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To Forgive This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


Chink.That word will forever be emblazoned in my mind. The pain a racial slur evokescan never be forgotten. The hate someone can have for me just because of thecolor of my skin is scary. How can they hate me without even knowing me?Prejudice is especially frightening and real when it is shouted at you.

Ibelieve everything happens for a reason, but I've never been able to understandthe purpose behind being called so many racial slurs. I finally understood aftergoing to the New York State Fair with six Korean friends. As we walked the midwayjoking and chatting, we heard, "Look at all those yellow chinks!" Wewere annoyed, but moved on. We'd all heard similar things before and even thoughit hurt, we knew we couldn't do anything. We continued playing games and went ona ride or two, but we saw the stares of people who didn't understand. We evenheard a sigh of disgust after I accidentally bumped into a man. I saw him wipeoff the spot I had touched, as if being Asian was a contagious disease.

Asthe afternoon wore on, we heard more shouts of "Yellow freaks!" andversions of various Asian "languages." It was like we were stuck in themiddle of a racist movie that kept getting worse, and we couldn't get out. Witheach comment we became more hurt, and from that hurt came anger. We started toshout back.

"Ignorant jerk" and "Ching chong, bite mya**!" were just a couple of the comments we threw back into the sea ofpeople. The retaliation only provided temporary relief from the pain as the nextname always brought back the all-too-familiar stinging feeling in an already openwound.

By the end of the day we were emotionally exhausted. We wereamazed to discover that we had spent a good portion of our day reacting to theseinsults. I couldn't believe we had wasted so much time on people we didn't evenknow.

This day helped me understand the purpose of our pride andheritage as it was cut to shreds by complete strangers. I learned that I had toforgive. I needed to let go of the anger and pain that had controlled that day atthe fair. I realized that by yelling back, we were being just as hateful. Ifinally understood that harboring anger wasn't healthy, and letting go of thatpain wasn't justifying the ache they had permanently imprinted in my heart, but Ineed to move on. Being able to forgive is probably one of the hardest lessons Ihave ever learned. I still resent anyone who insults my ethnicity, but I'velearned that the best thing to do is to forgive, but to never forget.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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