After reading this article, I just wanted to share my thoughts on this issue of Asian American stereotype.
Personal experience 1:
While volunteering at a public library, my sister and I, speaking in our own language, were working inside the office alone, joking and giggling over some silly things, then a Caucasian American came in and started working there. After a few minutes, she came to us, annoyed and with a bad attitude, and said we should talk in English when there is someone who doesn’t speak the language.
We reacted by stop talking at once.
Later I thought, it was none of her business. We were there before she was there, we were obviously not talking about her, and we were having a nice time. If she was annoyed at us being too loud when she was working there, say so! If she was annoyed at people talking in front of her in another language from her other experiences, don’t dump it on us! We were the majority in the room! She walked in on us! Requesting family to speak in a language that was not the “family language” is unacceptable. But this did teach me what I would do next time when something like that happens.
Personal experience 2:
I used to date a Caucasian American who has been in California ever since he was born. One evening I went with him to a popular Asian grocery store, 99 Ranch Market, and he was looking at some Asian alcoholic drinks, contemplating on trying some. When we were at the cash register paying for a bottle of some beer, the cashier lady asked to see both of our IDs, and I told the cashier that I was under 21, and she told him that we couldn’t get it because one of us was a minor, and he flipped out. He was not just mad, he wanted the people working at the grocery store to “go back to China or wherever they came from.”
I was so shocked upon hearing I was speechless. I just walked out of the store, leaving him at the store while he was requesting to see the store manager. I didn’t turn my head back to look at all. I thought my house was not really far, 30 minutes walking from the store, even though it was dark. He eventually realized I was gone and started chasing after me.
I thought it was a reasonable thing for cashiers to do, who knows how many people have been buying beer for minors. I would doubt 99 Ranch was the only place with this rule. The people working there were probably American citizens, trying to earn a living. Even after telling him my explanations, I still doubted that he realized what a racist bigot he was. He said something like he doubted they were really American citizens and that other “American” stores would have such policy.
Now I have a policy. If anyone said anything stupid or offensive, I would wait some time to see if the person would give an explanation or it just came out wrong, and if not, then I would go after the person. Attacking the person’s statement apart piece by piece. And if it is a repeated behavior, I will report the person if necessary. 不要以為老虎不發威就當牠是病貓 ! (Don’t assume a tiger that is not angry is a sickly cat!)