Call for Pitches: Filipinx American Identity

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How does Filipinx American history and identity shape or complicate the Asian American experience? Why are Filipinx American stories so often undertold or overlooked?

This Filipinx American History Month, Reappropriate is excited to solicit pitches for short- or long-form personal essays on Filipinx American identity. Experienced or novice essay writers are encouraged to submit a brief pitch or full-length draft here.  

Created in 2002, Reappropriate is one of the web’s oldest and most popular Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) race advocacy and feminism blogs. The blog’s writing focuses on race, gender, identity, Asian American history, and current events.

“Rising Against Asian Hate” Looks into the Past and the Future, and Sees Hope

By: Frankie Huang

March 16th 2021 was a dark day for the Asian American community. That was the day of the spa shootings in Atlanta, Georgia left eight dead; six of the shooting victims were women of Asian descent. The shooting came  at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in which fear-mongering by former President Trump and others like him drove scapegoating of Asians. President Trump repeatedly referred to the virus as “China Virus” and “Kung Flu” – a textbook example of disease racialization that (predictably) helped drive racist violence against Asians in America.

The Atlanta shooting made national news and sparked urgent conversations about racism and misogyny. But those who are familiar with the brusque churn of the news cycle knew that if this moment wasn’t documented and preserved, it would be forgotten.

Gina Kim, executive producer of the new PBS documentary Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March, told Reappropriate that she was determined not to let that happen. 

Continue reading ““Rising Against Asian Hate” Looks into the Past and the Future, and Sees Hope”

Black and Filipino Solidarity has a Long History Many Forgot

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By Rohan Zhou-Lee

When a Filipina American woman in upstate New York was brutally attacked on March 11 this year, many Stop Asian Hate activists, particularly Filipinos, were in uproar. After yet another year of heightened anti-Asian violence, we were fed up. Filipinos were rallying in late March in New York City, and I was invited to collaborate. 

As an experienced Filipine American organizer who led The Blasian March, which has spawned multiple local chapters across the country, and received national coverage, I immediately said yes and was eager to contribute. This rally, set for March 30, united young and old, liberal and conservative, and varying genders. This intersectionality energized me. I did behind-the-scenes labor, wrote the press release and created the hashtag and new title, #FilipinosRiseUp, centered on uplifting Filipina women and LGBT folk. 

Soon after, I was nominated to be a speaker, but when it came time for the rally, that invitation was rescinded. The leadership no longer wanted to include me or any other Black Filipinas; they said they wanted to “aim for what is feasible.” 

What is unfeasible about me? I’m Queer/Nonbinary. I’m Filipino. The only difference between me and the other speakers was that I am Black. 

Continue reading “Black and Filipino Solidarity has a Long History Many Forgot”

The fallacy of fuckability politics

Photo credit: Deposit Photos

By: Tif Shen

After a recent breakup, I’ve found my way back to dating apps. I’ve learned that a new genre of profiles has popped up in the year I’ve been out of dating: white women who specifically target East Asian men.

It’s hard for me to quantify whether this is just a thing in my college town or if it might be a much broader phenomenon. That said, these profiles surfaced experiences in my life that don’t get discussed as frequently as our desexualization: sexual fetishism for Asian men. 

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Asian American Cowboys and Native Erasure

Cowboy riding across grassland with moutains behind, early moring, British Colombia, B.C., Canada.

By Guest Contributor: Dr. Beenash Jafri

In 2021, a prominent billboard featuring the photos of three Asian cowboys was erected in Norwalk, Los Angeles, next to the busy Santa Ana I-5 freeway. It was emblazoned with the declaration: “Asians have been here longer than cowboys.” 

The image was created by the activist coalition Stop DiscriminAsian (SDA) in collaboration with artist Kenneth Tam, and commissioned by For Freedoms. The supplementary analysis by prolific artist Astria Suparak drew necessary attention to Asian migration in the context of larger and longer histories of labor, empire and trade. It concluded by stating that: 

Asians are more American than apple pie, which is derived from an English recipe featuring a fruit that originated in Central Asia. And the iconic cinnamon and nutmeg flavors? Courtesy of Sri Lanka and Indonesia. 

The billboard and text were powerful public reminders that Asians are wrongly perceived to be perpetual outsiders to the US. Yet, a crucial fact was left by the wayside: the billboard was erected on Tongva (Gabrieleno) land. As freeway drivers glanced up at the billboard, they were invited to reflect on Asian American history – but absent in that reflection was any discussion of how it relates to Native peoples and their sovereignty. 

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