February 15, 2017

#APIsResist Week 2

Week 2 of the resistance. What is #APIsResist? This project seeks to amplify our solidarity with communities being attacked in the current executive orders and actions coming from the white house. Tell us why and how you resist as an API — make a sign about any of the orders or actions happening, do what moves you. Share your photo to lokyee[at]apano.org and post it on social media. Don't forget to include the hashtag #APIsResist!

Optional: Do you have a story you want to tell as well? Submit it to us here!

This week's resistance:

Beth Haworth-Kaufka

"The world is too small," she said. "I lost a friend this morning." She continued to tell me about her friend enmeshed in a dating drama, "who is also..." She paused, nodded to me and extended a hand, palm up in my direction "who is also...Korean," she said.

The first thing I thought was, "Is she Korea-Korean? Like from Korea?" Because I am American, so what is the connection to Korea? I should've asked her to clarify, but she was sad, and I let it go, though it stayed with me through the day.

Before she called out my race, I had been thinking of myself as a friend who understood the pain of losing friends over silly relationship drama, thinking of myself as a listener, as a fellow woman, a sister who was also sad about other women being in bad relationships, but that comment -- "who is also (pause, hand extended)...Korean" -- yanked me out of those identifications stuffed me back into the box of otherness.

There are so many more facets to who I am beyond my socially determined "race," things that I'm proud of, things that I'd like to change about myself, and things that just are. When people racialize others, they eclipse and ignore the many other complicated identities that people simultaneously inhabit. In too many social interactions, my socially determined "race" surfaces as my primary identifier, when, for me, I'm not thinking about it, as it is submerged beneath more relevant identifiers.

Of course (of course!) I am Korean-American. And I'm glad to be. But I am also so much more.








Click here for last week's photos