Since the beginning of coronavirus pandemic, violence against Asians and Asian Americans has been increasing. Eight people were killed in multiple shootings in Georgia, six of whom were East Asian women. As a way of processing all of this, Miryam Ha, OMS II, has written this heartfelt poem.
whenever the word “oriental” is used to describe me
i think of a rug.
i guess that isn’t too far off from what is expected of me as an Asian—
the “model minority.”
i belong to a group
that the white majority points to when asked about
oppression and racial disparities.
“they did it, so you can too.”
it seems like our existence is only affirmed when we are
it becomes clearer and clearer
that I have been reduced to a tool,
a special kind that is used to cater
to the whims of others.
on some days,
blamed for the demise of so many people
and targeted because of my almond eyes,
a part of me that I always despised
because they didn’t conform to the white majority.
i am angry
because it took us this long to see that when the white majority was pointing to us,
it wasn’t with their fingers
but rather with the barrel of a gun.
people who looked like my mother,
they are dead
because of the way they looked,
because of the way the world used them to spread lies.
in this time, we will rise
like we have always done.
with the resiliency in our blood
to break free from our bondage
and make our voices heard
because they have forgotten
that even tools
can hurt their users.