No this blog post isn’t about the infamous dessert Twinkies, but more about the not-so-obvious racial slurs that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Micro-aggression is a very real thing that many people even myself didn’t realize had a name until my good friend pointed it out to me.
A little background about myself; my nationality is Canadian however my heritage stems from China. I was born in China, but raised here in Canada just like any other Canadian kid.
Micro-aggression didn’t really occur to me until I was old enough to understand what was happening.
There are many ways that mircro-aggression affects me on a daily basis (not only me but many people).
A few common phrases that are signs of micro-aggression are:
- “Where are you from?” (<- most common)
- “You look super asian when your hair is like that”
- “CHING-CHANG-CHONG, I can speak Chinese”
- “Let me guess what ‘kind’ you are”
- “What kind of asian are you?”
- “NI HAO !” (in a super racist accent)
(These are only a few things people say, there are many however these are sometimes overlooked)
Many people when they say these don’t realize that they are being offensive, and I feel it’s up to me to bring it their attention. I shouldn’t feel ashamed, I shouldn’t feel anxious that someone is going to call me “over-sensitive”.
But why are these things offensive? Let me explain..
Working in a restaurant, I work with the general public (sucks) and the most common one I hear is “where are you from?”. I do understand that people may or may not have the intention of being offensive so I always initially assume that they aren’t (at first). Therefore a common response would be, “oh I’m Canadian, I was raised on Montreal”. Following that the person may say “oh that nice, blah blah blah” which is polite response and in that case I can talk all day. However, if their response is “oh no what I meant is where are you really from?” that’s when I know it’s micro-aggression. All I hear is “you look asian so you must be from somewhere else”. Some may say this is an exaggeration but many of those people who say I’m exaggerating are not victims of this discrimination themselves.
Why do you need to know my nationality in order to interact with me? Why didn’t you ask that question to my caucasian coworker? How often do you hear someone asking a caucasian man/women “where are you really from?”?
“You look super asian when your hair is like that” What’s wrong with looking asian?
“CHING-CHANG-CHONG, I can speak Chinese” kinda obvious one
“Let me guess what ‘kind’ you are” didn’t realize guessing my nationality is some kind of game to you
“What kind of asian are you?” I would never ask a caucasian person, what kind are you? .. works the other way around too
“NI HAO !” (in a super racist accent) When people do this it means they automatically assumed I’m Chinese without knowing anything about me. Would you randomly start saying Italian words to a caucasian person without knowing anything about them?
I can discuss for hours on end on how this particular question is very offensive however if you’re interested in the topic, just Google micro-aggression for yourself. It doesn’t just affect Asians, but many races, genders, sexual orientations… etc
** These are my personal feelings, I am not forcing anyone to feel the same way. I just thought I would share my experiences in hopes to educate others and like I said; there are many victims to micro-aggression**