By: Cayden Mak
In 1998, when I was 11, we got the internet at home. My mom, a public school teacher, thought it’d be useful for me and my little sister to do our homework. She has always been very forward-thinking about technology, and computers were a part of our home life for most of my memory, thanks in no small part to the deep discounts educators used to get on Apple machines.
I remember the first time I knew that the internet was going to change everything. A couple years after we first got online, I somehow found my way to an AOL message board about philosophy — I thought of myself as a serious intellectual even as a kid — and had my mind blown by a group of users discussing feminist theory. Although the ideas they discussed were fascinating, that’s not what really blew my mind.
The real game-changer was discovering that there were people out there in the world who wanted to talk about the things I so desperately wanted to discuss. Why did I feel so different from my peers? Is there anybody else out there who is like me? How can we live together as human beings?
The internet became a critical lifeline to the world outside my isolated, extremely white suburban surroundings. I learned about ideas and people I would never have encountered — and learned about people I had encountered in a new light. It was in communities online that I learned the language to describe my experience as a queer person of color; as an Asian American; as a mixed race person.
Continue reading “This Mess We’re In: A Vision of the Web after White Supremacy”
By Guest Contributor: Sudip Bhattacharya (@ResistRun)
Chris Phan used to believe that they were an anomaly. After all, Phan and those around them in their community were working class Asian Americans; this didn’t match the mainstream perception of Asian Americans as economically and educationally privileged.
Eventually, Phan realized that what they and others experience on the economic margins is actually the norm for many.
“The reality is I know folks who are super poor and Asian American who have to rely on the informal economy to survive. And now, with my education, I know that’s not isolated to my family or experiences,” Phan explained.
Continue reading “Class, Capitalism and the Creation of a Progressive Asian America”
By Guest Contributor: Ju-Hyun Park (@Hermit_Hwarang)
A month ago, I woke up to news I thought I might never hear in my lifetime: the leaders of North and South Korea had, after meeting at an historic summit in Panmunjom at the DMZ, announced their intention to formally end the Korean War and lay plans for reunification.
I accomplished nothing I’d intended to that morning. I called my mother and sister to talk about the news. I read and reread the declaration and watched whatever clips I could find. I celebrated and speculated over group chat with Korean friends. And, I cried. A lot.
Continue reading “American Militarism and White Empire: Thoughts on Peace on the Korean Peninsula”
By Guest Contributor: Noah de la Rosa
“You’re out!” The umpire exclaims. I think to myself, “Geez Christian, calm down it’s only intramurals.” Student referees take their job too seriously
It was the third straight time of the season that I struck out while starting off at bat. There’s probably a better way of saying that but I’m not acquainted with baseball/softball terms; which is another way of saying, I don’t like baseball. So, why do I keep playing? If anything, I’m only perpetuating the stereotype of the unathletic, socially-awkward Asian. I keep playing because they don’t think we can.
Who is “we”? Who is “they”?
I go to a small private university in the South. Population 4,377. Population of Asians and Pacific Islanders: 45. Population of Asian Americans? 1. Me.
Safe to say that “they” are white people. “We” is myself, the lone representative of the Asian American community.
Continue reading “The Jeremy Lin Effect: Breaking Asian Stereotypes in the South”
This essay was originally posted to Desis for Progress.
By: Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed (@tazzystar)
I first learn I am Asian when in the 3rd grade, I’m handed a standardized test. The first page, under my name asks me to mark one of the following?—?“White, Black, Hispanic, Asian or Other.” I raise my hand and ask my teacher what to fill out. She asks me what I am, and that I don’t know. She marks me as “Other.”
I go home and ask my Mom what I am. She doesn’t understand what I’m asking, or why I’m asking, or why this would be asked of me. She emphasizes that we are Bangladeshis. ‘But that’s not an option,’ I scream, frustrated. ‘Well, Bangladesh is next to India. So I guess you can put down Indian.’ ‘But that’s not an option either,’ I tantrum through tears. I am upset that a question so easy to answer for my classmates is so difficult for me. Mom looks at the options to choose from — ‘Since Bangladesh is on the continent of Asia, so that makes you Asian. That is technically accurate.’ I simmer down, and reflect on this statement. I don’t look like the other Asians in my school. I am skeptical of this statement.
The next day at school, I go to the globe and look for Bangladesh. Sure enough, I find it on the continent of Asia. So I guess that makes me Asian. My classmates tell me that I don’t look Asian, when I tell them. I show them the globe, and they are skeptical, too.
Continue reading “The Other Asian”