’ll see where that takes me.

Happy Ash Wednesday –

 

Thanks for Being.

 

 

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