We Are All Cyborgs: Being Asian American and Doing Organizing Online | #APAHM2014

Posted By Jenn


Guest-post by Cayden Mak (@Cayden), 18MillionRising.

I recently remarked to a longtime Twitter friend that I feel we live in a magical time, and I always wonder if young movement folks in the past felt that way, too. My friend suggested that not every generation gets to feel that way but there are definitely moments that people live through when they know they are in a magical time. I feel confident saying we live in one such time, but there’s still a question of what we’re going to do with that magic.

The internet has played no small part in the moment we’re in. More than ever, young people are connected to each other, having conversations about the things that matter to us, from pop music to police violence. We’re realizing there are more of us than there are of them, and that’s an incredibly hopeful thing. We live in a time of rapid reinvention, and at a moment when the conversations we are having online—for better or worse—are catching the attention of the mainstream.

For me, the internet always filled the gap between the community where I live and the one I long for. Growing up, finding my peers in the suburban Michigan town where my mom bought a house after she and my dad divorced was a challenge. I didn’t lack for friends, but there were conversations I wanted that I just couldn’t have with them. I was itching to define my politics, which is something I ultimately found online.

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#FuckPhyllis and Arexis Fongman: Combating Casual Anti-Asian Racism on Twitter

Posted By Jenn

Over the weekend, the Asian American blogosphere turned its attention to this racist account, created by an aspiring NYC artist.
Over the weekend, the Asian American blogosphere turned its attention to this racist account, created by an aspiring NYC artist.

With the growing usage of Twitter as a platform for social justice discussion and organization, a persistent question has been whether and how to combat casual racism in 140 characters or less. The success of hashtags like #NotYourAsianSidekick suggest that Twitter is a powerful tool for bringing together like-minded Millennial activists, yet Twitter is also a hotbed of racism, misogyny and bigotry that can, at times, derail those same constructive conversations.

Over the weekend, two examples of casual anti-Asian racism had “Asian Twitter” in an uproar: a racist Facebook persona awash with yellowface stereotypes created by a local NYC artist, and a Twitter storm of racism and misogyny targeting University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise.

Both examples of casual racism used Twitter and Facebook as a platform for their racism, and both were the targets of overwhelming Twitter-based backlash. These back-to-back incidents beg the question: does Twitter promote, or merely amplify, casual racism, and how effective a tool is it in combating that same racism?

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10 examples of #AAPI’s rich history of resistance

Posted By Jenn

The Asian American Movement: protesters protest police brutality and racial profiling during the 1970’s (photo credit: Corky Lee). For a far better description of this photo and associated protests than I could provide, please read the fantastic comment from Gavin Huang in the comments section immediately following this post, as well as his post on the subject here.

In the wake of the #AsianPrivilege response hash-tag to #NotYourAsianSidekick and #BlackPowerYellowPeril, it appears as if (among other misguided ideas) there is a prevailing notion out there that, in contrast to other minorities, Asian Americans “lack a history of resistance” (or that we think we do), and that this invisibility and dearth of civil rights history actually confers upon the Asian American community a form of racial privilege.

Putting aside the second half of that assertion regarding privilege for a minute, there’s one other major problem: any argument that relies upon the assumption that Asian Americans lack a history of resistance is patently ahistorical.

Like really, really, really wrong. Like insultingly wrong.

After the jump, here are 10 examples of Asian American’s history of oppression and political resistance.

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Underrepresentation of Asian women in a semi-scientific survey of the #AAPI blogosphere

Posted By Jenn


I’ve been blogging in the Asian American blogosphere for over a decade, and in that time, I’ve fundamentally believed that our Asian American blogging collective is heavily dominated by male voices. As a feminist blogger, I’ve found the underrepresentation of women writers discouraging. Indeed, the #NotYourAsianSidekick Twitter hashtag conversation that blew up the Internet last month was explicitly started by founder Suey Park to address this same problem.


Yet, as I wrote about #NotYourAsianSidekick last month, it occurred to me that I had no actual evidence on the gender break-down of writers in the APIA blogosphere. Despite abundant assertions that the blogosphere — Asian American or otherwise — is male-dominated, there seemed to be a dearth of hard data on the subject.

Further, I wasn’t sure that anyone had ever actually studied our blogosphere’s demographics at all.

So, being the nerdy scientist that I am, I decided to do it myself.

(Results and a brief discussion of methodology after the jump.)

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#NotYourAsianSidekick: Can a social movement start on Twitter?

Posted By Jenn


We’re going in on Day 5 of #NotYourAsianSidekick, the hash-tag that blew up the Twitterverse with a conversation on Asian American race identity and feminism. And, boy, has it sparked online and offline conversation. Hash-tag founder Suey Park (@suey_park) has joined forces with 18millionrising (@18millionrising) to schedule appearances on several mainstream media outlets talking Asian American feminism — which is remarkable visibility for the Asian American feminist community. Meanwhile, several established Asian American writers have offered their comments in the pages of Time Magazine and the Wall Street JournalAnd as of this writing, #NotYourAsianSidekick is still going strong with new tweets being published every few minutes; further, NotYourAsianSidekick.com was launched this week (now with free stickers!).

But, of course, the question on everyone‘s mind is: what’s next?

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