Let’s Have A Chat

Author: Sierra Nakano

 

Asian American: Does that make me Asian or American?

 

You, my friend, treat me as if I am full Japanese,

when in reality, I am only half. Therefore, you say,

I am a minority and I can feel the implications

of racism, I perceive the threats and discriminations

as an Asian American in this white world

and I should not stand for any of it. I should

argue the rights I have and mock those

with lighter skin, those who are only attacked

with prejudice and not racism because white

is not a race. As an Asian American, I should

stand with those who look like me, like you,

whose race is fully Asian. But, alas,

my friend, I am only half.

 

I am only half. Do you see my German side? Do you see

that I am white, what you perceive as white,

which is everyone in the western hemisphere? Do you hate me,

my friend, for my Nikes or even for being voted

team captain? Did I get those things because I am white? Would

you hate my mother if I invited you into my home? Dislike

my grandparents because they were not refugees like

your parents? Did you even know that my grandfather changed

his last name when he immigrate to this country

so that he did not seem out of place? Did your parents and my grandparents

not have anything in common? Do I not look white

just because of my dark hair and brown eyes? Besides,

what are “white people” if not a race?

 

And, my friend, who are “white people?”

Dutch? German? English? Spanish? Canadian?

You hate the “drama,” “white people” “stir up”

and everything they say…but why? Because

they are privileged? All of them?

When we chat, do you realize who you

are talking to? Who you are talking about?

 

Oh you have a white friend? Never mind

all that nonsense then, my friend.

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