Tag Archives: ethnicity

Could You Not Touch It? A Mixed Girl’s Hair Intervention

by Giselle Moreau, ’16

My entire life I’ve been defined by my hair. In fact, people describe me by it, praise me for it, locate me by it—it has been the go to for people of all ethnicities and backgrounds to approach and interact with me. I even wrote my college essay on how I “was” my hair.

Last night I started pondering getting a hair cut. I was only looking to get my ends trimmed, but then my thoughts expanded and began asking me questions: what if you really cut your hair? What if you cut it short? What if you cut it all off?

7-1 Giselle

Hair isn’t a joke.

Continue reading

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On the Merit of Blurred Lines

by Surabhi Nirkhe, ’13

I am tired of discourse that divides brown from white, the oppressed from the oppressors, students of color from white students, and the underprivileged from the privileged. Tracing and retracing these lines prevents us from creating identities that are much more complex, often in the spaces where these lines blur.

In her recent STATIC article, Holly Fetter ended with a powerful statement that resonated with me: “unless we confront our fears and make active changes to educate ourselves about the perspectives and experiences of those in other communities, we’ll never be able to see past the illusion of isolation”. To me, the recent mixer held between Sanskriti, the South Asian student organization, and the Stanford Israel Alliance represents just that. I did not attend the mixer, but I have been a part of similar events at Stanford, and I can honestly say that experiences which have pushed me to interact with individuals from outside my community have been some of the most valuable.

I do not mean to say that I don’t hold opinions; I do and I hold on to them very strongly. Continue reading

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The Illusion of Isolation

by Holly Fetter, ‘13

This piece focuses on a post written by Jason Lupatkin for The Stanford Review, entitled “Why You Cannot Vote for SOCC.”  (The uncensored version is here, the updated version is here, and you can read a comparison of the two versions here).

The “Duck Syndrome” metaphor isn’t just for stress and health — we should use it to talk about race, too.

Sometimes, it’s easy to pretend that we’re a bunch of differently-hued ducks, floating peacefully in a multicultural pond of joy. We have FACES during NSO, “Crossing the Line” as awkward frosh, and we’re good to go.

But then the Jason Lupatkin ducks come along, and write blog posts like this one, and remind us that our diverse world isn’t so calm after all — there’s a lot of turbulence and chaos below the surface that’s rarely exposed.

If there’s one thing I appreciate about Lupatkin’s post, it’s that he had the courage to say what he said. Continue reading

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Continue Engaging: Reflections from Listen to the Silence 2013

by Van Anh Tran, ‘13 + Healy Ko, ‘13

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On February 2, 2013,  Stanford’s Asian American Students’ Association (AASA) held its 17th annual Listen to the Silence (LTS) conference, an Asian American issues conference that aims to empower students and community members to take action towards achieving social change. This year’s theme, “Click, Connect, Engage: From Social Media to Social Justice,” focused on the rise of social media as a force for achieving change within our communities.

This year’s conference was the largest Listen to the Silence in Stanford history with over 600 registrants, 22 workshops, 2 keynote speakers, and a high-profile Asian American artist. Through the workshops, LTS provided a space for students to learn about important issues affecting their community — from Asian American feminism to ethnic biases in public radio. Continue reading

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How I Came to Co-Produce ‘Trying to Find Chinatown’

by Leow Hui Min Annabeth, ’16

TTFCPoster

On the dropdown menu on the New Student Orientation survey, I was asked for my ethnicity.

“Asian American/Pacific Islander?” I’d only been in California for two weeks; over my dead body would I let myself be counted as U.S. American.

“International?” …no, Stanford, that’s not an ethnicity.

* * *

My pink identity card, issued by the Republic of Singapore—it says so in amiably bold sans serif—reads, under the column labelled “Race,” “Chinese.” The census, last taken two years ago, prefers the term “ethnicity,” and defines “Chinese” as “persons of Chinese origin such as Hokkiens, Teochews, Cantonese, Hakkas, Hainanese, Hockchias, Foochows, Henghuas, Shanghainese etc.,” which is on a certain level tautological.

Here in America, where “Asian” is a race all to itself, I always dither over the “East Asian” and “Southeast Asian” checkboxes, especially when “Chinese/Japanese/Korean” are helpfully enclosed in parentheses beside the term “East Asian.” Continue reading

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