By Guest Contributor: Jason Fong (@jasonfongwrites)
Ask the world’s largest search engine for the definition of “Asian American,” and Google will incorrectly tell its billion-plus users that “Asian Americans” are “chiefly” East Asian. It’s no surprise, then, that when most people think of Asian Americans, they think of East Asian Americans who live somewhere like California while practicing piano and drinking a lot of boba . Others may think of the hundreds of thousands of Chinese students who come to the U.S. each year to attend American schools while driving high-end sports cars. Still others might think of “hordes” and “waves” of people “flooding” the shores of America – all yellow and all the same.
In reality, the majority of Asian Americans are from South and Southeast Asia, and in particular, Filipinos are the fourth-largest immigrant group after Mexicans, Asian Indians, and Chinese. Even Asian American activists and organizations forget these basic facts, as they sometimes select causes and organize events with only East Asian Americans in mind.