I feel like lately that race issues, discussions, controversies, etc, have dominated the news cycle. As a general rule, I tend to keep my opinions and feelings about racial topics to myself, seeing that the subject can cause quite a stir among people. But I have thought about it lately, and I realize my true reason for staying silent in these discussions. As a Korean person raised in a Caucasian family, I think I have always felt very torn when it comes to race and rather uncomfortable sharing my feelings (imagine the opinionated loudmouth having a silent moment). So I decided to share some of my feelings, without a sharp tongue, sarcasm and giving some insight into some of my hopefully thought-provoking views.
It seems like most race conversations usually come from a Black and White perspective so maybe I don’t quite know where I fit into the dialogue. As an Asian person (and 3% of the population or something like that), I don’t fall into either category but I think as a minority raised in a majority family, I can see both points of the issues. I can’t deny my Asianess, as it’s pretty obvious when you look at me, but I can’t deny being raised in a White family, that’s pretty obvious by a family photo. I almost feel like an in-between, so to speak. And as a self-called in-between, I think I largely stay silent because I find a lot of the comments from these conversations to be hurtful and uncomfortable on both sides.
What exactly do I find hurtful? I think being an “in-between”, I feel people sometimes think it’s okay to make disparaging remarks about certain people because I don’t fall neatly into a certain category. Because I am not Caucasian, I have had several non-Caucasian people make comments to me about how White people are racist and and awful, perhaps not realizing that I was raised in a White family and have a White husband. That actually really bothers me a lot and really hurts. To make that assumption is just thoughtless, careless and completely unfair. Unless my family/husband/friends have shown themselves to be racist, you need to otherwise can it around me. But on the flip side, I have had Caucasian people, even people in my close inner circle (friends, family, etc) make comments about other minority groups, thinking it is okay because I am not in that group. That actually really upsets me as well, because I do feel in the back of my mind, “What would you think of me if I wasn’t your family member, friend, etc. Would you maybe lump me in a group of ill-stereotypes about Asians?” Just because you see something on the news, internet, etc, about a certain group of people, doesn’t mean all people fit into that category so please don’t repeat stereotypes/comments around me. It’s about as uncomfortable as drinking a mixture of pickle juice, Sirachi sauce and soy sauce in one swig.
Well, I lied when I said I wouldn’t insert snarky sarcasm but for the most part, I tried to be good. To end on this note and commemorating the recent 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and the great Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” I hope one day these discussions become something of the past and all people learn to embrace each other without judgement, stereotypes, resentment, hate and just learn to love everyone equally.