Growing up as the only Asian in my grade for seven years of elementary school, I quickly became aware that I did not look like everyone else. Trust me, everyone else around me noticed, too.
I specifically remember in second grade my teacher was explaining the meaning of "china," as in the ceramic material, to our class. To clarify what she meant, she said, "Not Claire-China. Not that kind of china."
I understand her intentions, but there had to have been a better way to word that. In doing that, she automatically labeled me as the "go-to" Asian. In other words, I was every person in that class's only example of what a Chinese person should be-- a representative heuristic.
One of the biggest factors of white privilege, in my opinion, is the fact that they do not have to worry about how their actions will reflect upon their race. Meanwhile, I felt this burden as a second-grader. It shouldn't have to be this way.
Just some food for thought.
Author: Claire Cao
1/12/19- RepresentASIAN: Interview with Music Maestro Daniel Kim
2/3/19- Not Your Representative Heuristic
2/20/19- Being Labeled "The Asian Girl"
3/5/19- It's "Cao," Not "Cow," Not "Chow"...
4/1/19- Dear Fake Chinese Food
5/6/19- History Lesson: My Mom Was a Protester at Tiananmen Square
5/24/18- Asian RepresentASIAN Making American History
6/21/19- My First Encounter With Blatant Racial Harassment
7/10/19- Growing Up Alongside "RepresentASIAN"
8/15/19- Asians Need to Support Asians
9/16/19-Making Stereotypes Disappear: Interview with Rising Magician Kevin Li
11/8/19- The Impacts of Social Media