a poem by Chris Fong Chew
For the longest time, I have felt like an imposter in my own culture.
Maybe it was the times I was called “white-washed” by my peers,
Or the times I felt excluded because I felt I wasn’t Asian enough.
For the longest time, I never saw myself as a Person of Color.
Maybe it was the textbooks that defined race in America as Black and white,
Or being told that Asian Americans were the model minority.
I lived, for the longest time, uncomfortably in between.
Unable to define my place in the American narrative.
Not white, not Black. But excluded by both.
Not Asian enough, but still not enough to be American.
Unable to define my own identity.
Too “white-washed” to be “Asian”,
But still a perpetual foreigner in the land I was born and raised in.
This wh*te supremacist lie, so deeply internalized, that I have lived comfortably in turmoil,
For All my life. Thinking that this.
Now I feel anger. Anger over my 20 years of life, living this lie.
Living this wh*te. supremacist. lie.
I am Asian enough.
I am Chinese enough.
I am American enough.
I am not a pawn in this white man’s game of race.
My ability to succeed in this white supremicist society does not define my value
My value is my ability to stand with my Black brothers and sisters
With my Latine brothers and sisters,
With my Indigenous brothers and sisters,
And white allies.
In love. In peace. In solidarity.
- Chris Fong Chew 招偉明