How it Happened (in 100 words)

May 24, 2017
By , Silver Spring, MD

My best friend once told me she was scared of Asian parents—scared they thought she was somehow dumber or poorer because she was black.

“Yours are different, though,” she assured me, so I thought I’d been exempted from the whole race conversation.

But I’ve watched, silent, while she doodled “my life matters” in the margins of notebooks and waited months to talk to black rights activists. I’ve stood by while her face contorted, listening as my fellow Asians almost romanticized being black, because apparently, that was “ghetto,” and apparently, that was “cool.”

And I realized I hadn’t been exempted.

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