We Are Not an Invasive Species By Valerie Wu

We Are Not an Invasive Species

According to Charles Darwin, naturalist, adaptation and natural selection go hand in hand.
The way my ninth grade teacher defined adaptation was that it was how individuals fit into an
how if we scattered dots, colored, on a black-and-white piece of fabric,
the color yellow would not be able to survive, reproduce.

As a child, I hadn’t known what yellow was, not really. It was a sun, a banana, leaves in the fall. My classmate in kindergarten once told me that I was yellow-ish, kind of. If you search up yellow-ish in the dictionary, you’ll find that it says:
somewhat yellow, having a yellow tinge.

Maybe being yellow was a stigma, an approachable taboo. Maybe it was a
reality, a future for a skin color. To my peers, one yellow dot was the same as another.
And when others asked me if I was from China, I said I was from
America, American. They never believed me.

In my United States history textbook, I used to see the Chinese as monsters,
caricatures that never came to life, “job stealers,” invaders of the American economy,
never coming to life as real and tangible human beings.

We are not an invasive species, we are a people.
We have feelings, thoughts, dreams,
And we are here, present, natural.

There are nine dictionary definitions of the word “natural”
as an adjective. The last one:
of a country or language, native.

By Valerie Wu


Valerie Wu is a student in San Jose, California. Her work has previously appeared in The Huffington Post, LATimes.com, and UNICEF’s Voices of Youth. Talk to her about ethnicity, migration, and/or human rights.

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