When You're an "Other"

by Janice Kang

Hello. I'm an "other". I'm a minority. Heck, sometimes I'm an idiot, stupid, or a klutz. But everyone can be an idiot sometimes. But not everyone is an "other". I hapen to be one of the people to be called an "other". I took a writing test that was required by the State of North Carolina a while ago, and the producers of the test wanted to know if I was a "White", a "Black", a "Native American", or an "Other". Being an Asian-American, I would be entitled to fill in the circle beside "Other". I was about to do so, when I got to thinking, "What is Other? Am I an Other?" It's not like I go around saying, "Hi, Black, White, Native American, or Other!" No! It's not like that at all! I say, "Hi, Laura," or "Hi, Monica," or "Hi, Angela," and they respond by saying, "Hi Janice" Why do we need to classify people like tht anyway? I think that is just plain stupid.

When I was young, precisely in first grade, my family lived in Massachusetts, and I went to a school with my brother there. We were the only Asian ?Americans in the whole school. I remember one kid who would always danbce around me singing "Chinese, Chinese apple tree", or "Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these!" Now that I think of it, it is quite hilarious, but at the time, I didn't think that it was funny. Itmade me so mad! He picked on me just because I looked different. Even now, in sixth grade, people act as immature as they did then. Some people call me a "Chinese chong go knog chu bong ching chong" if I am supposedly in their "territory". They also say, "Get out of here, you Chinese Chongo wing owang!" What are they trying to do, imitate a clock? Even so, what do they have against Chinese people anyway? A girl once told me that I was a "Chinese Chongongongong (what does this mean?) twit", and I blew my top at her. I screamed, "I'm not a twit, and I am sick and tired of people making clock noises at me, because I'm not a clock, I'm a Martian!" I do not know where that dame from, but I am glad, and don't regret a second of saying it. The girl doesn't call me a twit anymore, but she does call me a Martian. I guess that's my own fault, though. Sometimes," I say to her, "Sometimes I would just love you to get back in my flying saucer and fly back to Mars!"

Being an "other," you have to learn to put up with that stuff, and I'm not only talking about Asian Americans, but I hope I'm speaking for every "other" out there in America.

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