Photo credit: Joan Kim
Hollywood High School

A message from an Asian American

When you see the typical teen movie, the Asian kid is seen as nerdy, shy, and a picked on stereotype. I never believed in these movies and I still continue to not believe because I myself as an individual, is my unique, true self.

When I was in elementary school, I was one of the only Asians in my grade. People used to poke at my food, ask me why I look the way I am, and the reason I might do well at school is that I am Asian. These comments at first did not bother me until multiple people began to say the same things making me wish I was not Asian. I have felt embarrassed, alone, and I couldn’t tell anyone because no one at school could relate to how I felt.

However, my family helped me realize that being Asian (Korean) American was a proud merit to have. I can speak two languages, eat two diverse cuisines, know trends and news from two sides of the world, municate/translate for other Koreans.

After my family inspired me to be proud, those comments would never hurt me. Recently during school, I was sitting next to my other Korean American twin friends when a boy decided to racially pick on us. He first started off with asking if we spoke Chinese and I politely said I didn’t because I was used to people asking me. Then he kept on making us feel uncomfortable and telling me to give in my lunch and to give my number.

The situation got worse when he asked if my twin friends and I were related/cousins. I felt as if we were in the situation in the movies and I decided to step up and tell him to stop boldly and his actions were not okay. The boy kept on picking on us more until we decided to leave and find another place to sit.

I would like to send a message to everyone and to Asian Americans just like me. Just because I am Asian does not mean I am smart. Every human being has to work their way up and use their efforts to get good grades.

Just because I am Asian does not mean I am Chinese. There are many different countries in Asia besides China. It is the same equivalence as saying Guatemala is the same as El Salvador.

Just because I am Asian does not mean I am family related to my friends.

Just because I am Asian does not mean you have the authority to judge me based on what I look like and think that you can pick on me because of Asian stereotypes. I’m not scared or will be hurt from your comments nor what you have against my skin and blood.

I am proud of being a Korean American and if you are Asian you should never be ashamed or shy to show your heritage and your merits. You are blessed to be born as a proud, beautiful Asian and never let anyone make you doubt that. Even if you have friends or family that are picked on or judged on based on any race, tell them you should be proud to have a unique heritage.