My Poetic Response to Andrew Yang: Don’t Need To Prove My Americanness or Asianness

“I am not a cure and I shall not be their cure.”

I don’t need any degree to cure liver cancer (although maybe in an alternative universe I could find a treatment for my late father). I don’t need Purple Hearts. I don’t need the valedictorian title. I don’t need to bow to my adversary. I don’t need to get a Best Picture Oscar for Parasite. I don’t need to be the antidote to the pandemic. (I don’t mind donating my Type-AB but still)

Some get gold, some get bread, some get pennies, some get hollow promises, some are proud they don’t beg, some have to beg, some charged straight toward the bullets

Can’t begrudge you sitting in the lukewarm melting pot

Can’t begrudge your bubble

Can’t begrudge that self-preservation is melded with self-expression

But I can begrudge that you say I should wear red, white and blue

Pour my dollars, pour my soul, grit my teeth and grin back at the chink-callers?

They’ll batter you and they don’t mind your red on the red, white, and blue.

If they’re not making you bleed

they don’t care about the stars apathetically absorbing your sweat

Some may praise your sweat

but they appreciate the taste of your salt and seasoning, not your soul

Andrew Yang’s recent op-ed: “We Asian Americans need to embrace and show our American-ness in ways we never have before. We need to step up, help our neighbors, donate gear, vote, wear red white and blue, volunteer, fund aid organizations, and do everything in our power to accelerate the end of this crisis. We should show without a shadow of a doubt that we are Americans who will do our part for our country in this time of need.”

Just your average ADHD film and theatre writer who loves pasta.

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