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I think that stereotypes don’t make sense and they’re just plain stupid. You want to know why? I’m going to tell you why.
I’m going to say one word, and tell me what you think of as soon as I say it.
Most of you people out there (especially if you’re not Asian) immediately think smart and stingy… correct? Please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m telling you it’s an absolute stereotype— you people like me out there, you understand that this is so difficult, don’t you? I especially hate the smart part- it’s true that most Asians are book-smart, and very much show. But that doesn’t mean that all Asians are book-smart. It’s like saying that everyone born on Earth will one day know how to read and write. But that’s not true, and neither is the myth that all Asians are book-smart.
Ever since my family moved to the United States, it’s always been, “Nat, I don’t understand this. Help me. Nat, I need help with fractions. Nat, I forgot how to set up proportions. Nat, I can’t find the answer in this passage. Read it for me. Nat, read this book, I don’t understand it. Tell me the answer!” Who is this kid saying these things to me?
My little brother, my flesh and blood brother. For one thing, we don’t look alike—I am pale enough to pass for Asian-American, while he is dark skinned and well-tanned from his hours of outdoor basketball. He’s just as Asian as I am, but he will never be book-smart or in an advanced academics course, because he is not the typical Asian, and that is OKAY.
My parents accept this about him. I accept this about him. It’s a fact that can’t be denied. My entire family accepts this and knows that it’s not going to change. What I really hate is that everyone expects Asians to excel in school, because not all of them have the ability to, and that is FINE.
I truthfully can’t imagine my brother as book-smart. If he wasn’t street-smart, we would be dead meat, especially me. He is our human GPS—almost literally. If he goes to a place a few times, he knows how to get back there. He knows all the intersections, where all the stores are located, how to get to everyone’s house because he is a different kind of smart. Me? Couldn’t do it to save my life.
See, he pays attention to things outside of himself, while I’m stuck in books and rely on them. And in some ways, I even envy him.
However, he is the only Asian in his whole middle school on the basketball team, and I am proud of him for that. I am so non-athletic that isn’t even funny—after all, it takes skill to trip over flat surfaces like I do (and have), resulting in spraining my ankle twice while running. Most Asians don’t play basketball—and while my brother is around the average Asian height (and catching up to me, which I’m getting annoyed about), he makes up for it by being the most valuable player you can get—left-handed, fast, speedy. Unlike most Asians, he plays basketball and is actually good at it, even excels in it. People are meant to be different, and different he is.
The human race was created to be unique. Every race is unique as well. Not all of us have squinty eyes, are book-smart, and non-athletic, but that’s okay. We were created equally. No one has the right to judge other human beings—so please don’t judge us Asians, or any other races out there. And never think that you have to fit the stereotype of your own race.
This is the reason I hate stereotypes.