Top Ten Challenges That Come With Being a Part of an Ethnic or Racial MinorityWhile I live in a diverse place, being Chinese in the white-dominated America can be challenging and different (to be specific, about 4.8% of America identify as an Asian/Pacific Islander, while over 70% identify as Caucasian).
This is not to diminish the significance of Caucasians in America, there are just certain challenges they will never have to face.
I don't represent the feelings of every person who is part of the ethnic minority. Just shedding light on my personal experience.
The Top Ten
There are the classic jokes that are difficult to deal with as a kid, but its even worse being put into a box or assumed to be a certain way based on something you can't even control.
Someone recently said to me "you sound posh, are you sure you're black? " Black is my skin colour, it does not determine my accent, clothing, location etc.
Perhaps the worse part. There are many idiots who find it funny to prosecute minorities.
I'm a Caucasian, but I don't care what race you are, I will judge you on your personality.
You're blind to race as a kid, but you know you don't belong and you don't know why. It leads to a lot of confusion and different coping mechanisms.
I'm a straight, white male in a free country. I guess I'm pretty privileged.
I wasn't "white enough" for my friends or "Chinese enough" for my relatives. Whatever the heck that means.
And this happens to me. There is a term for people like me. It's called ABCD what it means is that I was born in America yet have a heritage of some south Asian country. It's more common to be Indian, like me, but you could be another country around it. America and India are basically polar opposites, India being set on tradition and USA being rather trendy. This makes chaos for ABCDs because we get confused on which path you take traditions or trends. I would say I took the Trend path but was it right. Well time will tell but if I can say one think I'm proud to be Indian - American.
This was done totally subconsciously when I was little. I thought being the way my family was made me weird, so I pushed it away. Now, I'm very proud to be Chinese-American.
I am half Kenyan and half Swedish, and the majority of the people in my friend group, class and sports team are white Scandinavians. They don't really understand my struggles or insecurities connected to my ethnicity, and are sometimes a bit ignorant...
As a caucasian female, I don't deal with this, but I could see how it could get annoying. Although being bi (knowing since I was 3, don't preach to me about how I'm too young to determine that) I don't get much representation, it's either gay or straight for the media.
Don't take it for granted. I never looked liked the people in movies. My family never acted like the families on television. What else was I to do besides assume we were weirdos?
Nobody looks like people in magazines in real life, but when it comes to another ethnicity, it's blown beyond even that proportion.
I know my sisters and I have all done this. We didn't know what set us apart, so it was only natural we tried to change ourselves to fit the mold around us.
How come my parents never used the oven or dishwasher, or bought everything in bulk, or never let us turn on the air conditioning? Why did I grow up eating rice balls, moon cakes and red bean paste instead of grandma's cookies and mac n cheese? Yet, it was how I was raised and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Sometimes it's good to be the outcast!
Not applicable to every race, but for me personally, the drastic differences between mandarin and English make fluency extremely hard. I can get by on my limited vocabulary, but it's not enough to have thought-provoking, intimate conversations with relatives whom I so wish I could be closer to.
That a bit racist, but it also depends how people define you.