But I Don’t See You as Asian: Curating Conversations about Race
by Bruce Reyes-Chow
In “But I Don’t See You as Asian: Curating Conversations About Race” Bruce Reyes-Chow curates a collection of cringe-inducing statements about race such as, “If they can say it, why can’t I?” ” “Do you know martial arts?” and “He’s a different kind of Black,” hoping to turn awkward moments into a dialogue between friends.
Sitting in the sweet spot between lectures in academia and activism on the streets, Bruce invites the reader into a salon type of atmosphere where he directly addresses thoughtless words and diversionary tactics, such as dismissing racial discussions as being impolite or avoiding race conversations altogether. He invites the reader to chuckle, gasp, and perhaps nod in understanding as he lists the kinds of statements often used against persons of color in a predominantly white culture. But rather than stopping there, Bruce asks readers to swap shoes with him and reconsider their assumptions about race.
Useful for individual reading, or as a tool for opening group and community discussions, “But I don’t see you as Asian” puts one person’s joys and struggles on the table for dissection and discovery.
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