“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” – Mahatma Gandhi
There have been a lot of civil unrest regarding police brutality and social injustices around the country. We see riots and protests on the news, most recently in Baltimore. When seeing these current events, have you ever thought what you would do if it was an Asian American being treated this way?
Discrimination occurs daily around the country but we only hear a few minority groups voicing their pain. Asian Americans, however, will continue to do their daily tasks in silence. Therefore, we have been branded as a “Model Minority” because we do not voice out prejudices and cause disturbances, instead we improve our living standards through hard work and education. First generation immigrants have swallowed a lot of their pride in order that their children can fit in and have the American dream.
The first generation knew where they came from, how they got here, and where to go from there. What happens to the second generation? Many times, parents do not talk about roots and identity issues because they see their children to be Americans. Unfortunately, that’s not the full truth. People will still ask where you originated, they will still stereotype you, and etc.
As a Taiwanese American, I often times feel an identity struggle along with my other Taiwanese American colleagues.
Out of convenience, we don’t always correct others when they assume we’re Chinese. When people ask how Taiwan differs from China, we don’t always know how to explain. When Taiwan is in distress, we feel frustrated and helpless, or we become apathetic because it’s our parents’ country — not mine. Nevertheless, if we are willing to learn and speak out, our voice will seem louder in comparison to our parents’ silence.
The awareness for Taiwanese Americans to stand up is evident also in the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Taiwanese American Heritage Week. In a blog post called “Taiwanese Americans in Solidarity” , it calls for Taiwanese Americans to stand together for their own voices and history. As Taiwanese Americans rise beyond stereotypes, let’s also strive to brand “Model Minority” to be a group of people who speaks out against all prejudice, all injustice, and defend for the voiceless.