I am a (Southeast) Asian American Woman

Woman in silhouette in a field against the setting sun.

By Guest Contributor: Mandy Diec

Trigger warning: this blog post discusses sexual harassment and assault.

It has been over three months since the series of mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia that killed eight people, six of whom were Asian American women. I am still tired, I am still processing, and I am still in pain.

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Are you a good desi or a bad desi?

Photo by ThisIsEngineering on Pexels.com

By Guest Contributors: Avani Chhaya & Soham Sengupta

Truth is, you can inadvertently be both a good and bad desi.

A desi, an individual of South Asian descent, is dropped into two buckets. If you are a desi like us, you have probably also heard your aunties and uncles refer to “good” and “bad” desis. “Bad” desis are the lower-wage earners in South Asian communities, including teachers, taxi drivers, artists, convenience store workers and motel employees.

“This is your last year of teaching, right?” was the oft-repeated question from our parents. “To what?” was often our reply. Our parents’ responses came swift: “To other things.” This conversation plays out across South Asian households with desi parents wanting their children to become a Dr. or L.L.B — the “good” desi careers that were decidedly not our M.Ed’s. Those “other” occupations include medical school, business school, or law school —  careers steeped in prestige. Teaching, on the other hand, is hardly given a nod of recognition and is more commonly regarded as a stepping-stone to bigger and better things.

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Remembering Konerak Sinthasomphone

Konerak Sinthasomphone

By Guest Contributor: Anna M. Moncada Storti

Content Note: Explicit mention of events of child m*lest*tion, s*xual violence, anti-Asian murder & violence, anti-Black murder & violence


Spring brings renewal, so they say. A much needed reprieve after the year we’ve all endured, this season of new beginnings, however, asks us to do more than reemerge. In the United States, May is recognized as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. Our previous calendar month was also designated as Abolition May by the Cops off Campus Coalition. The call to embrace AAPI heritage and the call for abolition have more in common than one may think. 

Like many scholars, I’ve devoted time this May to teaching and learning about the specific relations between anti-Asian violence, anti-Blackness, and abolition. Shifting into Pride month, the task remains. As I imagine liberation for all, I hold Konerak Sinthasomphone in my memory, and you should too. 

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Amidst strict censorship laws, Facebook is not Vietnam’s Savior

Facebook icon. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

By Guest Contributor: Ngan Chiem

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the Vietnamese government began sabotaging the connectivity of local Facebook servers for 7 weeks. They wanted to pressure Facebook into removing anti-party content on its platform. To the alarm of international human rights agencies around the world, Facebook complied with the regime’s demands.

Following their controversial concession to the Vietnamese government, Facebook issued a statement positioning themselves as defenders of free speech against oppressive regimes.

“Millions of people in Vietnam use our services every day….We don’t always see eye to eye with governments on issues like speech and expression, including in Vietnam, but we work hard to defend this right around the world.”

This has been Facebook’s defense after complying with authoritarian censorship since 2015: concession to block a few to spare service for the rest. 

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100+ Asian and LGBTQ Organizations’ Statement in Opposition to Law Enforcement-Based Hate Crime Legislation

FILE - In this March 13, 2021, file photo, Chinese-Japanese American student Kara Chu, 18, holds a pair of heart balloons decorated by herself for the rally "Love Our Communities: Build Collective Power" to raise awareness of anti-Asian violence outside the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

By Guest Contributor: 100+ Asian American and LGBTQ Organizations

We, the undersigned Asian and LGBTQ organizations, reject hate crime legislation that relies on anti-Black, law enforcement responses to the recent rise in anti-Asian bias incidents across the US.

In the same week the verdict in George Floyd’s murder was announced, footage of the killing of Adam Toledo was released, one week after Daunte Wright was killed by the police, and countless others experienced violence at the hands of law enforcement, Asian communities celebrated the passage of S.937, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in the US Senate.

While we wish we could celebrate the historic visibility of anti-Asian violence and racism, which is as old as the colonization of the Americas, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act contradicts Asian solidarity with Black, Brown, undocumented, trans, low-income, sex worker, and other marginalized communities whose liberation is bound together. Furthermore, the bolstering of law enforcement and criminalization does not keep us safe and in fact harms and furthers violence against Asian communities facing some of the greatest disparities and attacks – sex workers, low wage workers, people with disabilities, people living with HIV, youth, women, trans and non binary people, migrants amongst others. It also ignores that police violence is also anti-Asian violence, which has disproportionately targeted Black and Brown Asians. We uplift the names of Christian Hall and Angelo Quinto, Asian Americans who were recently killed by police during mental health crises.

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