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The Gray Can Be All Colors

BY VIRGENYA ZHU


No one ever told her it had to be this way.

But she could tell herself that it had to. Maybe it was because of the articles she saw, or the stories she heard, but she could always assume the worst when it came to her race.

She had always been stuck somewhere in the middle, like a pawn in chess, but instead of black or white, a dusty grey, left there to doubt.

Always too White to identify with Asians, always too Asian to fit in with White people.

Never enough.

She celebrated both Chinese and Western new year but she never understood either enough for it to resonate with her.

Her looks were too Asian to fit in with her American classmates.

Her personality was too American to be respected by her Asian Classmates.

Maybe real insults weren’t problems anymore, maybe it was the stigma, the things you saw, the horrible things that others would experience that would echo through her mind. ‘It’s going to happen to you too.’

At some point, the real pain stopped being from other people, it was from herself.

The things that happened to some people wreaked fear into the lives of the people that didn’t.

She could never just turn a blind eye. No, she had to be aware of what was happening in her community, she needed to know.

But was it ever really her community.

White enough that nobody thought it was a problem for her.

Asian enough that she thought it was a problem for herself.

It all needed to

stop.

People being attacked.

Because of the racial stigma.

Her being discredited.

Because she wasn’t Asian enough to be mad.

She had no right.

She was mad though. She’s mad and she was going to let people know. How horrible it is to treat Asians, let alone anyone like that. She’s not going to care whether they tell her she has the ‘right’ to say those kinds of things or not. She’s not going to care about what they think.

She’s going to be an Asian-American, but more importantly, a crier for justice.

And they’re going to know.

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