I’m a second generation Asian American woman who married into a Caucasian family. I have always felt Americanized and never really identified with being Chinese while growing up, except for those occasions of childhood taunts that I must be smart because I’m Chinese or when I experienced the exceedingly rare occurrences of overt racism where I was refused service or ignored in a store or restaurant of a rural, all white town.
But when the Zimmerman verdict came out, I found myself arguing with a white in-law about why this is a racial issue, and that the racial tensions aren’t just a product of the media whipping people into a frenzy. The argument was on Facebook, in front of other members of my in-laws and no one else was speaking up, except for in private message of support to me or in the case of my husband, an indirect response to my brother-in-law. I feel alone and at times questioned whether I was the irrational one, but am feeling more and more like I’m either the only one who feels the need to have this confrontation or am looked to being the one who should have this confrontation because I am not white. I am “the other.”