Real Life Experiences of Racism towards Asian Americans

Posted by Ando, 19 Oct

Besides the stereotypes faced by Asian Americans, most people don't really consider them Americans. They are often bombarded with questions like: "Do you speak English?" or disparaging remarks such as "Go back to China!".

The Seattle Time asked their readers if they have ever endure such insulting moments. More than a dozen readers were happy to share their experiences. They gave accounts of offensive questions hurled at them, racial slurs, sexual fetishism and the infamous 'Ni hao' greeting directed at any person who looks Asian.

The thing is, most Asian Americans have had to deal with the feeling of 'otherness'. Much as they may have been born raised in America, the majority still treat them as belonging to another part of the world.

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Below are a few of the stories the readers shared on The Seattle Time:

'I was the food editor at the Seattle P-I from 2000-2007... One day, our editors received a letter from a reader who suggested that instead of hiring a “fortune cookie” to cover the food scene that the P-I should have hired an American. But my colleagues had my back. Our publisher sent this response: “Dear Sir: We are in receipt of your letter. We did hire an American.'

Hsiao-Ching Chou

'Should I start by regaling everyone of the innumerable times I was asked as a child, “Are you Chinese? Japanese? Well then what ARE you?” Or should I talk about the times when cold strangers and friends alike would teasingly get in my face and pull at the corners of their eyes, lilting their “Ching Chong” chants? How about the time just last week, when I walked past a jewelry store... and the well-dressed manager at the front, trying to lure people into his store called after me, “Ni hao! Ni hao!”

For the record, I am Korean.

I am often reminded of my seeming dual vulnerability as an Asian-American and as a woman when I walk down the street and hear the odd man call out leeringly, “Hey Chinese princess,” or “Come here and give me a little bit of Asian loving.”'

Jane Choi

'While I seldom encounter implicit bias at work, they do happen from time to time. Whether it’s a seemingly benign imitation of my accent or the smell of the food I am eating, followed by “that smells gross” or a blatant “have you eaten dog?” are profoundly disturbing.'

— Marissa Cruz

'...people have thrown things at me from cars, yelling similar anti-Asian slurs. Regardless of who I am or what I’ve accomplished, people see my race first. It doesn’t matter that it makes even less sense because I’m only half Asian, or that I’m native born … People should not be harassed due to their race.'

James Gan

'I was born in America. My parents were born in America. Yet, many of my fellow Americans see the color of my skin and make incorrect assumptions that I must be from another country.

I work as a mortgage loan officer and... a customer stopped in with some questions about her mortgage. She inquired with our bank manager if there was someone who could assist her, and my manager pointed to me sitting in my office. The customer then proceeded to whisper in a low tone to my manager “Does he speak English?” My manager, startled by the question, stated “Probably better than everyone else in the bank.”

Even though I live in a supposedly “progressive” state (Washington), I (and my wife) encounter racism on a regular basis.'

— Daniel Jeung

People need to be properly schooled to rid them of ignorance and such racist behavior. We need to accept the fact that most Asians were born and raised in America. So America is their home. They are indeed Americans. And the only way we can get rid of racism is through diversity. So lets accept America for what it is: A melting pot.

1 responses to "Real Life Experiences of Racism towards Asian Americans"

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  1.   bsblover says:
    Posted: 13 Nov

    This is so sad. In this day and age? A friend of mine who's white and married to a Chinese man once told me that one evening, as they were leaving a concert here in London, three teenagers - two white and one half-black - shouted at them "Look at that woman over there with the c***k!". I'm black, but during my days as a worker at McDonalds, a customer who wanted to make enquires asked me "Do you speak English?"...seriously? What a world we live in.

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