Since I’ve come to Stanford, nobody can seem to recognize me. What I look like, how I speak, even my name. During the first few weeks of autumn quarter, a couple of girls in my dorm complex told me that people often call them by my name, girls who are like me in that they are Asian but unlike me in ethnicity, dress, mannerisms, academic interests, hobbies, and all other facets that compose the complexity of an identity. Girls who don’t even look like me. The boy who lives down the hall asks one of them about the homework in a class we share; a girl in lecture has been greeting the other with my name for the past week. These patterns are as recurrent as they are unsettling.
When confronted with racial activism, rather than labeling it as overdramatic and annoying, consider that people of color have been fighting systems of oppression since the day they were born. And understand that their anger, no matter how aggressive, no matter how radical, and no matter repetitive, is justified.