英语美文,大千世界,因你我而不同 Up to us - By Caie Kelley 温纯 译

As she walks, thirty eyes follow her movement. I stare down at the floor, trying to distract myself and attempting to reach a center of serenity.

It's hard to describe the anxiety of a classroom when a teacher is handing back final test scores. We all want to do well, and in that moment, often nothing seems more important than that score at the top of the test. We are focused, united in our desire and our worry.” When my teacher has reached my desk, I scramble to find the score. 43/44. Yes! That's a strong A. My neighbor leans over and asks, “How'd you do?” I tell him, and he rolls his eyes. “It's just because you're half-Asian. I'd get those grades if I was Chinese, too.”

The words hurt, but I've heard them many times before. He's right, in a sense. I am half-Asian. I receive good grades, I have straight hair, and I play piano, so I guess I fit some of the stereotypes. But my school is full of cliques, each group divided by race, personality, and looks. I don't belong with the “Asian” clique. I am similar, but not quite like them, and they don't identify with me the way they do with each other. They bond over their need-to-succeed and the mistakes of their stupid white peers, and then they look at me.

But I don't fit in with my all-American friends either. My peers expect that I have perfect grades, and when I don't, they are quick in their judgment and harsh in their laughter. My achievements are often attributed to being half-Asian. I am happy about my achievements and satisfied with my lifestyle, but when the response to my stories are always, “It's just because you're Asian” or “You are so Asian”, it’s hard to just brush the comments away. My friends don't mean to taunt, but something about their tone cuts deep. Again, I am similar, but not quite like everybody else, and they don't identify with me the way they do with each other. I never feel quite at home among my friends.


America, and in particular, California, is a land full of immigrants. I am sure many of our parents and grandparents didn't feel quite at ease in their homeland, and that is probably part of the reason they came here. They sought acceptance and a diverse country where everyone could belong. Yet many of us seem to forget this when we stereotype each other and attribute our successes to our culture, instead of to our individual work. My successes are not because part of my family originated in China. The reason that I did well on that test was because I had studied. It's a simple fact, but it's easily forgotten in the midst of all the generalizations we tend to make.

We shouldn't identify ourselves with only the color of our skin. We each have our own talents, goals, and traditions. Our similarities stretch across borders and are not confined to a particular nation. I know this, yet when my peer turned to me and said, “It's just because you're Asian” after I told him my test score, I did nothing. I sighed, turned back to my work, and tried to overlook his words.

But silence is the not the way to deal with racial insensitivity. My silence makes the comment okay. It represents acceptance of such insensitivity, and allows, even encourages, that individual to hurt others with their words. I have another option, though.” I can speak up. I can let them know that it is not okay to be inconsiderate. I can let them know that such assumptions cause pain, and that their words spread thoughtlessness.

As teenagers, we are still young, and able to make a difference. So much promise stretches before us, as our words and actions will influence the next generation. It is possible to leave stereotypes behind, and filter our everyday consciousness. As Harry Millner once said, “All progress occurs because people dare to be different”. I am one person, but I can take a step. Progress begins now.