Today, I am diverging from my normally short daily posts to share my reaction to yesterday’s article about mahjong on Anti-Racism Daily which I originally shared on my Instagram. If you don’t already subscribe to Anti-Racism Daily, go do it!
I am in tears after reading today’s email about the appropriation of mahjong from Anti-Racism Daily.
I often say that as a Chinese person, born in the US, college educated and married to a white man, I skate between two worlds as a POC who benefits from white privilege and supremacy (which ultimately holds Chinese people back but passes as a benefit) and as a POC who doesn’t.
I have been in ignorance and denial. I thought I had uncovered that denial last year when I finally owned the label of POC but just as there are many layers to racism, there are many layers to my denial.
Today, I feel it. I read the words of Kayla Hui’s article and it broke me open. Any armor I have had up to block micro aggressions and deny them and the times I have been erased have come tumbling out. My insides on the outside which have been undeniable all along.
My Chinese friends, if you are feeling raw, angry, confused, desperate, sad, or broken, I see you. I’m with you. I am shedding tears for us. The trauma of living as different in white culture cannot be ignored. It is in us no matter if we deny it or own it. This is precisely why the fight against racism and for equity and equality is not something we can ignore. It impacts us whether it is racism or appropriation of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Chinese or the great bucket of “Asian” culture.
All of my white ally friends, read this piece on Anti-Racism Daily and understand the depths of culture that run deep in my veins. That show up in my skin, in the way I slurp my soup and in the way I mother my children. By appropriating my culture, you erase what exists in me.
I was going to share a simple screenshot of the email as my image for the post but instead I chose to show my face. Understanding the actual impact of racism on a person is important to see because it often happens behind closed doors and shared after the processing is done. No, no today. This is me tears streaming as I type, fingers shaking and throat aching.
Don’t for a second feel sorry for me. I don’t want an ounce of it.
Take that sympathy or guilt and turn it into action. Donate to a BIPOC cause, support a BIPOC business, shed visibility to a BIPOC story, read a book with a BIPOC protagonist, talk to your children about racism, plan something for MLK day, write about how you see white supremacy in your life, or take your pick from the million of lists on how to be anti-racism.
I can’t speak for all BIPOC but most I know what NONE of your tears or sympathy – we want action.
I write everyday because it allows me to voice what is at the surface. Once that is out of my head, I can dig in another layer deeper. My daily writing practice has been my greatest exploration of self and humanity. Sign up here to receive these thought nuggets in your inbox on the daily.