Your “model minority” is talking now, America needs to listen

Editor’s Note: The only opinions expressed in this work are those of the author. “I hope you are not from China” One patient told me. “It looks like you could.” As an Asian-American doctor at the forefront of the coronavirus pandemic, I received multiple comments like this. This year, I tried to reconcile these experiences with the difficulties faced by other Asian Americans. I share their anger at the anti-Asian rhetoric that caused us intolerable harm, but with a silver lining that Asian Americans may eventually speak out. I was born to two doctors in China. My parents grew up during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and were victims of its devastating economic and social impact. Given their educational achievements, they were blessed with migration to pursue a better future for me. When we boarded the plane to Canada, my parents left my family behind and tied the end of the little money in their name to my 4-year-old self. .. Limited to the language barrier, my mother was doing a cleaning job while my dad got his PhD. Training after getting a PhD. We lived in a discreet one bedroom apartment above a small Chinese company in Toronto. We moved to New Jersey when our brother was born. My mother got a job as a laboratory technician and my father started a trainee. He then moved to pursue two medical fellowships, shy about his 50th birthday, before taking his first job as a doctor in Canada. When my dad moved, my mother stayed behind to do a full-time job while raising my brother and me. Through the sacrifice of my parents, I earned multiple degrees on my way to becoming a doctor and engineer. My brother is studying to become a surgeon in medical school. We symbolize the stereotypes of Model Minority as successful Asian Americans at STEM, supported by family values ​​and strong work ethics. We have become known as the American Dream because we are a privileged Asian-American family with a common story. But this story oversimplifies our experience and undermines everything we endure. My parents left my family in China and couldn’t stay around when my grandparents died. My parents have spent most of their adult life away — my mother is a single parent and my father is hundreds of miles away from his family. My dad had 20 years of medical retraining before getting his first job. The mother abandoned her career and ambitions to raise her child. I grew up in the face of discrimination and alien exclusion. I lied that I was born in Canada instead of China. I took the American name when the teacher didn’t try to pronounce my real name. I was embarrassed to bring Chinese food to school and make friends. I didn’t want to let others know the English accent, so I only spoke Chinese to my parents.I play braze “It’s cool,” I “Different from other Asians” Fearing that I might be labeled diligent. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I treated a patient who considered me dishonest and accused me of having a coronavirus.And despite everything we have endured as a family, I am said not to be diverse, my experience too “One dimensional” To the extent that excellent academic performance, extraordinary hobbies, etc. are required “Man” To make up for them. It’s a tragedy that alienated stories like me have pretended to be model minority myths. This story from rags to wealth reduces the deep history of Asian Americans, everything we have overcome, and the diversity of our experiences. It makes Asian Americans fight other minorities and suggests that discrimination should not exist if Asian Americans can succeed. It’s not because some people are ignorant of the defective system that was nevertheless successful. Three years ago, I was invited to speak at the Chinese New Year Gala at Huaxia Chinese School. By accepting and sharing our unique experience, I delivered a message about finding solidarity in the Chinese-American community. Given all that Asian Americans have experienced in the past year, there has never been a better time to share our story with other countries. As our country heals, we must remind others that Asian Americans of all levels contribute to the structure of America. We have a rich history full of unique stories and deserve to be told. Through these stories, we show that we share the resilience and victory of the human spirit. And if you can discover these commonalities, you can find a way to move forward together. About the author: Leo One (@TheLeoWang) I am a doctor and engineer at the University of Pennsylvania. He grew up in South Jersey and lives in Philadelphia with his wife. Image via Getty

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