Invisibility ' An Unnatural Disaster ' By Mitsuye Yamada Essay
714 Words Sep 3rd, 2015 3 Pages
Reading Reflection #1
“Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster” by Mitsuye Yamada begins with an anecdote. In the middle of one of her lectures on Ethnic American Literature, a white student pipes up to expresses her resentment toward the apparent “militant tone” of one Asian American writer’s works. This student claimed to be fed up with being blamed for the oppression of all minorities just because of the color of her skin. How was that fair? She certainly didn’t ask to be white.The student’s anger is hard to get out, hard to pin down, hard to explain, but as Yamada notes, she’s not the only one in the class who feels this way. Discontent is beginning to spread through the like a bad cough. Finally, someone says it, “Their anger,” meaning Asian Americans as a whole, “made me angry, because I didn’t even know the Asian Americans felt oppressed. I didn’t expect their anger” (35). When the students were pressed to explain why they hadn’t reacted with the same indignation when reading Black, Hispanic or Native American literature they claimed to empathize, to understand that rage.
This idea that Asian Americans are happily settled in the US--- unperturbed by stereotypes and oppression done onto them, and blissfully unaware of systemic inequality--- this is invisibility. And this, according to Yamada, is no small problem. “Asian Americans as a whole are finally coming to claim their own, demanding that they be included in the multicultural history of our…