Rally Poem: You’re the Most White-washed Asian I Know

By Priscilla Ha

And for the millionth time, I heard:
“You’re the most white-washed Asian I know”

Am I?
Or do you feel awkward, talking about the things that your country did to mine?
Do you feel awkward, when I tell you that Asian hate crimes are rising at a drastic incline?
And if I told you, would you care?

The environment I grew up in told me that white people are superior;
They are the standard,
Most beautiful, most fit for the biggest opportunities that I could only dream of

I grew up trying to fix myself;
Why can’t my eyes be bigger,
Skin be paler,
Be an appealer to the other white kids at school?
Why can’t I be white?

Eventually, I lost grip of myself and became one
I was a girl engulfed, choked, overwhelmed
By the status quo of this so-called no-stigma zone

I was lost in my own head, trying to identify my individuality
I was trapped in someone else’s ethnicity
But in my exploited mindset of white superiority,
I didn’t want that to change

March 13th, 2020
The day the whole world went into lockdown.
The day that marked the beginning of a spike in Asian racism.

Asians, all around the world were targeted for the start of Covid-19.
It didn’t matter how you acted,
But how you looked

Our beautiful small eyes,
Our straight black hair
Our unique last names,
Became our worst nightmares

Finally realizing my foolishness for assimilating into white culture,
I began to accept,
Began to love the things about myself that I once resented.

I was proud to be Korean,
I was proud of our people,
Of our Asian brothers and sisters

I had to stand with them.

But if I did,
Here in Ardsley,
I would lose my friends
I would have to endure the apparent stares of judgment
Fighting the walls of Asian vehement

Why should I have to live in the obscurement of my culture?
Why should I have to hide the country that defines who I am?

This is why:
Because if I did, you would have to change

You would feel as if you have to take the responsibility of fighting racism with me
You don’t want to take the stand with me because there are so many other people who would.
You just don’t want it to be you.

You’re lost in your own head
You are trapped in this mindset of normalized racism
But in your exploited mindset of white superiority,
You don’t want that to change

So even if I am the most whitewashed Asian you know,
I am still a target

So if we fought for you
Please fight for us.


Press Release (click for details)