NOTE: Apologies in advanced to friends prefering “Caucasian,” b/c “White sounds White Trash.” But since it’s used in surveys, and most I know use “White” to describe themselves vs “White Trash” being associated with racism and machoism.. For simplicity I’m using White.

Years ago I was called “WHITE-WASHED” & thought “Hey, that’s offensive to my White friends!” under his own definition of being “brainwashed” by white people or “too Americanized.” Ironically most of my life, I was “too Asian”, despite a lack of accent and trying not to associate with Asian culture.

Fast forward– Over 10 years later, I recently finally looked up the “medically reviewed” definition of “Whitewashing,” which I didn’t know existed. (BTW, I find it sad how REAL experiences that existed for centuries, are only seen as valid when expert explain it. Otherwise it’s “in your head,” distorted, or never happened.)


Then I realized with the book definition, the Asian American guy who criticized my American-ness was PARTIALLY RIGHT– WHAT HAS BECOME OF ME?

Besides constantly being reminded of all the things that are “bad” and basically to hate about Asians and the culture, I spent nearly entire life, people correcting my words, saying HOW I should THINK and ACT, which essentially demands ERASING MY RACE AND IDENTITY.. So that’s what I ended up doing for 18 years, not associating myself w/Asians, race, identity and sounding/acting as “white” as possible. I was taught I should be ASHAMED of bringing up even positive cultural sharing, because identifying the race of even other “Asians” got me labeled a “RACIST.”

After 20+ years of self loathing, when I finally accept my race/identity (and not end up changing my name, dying my hair blonde and getting blue contacts); when I wanted to share things, I heard things like:

But the lack of care, reenforces stereotypes due to lack of knowledge in cultures.

I recently realize the technical term is called “Color-blinding.” I had to look into that further and why.. But I realize it’s essentially erasing race, denying its existence and saying “I don’t see color.” It’s the idea that removing criticle race theory or talking about race teach racism.

Yet I realize it’s OK for other people to make racial jokes, but not OK for me to unless maybe it’s self degrading. I’ve been called racist for poking fun of stereotypes and I am guilty of laughing at “Yellow Face” like MadTV’s Ms. Swan or Asian comedians making self degrading jokes. I had part interpretated that as self appreciating when in reality people are laughing AT Asians. Later I learned through an Asian American studies course the “Yellow face” and stereotypes had long existed in Hollywood.

Let’s be clear I don’t “hate” white people despite hatred/prejudices challenges my entire life, and I grew up where it was about 98% white at the time. I’ve learned racial slurs and stereotypes, sexim, homophobia, the hard way through them. I don’t think all hope is loss as have seen some people change their views.

But for the most part of my life– I was under the impression… from child to present Adult that “No one” really cares or have any bit of interest to learning or asking question about cultures directly from ethnic people. Any ounce of bringing it up is automaticallhy shut down… yet at the same time they have the right to make inaccurate statements about Asians and culture.

“Look at them– they like to hang in groups and stick to their own kind.” A friend once said.
“All these CHINESE restaurants and nail salons keep popping up. They come here and take all our jobs!” (Btw if you want to clean feet and SWEAT over faux asian food, be my guest!)

I’ve heard plenty of “Chinese people eat cats and dogs” type comments, or claims they found meat and cat claws in their soup.

Friend(s) randomly (and in bitter tone) said “You’re going to probably end up with an Asian” when there was no evidence in past, present, (and actually future for years), that I dated Asians. I guess they thought I loved myself and my race so much.

I’ve heard a lot of hate for Cultural Centers, Activities and beneficial programs: “Cultural centers distriminate and segregate against white people.” Disregarding the fact that the head director was white and some board members of the separate Asian club groups were white or not of the ethnicity.

Also bringing up any controversial topics like affirmative action, has been a trigger for folks who are extremely strongly against it, to the point to say that if I support it, then I support racism against white people and sexism against men.

Over time, I was essentially forced to become more neutral and sympathetic to people’s feelings in order to have peace or seem less of a threat.

Maybe some people were afraid to ask questions, either because of social taboo to interact with me or afraid my reaction. If I avoided questions or reacted strongly it was because it was ingrained in me that it’s UNACCEPTABLE to be Asian or bring up any topics of race. Whatever my reaction– somehow I was made to be the bad guy.

But the non-Asians who spoked, seemed like it was OK to get their ideas of Asian cultures through stereotypes of media including ASIAN PORN– HENTAI (Japanese Anime porn) which some students carried around with them.

Ironically those I met who had extreme anti-immigrant , anti-muslim, sometimes had an interest in Asian women– that it’s ok for them to immigrate here and reproduce, but not the other races. I assume it has to do with the “model minority” stereotypes or even worse, the “submissive” type stereotypes.

So my main memory of interests in my culture, was when I was early teens and was asked questions like “I heard Asian women are GOOD IN BED— is that true?” It’s like we’re forced to accept fetishism or we’re bad double standards people.

Other than the dog/cats questions– everything else was more like interrogation/cross-examination to try to “prove” something or make me admit to an action or trait out of reasons why people HATE Asians (or like them for the wrong reasons). Sometimes I didn’t care what people thought and other times would “admit” false statements just to have peace or go along.

I remember in middle school because a white friend? had smaller eyes, another mutual friend asked if she’s part Asian. I part hoped that she was, so I’d be less alone.

She was very upset saying “I DON’T HAVEE [SLANTY] ASIAN EYES!””
I realized it was the most OFFENSIVE and TRAUMATIZING to ask, associate or identify others as “Asian,” because no one wanted that curse as it was hard enough hanging out with one. For the longest time I thought my own friends didn’t really like me either. I was still unsure as an adult since it was ingrained to be hated.

Besides being corrected on bringing up my own race, the most recent correction I’ve noticed was if I call myself minority, “White people are actually a minority now.” Therefore, it sounds like they feel it’s inappropriate or offensive to use the word “minority.” I realize it’s another way to keep power/control, and erase our last remaining identity– whether people intentionally or realize it or not. I think they know what I really mean, yet I have to be corrected to be their politically correct.

I regret after the 20+ years of such exposure and trying to be as “white” as possible, I had repeated the same things I was told by non-Caucasians, in a form of “I heard [xyz racial stereotype]”, which was probably mistaken as “I believe” and probably further isolated me from different people and cultures. But being “brainwashed” I regret partially believing stereotypes against my own and other races. It was a constant confusion of asking if it’s true and he said vs she said, and whatever I did or said, was “wrong” to both sides.

The impact of erasing my own race, also caused issues for myself, family and friends of different ethnic races. Being “too Americanized” was unacceptable and also caused distrust towards me. I’ve heard things like “Never trust the white person; they will screw you over in the end.” (It seemed to be an issue that my best friend was white.)

That’s a whole other topic, but I never said I 100% agree with all cultural practices of my own race, nor the beliefs of everyone else.

But I guess SUCCESSFULLY “white washed” myself so good that it bothered my own race and other races. Yet based on assumptions, people still see color whether they admit it or not.
Now with the surge of KPop and Kdrama, people who aren’t Asian have asked me if I know xyz bands and shows, and I don’t. It puts some indirect pressure to “know” Asian pop culture everyone is talking about now.

Having spent nearly entire life, people correcting my words, saying HOW I should THINK and ACT, and essentially demands ERASING MY RACE AND IDENTITY, it took over 2 decades to finally accept my identity. (Reality is somewhat– because I still struggle with it). It took another fea years to learn and compare up-bringing, heritage, culture, through other Asians in college, (though I’m still learning today). Then I expect with this recent revelation of being “white-washed,” it will take another few years to reverse that.

How did it become of this (and still be the case) that to spread hate, and want for us to hate ourselves, erase ourselves and essentially be “white-washed?” The next time you or someone who says/does any of the criticism, scolding above– that’s essentially what it is, whether or not intentonal or any awareness.

I can only dream that we will some day we no longer are targeted to violence, that it’s OK to hang out with other Asians, be partially or full Asian, or be part of cultural centers if we want–and date whoever we want. A time where we’re not treated like criminals trying to take over the world, or sub humans. A time where we are broken from the hateful, hyper-sexualized, fetishized, and fearful stereotypes. Basic human rights, to live in a place and safe space (and people) where it’s safe to be, act ourselves.

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