This is not a drama recap, it’s about real life drama.
So why traversing the web today, I came upon the name Jeremy Lin, the Knicks player who skyrocketed to fame from the last few games against Utah and New Jersey. I don’t watch much sports, and according to most of my friends, I couldn’t tell basketball from baseball even if a bat hit me in the face. They had to trick me into believing that we were going to do an anti-superbowl party to get me to come to a superbowl party.
But Jeremy Lin redeemed basketball for me. His passion, his belief, his faith in the fact that he will succeed made me a fan. I watched some of the clips in which he played ball, and I saw a racist tag in one of the videos that left me breathless with rage and shock. The news in the last few months, including the incidents where Asian American soliders committed suicide due to the taunting they received was only the surface of a deep prejudice and animosity against Asian Americans. UCLA’s female student mocking Asians in the library was another. Then there’s the ever present fear that China will eclipse America. Fear and prejudice evolves into anger, and anger simmers until it boils over, hurting not just the Asian American community but all Americans. Being Asian American means being different, it’s in the very definition of our ethnicities isn’t it? We’re America, it’s true but in a qualified sort of way. The Asian qualifies the American part of us. It’s a separation, a distinction, a difference. Its a difference that every first generation Asian American I knew dealt with at one point in their lives. Some choose to ignore it, some embrace it, and some feel as if they are between two worlds, never truly yet always fully engrossed in both. And yet sometimes, no matter how hard we try to find our individuality, there the fear that these cultures will never accept us for who we are. In the US, some of us are just worried that the stereotypes so strongly associated with being Asian American will choke our own individuality out of us.
Jeremy Lin’s audacity broke through my musings about whether or not I can ever escape being a typical Asian American stereotype. He played basketball because he loved it. He could have gotten any other job, he’s a Harvard grad. Instead, he chose to pursue his passion and lived on his brother’s couch. Only a blind persion could have ignored the fact that every minute he was on the court, he practically shined with the love of the game. How can you be a stereotype when you’re doing what you loved? He followed his passion, and he brought the house down. That’s the kind of game he played. That’s the same passion I’ll emulate.