I think what’s positive is the way the community came together to help sweep up after Ferguson and South Grand. The day after a really major confrontation, I went out to see how I could help, but there wasn’t much on W. Florissant to be done because it was all covered with police tape. Even the stores that were untouched and open, you couldn’t go in and you couldn’t go out. So I went to South Grand and there were all these artists and neighborhood people who came to paint. I felt like it was turning something that was a tragedy into something beautiful, inspiring, and hopeful. There was such vitality. In one day, really, the tragedy and the beauty and the hope altogether.
I was glad he asked about it because it’s not always true. It’s called the Model Minority Myth. It’s a stereotype.
I think one of the best ways of meeting change is having one-on-one mutual conversations where people can understand different cultures, backgrounds, and histories. At the Ferguson Commission’s Economic Inequity and Opportunity working group, one of the participants said there’s sometimes this perception that Asian Americans are really well off. I was glad he asked about it because it’s not always true. It’s called the Model Minority Myth. It’s a stereotype. I grew up middle class to lower-middle class. My mom’s a dietitian, she’s 63, she still hasn’t been able to retire, still works crazy hours. When I was a kid, she’d pick me up and I’d stay at her office until 9 or 10 p.m. She’d work over 60 hours a week, unpaid overtime, and that’s how I got into organizing and activism because I didn’t think that was right. But, because this gentleman was willing to ask the question, we were able to have a conversation. So I’m actually happy when people ask me questions if they’re open to having a conversation because it’s a good opportunity to educate folks. And I also got to hear about his perspective.