Wesley Yang dances with “Paper Tigers”

If i am what i eat, the only organic aspect of me is Intuition.

while surfing, i come across an archived article in New York Magazine
Features section, May 16.2011 Paper Tiger, What Happens to all the Asian American over achievers when the test taking ends?

performing as self diagnosed ADD/ADHD female, i rarely sit and read long, especially magazine articles but i was overdue for an exception.

the article is worth the investment of time and worthy of its topical question.

what is the end game for the generation of asian americans
who out study, outrank, out perform their peers as a community
but find themselves otherwise flaying,
floating to the top of the bamboo ceiling,
otherwise living a response to what happens to us outside of school?

what is visible, measurable. validated about the asian community in the dominant caucasian over culture?
what is underwritten, unrecognized, underdeveloped, untapped, underbellied about the asian community in the dominant caucasian over culture?

how many generations will it take to reach tipping point
in the conversations about outliers, identity, representation, culture and assimilation?
the lens draws back and the perspective becomes wide, just with the word “generations”.

spoiler alert!
the asians have not enjoyed a widespread scale,
revenge of the nerds satisfaction
in the larger corporate, media mirroring,
political, wall st. enslaved america

and the observation draws on the summary of our
lack of social equity (assimilation)
in order to play/ to participate
to become relevant
outside of the ivory, towers
all pun intended.

our parental values of hard work, single mindedness,
dignity, observance, listening, respect for authority
and all the marrows that otherwise fortify our bones
to each/other for support

ancestral/ familial roots and
(bird) feathers for wings in flights
are not even in the political discussion of

there was shaming in the migration of my people
when we did a geographical to these states united
that would strip mothers of their young
as deeply as any abortion, murder or child’s death

fathers looked down as if the single point
was to be found in the next step and then in the following step after that

the next and .5 generations were motherless and fatherless
in the most crazymaking manner of arising
from the forms and language that meant nothing
because it was not of the mother’s tongue

yet still growing and raising oneself from
images and ideas breastfed from television
when mothers and fathers were running after
the capitalistic dream/ image in their daily drudgery

the second language will never be one of heart affections
it becomes a language of formality, style and possible safety

if one can talk right,
if one can talk without
the accents of pigeons,

makes one less vulnerable
to the ugly and (c)rude stares
of others who don’t know you from the six million other
chinese actors in the world of fact and films

but i live in this paradox of the rooted;
the adapted/ the adopted tongue
which is the soul/sole milieu
(by) which i come into
adult identity.adult pain.adult consciousness

Text copyright ©2011 by Hae Jung Kwon. All rights reserved.


About heartbluestockings

All posts are original intellectual property. Copyright 2010 Hae Jung Kwon. All rights reserved.
This entry was posted in Cultural Criticisms, Korean Quotient. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wesley Yang dances with “Paper Tigers”

  1. This is an outstanding piece of writing.

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