By Kristine “Aster” Medina, Assistant Editor
“Chubby chink!” or “Ching! Chang chong!” are examples of what I heard from other kids in elementary school because of my distinct “Asian” features, my pale skin and slanted eyes.
Mind you, I was only 8 years old, and I didn’t take to these comments all that well. At school, I’d ignore them and pretend to not care, but I would come home distraught because I didn’t understand why kids would say such things.
First of all, I’m a proud Filipino. Secondly, those are incredibly insulting things to say in respect to any Asian heritage.
As kids, we don’t know any better than our surrounding environment. We stick to what we know. Growing up in a strict household, I was taught to never go out of my comfort zone and be afraid of the unknown because it’s a dangerous world out there.
But what are the consequences of taking myself out of the equation? What if I approached the issue head on and educated these kids about where I come from?
According to Psychology Today, bystander effect occurs when individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim because the thought of the presence of other bystanders hinders the individuals to consider action. Bystander behavior is seemingly harmless, but when you turn a blind eye to a crime, what affect does that have on society?
People will persist in acceptance of social norms. The example set in Psychology Today’s article about a woman being stabbed to death in front of a group of people demonstrates how “the diffusion of responsibility and social influence” allows bystander effect.
How do we then learn to accept ourselves as who we are as a unit, people of one world, and remove that filter of social acceptance? How do we progress to a forward-acting society rather than forward-thinking?
Yesterday, most of the nation tuned in to watch the Super Bowl, but Feb. 1, 2015 also marked the 113th birthday of Langston Hughes, a writer who pioneered the Harlem Renaissance and a social activist.
Hughes wrote a poem entitled “I Dream A World.” In this poem, he described his dream for a world “…where all will know sweet freedom’s way, where greed no longer saps the soul, nor avarice blights our day.”
If we, as individual human beings, choose to take action and resist selfish ways, we can stop social injustices and prevent mass violence. We can join together in creating a better world that activists, like Hughes, Martin Luther King Jr., Yuri Kochiyama, Richard Aoki, Fanny Lou Hamer and Grace Lee Boggs, dreamed of.
We follow the footsteps of the Asian and Pacific Islander Americans who came before us, uniting the bonds between Black and Asian American communities.
Black lives matter, our lives matter.
On the morning of Feb. 2, 2015, Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. alongside Delta Phi Lambda Foundation released a national statement of solidarity to express unity and support for the African-American community in light of the recent tragedies concerning oppression and racial profiling, from Ferguson to New York City. As women leaders, we advocate awareness of our diverse culture, but not only that, our everlasting bonds set an example for others in our communities.
The statement was the result of an open letter of black solidarity addressed to the board of directors of Delta Phi Lambda, signed by 105 sisters from chapters across the nation.
To read the national solidarity statement, visit Delta Phi Lambda’s National Solidarity Statement.
EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: All personal statements, beliefs, and opinions in this article are subject to the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jade Times and/or Delta Phi Lambda.