I was deeply saddened to learn last night from Phil of YOMYOMF (via Byron Wong of bigWOWO) that the Asian American blogosphere has lost one of its oldest members. Last week, Keon Enoy Muneduoang — who wrote under the moniker the Minority Militant — died at the age of 35.
Deeply protective of his anonymity and known to his online readers as the Militant or “TMM”, TMM occupied a corner of the Asian American blogosphere that had little overlap with my own. Nonetheless, the Asian American blogosphere is very small and close-knit. Regardless of our political disagreements, we typically pull together, support one another, and defend each other in our work and our advocacy. Even if we may not know one another offline, we remain consistently unwavering colleagues and allies. This is, above all, a community, and — because it is a very small one — Asian American writers and bloggers always have one another’s backs.
Today, the entire community mourns the passing of one of our own.
TMM wrote a blog by the same name between 2008 to 2013, which is remembered as “raw” and written with “honest urgency.” A favourite blogger whose work inspired many others, TMM covered issues of racism, geopolitics, and media representation, as well as Asian American masculinity and empowerment. Describing his inspiration to start his blog, TMM wrote on his blogspot profile (viewable in archive form here):
I am a late twenties fire-breathing liberal. I was born in the rice paddies of Vientiane, Laos and raised in the urban dwellings of inner-city Chicago. I speak three languages and I’m fluent only in one. I served in our nation’s navy for eight years, four active duty and four active-drilling reservist. I was put through the public school system from K-16. I’ve traveled to seventeen countries, lived in four of them, and I look forward to visiting a hundred more. I’m a staunch supporter and advocate of human rights. I despise racism and its many forms, overt and covert. I prefer Asian American over ‘American’ because I’m neither here nor there. Please do not question loyalty as an AA because it should be obvious to you if you had half a brain.
I blog because I feel no one speaks on behalf of me.
Outside of his blogging, TMM’s work inspired the creation of Banana Conference in 2009, a conference for Asian American bloggers. In later years, Banana Conference became V3Con, the community’s current annual gathering of high-profile Asian American digital content creators.
TMM died last week and his cause of death remains undetermined. TMM’s family has set up a memorial GoFundMe page to help collect donations to offset funeral costs; I urge you to please donate and to share this post, as well as several others linked below that remember TMM’s activism and legacy.
Rest in peace, TMM. You will be missed.
- Rest in Keon Enoy Munedouang, aka The Minority Militant (bigWOWO)
- Remembering The Minority Militant: With Peace Into The Asian American Blogosphere (Slant Eye for the Round Eye)
- RIP Minority Militant (YOMYOMF)
- To My Brother Keon (Little Laos on the Prairie)
- Rest in power, the Minority Militant, a.k.a. Keon Enoy Munedouang (aka DK AFOS)