For years, we’ve been silent. Not anymore. | By Sovena Ngeth
We’re all tired, sad, and scared of experiencing and witnessing racism in America.
As the Black Lives Movement still struggles to get the recognition and support they deserve, a rising surge in anti-Asian rhetoric and violence has splattered across the news and social media lately. Minorities in America are being targeted, and our voices are not being heard.
As an Asian-American woman, I’ve experienced fetishization, discrimination, and racism growing up and to this day.
“Your name’s too hard to pronounce — can I call you ____ instead?”
“I’ve always wanted an Asian girlfriend.”
“You’re pretty for an Asian.”
“Your eyes are so chinky”
“Wow, your English is actually good!”
“Where are you from? No… where are you actually from?”
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
More than anything — I am angry. I am so f*cking angry at the subtle discrimination and blatant racism that Asians have suffered from. The emasculation of Asian men. The sick fetishization of Asian women because men view us as docile and submissive. The constant disrespect we’re just supposed to sit back and take because it’s “not that deep.”
My grandma has always encouraged me to avoid conflict. As much as I love her, I refuse to abide by this very nature that abets Asians as an easy target for racial harassment, discrimination, and violence. In the most recent horrific news of attacks against Asian-Americans, six Asian women were killed in the Atlanta massage parlor shootings. These women had families, goals, and dreams. Their lives were wrongfully taken from them.
This could have been my mom. This could have been my grandma. This could have been me.
My grandparents came to America in 1997 when my mom was 18 years old in hopes of achieving the American dream. Eyes bright and hearts hopeful, they lived crammed in a tiny house with other Cambodians as they each began their journey in America. Waking up at 5 am and working late into the night, they never complained about unfair working conditions in the…