Do I ever feel I don’t belong or oppressed? Yes, sometime. First, I had felt not belonging because of my race. I am a Chinese, so to many people, I am considered “Asian or Asian American”. Before I started discussing anything, I must say I think just the label itself is oppressive to us because it hides the fact that there is at least seven different Asian American groups within this one population. We are all from different countries in Asia; we speak different languages and have different cultures. This label seems to deny the fact that we are different groups, and this is oppressive because people would just think we don’t have our own cultures, but just this one unifying “Asian culture” (To me, it is more like a stereotyping of Asians).
Some people might think that being called “Asian” is a privilege because the stereotyping being attached seems good or less harmful than stereotyping for other races. However, I strongly disagree because not every Asian is a geek or super good at math or science. One of my own encounter had me recognized that this “good” stereotyping of Asian can be very hurtful. I had a very bad chemistry professor in college; she was very confusing and not so good at explaining things. One time after class I asked her a chemistry question which involves some math knowledge. I listened to her very carefully, but she was being very confusing so I still didn’t quite get it when she finished explaining. She got mad at me for not getting it, and asked me: how can you not get it? Aren’t you Asians all good at math?” I felt very hurt by her comment. I felt this stereotyping is oppressive to those Asians who don’t want to grow up to be a scientist or engineer, because it made us feel like that if we are not scientists or engineers, then we are less ‘Asian” or we are the failed Asians.
In addition, Asian Americans are being underrepresented in the U.S media and in the field of entertainment. “In March 2002, Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) population numbered approximately 12.5 million, or 4.4 percent of the total U.S population…[however] past studies have found APIAs to consistently occupy 3% of total characters and 1% of regular, or opening credits. “I think this underrepresentation reinforces another stereotyping of Asian Americans, which is “foreigners.” I never seen any Asian American popular singers in U.S, but it seems like there is one for almost every other racial groups, and this makes me feel like a foreigner or outsider in this country which I lived so long for. The pop singers are always the ones who were being looked as “the cool one” or the “popular one”, so not having one popular Asian American celebrity also made me feel like we don’t fit in because we aren’t cool enough.
I also felt “not belonging” because of my class. I considered that myself a working class, and sometime I don’t feel belong in this capitalist society. In Gregory Mantsios ‘s article ” media magic: making class invisible” article, he...