I was five when I first understood how it felt
To feel fire burn in my lungs with hatred
Hatred for myself. Hatred for the way I looked.
Words and Jokes like daggers were pelt.
Every joke just sparked more hatred
Hatred for myself.
And for the longest time, I actually felt like I was like the others
But soon, as I grew older the stares and awkward glance clearly proved me wrong
And everytime I look in the mirror I am reminded of who I am
We as a society have seen “Black Lives Matter”
“Proud for Our Muslim Heritage” but have we seen anything supporting Asian rights
This is because we allow ourselves to be oppressed
We learn to build indestructible layers of reinforced steel over our hearts to shield us from the pain
And those jokes
Those jokes about Chopsticks and Rice
Small eyes and mathematical nerds
They make my heart writhe in deformed shapes
Society has trained us
To be like the others
Because we’re not “white” enough
That’s the reason for the myriads of people entering plastic surgery because of their insecurities
That’s the reason why my people are marginalised,
That’s the reason why my people will never have the self esteem
Or the childhood that normal children have.
Calling an individual that n word will never be allowed
But calling an Asian “chink” will always be permitted
Even though the word chink comes from the sound that the railroad made when under payed Asians were working day and night to build it.
Even though Asians didn’t ask to be “Asian”
Blatant racism to them will always be allowed.
Because Asians are always subordinate in rank
We don’t get the main roles for movies
We’re never the man or woman that society wants us to be
How does society expect us,
Expect us to still love our heritage,
To love our family,
To Love our amazing culture,
And the love the shape of our eyes
Or the colour of our skin,
When we are trained to be silent.
Silent in Pain.
And you know what?
Why wouldn’t we love being good at math?
Why wouldn’t we love our ancient and vibrant culture?
Heck, I love Chinese calligraphy!
Why wouldn’t we like the fact that we use Chop sticks?
Why wouldn’t we love our eyes, our skin, our bodies?
Embracing our heritage, includes embracing our own identity.
And those jokes about Chopsticks and Rice?
I embrace it .