[Essay in My Heart]
A Book Review: MINOR FEELINGS
“MINOR FEELINGS,” an autobiographical collection of essays by Cathy Hong Park, a Korean American who is emerging as a promising up-and-coming writer in the United States, was published in 2020.
This book is a collection of articles written by her in a calm and frank manner about the various racial difficulties she faced as an Asian woman who came to the United States as an immigrant from Korea at an early age. It describes the current state of racism in the United States, the resistance movement against racial discrimination by immigrant minorities, episodes related to the use of English as an immigrant, and various experiences that she experienced while receiving education and growing up in the United States as a child of immigrants. The book also contains her diverse and extraordinary individual experiences, the discriminatory emotions she feel while living as an artist and writer, the Korean sentiments and nostalgia that the author keeps deep in his heart, and themes of love and bonds between family members described explicitly.
As an Asian woman, the author very frankly expresses her perception of the unbearable racism that she feels while living as an immigrant in the United States. There were many. Moreover, it is easy to guess that the difficulties of being a minority immigrant, the weakest socially, and also as a weak woman, the ‘minor’ feeling of life in the United States as a lonely stranger came closer to her.
One of the things I felt while reading this book was that it has been a long time since the United States accepted immigrants, and even though efforts are being made to protect immigrants legally and socially, the heavy problem of racism, which is one of the chronic diseases, is existing and the fundamental solution is still far away.
After reading this book, I have summarized the several ways of improvement that I personally thought about the various kinds of ‘discrimination’ in the following three categories.
1. Reorganization of social systems and laws and fair implementation
Social systems and laws that eliminate or reduce diverse types of discrimination must be efficiently and thoroughly implemented in a fair and thorough manner. No matter how good systems and laws are made, if they are not properly followed, they will be of no use. It is necessary to clearly instill in people the perception that the cost of intentional discrimination is too great to bear.
2. Improvement and implementation of contents of the home and public education
It is necessary to help parents accurately educate and implement the recognition of diverse types of discrimination in their children from an early age at home. In addition, public education should be improved step by step, even if it takes time so that learners' perceptions of discrimination can be taken in the right direction from an early age through the revision of existing textbooks and the writing of textbooks in the new perspectives.
3. Promote the anti-discrimination movement using the power of culture
Efforts should be made to gradually change the perception of discrimination by appropriately using cultural tools such as various books, music, movies, etc. In particular, it is expected that cultural attempts to eliminate discrimination using SNS using the Internet, which have an exceptionally large cultural ripple effect, will have an incredibly significant effect.
As we have been accustomed to throughout the long history of humankind, it was not easy to find a society where there is no discrimination fundamentally anywhere. But we do know for sure. Although discrimination cannot be completely eliminated, we know for sure that such undesirable social systems and laws, distorted education, and distorted cultural phenomena and trends must be accurately recognized and changed little by little. We will all have to move forward little by little, even if it is difficult and time-consuming, by constantly working hard and doing our best in these efforts.
March 27, 2022