Sunday 17th December 2017,


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The Dartmouth: Students struggled with race & identity

posted by Randall

DartmouthA panel of diverse Asian American students talked about their experience with race and ethnicity on the Dartmouth campus this week, reports The Dartmouth.

While their stories were specific to Dartmouth, students from other campuses would likely be able to relate to them as well.

“I feel like a minority within a minority,” said Francis Slaughter who is Filipino American. “The Asian American tale on campus is Korean and Chinese.” Slaughter thinks more discussions need to take place about the intersection of culture and identity.

Fischer Yan said she became closer to his culture after being challenged by other students to close her “gap in racial literacy.” After that she became inspired to challenge racism and learn more about racial issues.

Saaid Arshad is Pakistani American, but grew up speaking Urdu thinking he was more Pakistani until he actually went to Pakistan.  Now he feels comfortable being Pakistani American “without any sort of compromise.”

Maan Tinna is both queer and South Asian and recalls he justified the racist pledge name he was given by his fraternity. Now he says despite sometimes good-natured intentions, he can no longer accept humor as an excuse for racism.

Karima Ma also saw racism in the Greek system, but says its not limited to just there.  “From the first few weeks of my time at Dartmouth, my race and my gender have never been more apparent to me,” she said. “I am lucky to not have experienced overt racism or sexism at Dartmouth, but I’m talking about the subtle things.”

Can you relate to any of these stories. Share your experiences with AsAmNews.




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One Comment

  1. Yang says:

    RE: Students share their struggle with race & identity: No experiences to share here… but I would like to make a few comments:

    1) I think it is great that there is a public platform for Dartmouth students to share their experiences on race and ethnicity. It empowers the speakers if only to just talk about their experiences without fear of being written-off, and the listeners by providing some sense of relief that their racialized experiences are not trivial and deserving of abandonment.

    2) My advice to combating subtle racism and lingering stigmas is to talk about the issues. The toughest part for me in undoing my decades of racist brainwashed thinking is learning how to speak up about issues affecting me as the issues happen. I think for many, many Asians/Asian Americans, college is really the first time (and maybe the last?) that we get to seriously reflect on our race and ethnicity, and how our racialized experiences have affected how we think of ourselves and how we represent ourselves to others around us. Mental health among Asian Americans gets talk about a lot in some academic circles as a leading issue for Asian American activism, yet if we were to take a look at the discourse of race/ethnicity or mental health from the Asian American student body on college campuses, we would, I suppose, find a disheartening lack of “Asian American activism”. However we wish to approach the issues, we need to learn how to be open and talk about the things that hurt us, and not distance ourselves from other Asian students because we are scared that they might negatively impact our chances at befriending casual bigots.

    3) Finally, do not be afraid to get hurt. Speaking our minds will no doubt upset folks and bring out their inner bigotry, but we must also remember that to say nothing at all is to accept bigotry and suffer silently.

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