Racism has existed all throughout American history, whether it was during Japanese Internment in the 40’s, the Civil Rights Movement in the 50’s-60’s, or today’s presidential campaigns. The problem exists, and I can say without hesitation that this issue has gotten way out of hand. It isn’t as bad as it was decades ago, but the fact that racism is still utilized today is absolutely despicable. My earliest experience with racism was after the 9/11 bombing of the Twin Towers in New York. I hadn’t experienced it first hand, but ever since then I’ve noticed that middle-eastern communities are discriminated against and generalized as “terrorists”, and I find this very unfortunate. This generalization/racial slur has been created as a result of one or multiple persons’ actions. It saddened me when I realized that the most severe forms of racism begin with one person’s bad decision. For example, during WWII, Japanese-Americans were placed in internment camps just for the purpose of public/national safety. This, however, is understandable to me because, at the time, the U.S. and Japan were enemies of war. During this war, racism against Asians rapidly increased. Unfortunately for the Asian community, it was very hard to differentiate between the different Asian sub-cultures such as Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, etc. So, all Asians were placed in these camps regardless of whether or not they were Japanese.
I am a Vietnamese high school student, and I’ve heard racial remarks such as “Why are your eyes so CHINKY?”, “You’re pretty tall FOR AN ASIAN.”, “Aren’t Asians supposed to be GOOD AT MATH?”, and many more. These remarks mainly revolve around assumptions people have made about the Asian community. I don’t typically allow these remarks to bother me because I know that the racism I experience today is nothing compared to what others have endured.