“If all of us were gone, Shawn, you’d be the only one sitting here.” said senior Khai Troung at the now historical minority protest held on Martin Luther King Day.
During the course of the next few days, these words haunted my mind.. Toward the end of the protest, I sat with the few Asian Americans remaining. Unfortunately, I was the only non-senior in the crowd.. Quickly a make-fun-of-the newbie session turned into a ugly realization: I was the only “young generation” Asian American there.
I came to realize that the younger generation seemed almost nonexistent during the latter course of the protest. I began to wonder if my generation of Asian Americans actually “cared” about any of the issues presented. In fact, I pondered if they cared about issues of diversity at all.
The older generation of asians has had the experience of actually watching the creation and uprising of many of the asian student groups and their ideals. Among them was the creation of an asian culture center. This became their passion, their dream, while my generation of young adults seem to overlook the meaning behind all of their efforts. In essence, the younger generation Asian Americans do not have a conscious sense of ownership in these organizations and these issues.
I think that my generation should wake up and take a good hard look at what they now have in their hands. A legacy is now forming. The older generation has provided a dream, and we must carry out their dreams. We must stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, so we can materialize the dreams of tomorrow. Who of you will carry the torch of student activism into the future?