Asian stereotypes, discrimination need to stop



May is Asian American – Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The Sidekick staff writer Yasemin Ragland (far right) proudly wears a kimono to celebrate her Japanese heritage.

Yasemin Ragland, Staff Writer

As a young woman who is one quarter Japanese through my mother, it outright infuriates me to see Asians discriminated against, notably women. And this discrimination often comes in the form of stereotypes. 

For example, there is a stereotype that Japanese people always have money. Japanese people actually don’t always have money, as in Japanese aren’t always rich. But Japan’s rich aren’t flashy, because it’s rude to brag about being rich. Another one is Asians are smart and have high GPAs in school. If there is an Asian character on TV or a film, they’re almost always nerdy. The reason why Asian students have high GPAs is because their parents push them to do better than they did. They want their kids to have a good life, I know this first hand because my mom is half Japanese. And I’ll thank her later when it pays off, and I actually make it to the college I want to. 

The biggest Asian stereotype is martial arts. I took karate class for seven years during elementary school. I stopped at blue belt, but I will have to take a martial arts class again before I go off to college in the next two years. Only because us women need to learn how to protect ourselves before going out into the real world. It doesn’t have to be specifically karate, but it has to be some kind of martial arts or self defense class. While there are martial arts oriented families in Asia, but, not all East Asians do martial arts. “Crazy Rich Asians” is actually the best Asian representation while “Aloha” was an outright disgrace to Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians alike.

Also if you want to draw and post a picture of an Asian character (or a character of Asian descent), there are tutorials on how to correctly draw an Asia so you don’t offend anyone. T 

My mom and her siblings, who live in Ghana, Germany and America, are Hāfu, which means half Japanese. My younger sisters and I are also technically Hāfu, because Hāfu also refers to mixed people with Japanese descent. My sisters and I have roots in multiple countries, as my mom is Ghanaian/Japanese (and is a Japanese citizen) and my father, who is African American.

Being mixed in general is harder than you think, but when your Afro-Japanese people see you as Black, not Japanese. It’s also hard for mixed people to fit in, and there’s also very ridiculous comments we hate hearing, and monocultural people shouldn’t say to us at all

I rarely tell my classmates that I’m part Japanese because once when I have said my mom is from Japan, one student that had seen my mom  said, “Your mom doesn’t look Japanese.” That annoyed me so much, I had to explain that she is half Ghanaian and was born in Ghana. A majority of my classmates only see me as Black, not Afro-Japanese, just a Black girl.

I may not always be confident but I’m proud of my heritage, and you should be too. May is our (all people of predominant Asian along with Pacific Islander heritage) month. Be proud of who you are, celebrate your roots, and who you are

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