White supremacy taught me that I didn’t deserve to be the leading character in my own life. Now I’m working to unlearn self-hatred.

Collage of Asian supporting characters from pop culture next to the white main characters.
Collage of Asian supporting characters from pop culture next to the white main characters.
Image by Amir Khan

“My favorite chink.” As I flipped through my dad’s high school yearbook, I couldn’t believe how many of his classmates left racist handwritten messages. In shock, my sister and I confronted him. How could he be okay with his friends using slurs against him? My dad responded with a laugh. “It was a joke. It’s all in good fun.”

As a fourth generation Japanese American, this is how I was raised. Blend in. Don’t make white people feel bad. And when you feel bad, keep it in. …

Jenny Arimoto

NYC-based comedy writer who is probably thinking about soup right now.

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