Today is week 49 of #TWmemorymondays // #tiffanywongartmas edition!
DAY THREE // #TIFFANYWONGARTMAS // FEBRUARY
In February of this year, I wrote, "FEBRUARY has been quite a month. I feel like my heart has exploded and my eyes are opened this month in a good and hard way. I think I'm confronting and recognizing my ethnicity as an Asian American for really the first time. It sounds so crazy!! I've obviously always known it, but I've never dove into it in regards to my parents (who were immigrants from Hong Kong) or as an American or living in the predominant white culture. I'm taking baby steps, and I have a feeling its going to be a long road."
And then I went into the article by NPR titled "'Model Minority' Myth Again Used As A Racial Wedge Between Asians and Blacks." (If you haven't read it yet, google it please!)
I remember exactly how I felt about it all: sad + angry. I was sad because I felt like I lived so much of my life without putting much energy on my identity as a Chinese American woman. There is so much to it...its hard to put words to it because of all the layers. I felt like I had to grieve things that I lost because I wasn't intentional of looking back at how I saw myself and others. There was (and I'm still working on it now) so much shame that lived in me because I didn't match the standard of my culture (which I know know equates to white culture which equates to white supremest culture.)
I was angry about learning about the model minority myth, because I couldn't believe that I was learning about it just then. I couldn't believe that nobody talked about it, nobody told me about it, I didn't know about the Chinese Exclusion Act...I felt embarrassed that I was so late to knowing about all the things. Knowing about the model minority myth changed how I saw and talked about myself and fellow asians...it showed me how systems of oppression are incredibly strategic. It's not just a "broken system" - they are groups of white powerful people who made decisions to oppress POC. They were so intentional about pitting asians and blacks against each other so that whiteness can remain supreme.
AND that's what gave me a whole lot of energy in February and the fire is still burning strong!
#TWmemorymondays: A painting inspired by a memory every Monday of 2018. Connecting abstract art to real life. Week 49/53. 'Myth' / 8x8 in / mixed media on paper