Lucas Chen – TEDx Laguna Blanca School 2019


Sophomore Lucas Chen presents at the TEDXLagunaBlanca event and discusses the barrier and tags that come with being a Chinese student in America.

Boning Zhang

“You are in America. We do things our way, not your communist way.”

There were the words that Lucas Chen, a Chinese International student at Laguna Blanca, was insulted with when he offered a different option from his peer over the arrangement of robotic parts.

Pursuing a better education, Lucas landed at LAX two years ago full of excitement and curiosity.

The academic atmosphere at Laguna has suited him well and inspired him to chase his dream, but this hatred-filled comment knuckled him hard.

“I was frustrated and a little upset when he judged me by my nationality. Why should the way I arrange my robotic parts be connected with where I am from?”

Imagine your nationality — that you take pride in — is brought up in a completely unrelated argument and utilized to attack you just because your opinions to differ.

How would you react?
Attack that person using his or her nationality, or try to strip away your unique identities just to fit in?

Instead of filling with animosity or being ashamed of his roots, Lucas saw the bigger persecute, aimed to uncover the motives behind such actions, and presented about the issue of prejudice in the TEDx event with the hope of raising much-needed awareness.

He acknowledges that such hatred-filled comments originate from our “tags” being overemphasized, that we spend too much effort focusing on elements of individuals that cannot be determined by them.

“We are born with a lot of unchangeable identities, such as our race, gender, sexuality, and nationality, and these identities may become our tags. However, none of such tags really define who we are, and when these tags are overemphasized, prejudice, which alienates people, will be generated.”

Though frustrated by his peer’s comment, Lucas did not choose to retaliate or to blame his peer, which would further spread hostile sentiments.

“I wouldn’t blame him since it’s the modern nationalist ideology that influences mindsets of him and people like him.”

“Nationalism in general nowadays is spread to people through propaganda (sic) on all kinds of media.”

ists in our daily lives mainly due to misunderstanding and our tendency to stick to stereotypes, and it can be

hurtful to anyone.
Regardless of whether a racist comment is jokingly said or not, it cannot be tolerated.