Earlier today, my husband and I were driving home from the grocery store. I casually mentioned the "Me too" movement in response to the recent spotlight on the pervasiveness of sexual assault and harassment that women and men face.
I commented on how brave the women were to step forward, that each time I saw a colleague, a friend, a schoolmate's status read "Me too," I felt red, angry, and proud of their ability to speak out. That, for so long, just the idea of being vulnerable and allowing myself to cry in public over something beautiful, or something sad, made me feel anxious, even scared.
"Will you make it your status? Will you say, 'Me too,'" my husband asked. I said I didn't know. That it felt like too much. That it wasn't something I wasn't ready to admit.
The act of writing those two words were on my mind all day today. Yes, it was me, too. I was fresh out of college, working at a crappy factory as a receptionist, and I ha…
On Tuesdays, after recess, we gather around the rug
and sit in a circle.I see the faces of
my students, red from running outdoors and I watch their eyes.Their eyes hold wonder and curiosity behind
their dark pupils.For fifty minutes, we
read poems and short stories.We study
pieces of art.We share our
feelings.We laugh.It is my favorite part of the week.
In circle, we talk about Malala, her fight for
education and the fact that she was the youngest person ever to win the Nobel
Peace Prize as a teenager. We talk about the past and how segregation
used to be a way of life.We talk about
other young writers in elementary school, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Alexander,
and what it means to be brave. My students don’t understand hate or the idea
that one group of individuals is valued over another.They simply, but simply is not the right
word, they unapologetically see faces.Faces of friends, family, and people in their community.
These 50 minutes a week are more than a way for me
to try out…
On our way home from meeting friends in Tennessee, my husband H turned to me and said, "You are so brave to date a minority." I looked at him and told him that I wasn't brave at all. That in every way possible, I still benefit from white privilege, and that no matter how caring or great he thought I was, I could never fully understand what it's like to be an Asian-American living in the South.
The night before, we were looking forward to taking a day trip to Gatlinburg to see friends who were there doing the same thing, taking the weekend to go somewhere new and explore a new town. We met our friends at the Log Cabin Pancake House and had a normal breakfast. We ate pancakes (big surprise), drank coffee, and caught up on life. H is a classmate with our friend so they talked about school while my friend's husband and I listened. Our friends are both white, but the topic of racism was brought up pretty early on in the breakfast. On our drive out to TN, we went…