Yesterday I heard two white boys call either me or another Chinese guy I know “a fucking chink”. They said, Look at that fucking chink. They were walking behind both of us, my classmate going to the bike racks, me walking just past the racks, and the two guys said, Look at that fucking chink, and I didn’t say anything.
I didn’t say anything because in that moment I had no idea what I should say. I thought maybe I should say Fuck you or I fucking dare you to say that again but nothing came out and all that happened was my eyes widened and I almost stumbled a little at the utter suddenness of the appearance of that word, which I have never heard directed at me or anyone else in person in my entire life.
If it happens again I think I will say something, but it’s sad, because I also probably won’t. What good would it do, see, for a short little Asian girl who can’t speak without her voice cracking and squeaking and distorting to confront one, much less two or more, big, tall white boys who have so much of the world’s support behind them. They have all the support of people who are just as big and just as loud and just as ignorant as them, and if you think that current events have not made these people reckless and drunk with their “victory”, and one thousand times braver and unafraid to say what they have always thought, then I have nothing to say to you.
Just as I had nothing to say when, a few weeks ago, I heard three boys talking about girls. It doesn’t matter how old they are, one of them said, and they laughed, and they said something else about fucking freshmen and maybe even old women, and I felt all the blood in me stop and dry up before I walked a circle around them, on the grass, and walked to their front, walking faster, not looking back. I wanted to say You disgust me. I wanted to say something, but, just like yesterday, nothing came out, and I didn’t turn around.
I heard people use the word gay as an insult, too. I wanted to say something, but the moment passed and I did not.
I have so much to say in my head and when it comes time to say it I cannot. My mouth is incapable of moving without my brain giving it the okay, and while that is a good thing sometimes when I am thinking unkind thoughts, it seems more like a cowardly thing when I should say something but I don’t. What good would it do, really, if I said it, if I confronted them? Maybe it wouldn’t do anything. But I would have said it–see? I would have said it and that would count for something.