Being Asian, my Authenticity is Questioned

Sacramento, CA.

“I love Asian girls”
“I love Japanese people”
“Ni hao”
‘Your a bad Japanese. You don’t know Japanese.’
“Are you Chinese?”
“I don’t think people in Osaka speak Kansaiben”
“I know Chinese”
“You look the most Japanese”
“You could be an other Asian too”

One Caucasian man approached my friends and I at a local pizza place and in a matter of 10 minutes, he say every problematic thing ever to us Asian Americans. We told him that we were born in this country and that we speak English, etc. But that didn’t stop the “konnichiwa’ or “nihao.”
Who is he to say that we were bad Japanese for not knowing how to speak Japanese? Who is this person who thinks he can measure our authenticity? He is nobody. This experience similar to the “where are you from?” question that always pops up, is the struggle of Asian Americans who are still seen as the Perpetual Foreigner.


Tweets by Michele Norris