Chris Fong Chew
TW: gun violence
I miss the innocent days of childhood.
Sometimes I wonder, when did the world get so big?
Sometimes I wonder if it was always such a scary place.
I wonder if it was always so.
Sometimes I long for those days.
Being able to run carefree without any worries.
No thought of the complexities of global politics or evil politicians.
No thought to the existence of racism, discrimination, hatred, division.
For the longest time, I have felt like an imposter in my own culture.
Maybe it was the times I was called “white-washed” by my peers,
Or the times I felt excluded because I felt I wasn’t Asian enough.
For the longest time, I never saw myself as a Person of Color.
Maybe it was the textbooks that defined race in America as Black and white,
Or being told that Asian Americans were the model minority.
What defines something as American? Is it the people? Is it the language? Is it the food? Or culture? The word “America” can conjure up different ideas for different people.
As fireworks exploded over the United States Capitol Mall to Katy Perry’s “Fireworks” on January 20th, CNN’s Van Jones declared that it was “A display of what America can be.”
Many of us let out a sigh of relief as Trump quietly left the White House and President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office a few hours later on the steps of the Capitol. Just two weeks prior, on January 6th, we saw those same steps desecrated by a violent fascist mob of Trump supporters who were goaded on by many GOP lawmakers and Trump himself. While we have still yet to see Trump and his allies face legal consequences, the inauguration was, in many ways, a moral repudiation of the horrendous acts that had occurred just days before.
Dear Asian Youth,
A new year: a time for new beginnings, hopes, and change
I am disappointed. As an avid news and op-ed reader, the past week has brought several op-eds to my attention that have made me question the efficacy and morality of opinion writing. About a week ago the Washington Post published an op-ed by Mark Thiessen with the headline “The Election is Over. Can We Finally Blame China For the Virus?” a blatantly xenophobic and racist article that irresponsibly places the insurmountable number of deaths in the U.S. on China rather than a botched Pandemic response by the U.S. federal government and certain groups open defiance of public health measures. In the past week, the Wall Street Journal published an equally controversial article titled, “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.” by Joseph Epstein. A blatantly sexist and misogynistic article criticizing Jill Biden who has an Ed.D. (a doctoral in education) from the University of Delaware.
If you follow Asian creators on Tiktok, you might be aware of the recent controversy that truly hit home for many Asian Americans. The controversy came about when one Tiktok creator, named Dallas (@dallasofkoty), created a “clapback” video in response to another creator, Young Kim (@youngquim). Kim is a Korean American creator that creates content commonly surrounding the Asian American experience. He created a video that called out people who move to Asian countries and act as if they know everything about that culture or people. The video addressed the problematic culture of those studying abroad in foreign countries who return home to perpetuate harmful stereotypes of a culture or country based on their short time there. While it was not directed towards anyone in particular, @dallasofkoty, after being tagged by multiple users, created the “clapback” video that essentially blamed Asian Americans for being “whitewashed” and out of touch with their own culture. Now, to provide some context, Dallas is a White American living abroad in South Korea.