Lac Su

(When Lac returns home, he imitates the way Art talks to his parents, by saying “I love you” to Pa, who rebuts:)
What the fuck? Pa leaps up from the creeper and kicks it back against the garage door with his heel. He gets right in my face. Motherfuck! What did you just say? Who the fuck do you think you are? Who do you think I am? Are you trying to imitate those white people by telling me those fucking words? Stop that shit! Don’t you ever say those weak words to me ever again, you hear me?

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3 Responses to Lac Su

  1. shinichi says:

    I Love Yous Are for White People: A Memoir

    by Lac Su


    As a young child, Lac Su made a harrowing escape from the Communists in Vietnam. With a price on his father’s head, Lac, with his family, was forced to immigrate in 1979 to seedy West Los Angeles where squalid living conditions and a cultural fabric that refused to thread them in effectively squashed their American Dream. Lac’s search for love and acceptance amid poverty—not to mention the psychological turmoil created by a harsh and unrelenting father—turned his young life into a comedy of errors and led him to a dangerous gang experience that threatened to tear his life apart.

    Heart-wrenching, irreverent, and ultimately uplifting, I Love Yous Are for White People is memoir at its most affecting, depicting the struggles that countless individuals have faced in their quest to belong and that even more have endured in pursuit of a father’s fleeting affection.

  2. shinichi says:

    (p. 14)

    It is a sad fact that Asian American women between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four have the highest suicide rates of any ethnicity. It is telling that Asian American males have fallen into a depressing cycle of violence.

  3. shinichi says:

    Why We Struggle to Say ‘I Love You’

    For many Asian-Americans, the phrase belongs to the wonderful world of white people we see in the movies and on television.

    by Viet Thanh Nguyen

    So many of our Asian parents have struggled, suffered and endured in ways that are completely beyond the imaginations of their children born or raised in North American comfort. This struggle and sacrifice was how Asian parents say “I love you” without having to say it. And so many of us children are not expected to say it either, but instead are expected to express love through gratitude, which means obeying our parents and following their wishes for how we should live our lives.

    Our parents, for the most part, told us to get a good education, get a good job and not speak up, things they had to do to survive. They have encouraged, or forced, many of us to become doctors, lawyers and engineers, and to feel ashamed if we do not. What these parents did not do was tell us we could become artists, actors or storytellers, people engaged in seemingly trivial, unsafe and unstable professions. This is why it has been so rare for me, as I give talks in different places around the country, to encounter Asian parents who embrace their children who do not become the “model minority.”

    I have met so few who have proudly told me that their children are English majors or have become writers or artists. Perhaps Ms. Oh’s parents were like this. I sometimes wish my parents would have been like this. But I became a writer despite, and perhaps because of, their resistance to the idea, my inarticulate desires pushing against their inarticulate sacrifice, all of it taking place before a backdrop of refugee life and racial reality.

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