There is a point in this sudsy chasing-the-serial-killer series where the caucasian actress who plays Villanelle asks a fellow prisoner about Eve, played by Sandra Oh. She says “did an Asian with amazing hair ask about me?” So simple and yet it was a relief. It was a relief to hear a non-Asian mention and recognize someone who is Asian. Halleleujah, we exist! I had always suspected we did and now I finally have proof!
As an Asian lady, I feel part of an invisible group. There’s a perception that Asians are not considered American and don’t count yet in the national conversation, even at a time when race is discussed frequently and at length. Spike Lee just recently talked about his latest film at the Cannes Film and delivered an unrehearsed, off-the-cuff, passionate speech about the lack of moral leadership in our globe and the current president and he said “black, white, brown people — we all have to find a way to live together. We are all on the same planet.” In the Black Lives Matter movement, there was a photo of a woman holding a very clever protest sign that says “Black lives matter more than white feelings.” A Facebook friend, who is caucasian, posted a very honest post saying she had not discussed her feelings about the Black Lives Matter movement publicly because she didn’t know what she could say about. At the end of her remarks, she said “to my black friends, I just want you to know I am heartbroken about this. And to my white friends, what can we do about it?” Reading her comments, I was with her, with her, with her, until I heard what group she was addressing. Oh. Huh. I guess it’s because Asians are perfect. We can’t be racist or have any bias, right? We’re amazing and perfect and don’t need to be part of this national crisis.
I have since slightly revised that opinion. I think some liberal whites only address other whites because they are the most powerful group of people in this country. Also, Asians aren’t the only ones. There’s an author whose book is on the top ten summer reading lists with a memoir called “I Can’t Date Jesus” (I think), an account of growing up gay, black and Christian, and how it just wasn’t working. He has said that gay black men are invisible, and I felt comforted I wasn’t the only one.