(orchestral music) - We talk about racism in healthcare, but we don't really associate racism at East Asian.
We just see it as cultural incompatibility.
I feel like the culture aspect, that we are culturing diversity inclusion kinda softens it up.
It's a Eurocentric system that emphasizes speaking English and speaking this jargon of biomedical objectives.
You are causing violence to people that don't fit into this model.
It is racism.
In my training in anthropology, we talk about culture a lot.
When we talk about mental health or other things like that, it's a lot easier to talk about racism in the system when it's in Black or Brown communities.
We never will look white so we will always look like a foreigner.
So how does this perpetual foreigner idea get played out in the system?
It's very subtle.
Like if you look at things that are published on racism in health, it's never about Asian Americans.
There's also not a lot of Chinese Americans that end up going into psychiatry or social work.
That's kind of like also the immigrant experience where you think about social mobility, you think about being a doctor, a lawyer or engineer, not a psychiatrist because you want to be a doctor but nothing with mental health 'cause some of that stigma transfer over.
Like, "Oh, why do you wanna study crazy people?"
There's almost this invisibility there.
During last summer, even discussions about race like oftentimes, like we're kinda left out of it.
That's why when you approached me about this project, I was like, "Oh, okay.
You want or you're interested in Chinese immigrants?"
(orchestral music) There's this idea for a long time that if you don't speak up and you're good and you go to school and you get education, you will be part of American society.
But I think the last year with COVID and also the anti-Asian heat that's been arising, I think a lot of people started to realize staying quiet is not protecting them.
(orchestral music) More conversations especially second generation, children of immigrants thinking like, "Okay, now we definitely have to stand up and speak up."
Right now I teach Asian-American studies at Hunter College.
I also lead a nonprofit Chinese-American Family Alliance for Mental Health.
CAFAM really does things that are very grassroots.
It started about 18 years ago and for the longest time, the organization was really just supported by volunteers, bilingual and bicultural volunteers.
When I came back to New York and I heard about this like a support group, right?
I'm like, "Oh my God, like Chinese immigrants are sharing and got emotions?"
Like we don't talk about our emotions.
I know I do and also my students also really struggled with this fact of like, we are hurting with this discrimination but like, we're also afraid that like, we're decentering other communities of colors but like there shouldn't be this kind of competition.
It's just like, it should just be acknowledging that there is the pain there.