When you in room let’s say during a business meeting. You know your field is over saturated with a prominently white presence, yet you wonder and hope as you walk in that room you’re not the only minority. Just a slim chance that you’re not the only minority sitting in that room, maybe someone is of mixed race.
You fix your gaze, adjust any wrinkles on your outfit, and put on the hey nice to meet you pal I’m Mei not like the month haha face. You’re inside and yet again you’re the only minority.
Should you feel empowered being a female and a minority or is it more like oh there she is the minority. Pretty awkward feeling when you know society is still pushing gender and race at you. Where I’m going at with this post is not the fact that Mei should feel awkward because she is the only minority. She is aware that because race and gender prejudice still exists.
The uncomfortable feeling in her stomach and the hope of another minority in the room is from the deep- seatedness of racism and the gender inequality at large. Not to say that the whites in the room are racist but the fact that this minority majority feeling still lingers into our mentality. It still very much shows during this meeting where Mei is still the only minority.
To solidify this on a larger platform. This weekend, Brett Kavanaugh has secured his seat on the Supreme Court. Another white made in another large governing portion in the USA. Not a women or a minority or both but another male with a much elicit past. That feeling is similar to Mei’s, another uncomfortable white club where a minority is not picked or just passed up again. This is the society we know and the uncomfortable feeling that Mei or many minorities know all too well. She is another minority that somehow ended up in a meeting or a company that decided to give her an opportunity but yet during a circle of people, it clearly shows who’s she is surrounded by.
You’re looking for a place in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, finally got yourself that good paying 9-5 job where you can pay for a decent room with 5 other roommates. No big deal because you’ve been at this company for almost year and got enough savings to move away from the coop. You can eat ramen most of the time and know you’re perfectly capable of stir frying the best ramen dishes ever. It’s all worked out in your head l.
It’s time to tell Asian tiger mom and dad boss, their reaction… a big fat hell no with the side of are you married yet let alone having a girlfriend. You laid out all the cost budgeting analysis and a PowerPoint presentation of why it’s time to go and still it’s setting in that they’re never going to give you their permission.
Why? Asians parents are the hardest and most protective of their children. When it’s time to depart they want every single i’s dotted and t’s crossed. It’s not that you’re not ready to go, it’s that they know you need to be more prepared. As an Asian, I think it’s time to get married… jk too early but as I’m getting older, I’m starting to understand what this all means being Asian in the eyes of my parents.
How many Chins are there, or Chens, Wongs, or all the different first names that sound “Asian”? Now as you apply for hundreds of jobs, you have not received a single call back but your English named friends all have offers on the table? Same experience, same qualifications, even the same major!
Frustrating right? No, it is beyond that. You have fallen or to bluntly put it, “your name is too hard to pronounce”, “we put you into the category of a minority”, “someone that may not speak English”, and we have to pass for a “whiter” candidate. Thanks for giving any of us a fair chance.
To the many Asians that have felt this way, it’s not you, it’s them. It’s may not even be your name, it’s the ethnicity you represent. We know you have worked hard, have exceptional contributions to society, but reality is, it’s not fair right now. Like many of our previous immigrant ancestors, we can open up own business to create “success,” change our last names, or change the conversation.
This is a great article to read.
It is about (clap) (clap) (clap) time!!! Crazy Rich Asians is out and on the big screen. Not on Netflix, Asian drama land, or PBS but finally on the big screen. Let’s keep this momentum going!
Great article to sum up all the excitement I’m feeling.
Ever heard of the kid from down the block. He scratches your by giving you his car for the weekend without anything in return. You’re super grateful and never thought he would want anything in return. A few days later, kid comes back and reminded you that he lent his car to you and wants something in return. It’s money, how much… $100. Okay sure. Next request $500 and then more and more requests. Now looking back, wished that I never borrowed his car. Moral of the story… asians are always hustling. China made, Indonesia created, and Japan produced. A one stop shop to Asia can get you a monopolies worth of products for less than 100 euros. Asians have a knick for their demands when the time and market is right. But lets say you’re on the giving back end. Not so fun anymore. Political broadcast post scheduled to come on the developing China and America tariff war. What a great time to be alive don’t you think.
What are you? Where you from? You sound like you’re from this country but where are you really from? What is your native tongue? The never ending percussion of who are you. Lets use Jimmy as an example. Jimmy a fictions character, is British born Korean. He grew up drinking tea with some kimbap on the side and speaking English with a few Korean phrases. When Jimmy entered college, he made many friends and a few in particular were Korea natives. Jimmy lacked a lot of his culture and found it hard to communicate which made him search more about into his roots. Like many similar stories, yes we are Asian and we look Asian on the outside but like Jimmy a lot of us have integrated into our societies. We grew up with rice in our bowls and with tea as our after meal. Our identity is a mix of the ethnical background we born into and the culture we grew up in. Get to know us more on a personal level than what is skin deep.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The 4 Hour Work Week, textbooks from college, and your dad’s constant banter about working hard. What do they all have in common? They are all trying to teach you something about money. Money in Asian culture is not so much on the hush- hush side. It very elaborated upon actually; rich kids rolling up in the new lambo, a new Hermès bag from shopping in Milan, and vacationing in the most beautiful beaches of Bali. Money is the epitome of success superficially however, the real secret and the most important is how it is maintained.
Father can always tell you, work hard, go to college, maybe even more schooling, and get a good job that pays with benefits. Good advice however, if you don’t have financial literacy, the 123 steps will make you go broke or even poor. The importance of these books and father’s teaching is to save for your future generation, never stop learning, and money maintenance is the key to success. Fathers banter, while not explicit said is basically to be fundamentally driven, your knowledge, and your “success” will follow.