Oh, you might have seen pictures of this “Asian female P plater #noshame” driver floating around Facebook, Reddit or other media, and it should really irk you. It only reinforces the nation that the self derogatory identity crisis of Asians stay even when you’re an adult.
You’re probably thinking why if this matters at all, she’s probably just making a joke. Yes she is, she’s making a joke at the expense of other Asians, Asians who might think that their race does not denote whether they are a good driver or not.
She cannot be the one to blame, it’s a society wide problem, where Asians in Australia or in the west in general, have an identity crisis. She is a reflection of a reinforcement of stereotypes, a racial group in which the majority are seen as perpetually different. These generalisations stick. Think about the Asian kids who want to be in an industry to do with driving, be it a race car driver or just a simple delivery person, how do you think they’d feel?
Most Asians go through a phase of ignorance and consistently deprecate themselves to fit in, myself included. I used to make jokes about my own eyes when I was in primary school. I did not stop until I graduated from highschool, in which an incident in one of my first university classes changed me. An Asian student picked up a pen that a White classmate had dropped. He threw it back and missed.
“Sorry I’m Asian and I can’t throw”
The White classmate chuckled. The Asian classmate gave a sad smile. I think it was in that moment, I saw how cringe-worthy it was. I, might not be the best athlete but I do think myself capable of performing physical activities with hand eye co-ordination with no issue.
What I am trying to state, is that if you’re an Asian, don’t let others hold you back, don’t let stereotype and generalisations bind you. Look at people like Jeremy Lin, who fought against racism and constant discrimination to make it into the NBA, they used to tell him to go to band practice, when he turned up for basketball. Your life is not define by your ATAR or GPA. We are all human, and we might not all start off with a blank slate due to the contexts of where we are born, but it is close enough to one if you are lucky enough, and you should choose or try to amend whether you excel at something or not.