• Brian Nguyen

The Asian American Struggle from My Eyes

I continued to read the autobiography of Malcolm x and as I read more and more, I become increasingly angry. I’m not gonna lie I originally remembered this book mainly because I was reading I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and the author said this was one of the best books to change his perception of people and humanity. I love self helps books, but I only remember this because I was a girl hungry douche.

I’m mid paragraph and I don’t want to forget this, but it seems that the African-American experience that Malcolm X was exposed to, was reminiscent of the experience I, and many others have gone through. How many of us were taught that we should be ashamed of ourselves, and our existence? To be something we’re not. I remember being ashamed for bringing fried rice to school, and was teased endlessly while other kids brought sandwiches. I fought tooth and nail with my mom to make me a sandwich so I could fit in. My mother faltered and made me a sandwich, I remember there was enormous stereotype that Asians were smart. I as a young 8th grade boy tried my hardest to live up to that stereotype. So that I could be accepted within the social norms. A little boy with no direction following the preconceived notions of others to feel that he could fit in a feel connected with others. I shake to think if society thought less of my kind.

Thinking about it now, I rejected my culture. The culture that I so adamantly love and respect so much. There is so much enjoyment and beautiful things that I would never trade, however as a child, I was made to believe that what I knew was “wrong” and “shameful.” My genetics and how I was raised was wrong, and here I am in 2019 having people tell me my culture is now beautiful and exotic.WHAT THE FUCK MAN.

How am I supposed to be like yeah dude it’s pretty cool, when all my life it was bad to be me. Why the fuck do you get to decide that it’s ok now to include us modern day society? Don’t get me wrong I am happy we are getting exposure and people are more receptive to other cultures, but damn does it anger me that it’s on your terms and not our own.

We live through a pair of mounted binoculars. We’re hyperfocused on certain aspects of life and can’t turn to see unless someone says we can. When do we get to make some big decisions and why the fuck does it involve waiting for society to give us the green light? I am not anti-white or anti-anything, but I do not like a system that breaks down people and ostracizes others as different.

America is a melting pot of cultures right? We’re supposed to be a culmination of culture and unity right? We’re supposed to be able to practice our freedoms right? Then why do I need to wait for your fucking approval and acceptance to be me?

I’m a therapist and I work with people with trauma, suicidal ideations, depression, etc. Why the fuck do the people I work with have to hide themselves until society and people decide it’s ok to finally talk. How many more people have to sacrifice themselves before we can accept things and not believe in a stupid normal.

People will tell me that I’m being overly sensitive and triggered, but dude you don’t live a life where you’re an outcast lost in a sea where no one accepts you. I know some people feel that way so they cling on to that little bit of acceptance they have. I grew up primarily in a white neighborhood full of racists and shit. I was seen as the “cool asian” because I wasn't’ as different. Why the hell am I considered cool? Because I want to be like you? I didn’t understand what the big deal of race was, and why so many people are being triggered over racial divides. Mainly because I had those same horse blinders that others have. Why is my model of what beauty, success, and happiness linked to a society that oppresses others?

I love everyone and I believe everyone deserves a chance, but I’ll be damned if I let a person be pushed down and unheard. Controversy builds character. Character builds independence. Independence builds self esteem. Self-esteem builds confidence, Confidence, builds power. Don’t be afraid of controversial things, as with them they allow us to find our own truth.

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