As I sit down in my usual seat at the round dinner table, I look at the different dishes of food that my father has prepared. Looking at his cooking, my father speaks with pride in Mandarin Chinese, “I spent two hours boiling the soup to let the flavor seep in. It’s not as good as the one people make in Taiwan, but it’s the best here.” The contagious smile on my dad’s face spreads to my mother. She nods in agreement, “I brought this soup to my co-worker’s house yesterday and she said her dreams came true.” My dad adds, “ I added some red peppers and green onions for aesthetics.” I look blankly at the soup as my parents banter back and forth about the flavor and presentation of the soup. I am clearly indifferent about the subject of soup and mumble to myself, “It’s only soup. Who cares?”
Recently, I had an interesting discussion with a teacher about race. She was recounting a conversation she had had with a student of hers about the “typical American boy.” The way the girl was referring to this type of boy was resounding. And many may conjure an image such as this:
- Tall, blond, light colored eyes, handsome af, tough, white
- Smart, chivalrous, parents love him, white
- Sporty, football, varsity, white
But I’m not blaming or accusing anyone. These were adjectives I came up with, of how I imagine an “American boy.”
And I thought to myself, I need to change my mindset.