Putting the Asian in American

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DeMatha’s Asian American Club held a meeting in late September.

Maximo Legaspi, Editor

Disclaimer: I am the president of the Asian-American Club. In order to not promote the club or write a biased story, I tried to use my opinion as little as possible, and only use it to put the story into perspective.

Growing up as an Asian American in the Maryland suburbs really didn’t do much to help me find my identity as a kid. It didn’t help that I was one of about 10 other Asian kids in a school of around 200, so an identity crisis was almost inevitable. Fortunately, after a couple years, I was able to find peace with both my heritage and ethnicity and am now able to fully embrace it.

Still, I know for a fact that this is a problem for many other Asian Americans. It’s common, especially with those in the younger generation, to not be comfortable with who they are. For me, at least, one of the solutions I found was forming an Asian American club. It allowed me to meet people from different cultures and connect over wanting to learn more about the world. Also, for Anthony Lukban and Andrew Foreman, a sophomore and junior, respectively, they seem to hold the same view.

Anthony Lukban has had his fair share of problems regarding his race. As a Filipino American, he thinks that being Asian American is hard in the U.S. today, more so than most people think. In the wide view of minority groups in the country, Lukban says, “Asians tend to get left out.” Elaborating, he thinks that some of the problems are more commonplace. “Some kids say that the only reason I got a good grade on a test is because of my ethnicity. Other times they call me a c—- as a joke.” In his words, it’s hard for many to realize that these problems have been facing Asians for a long time.

Despite that, Lukban has been able to feel more represented in school with the emergence of the Asian-American Club. “I think it’s very important for everyone’s culture to be represented.” He hopes the club will make the DeMatha community more inclusive, with more chances to tell people “about our unique cultures.”

No stranger to a loss of identity, it took time for Andrew Foreman to find himself. As a child of mixed descent, there “was a time where I only identified myself as a white American.” However, once he took a look back, he realized that most of his upbringing was in an Asian American culture, which he takes pride in. Still, he has also experienced forms of racism, and thinks that it is common for it to happen to other Asian Americans. “I do believe that Asian Americans do not have an advantage such as white privilege.” Even with this in mind, Andrew believes that he does not experience some of the hardships his mother and her family faced, as they were immigrants.

Foreman also believes that having a club for Asian American culture helps him in making connections at DeMatha. “I have people that identify similarly to me. I relate with them in a way that I do not with other people.” To him, he feels like he is at home with the club.

Despite the club being in its infancy, the effects of it seem to have been doing good across the DeMatha community. The club itself not only serves as a learning opportunity into the vast and varied cultures of Asia and their diaspora, but also as a place to find people who share the same interests and goals. Hopefully, as it goes on, the club can do even more, not only for DeMatha and its students, but for the greater Asian American community.