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BWW Blog: My Asian White Identity & Our Privilege

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BWW Blog: My Asian White Identity & Our Privilege

As a result of the unlearning I have been doing, my own identity has been on the forefront of my mind.

I have realized and acknowledged the immense amount of privilege I have as a half white and half Japanese person.

I have realized and acknowledged the immense amount of privilege I have coming from a middle class family-a family that can afford to help me attend my dream school.

I am thankful. But I know that I have a responsibility here. I have privilege. Because of the fact that I am not threatened by police officers when I am pulled over, the fact that my family doesn't struggle to put food on the table, the fact that my ancestors were not slaves in our country, I know that I have privilege.

And I ask you, implore you, to think about how you go about your day in the world, how others treat you, how your ancestors were treated, and ask yourself: What kind of privilege may I have? It is our responsibility to fight for those who struggle to have what may come so easily to us...

I grew up half Asian, and I did grow up in situations where I felt unseen and ugly from not seeing myself reflected in my community or the media. I grew into my identity at NYU Tisch, as I was surrounded by a strong support system of diverse actors, a kick ass group of Asian creatives, and opportunities to finally play Asian roles in productions. During my time at Tisch, I became a strong advocate for Asian representation and Hapa representation in the arts for the little kids like me that grew up never seeing themselves in those rom coms or in those Shakespearean roles. But even with all the research I did on Asian representation, and the time I spent angry learning about injustices in my Asian American Theatre class, you know what I didn't do? I took a step back from learning about the prison system and police brutality and housing segregation and how to speak up when something isn't right, from learning about Black American Theatre all because I thought I didn't have time, and you know what that is? Privilege. Even at my dream school, racism is present. There are many testimonials to prove that. Where a teacher looks at a BIPOC and treats them differently, expecting them to play a stereotype, where directors and teachers let white actors take on BIPOC roles, where teachers let the n word slide, where BIPOC are treated as "tokens" and not actually talented individuals.

BWW Blog: My Asian White Identity & Our PrivilegeSo I ask you again, like I have been constantly asking myself for the past few months, how did we grow up more privileged than the Black and Brown community? How are we given more opportunities in this society than the Black and Brown community? How can we help as people in a more privileged position? How can we actually take action?

And, I will ask one more question. Is it our responsibility to educate ourselves and take action for the Black and Brown community?

I will answer for you. Yes.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Alyssa Silver