Growing up in the United States, I looked at Chinese and other Asian people as persons of “color” who shared a similar experience with white racism. There was some sliver of solidarity in being a “band of minorities”… I naively took that assumption with me to China on my first visit. I did not expect that everyone would welcome me with open arms, but I did not expect what I did encounter.
The most surprising thing about China to me was how they rarely see people outside of their ethnicity. When I was there, they reacted to me as if I was an alien—or Chris Tucker. It’s funny, but at the same time it’s kind of sad how separated we are as people… The barriers between us, in a way, limit inspiration.