By all means please pull arrows from your chest and throw them as hard as you can
But know that those arrows must land somewhere.
Aim with precision.
In my room getting down to Kendrick
While Los Angeles floods.
Hi followers I swear my life isn’t 100% Asian American thoughts
Just a lot of my thoughts are Asian American because they are being thought of by an Asian American.
Me being that Asian American.
I have this rule about not putting things on the internet pre-coffee and I am for sure not adhering at the moment.
We are a new generation of young, creative, hopeful, and loving Asian Americans.
And we are here to kick ass.
Written for the 2014 NCRR/JACL-PSW Day of Remembrance at the Japanese American National Museum.
We remember the smell of ozoni on new years and the perfume of our bachan’s hugs
We remember the tongue twisting burn of tea in winter restaurant refuge
We remember dinnertime pots of rice bubbling to the soundtrack of sizzling fish and crystal chiming jars of tsukemono
We remember fragmented Japanese phrases passed from farmer back countries to noisy suburban potlucks
We remember hoods we call Gardena
Salt Lake City
We remember too many vowels
We misremember family crests
We do not remember how to pronounce our own names
We are Yonsei
Fourth generation Japanese Americans
Our stories four generations removed from great-grandparents who crossed oceans and states of mind to mine coal
And farm land fertile
Thumbs plunging into ground hard with gentlemanly agreements
And inner city concrete
Seeding lives and homes
Growing communities and children
Our great grandmothers
Passed rice down tables to young girls and boys
Who would become our grandmothers and grandfathers
Our grandfathers slicked their hair back
In pool hall mirrors and farmhouse washbasins
As their Issei parents sat in suburban living rooms
Dream-talking of homelands
And with a blast of radio static and a declaration of war
Our grandmothers barely 18
Ran home from school past signposts branded “Instructions to All Persons of Japanese Ancestry”
Radio static still floating through the air as FBI agents arrested their fathers
Their mothers broke dishes
Burning spirit compelling their arms into motion
"They can take us anywhere they want but they will never have our spirit
Our lives will burn before they will be sold”
Furiously packing decades into only what they could carry
Manzanar year book committee member
Closed the 1945 yearbook with a full page photo of the camp barbed wire
And a hand outstretched with wire cutters
She always told me “We made the best of a very bad situation”
My father returned from camp to find schoolyard bullies
And burning palm trees on his cousin’s front lawn
Stoking the smoldering shame he held inside
He only wanted to be White.
He was told he would never achieve and with a metaphorical middle finger
He rose up and graduated second in his class
Uprising with a nation of young Asian Americans who would self determine their own names
Borrowing dictionaries from Panthers and Berets
Pounding taiko to the rhythm of feet that protested American imperialism in Vietnam and American imperialism in our minds
My mother learned to play Joan Baez and Bob Dylan on her guitar
Music notes in her bedroom transitioned over decades to class notes in law school
She argued with an uncle over dinner in support of redress
She wanted an apology for the injustice
He asked what good an apology serves for that which will never be forgiven
It takes years for scars to heal
It takes generations for the collective memory to process trauma
Four generations removed from great-grandparents who crossed oceans
We are Yonsei
We have inherited generations of shame
Alongside generations of uprising
We were not gifted the language to name Issei strength
Or Nisei struggle
Or the feeling that comes when plucking rusted barbed wire from our veins
But our blood bears clots we are learning to dissect
Subconscious blocks compounded by memories that are not ours
As we walk through this world in perpetual
I remember the smell of post-9/11 fear that we would be back in camps
And the realization that while it was not us
History would repeat itself again to our neighbors
I remember the tongue-twisting burn as we tested names like
Manzanar and Jerome
Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo
I remember dinnertime conversations of hyper patriotism
Fragmented moments where words like “racism”
Came to life
And in those moments I remember finding the importance of words like “community”
I am Yonsei
We are Yonsei
Our names may not align with our lineages
Our faces may not align with our identities
Our wisdom may not align with our timelines
But we are Yonsei
And we bear scars
Passed down for a century
Yes, we are Yonsei
How could we ever forget?
Who am I? You know who I am. Or you think you do. I’m your florist. I’m your grocer. I’m your porter. I’m your waiter. I’m the owner of the dry-goods store on the corner of Elm. I’m the shoeshine boy. I’m the judo teacher. I’m the Buddhist priest. I’m the Shinto priest. I’m the Right Reverend Yoshimoto. So prease to meet you. I’m the general manager of Mitsubishi. I’m the dishwasher at the Golden Pagoda…I’m the peach picker. I’m the pear picker. I’m the lettuce packer. I’m the oyster planter. I’m the cannery worker. I’m the chicken sexer. And I know a healthy young rooster when I see one!…I’m the one you call Jap. I’m the one you call Nip. I’m the one you call Slits. I’m the one you call Slopes. I’m the one you call Yellowbelly. I’m the one you call Gook. I’m the one you don’t see at all–we all look alike. I’m the one you see everywhere–we’re taking over the neighborhood…I’m your worst fear…And I’ve been living here, quietly beside you, for years, just waiting for Tojo to flash me the high sign…
There. That’s it. I’ve said it. Now can I go?
Julie Otsuka, When the Emperor Was Divine.
Executive Order 9066 was signed today 72 years ago, authorizing the deportation and placement into internment camps of Japanese Americans during World War II.
via Bao Phi.
seanmiura asked: ur the worst. am i doing anon correctly. tumblr is confusing. - anon not sean.
omg anon go away gosh you’re so annoying
-fascinasians (team of people, not Juliet)