Model Minority

Cal in Color

Seared into my memory is the first time I fought with my friends. We were in ninth-grade world history when my friend offhandedly joked, “Yeah, but Rona’s Asian and has a big house, so she wouldn’t get what we’re going through.” “Excuse me?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
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Learning my ABCDs

Cal in Color

For most people, ABCD is the beginning of the English alphabet. But for American-Born, Confused Desis like me, it’s an acronym, an insult, a joke and an identity, all wrapped up in four letters. Calling me an ABCD invalidates my experience of being Desi, or a person of South Asian
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Only half

Cal in Color

When I was seven years old, my white uncle called me a worthless n-word in the middle of an argument. As I sobbed uncontrollably at my grandmother’s feet, I realized that racism can trump family. Being half- Black and half-white, I fall in between two identities. I realized then that
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Chasing dreams as a first-generation Pinay

Cal in Color

These spaces — spaces like UC Berkeley — were never created for people like me. Retention rates of Pilipinx students at UC Berkeley always frustrated me, but at times like these, I was numb to the idea of becoming a part of those statistics.
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The Lord ain’t my shepherd

Cal in Color

When I would ask about my absent dad, my mom would tell not me to worry, reminding me of my Heavenly Father watching over me from up above. I love you, Mom, but that’s crazy talk. I don’t want white Christ watching over me as much as I don’t want
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Breaking from tradition

Cal in Color

The family practices I saw on “Full House” and other American TV shows couldn’t apply to my own family because of our drastic cultural differences.
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Only I can write my narrative

Cal in Color

Even if I’m just waiting in line at Peet’s Coffee, I’m all too aware that as soon as a stranger sees my headscarf, they immediately identify me as the “the Muslim girl.”
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