I am tired.
I’m tired of being thrust into the race and diversity conversation simply because I’m a person of color.
I’m tired of being excluded from the race and diversity conversation because people don’t think I’m a person of color.
I’m tired of being excluded because I don’t push hard enough, but at the same time others think I push too hard.
I’m tired of whites – religious and non-religious; liberal or conservative; young and old; male and female – explaining to me what is proper, correct, and important in the race and diversity conversation.
It is well-known that Asian-Americans are pushed into what is known as the “model minority myth“. The idea that Asians don’t struggle with discrimination and assimilation to an “American” way of life as other “problematic” minorities is a lie. Here’s the thing though: sadly – and this is primarily something that’s been perpetuated within the church more than any other place – “model minority” status has allowed those in places of power and privilege to define what my role is any conversation about diversity and racial justice. Add to this that I am a transracial Asian adoptee whose parents were of Scandinavian decent, it compounds the myth….and the control over me.
Those who know me well know that I typically don’t do well with those trying to control my role and place in the world. I typically rage against such action the moment I feel I’m being manipulated or exploited. On one hand, I hate being thrust in front of folks as part of the celebration of racial diversity within the church. On the other, I hate being told I have nothing to offer (and this actually happened) because I am not an actual person of color.
I’m exhausted by it. I am tired.
A big part of my wants to completely withdraw and let the talking heads (read: liberal and conservative white people) fight their little war of ideology as they always have. I’m not African-American, and their history isn’t mine either, so why should I care? But then I find that I do care, because I’m tired.
I’m tired of people dying.
I”m tired of hearing and seeing the Philandos, the Trayvons, the Michael Browns, and countless others who have died. I’m tired of people turning them into a simple hashtag to perpetuate their argument, all the while keeping themselves at a distance from the reality of tragic and senseless death. I’m tired of people not caring enough about people that pulling a law enforcement officer off the line who is a risk to others and himself isn’t an option for an institution that prides itself on “taking care of its own.”
I’m tired of people dying….
….due to the carelessness of others,
….and because people don’t really seem to care people are indeed dying, suffering.
And I’m tired of wondering when I’m next.