I have this weird fear of white people. Popular white people, in particular. Which is essentially every white person.
I know, it’s weird. You’re thinking, “What have white people ever done to you?” But ever since I was little, I always assumed white people = too cool for school = don’t want to hang out with dorky Asian girls = don’t even try to be friends with them because they don’t want to be friends with you.
It sounds funny and absurd, but this has seriously been a crippling fear in my life, up until my early post-college years.
Let me explain.
I grew up as one of like five Asians in a predominantly white area. I already stuck out like a sore thumb. Now I don’t think anyone was ever directly racist, but in a sea of white skin, you notice when your yellow skin is different and your parents are different from everyone else’s. And of course, high school is when insecurities and differences are magnified to the umpteenth degree, not to mention the influence of media stereotypes of Asians as either ninjas or nerds. So eventually, I came to the conclusion that white people wouldn’t want to hang out with dorky Asians like me, so I stopped trying.
Of course, looking back now, I can see how irrational this fear was. I regret the countless friendships with white people throughout the years that I just stopped trying in because I assumed they didn’t really want to be friends, in high school, in college, post-college. It’s amazing how such a tiny little irrational thought can have such a huge impact on the course of one’s life. From time to time, I still find myself drawn to believe that white people are too cool for school and don’t want to hang out with me.
I’m not sure what has helped me to overcome this fear of white people, or at least to minimize the impact it has on my life. Maybe it’s growing up and becoming more secure and free in who God made me to be. Maybe it’s all of the evidence that has accumulated over the years that white people want to know me and not only that, that they enjoy me.
Whatever it is, I’m thankful that it’s never too late for God’s redemption. Even for something as silly as a fear of popular white people.