According to the Internet, I, Tao Tao Holmes, consider white kids lazy and spoiled. You caught me red-handed. I hereby admit to being a rampant, egocentric racist.
Woe is me, and woe is the nine pages of Google hits that offer up links to the AP article “Some Asians’ college strategy: Don’t check ‘Asian'” when I search my name. Needless to say, I shall never call “children of American parents” lazy and spoiled ever again — especially since I never did in the first place, and especially because I qualify as one.
It is rather frustrating to read an article being disseminated across an entire array of media outlets that has managed to misrepresent nearly everything that I expressed to its author. Then again, as the offspring of a white father and Chinese mother, failing to check “Asian” on my college apps was never a strategy for me; it was merely an aversion to boxing myself into a rigid racial identity. I do not consider myself in terms of my race and I saw no reason for college admissions to do so either. For anyone, but especially those with parents of different ethnic backgrounds, “race” can be ambiguous, malleable and difficult to define. I never thought twice when faced with those boxes. If limited to one choice, I always checked “other.” Perhaps I simply have an aversion to being defined as anything.
It is ignorant to make any sort of broad, sweeping statement lumping one demographic of people under a single derogatory label. I think we all know that. So when I see a commenter on the News’ forums with the username “cowcow” comment that “In my opinion Tao Tao Holmes is an antiwhite racist,” I feel a little sting. I can only hope that others who read my quote, “That’s essentially what I’m trying to say,” notice that it is not, in fact, prefaced by a real prompt, and thus could have manipulated the actual content of what I expressed in a variety of manners (and in the case that you were wondering, I said that Asian parents often hold their children to unusually high standards).
Fortunately, most internet forums do not focus on how Tao Tao “sounds like a charming person” or how, as another online commenter posted, “names like tao tao, gua gua, chou chou are pretty retarded,” but instead address the real issue at hand, indirectly targeted by the article’s author, a Yalie himself, in fact. And those discussions are getting at something worthwhile: race shouldn’t even be a factor in college admissions. I think a laudable attribute of the US college admissions system is that by taking more than grades, test scores and check boxes into consideration, applicants are given a chance to identify themselves along their own set of lines. Or at least, I’d like to think so.
Oh, and I rather enjoyed this forum post, too:
“also LOL at ‘tao tao holmes’ trying to check “white” on the application, just LOL.”
LOL, me too.