Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Being "Chinese" and accepting it.

I look Chinese, speak, read and write Chinese, eat Chinese food daily. But I dream in English. Ironically, every time I visit China, I feel like an outcast because my values are very different from theirs. Outside China, Taiwan and to a large extent, Singapore; being Chinese in genetic make-up means we are different, that is what others around me keep reminding me.
It means we have to work harder and save more. That is the value my parents have taught me by example.
I am more confused than mad about unequal treatment and about harping on historical mistakes to justify entitlements. Instead of harping on how poorly treated the Chinese community were in the early railroad days, I rather focus on working hard. Like Gumball Rally says:" what is behind me is not before me".

 From Central Pacific Railroad History Museum,
"Many workers risked their lives and perished in the harsh winters and dangerous conditions. By the summer of 1868, 4,000 workers, two thirds of which were Chinese, had built the transcontinental railroad over the Sierras and into the interior plains. On May 10, 1869, the two railroads were to meet at Promontory, Utah in front of a cheering crowd and a band. A Chinese [and Irish] crew was chosen to lay the final ten miles of track, and it was completed in only twelve hours.
Without the efforts of the Chinese workers in the building of America's railroads, our development and progress as a nation would have been delayed by years. Their toil in severe weather, cruel working conditions and for meager wages cannot be under appreciated. My sentiments and thanks go out to the entire Chinese-American community for its ancestors' contribution to the building of this great Nation." 

Does it bother me that no one I have met in this country in the last decade or so ever once mentioned about their appreciation towards the chinese community? Or express injustice towards how they were treated then? Does it bother me every time Hollywood make fun of chinese culture to be tacky and slapstick? Does it bother me that several thousands of years of amazing chinese art and literature are barely heard of in this country? Does it hurt me to be sterotyped because of the way I look?  Sometimes it does, but not enough for me to channel my energy away from believing that this is still a great country and if you work hard, no matter how you look, you are likely to succeed.

Perhaps I am raised to accept that we live in an imperfect world and the material things we possess can be wiped out in days. Sometimes by acts of God, sometimes by a regime, sometimes by plain stupidity. Shit does happen. ( I beg your pardon). So in my priorities of the pursuit of freedom and happiness, I choose not to harp about the negative and just work towards doing better.

Althouse has an interesting article about diversity today on  reports showing how a heavy preference is given to blacks and Latinos over whites and Asians in the admissions process for undergraduate programs and in the law school.
I could never understand why there is discrimination against Asian students. To make it to Yale, Asian kids are expected to have perfect SAT scores. If the liberals truly believe that people are people no matter what colour they are. Then why is there a need to make them a certain combination of colours? I don't know about you, but if I were black or hispanic, I would be so insulted for someone to tell me they need to make it easier for me just because I am black or hispanic. Just my personal opinion.

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