The Rice They Carried (2004)
Lei Zhao: Not all Asians came in a box like this, I came to America on a plane... not in a box. I'm not here to make Nike shoes. I'm not here to do some shit like that. I'm here to learn and prosper.
The Nerd: Stereotypes get in the way of people wanting to know you better. Stereotypes are almost a part of our culture. Stereotypes are just drilled... into our minds.
Elisa Li: Stereotypes become what they are because a lot of one type of people are that way. But that doesn't confine every single Asian person to that one way of "being."
Lei Zhao: One stereotype people have about Asians is that they're gonna ace whatever math comes their way.
The Other Racist: [to Scott, the Asian nerd] Hey, man, you selling any opium?
The Racist: [to himself, looking at Scott] Damn, Charlie Chan, what is he doing on my street? Shouldn't he be at the library, studying multi-variable-quantum-calculus or something?
The Nerd: [to himself, looking back at The Racist] Why does everyone look at me like that? They don't know me. They don't have a right to judge me.
Angry Asian Mother: [in Mandarin Chinese] Study your SATs! What would you do if you failed?
The Nerd: But I'm only in freshman year!
Angry Asian Father: [shouts] That's not good enough!
The Nerd: [about the math & science stereotype] They can't see beyond the fact that, "He's really smart, he's so good at math and science..." It's not what I care about. It's not what I want to do. It's what I have to do... what my parents force upon me to do. It kinda feels that people really don't know me as who I really am. How I do on any of these tests depends on how much I studied, not on what color I am.
The Twinkee: Yeah, they just expect us to be smart. And I'm like, "Nope, sorry, you got the wrong Asian here." In that way, I'm definitely not Asian. Like, I'm supposed to do well in school, math and science? Not happening. Geometry? Not happening.
Lei Zhao: [about the Asian math & science stereotype] I exist, and I fail at math. I just suck at math. It doesn't matter if I'm Asian or not. You can suck at math and still be Asian.
The Twinkee: [about his growing up in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood of the Upper East Side, NYC] So you can say I haven't really pursued the "Asian Sensation" because I haven't really met any of those Asian girls. But now I'm here
[at this new school with a more diverse student body]
The Twinkee: and I want to find out what I have been "missing out on."
Anna Barnett: [about a dinner party] He only has chopsticks... you can't use chopsticks, can you?
The Twinkee: Yeah, I can! The two little sticks and the wood, and the... yeah, I'm good. Don't worry.
Naomi Hyman: If you want me to like you, stay true to yourself. If you're Caucasian, don't try to act like an African-American. If you're Asian, don't try to act Caucasian. Just be whoever you are. I want to see the confidence you have in yourself. That's it. Then I'll like you.
The Twinkee: But again, what is being "Asian?" I don't know how to be "Asian." If I was raised in a white community all my life and I have no sense how to be Asian, even if I look it, what do you think that makes me? For the generation of Asian people raised in this country, I think this a problem that all of us have.
Naomi Hyman: [about the Asian Twinkee who pursues Asian girls in an effort to rediscover his lost "Asian identity"] Wait up, just because he hits on all the Asian girls doesn't mean he's Asian. He's like all the other guys on the street, the Caucasian or the African-American... whomever! They just like us because we're "exotic," or we're "different." But... I really hope he doesn't fall into this mentality. That mentality just dehumanizes me and our culture and everyone else around us. I'm not a culture. I'm a person.
The Thug: People look at me and expect me to act a certain way... because of the way I look... because of the way I was brought up... because of the way I dress. But, hell, just because there's a certain way I look, doesn't mean I have to act a certain way. No, that doesn't make sense at all.
[about making new friends at a private school after moving from an inner-city public school]
The Thug: What do you mean "Asian pride?" I don't have to exclude white people from my social circle. I don't even want to. To me, I can still be "Asian" and get along with everyone.
The Thug: [about people still viewing him as a thug, despite his efforts] I hate being portrayed this way. And I hate all stereotypes that portray Asians this way.
Lei Zhao: [about the way Asians are being portrayed in the media] We can do more than kung-fu. We need to get out there. This is not our image. We are not Chuan-Pei Pi Pa Jelly Candy. We are something bigger than that.
Aliya Saunders: It seems like the Asian community kind of gets lost in all the other groups... not that they don't have their own, they just... they don't.