They were scared for me and told me no one with a face like mine could ever hope to be anything more than ordinary in America.
but he’s continuing the long American tradition of praising white authors who appropriate racial identity and trauma for their art, while writers of color are told to essentially stay in their lane — an entirely unpaved, shitty, little lane.
White supremacy tries to reduce people of color to our traumas. Resisting white supremacy means insisting that we are more than our traumas. One quick perusal through the shelves of world literature in any bookstore confirms just what the literary world wants to see from writers of color and writers from developing nations: trauma. Why, for example, is the English-speaking literary world mostly interested in fiction or poetry from China if the writer can be labeled as a “political dissident”? Even better if the writer has been tortured, imprisoned, or sentenced to hard labor by the Chinese government at one point. Surely there are amazing Chinese writers who don’t just identify as political dissidents just as there are many amazing white American writers who don’t identify, or rather, are not identified as one thing. Why are we so perversely interested in narratives of suffering when we read things by black and brown writers? Where are my carefree writers of color at? Seriously, where?
These fleeing white families believed the presence of black people in their communities caused violence to rise and schools to fail. In the new white flight, white families were now fleeing neighborhoods with growing Asian American populations because… wait for it… the schools were becoming TOO EXCELLENT thanks to these wily Asians who insisted on raising the academic standards with their exceptional grades and schoolwork. T
I won’t be scandalized because the pathologizing of black failure has always coincided and worked closely with the pathologizing and reasoning away of Asian American success. Asian American success is often presented as something of a horror — robotic, unfeeling machines psychotically hellbent on excelling, products of abusive tiger parenting who care only about test scores and perfection, driven to succeed without even knowing why.