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2AM in Houston

It’s 2 A.M and my boyfriend and I are trying to head home after celebrating a friend visiting Houston. The surge pricing on car services was crazy. We live by the museum and haven’t taken the tram before so we bought two tickets and hopped on.

We sat by ourselves and we were thrilled about riding the tram, how cheap it was and it was mostly clean. I’m texting my friend to take the tram down to our stop and then call a car to head home because her Uber ride from downtown would have cost $60. We are sitting quietly when this black man boards at the next stop and starts saying very rude comments about me being an Asian woman. At first I ignored him because he was clearly I toxicated but also I was still messaging my friend to take the tram down and away from the downtown surge pricing.

This man told me how an Asian woman can’t compare to a black woman because we have small boobs, waist and butt. He said he didn’t have an Asian fetish. He continued on saying how my white boyfriend and I could never produce a black child, and that we were unintelligent and beneath him because he had a bachelors in English. I looked up from my phone and asked him if he was done with his disgusting and ridiculous comments. He called us a racist when I said something. I stood from my seat, laughed and told him he was the one making racial and sexist comments from the moment he boarded the tram. I told him I did nothing to him to warrant this behavior when Ive been sitting down quietly, minding my own business. I didn’t even notice he got on the train let alone register what he looked like. I told him he had no respect towards anyone, especially women and was an embarrassment to society. That this society didn’t need more people like him with his small minded hatred towards someone who looked different from him. I continued on to tell him we are all human and genetically we are identical but apparently his superior English degree didn’t teach him with the hateful comments he was directing at me.

When my boyfriend stood up, he’s over 6 feet tall, he stood more than a head taller than this man. He told him to get away from us and that he was an ignorant man. That’s when the conductor stopped the train and came out from his post. We looked at the conductor and tried to explain what’s been going on but he knew. He heard everything He told this man to exit the train. We thanked him and got off at our stop.

Elementary school taunts

In elementary school, there was a particular girl who I didn't get along with. In lunch one day, in front of all of our friends, she told me to "Go back to China!" I told her that I'm not even Chinese, and I'm also half white and I was born in the U.S. My mom later called her mom and made her apologize, but the school didn't do anything about the incident. Although it was only a small act of racism, it still resonates with me. Words and slurs like this often make me and other Asians feel like 'perpetual foreigners'- even when we were born and raised in America-even though I'm half white. I truly believe that these small acts of prejudice can add up to cause low self-esteem, distorted self-image, and in some cases lead to mental health issues.

Problem while canvassing

I was doorbelling for local candidates in a residential area in my city. A man in about his mid-30's crossed the street to block my path and demanded to know what I was doing. I told him I was distributing election information. He then demanded that I show hims some ID. I pointed out to him that I was standing in a public street and refused. He kept demanding that I show him my ID, and I kept refusing and referring to my First Amendment rights. I finally told him to "knock it off" and walked away. He seemed confused about what to do at that point, and did not follow me.

Breakfast at McDonald's

I went to McDonald's and ordered breakfast for myself. I waited 10 minutes and went back to check if it was ready, the cashier checked for me and said it would be ready soon. I waited another ten minutes, and went back to check again. The casher said they called me before but I did not show up. The table next to me, two white people barely order two breakfast, and the casher even brought meals to their table in 5 minutes.

"Me No Drinky, Officer"

A daily email news blast from a local magazine, Parker County Today, used the derogatory & racist title of, "Me No Drinky, Officer" when reporting an incident involving an Asian American. This blatant stereotype made for a very uncomfortable article to read.

Severe abuse in Pima County, AZ

Couple living in 55 and over residence park in Pima County, AZ have experienced severe abuse and mistreatment from their neighbor and other residents due to bias against their heritage and disabilities. When the couple reports this mistreatment to property management they are met with hostility and intimidation tactics in an attempt to get them to stop filing complaints. Local law enforcement has not responded adequately to the reported incidents. The couple fears for their safety.

Perilous Street Crossing

I was 15 years old.

Alone, crossing the street at a busy intersection. Walking on the sidewalk while looking for the bus stop. Suddenly, I feel a car pass by me unbearably close -- I jump out of fear because a voice is yelling in my ear “you fucking gook!" I look to my right and, in that split second, I see the window is rolled down. I see two white faces. I think I see the car pause, I think I see it slow down just enough for the two faces inside to jump out of the car and throw a punch. Then I see nothing. My heart is pounding. I’m constantly looking behind and around me to see if the car is still following me. I find the bus stop, and wait, holding my Metrocard with trembling hands. When I hear the sound of the bus approaching me, I wonder if someone will get off and really do me in this time (nobody does). The rest of the bus ride home, I’m on edge. I don’t know if I will be attacked. I thought I was going to get run over by that car. I thought I was going to get beat up. I thought I was going to die.

 

This incident occurred in 2015. 

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation's members are: Advancing Justice - AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, Advancing Justice - Atlanta, Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), and Advancing Justice - Chicago.