Young Voices of the Chinese Diaspora

My friend Keinst who studied in Beijing has created a video project called “Ethnicity and Identity” which you can find in four parts on his youtube channel.

He writes:

I interviewed seven ethnically Chinese people who were born and raised in different countries and I asked them how they identified themselves.

As the world becomes smaller and more interconnected, old ways of thinking become less and less suitable. New ways of understanding things must be introduced to adapt to new phenomenons; this documentary attempts to do just that. For most people, ethnicity and identity are seen as one thing. However, I theorize that in the future these two concepts will grow further apart and at the same time become vague. This piece serves as a window into the future as well as into my own personal thoughts.

Check out the first video in the series below, and find the rest here.

Why My Name Is The Czech

…And I’m back!

After some months away, I have decided to fire up the ol’ blog again and see how it goes. If safety becomes an issue, I will just stop again.

So I thought a good way to start this new chapter would be an explanation of my name. I chose it for a hodge podge of reasons. I identify strongly with my immigrant roots. My family has been bumping around the United States for a couple generations now, but we have retained a connection with our country of origin and I have retained a sense of my history in this country as a descendant of immigrants. I don’t want to forget that there were peoples here before the white man, people who are still here. It is partially out of deference to them that I identify as Czech-American.

My name also has to do with my white privilege. My Czech descendants were light-skinned, and so am I. (Not all Czechs appear “white”.) Czechs have not always been considered white. A certain German dictator had a special name for us: Minderwertige Rasse (“less-worthy race”), insinuating that we were not the white race, we were something else, something less-than.

That is mostly behind Czechs now. In America, we get white-skin privilege, regardless of that history. And I want to own the fact that I receive that privilege, however unwillingly, and the responsibility that bestows upon me. So I make my identity very clear through my screen name. There will be no mistake when I am in anyone’s space- I cannot ignore my white privilege and try to fly under the radar in spaces created by people of color. I will have to confront it all the time, and check myself with each comment.