Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Basketball Wow

I have to admit, like many of my fellow human beings around the world, I watched basketball with awe at the new NBA sensation: Jeremy Lin.
Before last week, I didn't watch basketball  as much as I did last week and this week.
The rise of Jeremy Lin has brought to surface many issues... race in particular.
Many people have attributed his recent boom due to his race: Asian. Alot of people are also brushing it off and saying that it has nothing to do with his race... but really... everyone knows its because he's Asian.
How many Asians from Harvard choose to play Basketball? most already got picked by the big firms before they even graduate. Jeremy's big boom in success is also fueled by age-old stereotypes of Asians... I know the stereotypes... I got put into Honors Math even though I had one of the lowest math scores consistently throughout my years in middle school and high school. So hence... we should just sit back and enjoy his success. Haters gotta stop hatin', because it just makes them look ignorant and more so just pitiful. I wish Jeremy Lin all the best, not just because of his success and the fervor it has unleashed, but the NY Knicks need some wins... seriously. The last time they made headlines was before I was born.
The rise of Jeremy also has brought up many questions in the families with kids like Jeremy... not the good at basketball part, but what we see ourselves as. The Asians that are born and raised in America or other Western nations... Are we what we look? or are we how we are raised? Is our identity based on our looks or based on our culture? For all those Asians born in non-Asian countries, we have faced such identity crisis. We are told by our families that we are Taiwanese, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Malay, Indonesian, and many more... but problem is, we never grew up in those countries. In my example, I've been in numerous conflicts with my own relatives on the issue of whether I am Taiwanese or American, and I always say American. I get yelled at being not-proud of my Taiwanese heritage, turning my back on my people, and disgraceful. I answer back: one, I am not really Taiwanese... if you want to talk about ethnicity... I am Han Chinese. I never grew up in Taiwan before, I was raised on Football, french fries, in the land of the brave. My people? who? Just because my features are similar to the people here doesn't mean they are "my" people... by far, I have more in common with my peers in America than the average person in Taiwan.
So I can see why Jeremy Lin is so hesitant on answering what is he... and he answered how I answered: I am an American.
If he said: Taiwanese: you will piss off the biggest emerging market in the world
If he said he was Chinese: He will piss off the country that his parents came from
He said he was American: Both sides are still fighting what he is....or where he belongs.... hahaha...

The Europeans that settled in America, the caucasians in America today, call themselves Americans.
The Africans in colonial America, the Africans in America today, call themselves Americans.
The Russians and Jews that came to America for freedom, Call themselves Americans.
Asians have been in America for generations, why don't we proudly call ourselves Americans?

I don't care what anyone says, I am proud to be an American. I may not agree with our government most of the time, nor do I like 80% of the population, (but then again, I'm from New York... )but I love this country.  Born and raised, so it's hard to argue otherwise.

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