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


In #StopAsianHate. More on Medium.

I don’t feel Asian enough nor American enough

Photo: Jasmin Chew/Unsplash

There were so many times when I talked myself out of writing a very long, introspective essay about how I feel about growing up Asian American and specific experiences that reveal universal themes pertaining to the commonalities among the Asian American experience yet also are distinctly my own.

He was the most universally recognizable Asian actor in Hollywood when I was growing up

ID 24001085 © Featureflash |

I have a hard time thinking of Asian actors. Honestly, off the top of my head, I can list Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Aziz Ansari, and George Takei. The latter two I had to really think about.

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.

A curiosity for other cultures led author Africa Yoon through a transformative weight-loss journey — and to her husband.

Africa Yoon’s growing family, children who are Korean, Cameroonian and American. Photo by Marco Garcia/Getty Images

I came to the United States when I was six. My father was appointed ambassador to the United Nations for my country of Cameroon, which is why we moved. I asked my mum: “What is the United States?” She explained to me the concept of immigrants and the mixing bowl. Well, in my six-year-old mind, I thought the United Nations and United States were the same thing. So, at the United Nations in my papa’s office, with the staff, I saw people of different cultures come together and get along. Member states got along at parties but not always in…

A vignette from my time in Chinatown’s once thriving garment industry


The button escaped from my hands and rolled onto the coffee table. Like Wile E. Coyote scuttling off a cliff, the button plunged onto the floor and spun underneath the couch. I crouched on my hands and knees to reach for it. As if peering through the portal into John Malkovich’s mind, I found a family of odd buttons — flat buttons, stud buttons, lapel buttons — that embraced the runway. I curiously watched as the pieces of vagrant thread rose and shimmied through the holes of the button. As if growing arms and legs, the button performed assemblés and…

(Spoiler alert: The answer is no)

Photo: Akson/Unsplash

If you look at any TV show or movie with Asian representation, it is likely that the Asian character is intelligent and hard-working. They are the “model minority.” Some popular examples are Big Bang Theory, Crazy Rich Asians, Never Have I Ever—the list continues on.

It‘s more than just virtue signaling or surface-level sharing

Images: @nextshark/Instagram and @impact/Instagram

Just over a year ago, the Black Lives Matter movement brought a wave of infographics on police brutality and posts breaking down exactly what it meant to “defund the police.” Then, during the election last November, users plastered messages encouraging Americans to vote and to “grab ’em by the ballot.” Again, last March, the kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard ushered in a new surge of posts debunking the phrase #NotAllMen and providing resources and safety pointers for women and girls. These infographics, usually characterized by striking gradients, chunky serif typography, and bold, colorful illustrations, wrap social issues in pretty…

Illustration: Maria Voronovich / Getty

We speak up, and we have political clout

In March, a White man in Atlanta murdered six Asian women while they were at work. A lot of people were shocked — but not the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. To us, it was predictable. As an Asian community organizer in New Orleans, I’ve always been aware of the intergenerational traumas, exploitation, sexual violence, poverty, colonialism, and erasure that working-class Asian women experience.

My grandparents’ marriage became a national ‘scandal’ because of anti-Asian hate

Denver Post, May 29, 1906. Image: Author

“Los Angeles Heiress Elopes With a Chink”

Photo Illustration: Save As / Medium; Source: Getty Images

How a racial taunt is like an echo, calling back the moments of racial trauma that you’ve tried to forget

I’m walking out of Kronborg Castle, my mind overrun with what I just saw and heard for the last two hours: six hundred years of Danish history topped by a heart-pounding climb up the tower, 145 steps leading to a magnificent view of Helsingør to the west and the hazy Swedish coastline to the east. Shakespeare set Hamlet here, calling the town by its Anglicized equivalent, Elsinore.


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

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