People Of Color Let’s Do Better
January 31, 2012 § 1 Comment
As I read “From Nothing, A Consciousness” I wondered what I could take from it. There were a few aspects I could relate to, being a person of color. But there was something about Helen’s story that was different. It brought up issues that I have looked at all my life, but never understood what was really going on. She was an Asian American living in a time where Americans were against Asians because of the Vietnam War. She received stares and the blame for something that was out of her control and had nothing to do with her—being a Chinese girl.
She had grown up in a Chinese household rooted with traditions, but she was somewhat Americanized. She spoke of how people like her were absent from anything considered to be American. That is a good point; you don’t see many Asian Americans in high political powers, major roles in movies, or the typical American mom magazines. Within the past 10 years, things have become more diversified and Asian Americans are on the scene, but still not as much as they should.
I also thought she brought up another valid point. It was hard for her to identify herself to one culture. She couldn’t relate to being Asian because she didn’t speak Chinese, know the Chinese routine, or much about her native land. It was hard for to consider herself American when she grew up in times where Americans weren’t too fond of Asians, she was treated different, and her family still followed Chinese traditions. I think this is the case I observe with a lot of Asian students on campus. There either Americanized, fully in touch with there Asian culture, or just not able to identify with either. I think it makes it hard for most of them to communicate with people from other cultures. Some of them are adapted to a certain lifestyle and it’s easier for them to flock with people who look like them and share their same issues, than to try and step out of their comfort zone.
This is a problem that I believe limits Purdue form diversifying? Not just the Asians on campus, but the people of color. It’s hard for us to identify with people who aren’t like us, or who don’t share the same struggle, so we are quick to stick with our own kind. This limits us from broadening our horizons and expanding our presence as a whole people of color. Something we need to do better about, as People of Color.