This post was originally published on the Outdoor Advocacy Project’s Instagram page.
Hey everyone, it’s Vivian here as part of the OAP team. Lately, you may have heard the news of the violent hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts. As I learned more about them, I couldn’t help but think ‘why’ – why are these people doing this? why are they targeting elders? why are these stories not in mainstream media? – just why.
In these last couple of years, I’ve struggled with my identity as an Asian American woman and where I belonged. I feel like an “in-between”, juggling growing up in a western society while being taught with eastern values. Trying to be “Asian enough” for my community, but also “white enough” for the white community. I’ve had my fair share of falling victim to racist remarks and microaggressions like always being seen as foreign, being called “chink” or “open your eyes”, the classic “where are you from” question, folks not taking my struggles seriously because they believe in the model minority myth, assuming my cultural identity, mocking my language, being fetishized, and the list goes on.
Like many communities of color, Asian American history has been largely erased in America. With stereotypes and the model minority myth, Asians have been silenced and forgotten among media and even in anti-racism and DEI talks. Our struggles have taken a backseat. As @steveyeun recently said, “Sometimes I wonder if the Asian American experience is what it’s like when you’re thinking about everyone else, but nobody else is thinking about you.”
I feel like there’s always this battle among communities of color of who have struggled “the most” or “the worst”. The model minority myth was created to falsely paint a picture that an ethnic group can “overcome” racism and further create a divide among people of color. As 2020 has shown us, what we need to do is listen, learn, unlearn, speak up, and stand together with our BIPOC brothers and sisters against systems of oppression and supremacy that America is.
So on behalf of the OAP team, we hear you, we see you, and we stand in solidarity with the AAPI community 💛
I hope to expand more on this topic in future posts. Until then, please protect and support the AAPI community.
Report an incident: https://stopaapihate.org/
Seek mental health support: https://asianmentalhealthproject.com/, https://www.asianmhc.org/
Support the movement: https://hateisavirus.org/