ASIAN | How You See Me


– There’s a really good
King of the Hill episode where the neighbor’s, you know, from Laos. He’s Laotian. Hank Hill’s like, “So are you
Chinese or are you Japanese?” Right? And then the guys like, “No,
I’m from Laos, you know, “it’s a southeast Asian country.” And then, in the end, he’s like, “Okay,” he’s like, “So are you
Chinese or are you Japanese?” Right? (symphonic music) – Every time I meet somebody
new, the question always comes up, “Where are you from?” And I always wanna say
Minnesota, but you know what they mean. – I was at a bar and
someone asked me my name, and I said Rachel, and then they said, “Okay, but what’s your real name?” – Chinese are not the
same as Japanese are not the same as Koreans are not
the same as Phillippinos, or Thai or, you know, Indians. – And not every single Asian
person gets into college. Not every single Asian person
goes to a great school. Not every single person
has, you know, a great job. – I can still be Japanese
American and know that part of myself and know that
history, but it’s also okay to still identify as a
gangly, little suburban kid. And I’m fine with that. – I remember seeing
Wayne’s World growing up, and I was like, “Oh, Tia
Carrera, she’s Phillippino, “a Hawaiian Phillippino.” And they’re like, “No,
she’s playing Cantonese.” And I was like, “Oh, we don’t
even get to be ourselves. “We don’t even get to be who we are. “We have to play at something else.” – Most times in high
school, or places like this, you don’t really have an
outlet where you can talk about these Asian-American issues. Even in the workplace, you
know, you need Asian-American mentors who experienced
the bamboo ceiling, something that happens
in corporate America. So most times, if you actually look at it, you’ll see that a lot of
Asian-Americans, for instance, you know, they’re in middle
management or they’re in engineering, but you
don’t really see them in high CEO roles, and the
reason being is often times our culture, for instance, you
know, my mom always tells me, “Don’t ask for a raise,
keep your head down.” You know, “When you do
your work, your boss will “basically see that you’re
doing well and he’ll give “you a raise.” But in America, it’s not like that. America, the squeakiest
wheel gets the oil, right? – People sometimes say
that Nubooko, just forget about Japaneseness, just
open up yourself more and be more expressive
and be more up front and straight forward. – That goes back to the stereotype of, oh, no ones talks about Asians
because Asians don’t speak up. – My parents didn’t want
me to learn the language. They thought that if I were
to learn Tagalog at home, that I would have an
accent, and I would have the struggles that they had
because they were shamed for having thick accents
when they first immigrated to the U.S. I think I struggle with
it even now, that talking to my parents, I think they
do regret those moments of wanting something different for me. – I have two younger sisters
who are 10 and eight, and I really feel it’s my responsibility to help them come to terms
with the identity crisis I know they’re going
through and bridging the gap between the American
culture that they deal with at school and the Asian
culture they deal with at home. – There is just so much
beauty in the distinction and different cultures out
there that I think it would be to everyone’s advantage
to learn more about all the different places we come from. – I love seeing that these
communities are asking for representation, because
it’s so important to me, and I think my ownership is
getting to be a part of that. – And even celebrate the
fact that it’s so cool to be different. To have something to offer
that someone else may not. And to exchange ideas,
rather than just try to be the same idea. I think that concept is
just, it frees you so much. So much freedom in that. (serene music)

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