In the instances when POC say shit like ‘Oh I can’t stand white folk’ or ‘Damn white people’, they aren’t saying ‘Oh I think they are inferior, I want to humiliate them, abuse them, enslave them and wipe out their people!’, they’re saying ‘Damn, after a couple hundred years of white people thinking I’m inferior, humiliating me, abusing me, enslaving me, and trying to wipe out my people, I don’t wanna deal with them.’ The context is completely different.
Like your average 1.5-generation Korean American, I was raised in South Korea until I was nine, caming to the United States with my family. Like anyone who lived in Korea in the late nineties, we felt the effects of the East Asian Financial Crisis. My parents decided to move to America, forced to lie about how long we would be staying. Our visas were approved, and we left in January 1998 for Honolulu. It was a challenging time: my father was subject to wage theft, while my mother toiled as a waitress. Living in poverty, we bought used clothes and subsided on fast food. Eventually, we moved to New York City, then to suburban New Jersey. During all of this, my father left our family, leaving umma to be a single mother.
I always knew that I was undocumented. The biggest heartbreak came not from the high school crushes and puppy love, but from my inability to go to college. Despite a strong academic record, my inability to receive financial aid wiped out my dreams. Yet, a last ray of hope came: a liberal arts college in Kentucky granted me a full tuition scholarship. That didn’t last: in 2008, the recession wiped out my school’s endowments, cutting off my stipend. Soon after, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. With all of the pressures, I began experiencing breakdowns and nightmares of ICE agents coming to my dorm room and deporting me. The paranoia was paralyzing. Once I came out as undocumented, I found the strength of community: there were undocumented youth who were active in Kentucky! I saw this issue as a form of systemic oppression against the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses. Coming out led me to realize the irony: that making myself vulnerable actually made me safer. Most importantly, I recognized the American Dream as an oppressive narrative that only causes so much pain. Pulling myself up by the bootstrap, my pathway to a future was closed by the broken immigration system. Pulling herself up by the bootstrap, my mother was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer and an almost insurmountable medical bill. Because these are narratives that are being played over and over in our communities, it’s time for our community to break this bootstrap and stand up for justice. Anything less won’t do.
Image credit: Jill Damatac Futter for Raise Our Story
Called Perez Hilton out on his victim blaming and this is what he replies to me. He uses the same argument that rapists and sex-offenders use by claiming that the ‘girl was asking for it’. @iiswhoiis did not ask for her pictures to be leaked. They were her own photos and Perez leaked them so he can pay his bills. That is an invasion of privacy and Perez chose to blame her for the photos instead of realizing the harm that his actions caused. A person taking private nude pictures of themselves does not give another person the right to leak them for the world to see. Perez Hilton has done this multiple times to several celebrities. He makes his living off of defaming and abusing people’s privacy. He justifies his actions by blaming the victims. Him and his website are slimy and deplorable.