inclusive community | Not in Our Town

inclusive community

I’m a 20-year-old half-Chinese, half-Japanese fourth-generation American. And until three years ago, I didn’t know that I was a minority. Growing up in San Francisco, CA, my home life reflected the city’s culture of diversity and acceptance: I was raised in an extended family network of Chinese babysitters with half-Filipino grandchildren; Jewish aunts and black uncles; half-Japanese cousins that spoke Spanish. At school, a majority of my peers were also Asian-American, so I never had to question my place based on race. Yet despite San Francisco’s public “mixing pot” mentality, I discovered how easy it is to assimilate. For various reasons—I speak English at home, I had never been to Chinatown, I listened to “white people music,” and I had inherited my mom’s love of cowboy boots—I became, to my friends and to myself, the stereotypical “white-washed” Asian.