Photo courtesy of StopAAPIhate.org
I woke up this morning from a nightmare. In my dreams it was like the end of a Quentin Tarantino movie, gratuitously bloodied and violent. In my dream, the Asians were killing the Asians. I'll let the Freudians ponder that one. And so, before my daughter wakes up, I wanted to write this post.
I have spent my whole life wanting to be white. Why you ask? Well, first of all I was adopted by a white, blonde-haired, green-eyed, crime-fighting lawyer. While we have our differences, as all parents and children do, I admire her more than I have probably told her. My father was a financial juggernaught, at least in my eyes. He came from small and tough household, and he built his business all on his own. He, himself experienced racism and anti-semitism in his career, at a time when Jews were not fully accepted by the financial community. To say I had a lot to live up to was an understatement. However, there was a lot to admire.
I wanted to be like them, feel like them, and look like them, but how could I, with my slanted monolids and jet-black hair and my deeper olive-toned skin? I used to spend countless hours staring at my face in the mirror lifting up my eyebrows to see why I could not create a crease in my eyelid, and waiting for the day when I could afford eyelid surgery.
Flash forward to the age of 36 and I am the mother of a mixed-race child: half Korean-American & Jewish and half Spanish & Christian. Even while pregnant, I admittedly was hoping that my daughter would not look "too Asian" because I wanted her life to be easier. As I sit here reflecting on this, I realize what I was really hoping for was for her experience in life to be more "white".
To her and to all Asian-Americans and the Asian community at large, for those of you who have ever felt hurt or scared, pushed aside, or angry, for those of you who have felt helpless, sad, like an outcast- I see you. I've been you, and I want to listen to you. I want you to be heard. We must face racism in all its forms head on and do our part to peacefully fight for equality for all human beings. Educate yourself and educate others. Speak out about your experiences. Share resources and above all, know that you are worth it and that your experience matters. It matters.
Emily Heath Rudman
For more resources, please check below. We will update periodically. Please feel free to send your suggestions as well to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign the Change.org petition to have these attacks on the elderly be covered by mainstream media.
Report anti-Asian assaults at https://stopaapihate.org/
Follows those talking about topic and sharing resources below. I will also be sharing more information on my personal profile @emilyheathnyc.