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Ching Chong is Not a Thing

By Annette Chu, Staff Writer

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My name is Annette Chu, and I come from immigrant parents. My mom is from China, and my dad is from Pakistan with Chinese ancestry. I play the violin and take dance classes because all Asians are supposed to be multitalented.

I have been taking advanced classes since I was seven, because my parents believe I should be superior to my peers. Obviously, I excel in all of them since it’s in my blood.

I’m not allowed to date until I’m 30, but that’s OK, because my parents make up for it by making my favorite dish, rice. My parents are in a loving relationship, and they work together and stay married because that’s what’s best for Asian children.

By now you should already know that this is a joke. But my name really is Annette Chu, and I’m Asian-American. I’m currently a freshman taking two sophomore classes, since my middle school makes you take two freshman classes in 8th grade if you’re in the gifted program.

I do play the violin because I took a class in middle school, not because my parents made me. I take dance only because I begged my mom to let me. My favorite food is alfredo pasta with steak. Lastly, my parents are divorced, and my siblings and I are living with my mom.

 

My Personal Experience

My parents immigrated to this country in 2001. My whole life, I was raised with Asian culture, which apparently makes me different from my peers. I have always been told that my background is “cool” and “fascinating,” along with the countless questions that follow when people find out I’m Asian.

On the other hand, I went through a lot of struggles growing up because of my race. Ever since I was a little girl, I was bullied and discriminated. In Pre-K, I remember that no one wanted to play with me because I was different. In elementary, I was constantly teased by the girls in my class, and they made sure I felt bad about who I was. In middle school, students made racist jokes to me, and even sexual jokes that come from Asian media.

 

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Asian Stereotypes

So far in high school, I haven’t received any form of bullying. I have only received the normal stereotypes like: you get straight A’s because you’re Asian. I remember recently, I said I was too poor to afford a $1,500 generator to my friend, and she told me, “Because you are Asian.”

Asian stereotypes started when Asian immigrants first came the United States, after cheap Asian labor began to be seen as a threat. To this day, those stereotypes are still around. Some of the common stereotypes are: Asians have yellow skin, they all look the same, they eat dogs, they always get A’s, they can’t drive, they know karate, and they have slanted eyes.

Asian students in Miami High have also experienced racial stereotypes. Asian-American sophomore Ashley Yuan said, “Yes, about certain foods we eat. Like we eat cats and dogs, or that we get our names by dropping a can down the stairs.” Half Asian sophomore Karina Domech-Nguyen said, “The typical ching chong stuff, and that we eat dogs.”

Ms. Lee, an Asian-Hispanic art teacher, said, “The most common stereotype I encountered is the assumption that I am Chinese because people that look like me must only be from one place, China. One of the first times I ever encountered a stereotype was when I was in high school. I was asked what I wanted to pursue in college. I was met with shock that my future did not include medicine. Apparently, all Asians are supposed to be doctors or nurses? I never received that memo! My parents always encouraged me to find my true passion and pursue it.”

People react differently to these stereotypes. “At this point, I ignore them because I’m used to it, or I play along with it,” said Ashley. “It doesn’t bother me, but it depends on the person. If it’s my friend, I know they are joking, but if it’s not, it does offend me in a way,” said Karina.

Not all Asian stereotypes, however, are negative. When asked what was the first word you think of when you hear the word “Asian,” sophomore Alejandro Laurencio said, “Honor, because they are very respectful.”

Many Miami High students claim to not stereotype Asians. “I’m not the type to assume things about people,” said sophomore Yanet Gimenez. Junior Lazaro Diaz said, “I’m a pretty chill person. I talk to everyone so it’s not a big deal. I’ve never stereotyped an Asian before.”

 

Stop Asian Stereotypes

Stereotypes must be stopped because they aren’t true. When you stereotype people, you are just assuming their character based on what you heard of their type. Just because we come from a different culture, doesn’t mean we aren’t human and should be attacked by stereotypes. We just want to be treated the same as everyone else. How would you feel if someone came up to you and started giving you stereotypes that you know aren’t true?

Ashley Yuan said, “All people have different cultures and should be respected. No one should be made fun of because of it. You should respect everyone as who they are.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Ching Chong is Not a Thing”

  1. Alexandra on November 1st, 2017 7:13 pm

    This is amazing annette im so proud of you ❤️❤️

    [Reply]

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