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amy nguyen @amyngyn
, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
here's a thread on how i deal with resentment and jealousy about opportunities given to marginalized groups i'm not a part of!

you should read this if you're in a majority group but have personally dealt with adversity, and are feeling unsupported.
for background: yes, all asian groups are marginalized (see bamboo ceiling, model minority myth, and do your own research).

southeast asians are especially likely to have lower socioeconomic status and lower education rates. that's me!
my parents didn't go to middle school/beyond, escaped vietnam on a boat, and don't speak much english. i went to a high school that almost lost accreditation (i would have lost my diploma) and the average SAT score was 1200/2400. so i get mad when people assume i had resources.
i get especially frustrated on behalf of southeast asian men, because they're my own family and i can point to their personal adversity. they don't even get the benefit of women's programs! i want to yell, don't you see that we need help too?
i've heard something like this from a lot of people in majority groups. when's international men's day? when's white history month? why can't i join @Code240 or @BlackGirlsCode when i've struggled too?

when i feel myself going down this path, here's what i remember:
1. i'm not entitled to opportunities. i don't "deserve" anything.

if a nonprofit doesn't serve my demographic, that's okay. they're doing great work for other people who need it too. i can't demand that people volunteer their time/money to helping *me*.
2. research and empathize with the issues that other groups are going through.

when i hear about racial discrimination, stereotype threat, police violence, etc, i don't say "what about my problems?" anymore. i say, "that's terrible. i understand why we need to fix this."
3. if i want my group's issues to have a spotlight, i can raise it without distracting or derailing other groups.

no asking "when is international men's day" (it's 11/19...) on IWD. all this accomplishes is draining activists who need to save their energy for real issues.
4. systematic oppression is not the same as individual adversity.

even if i've faced some difficulties, i still have privilege. i need to separate my frustration with my personal challenges with the work of combatting structural inequality.
5a. i remind myself that i am more likely to succeed when going through the standard pipeline than visible minority groups. that's the opportunity i have that others don't have.
5b. if i'm upset about lack of opportunity, i should ask myself if i've exhausted all the options that ARE open to me, instead of being angry about the ones i can't have.

if i haven't done the work, then i'm just mad at myself for being mediocre. that's on me, not others.
5c. tbh if i've really been applying everywhere (school/jobs/scholarships/etc) and not succeeding... that probably says more about my own mediocrity than anything about other minority groups. i should fix that first.
5d. based on the lack of change in demographics in silicon valley tech for the past 5+ years, there are plenty of jobs for people in majority groups. if i lose out on a job, it's because of me, not because of some faceless minority enemy.
6. it's normal to want acknowledgement and validation. it's not okay to demand it by railing against work for supporting other marginalized groups. find your own friends to vent to, productively and separately.
that's all i have to say for now. it's a big topic. i hope this helps anyone who doesn't know how to express frustration without turning it into something ugly. remember, it doesn't have to be about you for it to be valuable.
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