April 28, 2008
The essay by Eric Lui, “notes of a native speaker” spoke about his experiences growing up as an Asian American male in the united states. Growing up, He had to face stereotypes and tried to overcome them all as time went on, so much he later felt he lost his identity of who he really was. He says in the essay “here are some ways you can say that I am white:” and then follows with a list of things that most Caucasian people do or wear on a everyday basis that he now does regularly. Things like wearing khakis or even being married to a white woman were on his list. He mentions this list because now people consider Eric to be a “Honorary White” because of his achievements and hobbies. During his time as a kid, he would have problems hooking up with girls around him or hanging out with certain people because of his Asian background. They would just see him as my “Asian friend” or as a math wiz. He hated that he went through this and time and time again he tried fighting the stereotypes of being Asian. He did things like taking his bowl hair cut style (the average hairstyle of a Asian boy) and cut it all off into a buzz cut and he later says, he was “playing the orchestra but also joined the wrestling team, winning science prizes but also editing the school paper”. He called himself the “renaissance boy” but only was seen as a “Asian overachiever”. The struggles Lui went through in his essay takes you step by step into how hard it is to create your own identity in a would where your just a representative of your ethnic group and the risks that come with trying to rid yourself from that.