This will be a common experience for most minority members. You mention something about being bullied when you were younger and people express doubt, saying that they never saw it happen and they had an Asian/Black/Hispanic friend.
The implication being that you are lying. Or embellishing. Or that you’re playing the role of the victim.
If you have the stomach for it, here are some comments left by real-life readers of the Chicago Tribune. (I also have them archived on my website here.) The comments were in response to an article I wrote about Jeremy Lin, and how a generation of immigrants (like me) would’ve loved to have had a role model like him.
Many readers wrote in and emailed me some lovely, heartwarming comments.
But I also got these: :
While I wouldn’t go so far as to say she isn’t being truthful, I do think some things seem worse then they actually were. Look, all kids get picked on about something. Short, tall, different race, fat, skinny, it happens. I was the shortest kid in my grade until I got to high school. Did I get made fun of? Yes. But I still had plenty of friends. Is it possibile that the kids didn’t like the author because she wasn’t a likeable kid? I taught for years, and while people liked to claim it was bullying etc, the fact was some kids were just annoying. I found them annoying as an adult, so I”m sure the other kids thought worse.
What to say to this, other than: He’s an idiot. Let’s say I was an annoying, unlikeable kid. According to this man, that gives others the right to be cruel. It’s partially because of teachers like him that bullying continues.
I was at a wedding recently and got to see a lot of my relatives. I was talking to a cousin, who is half Korean. I remember his daughter telling me how she had been bullied for being Asian. She’s just 1/4 Korean, but that was all that the bullies needed.
My cousin told me a story that I had never heard before. Kids used to make fun of him for having small eyes and pushed him around when he was little. He said that he loved it when my brother—who was taller than him at the time—used to come over to visit, because when the bullies showed up, my brother would beat them up.
I know I shouldn’t find that funny, but I do. If you’re bullying someone for whatever reason and you get punched in the process, well, too bad for you. Maybe you should stop harassing other children and learn not to be a little asshole.
Please excuse this mommy bragging moment. At tonight’s meet, my little guy won 1st place in the butterfly and freestyle; and second place in the breast stroke.
He was supposed to swim in just three races. But some of his teammates pulled out of a couple races at the last minute, so he stepped up and swam the segments for them. In one of the races, he swam 50 yards. (Kids his age normally swim just 25 yards). His coach was ready to jump in the water with him just to make sure he was safe, since he was fatigued. But he did great and swam it all by himself.
Honestly? I think I would’ve drowned trying to swim as much as he did tonight.
Before bed, he set aside two of his ribbons. I asked why. He said he was going to give them to the boys who he swam for. He said they’re his teammates and teammates should share.
I am so proud of my little guy.
Note: He’s not giving them his 1st place ribbons. ;-)
This is my kid coming in 1st in the breast stroke. YAY!!! :-)
His coach thinks he may actually be better at the butterfly though. We shall see.
Not to make too big a deal about this… but I still remember that last year, the swim instructors at a local h.s. arbitrarily stuck him with a group of toddlers who spent most of the lesson crying. Meanwhile, his friends (same age as my son) were automatically put into more advanced groups. My son — who could already swim — learned nothing. I learned something about perception, though (and I blogged about that incident here).
Just a quick moment to brag: My son won first place in the breast stroke tonight. He was good and f-a-s-t! :-) (He also won second place in freestyle.) :-)
Anonymous said: u take a lot of selfies. do u think ur pretty or smoething? ur not
hi there, anon. i didn’t realize i took a lot of selfies. thanks for the info. so, your question was whether i think i’m pretty. you already answered that no, i am not.
and i have to agree, anon. i don’t think i’m pretty bc i’m not.
i always have a double chin.
i constantly look like i haven’t slept in a week bc of my dark circles
and, i always look sunburnt. idfk why
i have this white line across my nose that makeup can’t cover up
i have tons of wrinkles on my forehead. like what the hell? i’m 25
also, it’s the size of fucking texas
i still don’t know how to smile in pictures bc i hate my fucking teeth
my feet are flat. my hips are huge. my boobs are weird. i am covered in stretch marks. my voice is grating. my ears stick out two miles from my head. i am always fucking sweating and i’ve been asked if i was pregnant more times than i can count.
so, you’re right. i’m not pretty. i can’t stand the way i look.
which is why it’s so fucking important that i post “a lot” of selfies. bc, anon, you’d better fucking believe that if i look in the mirror that day and don’t cringe, i’m gonna take a fucking picture to save that tiny little second. and GOD FORBID i show the world that i posses a little self love every once in a fucking while.
TO ANYONE READING THIS: DON’T EVER LET SOMEONE MAKE YOU FEEL ASHAMED FOR LIKING THE WAY YOU LOOK—EVEN IF IT’S JUST FOR A SECOND. IF YOU LOOK NICE, YOU TAKE THAT FUCKING SELFIE AND YOU SHOW IT TO THE GOD DAMN WORLD BC THEY DESERVE TO SEE THE GOD/GODDESS YOU ARE!
that beard finally coming in? go ahead, bro. take a selfie.
you finally got that piercing you’ve been wanting? not really my style, but you’re fucking rocking it. take a selfie.
your boobs look awesome in that shirt? take a selfie.
you finally lose or gain that weight you’ve been working on? take a selfie.
your eyeliner look awesome? your new sunglasses make you look like a celebrity avoiding the paparazzi? you killing that tux? you feel a tiny, rare level of self love? you always on a high level of self love? you just like your face?
TAKE A MOTHAFUCKING SELFIE!
thanks for the question, anon. this one’s for you.
This right here is how you respond to a troll when someone online wants to tell you you’re ugly or fat or whathave you.
I think the blogger is very pretty! All those things that she pointed out as flaws? I wouldn’t have noticed them.
When we lived in Korea, I always carried around a jumoni (주머니), a small Korean bag. My mother said I wouldn’t leave the house unless she put a few coins in there. Even though she would buy me whatever I needed, I wanted to have some change to make my “own” purchases.
When we moved to the U.S., I told her I needed to bring my jumoni to my first day of kindergarten. My father asked me, “Why?”
I said, “Because you said smart kids get money to go to school. I need something to carry my money home.”
I had overheard them talking about scholarships and assumed that I, of course, would qualify. I had a lot more confidence in my academic ability than I do now. ;-)