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Uploaded by CollegeKid2002 on Oct 22, 2001

CHINK!!!! Yeah...that's right…look at us with those chinky eyes! Go back to where you belong!" Those words will forever ring in my ears. I was standing in line for lunch while talking to a friend while a couple of boys, fourth and fifth graders, were making fun of the only Asian girl in the school, me, a lonely kindergartener. I will never forget that moment when I realized that I was different.

Growing up in a predominantly white community, I had never thought of the issue of race as a child. My neighbor and I were best friends, and I never thought of myself as different. She had blonde hair; I had black. She had blue eyes; I had dark brown. We loved to play with the same things, thus we were friends. It was that simple. But on that day in elementary school, my world came apart, and I will never forget it. I was different, and I didn't know why. After those boys said that to me, I just stared in shock and got my lunch. I acted as though they had said nothing, and I was probably fortunate, considering the horrible things young boys can do. But when I went home, I cried. Why were people making fun of me? I didn't even understand what "chink" meant. It was only the motion they made by stretching their eyes that made me understand. I hadn't realized that I was different from everyone else. At home I spoke Chinese and watched some Chinese movies, but I did not think that made me different. I was still a person, a human being. Did it matter that I spoke Chinese and had black hair and dark brown eyes? Apparently to some people it did matter.

Every day I went to school with white children and went home to a Chinese family. For other people this was a line, a distinction that set me apart from others. For me, it defined who I was, American-born Chinese. The combination in this term was hard for me to understand. In fact, I did not realize I was a combination until that day in the lunch line. Then, I began to question my identity. What defined me as Chinese? What defined me as American?

Throughout my years in my white neighborhood I grew up as an equal among my classmates. My peers had never teased...

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Uploaded by:   CollegeKid2002

Date:   10/22/2001

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   8 pages (1,795 words)

Views:   1790

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