On May 29, they became co-champions of an especially hard-fought Scripps National Spelling Bee.
In the past few years, the 89-year-old competition has seen a striking pattern in which Indian-American contestants have lifted the winner’s trophy eight consecutive times and in 13 of the past 17 outings. Their streak feeds into years of conversation around race, achievement and immigrant success — all tied to problematic notions of what it means to be “American.”
We’re not people really. Our concerns are not America’s concerns. We are just here for entertainment. We’re a convenient treasure trove of limitless creativity to be pillaged, watered down, and re-purposed for White audiences and the people getting rich from bastardized stereotypes and simplified caricatures of everything we bring to the table have nothing to say when shit gets really real.
I don’t want to spam with submissions, but pictured above is my lovely boyfriend and myself. Like I said in the submission about my essay, I’m half-Japanese, from Kawagoe-shi. I moved to Tokyo area, when I was seventeen and moved back to the States to continue my education with my Mother (who is Azorean/Spanish/Italian). My grandparents live in the United States, along with my Father who lives in Northern California. I attended the O-bon festival at a local temple in California with my grandparents and my lovely partner. I was SO proud of him for dancing with me and my grandparents adore his respect for the culture (he was even concerned about dottin a happi coat in fear of disrespect).
However, when I happily posted this photo onto my social media websites, I was ATTACKED by people accusing ME of cultural appropriation. People told me that I wasn’t really Japanese because I didn’t have ‘asian’ eyes, and my face was too ‘round’ to be Asian, my eyebrows were too ‘thick’ to be Japanese (I fill mine in and wax them nearly all the way off). They accused me of faking my culture. I am 100% done with even talking about my heritage. I don’t even want to tell anyone that I’m Japanese anymore.