Blog Group Topic #1: Racism/Discrimination/Stereotypes

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Racism/Discrimination…………………. Stereotypes.

A couple weeks ago one of the people I follow on Twitter tweeted saying they needed to blog more. I replied to her saying “me too” and so did two other Tweeple. This led to what I have dubbed the Twitter Blog Group.

Basically @JenBanksYEG, @TamaraStecyk, @joanna_farley and I will write at least one blog post each month about one particular topic and also encourage each other to blog more in general. Actually, the group has grown to several more tweeple who spotted some of our blog encouragement tweets and next month’s topic should have even more participants!

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves :) The first topic is “racism/discrimination.”

I’ll admit when the topic was chosen I was still in holiday mode and wasn’t paying enough attention to the back-and-forth tweets to suggest a different topic because I don’t really have any personal experience to tell in terms of being affected by racism/discrimination.

I’ve racked my brain trying to remember any instance in my life where someone had been mean to me because I was Asian/Vietnamese or didn’t include me in something because of my race and either my brain is choosing to block out the memory or it just never happened.

And for that I am really grateful – really lucky.

Now that I think about it, throughout every level of schooling I’ve been through – elementary, junior high, high school, post-secondary at MacEwan University and post-secondary at NAIT – I have either been the only Asian person in the entire class or one of very few Asians in the entire class/school.

Which makes it even more surprising to me that I was never singled out in a negative way.

I suppose instead then, I’ll take this at a slightly different angle. While I’ve never been insulted or excluded from something because of my race, I can say that I’ve felt enormous stereotypical pressures because of my race.

The stereotype “Asians are smart” / “Asians do great in school” has been with me since I was in elementary school. Classmates in every grade all seemed to know it – “she’s Asian, she’s got to be smart.” “Of course she knows the answer, she’s Asian.” These were common phrases said to me over the years.

I’ve always felt like I had to do good in school because that’s how my “people” are when it comes to academics. We get good grades. We overachieve. Growing up, it felt like that’s how it’s always been and that’s how I should be too.

Of course I’m sure my parents drilling in me values of doing well in school also contributed to the need I felt to succeed academically but now that I look back on it, I really wonder how influential a role that Asian stereotype played in shaping me as a person.

Hm.

Was that at all even remotely related to racism/discrimination? lol.
*goes to add “Stereotypes” to the top of this post lol*

Well either way it got another (I hope interesting) blog post out of me so I would say that equals success.

Linda :)

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