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A Medium blog chronicling the xenophobia and anti-Asian racism that plagues America.

Asian American

In #StopAsianHate. More on Medium.

A message from Medium’s #StopAsianHate blog editors: It’s been an honor and joy to uplift your voices.

Two months ago, as violence against Asians continued to escalate, we launched the #StopAsianHate blog as a space for us to reflect, share our experiences, and advocate for change.

We invited you to share your stories, and you did. You inspired us with heartfelt, poignant memories about your childhood and family; your sharp critiques of the problems we’re facing today; and your courageous calls to action.

Your identities reflected our multitude: teenagers, parents, members of the Asian diaspora, mixed-race and “white passing,” the daughter of Hmong refugees, athletes, allies.

And your stories resonated with us. They made us think, laugh

During the pandemic, people had to make decisions about who was worth risking spending time with. We rarely made the cut.

Photo: Getty Images

The day I realized we need to move out of our San Diego home, I ordered four new pieces of furniture. Not little decorative stools or night stands that you can stack on top of boxes, but four solid wood cabinets that would require two or three movers to carry back out of the house and occupy valuable cubic feet in the moving van. One towered four feet tall, requiring anchoring to the wall for safety.

“Isn’t it crazy to order new furniture now, when we’re thinking of moving?” asked my husband.

“Yes,” I said. “But I’m not leaving until…

How Grace Lee Boggs inspires me to ‘reimagine everything’

Photo: Haley Blavka

“The time has come for us to reimagine everything… It’s up to us to reimagine the alternatives and not just protest against them and expect them to do better.”

— Grace Lee Boggs

I first learned about Grace Lee Boggs as a junior in college. I was attending Seattle University, and was a self-professed bookworm, poet, and underground hip-hop devotee. Like so many other Asian American millennials, I never felt truly represented in mainstream music (besides Michelle Branch… girl, I love you!). While I dreamt of being a recording artist or Broadway star, I felt certain a career in entertainment…

I wrote ‘The Many Meanings of Meilan’ to explore the feeling of otherness when someone renames you without your consent

Image courtesy of Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers

Confession: I have never liked my Chinese name. My father transliterated it from the Chinese 郁如 to Yu-Ju. But whenever anyone tries to say it, they always pronounce it “yoo-joo.” In actuality, it is pronounced closer to “yü-roo” (yù rú in Hanyu Pinyin), which also trips up people.

For most of my life, I have avoided writing my Chinese name or telling people what it is. Yvette, I would say when people asked, or Yvonne, or Yolanda. And once, memorably, I said the “Y” stood for Yuri and I was a Russian spy (I am not). Nobody ever questioned me…

Can a person look more, or less, Chinese? Apparently I can.

Mott Street in Chinatown, New York City, circa 1950. Photo: Harvey Meston/Archive Photos/Getty Images.

“You look so Chinese!”

Has anyone ever said that to you?

My mother occasionally said it to me, and the odd thing is, both she and my father were Chinese. So there’s nothing surprising about the fact that I look Chinese. But what about “so” Chinese? Can a person look more, or less, Chinese? Apparently I can.

When I wore gold-rimmed glasses that made my eyes appear smaller, I looked “so Chinese.” When my hair hung from my head in a certain way, I looked “so Chinese.” This was never a compliment. Mom was pointing out something, like when she’d…

How did bias affect the coverage of Andrew Yang’s campaign?

Photo illustration by the author

Anyone who wasn’t paying attention to New York City’s mayoral primary these past few months was missing the highest drama available at that moment in American politics. It had everything — scandal, intrigue — you name it. I related this to a friend of mine, who responded that a lot of people either love Andrew Yang or they hate him, citing that another billionaire trying to buy his way into politics can be a big turnoff. I told her that estimates of Yang’s net worth range from $800,000 to $4 million at the highest, and her eyes got big. “Really?!”…

On this 4th of July, a reflection on losing the hyphen in my Asian American identity

Image: Free-Photos/Pixabay

It was the most underreported controversy that rocked the world of grammar in generations. In 2019, the Associated Press announced that hyphens will be dropped from identities of dual heritage. The hyphens that existed between “Asian” and “American” in the term Asian American were suddenly removed.

Hyphens, derived from ancient Greek, meaning “in one” or literally “under one,” were meant to connect words. But they were historically used to connote that people of color have a split identity, and thereby not fully American. Being a “hyphenated American” was an epithet that originated in the late 19th century. …

Photo courtesy of Peloton

Peloton instructor Emma Lovewell reflects on her journey to reckoning and reconciling with her Asian identity

I was an impressionable 18-year-old, and a freshman in college. My new friends and I were at a dorm room party where I was introduced to a group of guys. The normal questions of, “What dorm do you live in? What are you studying?” were being tossed around. I named the dorm that I lived in, when one of the guys responded, “That sucks you live there. You live next to all the weird Chinese kids.”

The international students’ dorm was next door. I was a little taken aback and confused by that comment. “I am Chinese,” I replied back…

Author and creative writing professor Marie Myung-Ok Lee reflects on building the future you wish to see for yourself

Illustrator: Mark Wang

With the seemingly endless reel of anti-Asian violence appearing on the news, of which the horrific murders of six Asian American women was just one particularly horrible incident, one wonders, thinking of the endless press of racism starting with 1882’s Chinese Exclusion Act, how or if anti-Asian racism will ever change.

Actually: Change starts with you.

The seeds that you plant now will flower many years later; you might not even live to see the change. But it will be there.

Book critic types say that my young adult novel, Finding My Voice, was the first contemporary set Asian American…

You likely made assumptions about me based on my name — here’s what you don’t know

Photo courtesy of the author

What’s in a name? I’ve been thinking about that question lately after I found this mug at my parents’ house. I bought it as a teen because I loved the definition even though it’s not how I spell my name.

I’ve been thinking about how I have two names: Kathy and my Chinese name, Lu Wei.

I’ve been thinking about why that’s the case. I was born in the United States; my parents wanted me (and my siblings) to have American, Western names.

Because it would be easier to blend in, easier to remember, easier to feel like you belong.


A Medium blog chronicling the xenophobia and anti-Asian racism that plagues America.

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