By Pata Suyemoto                                                              By Susie  Reece

This creative storytelling piece was co-authored for a co-presentation at the 2023 American Association of Suicidology. 

We were “happy” to be here,

So we shied away from the spotlight.

We kept quiet, our heads down, our dreams small.

When you called me chink

 I hid and said nothing.

                                 Our only hope was a normal existence

                     So we kept our pain, our agony held within.

When you said I was crazy

I was ashamed and was silent

                                 We worked hard to see the world in front of us

                     How it othered, how it parted, how it built walls.

                     Was I crazy to imagine a better life? A chance? Hope?

When you said that I was the model minority

I didn’t understand

Until I did

                     You made us into a wedge –  against us and others

                     You parted color, you kept us disconnected.

Held us up with an unattainable myth,

                     Bound from your systems, your rules, your limits.

We are not your model minority!

Not your symbol of triumph over others

Not your anchor to hold others back

Not the shame you have branded us with

We will be silent no longer.                        We can be silent no more.

We stayed quiet for fear of being seen.

We worked diligently on the false promises of better lives.

We ate of misery and pretended it sustained.

Then we saw the hatred, lodged at us so easily, so effortlessly

Yellow peril, once again

Viral outbreak of hatred and blame.

Lives who only counted when we totaled more than a few.

Lives faded quickly, as the media shifted its view.

This quieted chaos of never quite right,

         Has been choked down for too long

We have not spoken because you told us we couldn’t         

         You told us we shouldn’t

                     We thought that we didn’t deserve to hold voice,

or power,

or weight in

your world.

But until you see us, we do not exist here.

                     Until you hear us, our pain cannot be quieted.

                                 Until we are acknowledged, we will never be an issue.

                                             Until we are included, we can never hope to lead.

So here we stand, exhausted, unquieted, unwilling to bear your silence any longer.

We are important.

We are worthy.

We are tired of waiting.

Now we cry out and take action into our own hands.


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