Week 14 of #TWmemorymondays! Today's memory is my own that is shared with my mom and my sister. It's really interesting how things seem so natural and normal for so long, and then suddenly it's the most absurd thing ever. Well this is one of those things.
My sister and I were homeschooled for all of grade school by our mom. Both of my parents were very intentional that we were going to get an excellent and well rounded education and educational experience. (For example, we took weeks out of the year traveling to all the national parks and so many contemporary art museums, and those were our field trips.) Part of making sure that they did the best they can is being part of a homeschool group that helped them with being legally protected from the state.
As we all know, there are some people who use homeschooling in a detrimental. So the government have many laws set in place to prevent that from happening. Back then (and maybe it is still now) homeschooling was perceived very negatively. Get this - one of the laws specifically stated that no foreign languages can be spoken during school hours (unless you're studying a second language of course). You can only teach using English.
So my parents could not legally speak in Chinese in their own home when homeschooling was occuring.
For me, this is tiny picture of the very loud cultural message: foreign-ness + people of color = uneducated. What if my mom did teach with Chinese, do you think that I would be less educated? Less fluent in English? Would I come off too Chinese? I wouldn't know proper English grammar?
What would that other scenario be?
It drives me insane thinking that such seemingly harmless and even helpful law can hold SO MUCH weight and assumption.
It's no wonder why as a kid there was this underlying wish I was white, and understanding that things would easier if my parents were American born. And it's true - things would actually be easier if I was white and if my parents weren't Chinese and immigrants! That's the white supremest culture we all live in. Period.
It is really scary to think of all those little things that are in the air I breathe - in my memory - all the things that I can't see...those things thst are inherently against and hurting people. Seeing them is way better and more hopefully however scary it is to face.
#TWmemorymondays: A painting inspired by a memory every Monday of 2018. Connecting abstract art to real life. Week 14/53. 'English Only' / 8x8 in / mixed media on paper