'When I say I’m Asian American, I always 希望 that raises more questions than it answers.我们的虎年系列还在继续.

2022年3月23日,9:45 a.m.

Last month’s Lunar New Year ushered in a Year of the Tiger, a moment of 骄傲 and reflection for Princeton’s vibrant Asian and Asian American community. 全年, 我们会提高全体教员的声音, 工作人员, 来自社区的学生和研究人员在一系列深思熟虑的访谈中探索身份问题, 骄傲, 希望, 反亚裔种族主义的真实经历, 以及盟军可以采取的有意义的措施.

本月,我们将继续对话 Yi-Ching昂、副主任 在 约翰H. 速度,小. 公民参与中心的主任 服务重点 为365app二年级学生提供的课程.

阅读上个月的第一期文章 来自365app艺术博物馆的史蒂芬·金

你如何自我认同?

身份的问题对我来说很有趣,因为我出生在一个移民家庭,在我的一生中不得不在不同的文化背景中穿梭.  It’s made me think a lot about how the answer to that question shifts in time, and depending on who you’re speaking with and where you are. So I want to start by sharing a bit about my family history, and then talk about how that’s shaped how I identify today.

Yi-Ching昂

Yi-Ching昂

My parents were born in Malaysia, which 骄傲s itself on being a multicultural democracy. My mother’s grandparents and my father’s parents came from China. 我父母在英国待过一段时间 在美国.S. 读研究生,然后永久地来到美国.S. in 1979, 在马来西亚,强烈的反华情绪导致了严重限制我们教育和职业机会的政策和配额. 他们选择成为美国人, and now my brother and sister and I are the first generation in our family to be born American.

I grew up in Indiana, in a community that was not particularly diverse. 像大多数孩子, 我对社会归属很敏感, 我也不愿意去强调差异. But in ways large and small, I found it mattered to me to be able to do so. 例如, 我和妹妹一平经常被取笑, and I remember how annoyed my we felt to be called Ping Pong and Ching Chong. 但是纠正人们——有时是多次纠正——关于我的名字的错误,成为了一种练习倡导自己和代表我的传统的小方法.

我上大学(哈佛)的时候, 我发现有更多的同龄人有与我相同的生活经历和家庭移民史是很有意义的.

I would now say I identify as Asian American, but I have complicated feelings about that term. 我认为它非常有助于建立一种团结感,并提高人们对亚洲人和亚裔美国人在美国面临的许多与有害的刻板印象有关的共同经历的认识, 仇外心理和排斥. 但它也可以用在没有帮助的地方, 它可以暗示不存在的同质性. 亚裔美国人的多样性令人难以置信, in every way imaginable from 宗教 to socioeconomic status.

When I say I’m Asian American to people who don’t know me, I always 希望 that raises more questions — about what I value, about what my and my family’s history and experience has been — than it answers.

I also think quite a bit about gender as an axis of identity: being female, 以及这与亚裔美国人身份的交集. Societal expectations related to gender are so strong to begin with, and there are particularly strong norms in the Malaysian Chinese culture that my parents grew up in. 在美国,对亚裔美国女性也有非常根深蒂固的期望和看法.S.

The more overt incidents of personal racism I’ve experienced have often been related to these ideas. 一个非常小的例子——我记得我在大学期间不得不改变我的路线,以避开一群男人,他们经常用各种亚洲语言嘘声和大声打招呼. It was darkly comical in that none of those langu年龄s were the ones spoken in my own home. These types of experiences, and so many more — and worse — are distressingly common. 亚裔美国女性在很多方面都被视为异域风情,被认为是顺从的欲望对象. It’s definitely a very challenging piece of the way that stereotypes run in the United States.

是什么让你为身为亚裔美国人而自豪?

I’m proud of my herit年龄, and proud to be the daughter of immigrants. 现在我长大了, 和我自己的孩子, 我比以往任何时候都更深刻地体会到,对我的父母来说,离开自己的原籍,与我们在地球的另一端开始新生活意味着什么. My parents were quite clear-eyed about the challenges they would encounter. 但他们也是理想主义者,以最好的方式. 我认为那种理想主义——关于建设一个共同的未来,让所有人都有居住的空间——是值得庆祝和坚持的重要事情, 即使我们似乎离它很远.  

服务重点标志

I want my children to know their herit年龄 and be proud of it, too. When my daughter entered preschool, we decided to send her to 英华国际学校, a Chinese immersion school, so she could get a bilingual base. 我觉得我错过了一个与我的祖父母更深入沟通的机会,因为我年轻的时候没有发展我的语言技能. Because my Chinese is very rudimentary and my husband has a different background, 学校是传授给她这一点的唯一途径.

她在那里有一段美好的经历, and it’s been heartwarming for me to see her connect with my parents in a different way because of it. 我有一个美好的回忆,就在疫情爆发前,也就是2020年1月,学校举行了一年一度的中国新年庆祝活动, 当我父母来访的时候. The children sang and put on skits, and there was a dragon dance and other festivities. 看我的父母, 我可以看到,他们惊叹于时间的漫长和环境的融合,使他们的美国孙女能够比我年轻时更充分地庆祝中国新年.  

What can allies and others do to combat anti-Asian racism?

同盟可以有很多不同的形式, because anti-Asian racism — and racism in general — has so many different facets. It can be structurally codified in policies and practices. 它可以以直接和个人的方式表现出来, like the increased incidents of targeted violence against Asians. And it can circulate in narratives that shape people’s beliefs, perceptions and actions. 我们最近看到了很多这样的情况, as COVID has fed narratives that build on a history of ideas about Asians and disease. 由于反亚洲情绪的上升,过去的几年既痛苦又充满希望, we are now forced to talk more in the public arena about how it is real.

我经常思考反亚裔种族主义的最后一个方面——叙述——因为我对我们如何, 作为人类, 通过讲故事来理解我们的世界和我们的生活. 我已经谈了很多关于我自己的家族史,因为我认为如果我们对彼此的故事充满好奇和开放, it brings us closer to understanding other people on their own terms.

因此,我想强调的盟友关系的一个重要领域是,以一种强调其细微差别和复杂性的方式来学习亚裔美国人的历史, and trying to extend opportunities for people to learn about it. It helps to illuminate where bias and discrimination exist in the present day, and where certain tropes keep surfacing again and again.

在你所参与的反对反亚裔种族主义的活动中,有没有你认为可以帮助他人的例子?

在我的工作中 约翰H. 佩斯39年公民参与中心, I feel really fortunate to be part of how Princeton supports students in the service of humanity. 学生 in our programs work alongside and learn from community partners, 通过暑期全职实习, 或者在学年里做志愿者. 有时, there have been very direct opportunities for students to learn about and address anti-Asian racism.

例如, some of our students have interned with community partners like the 美国华人博物馆 or 亚裔美国人/太平洋岛民的慈善事业. These have been meaningful opportunities to learn from leading advocates and practitioners, 我当然鼓励任何有兴趣的人联系并支持这些在这一领域做了大量工作的组织.

但我也看到学生们学习技能和思维习惯,这将帮助他们通过其他类型的经历来对抗种族主义. 在我们的所有项目中, we strive for service to not only be a short-term response to need, 同时也能使我们对复杂的社会问题有更深的理解,并有能力认识和应对这些问题, 包括种族歧视.

我们指导学生准备和反思,以便他们能够批判性地询问他们所观察到的. 我们要求他们仔细思考历史和当代的结构和规范是如何塑造他们正在努力解决的社会问题的. 我们鼓励他们仔细倾听,对可能与自己不同的观点和意见感同身受. 我们也鼓励他们思考他们在社区中学到的东西如何能够为他们的学术研究提供信息, and how insights from research can guide their community eng年龄ment. These practices are vital if we want our communities to flourish in more just ways.