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


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

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…

What is it like to be Asian American when you’re invisible within it?

Illustrations courtesy of the author

I am a huge disappointment to my parents. There, I said it. But it’s not because I didn’t become a lawyer or a doctor, an accountant, a pharmacist, nurse — heck, not even a dental assistant — after university. And it’s not because I’ve dyed my hair every neon shade and pierced a few places, or because I joined a vegan hippie commune, or did some Burning Man stuff. It’s not because I cut weekend Hmong school, didn’t go to church, and seriously considered getting a full back tattoo in my twenties. …

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…

Photos courtesy of the authors

‘Chinatown Pretty’ celebrates the street styles of seniors in San Francisco’s Chinatown

By Valerie Luu and Andria Lo

Mrs. Tom was one of the first people we met during the Lunar New Year in 2014. Her layers of purple knitted sweaters popped out at us. She was in San Francisco’s Chinatown picking up citrus for the Lunar New Year, one of her first outings since her husband’s passing. “My dad always liked bright colors,” her daughter said, when we asked why her mom wore two different shades of purple. In a way, it seemed like Mrs. Tom’s tribute to her husband.

Our moment with Mrs. Tom is one of the many sweet…

British nonbinary influencer Oli London goes under the knife to look like BTS star Park Ji-min

Photo: Getty Images

Well, this is a first. Nonbinary British singer and influencer Oli London, made front page news for surgically altering their face to identify more as BTS star Park Ji-min.

London, 31, went under the knife 18 separate times to look Korean. At least K-pop Korean. We all know damned well that a lot of young, K-pop-obsessed hopefuls undergo their own plastic surgeries to look, ironically, more like London: white, aquiline nose, big eyes, and lids.

London’s getting properly roasted on the internet, where they first found fame doing whatever young kids do to get famous. …

I always thought I was Batman growing up — until I realized that society typecast me as the Joker before I was born

Photo: Getty Images

Growing up I never knew that my Korean American identity was missing from This American Life. Sure, my family didn’t always eat apple pie with vanilla ice cream or play baseball. But I was proud to be American each time I recited the pledge of allegiance with my classmates in the morning. At recess, I would always choose to play as the hero and never as the villain.

I played Superman with invincible powers and saved the world; or played Batman instead of Joker.

Now as an adult I understand and identify with Joker instead of Batman.

There is the…

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.

I’ve wanted to write about my personal struggles, realizations, and everything else in between about what being an Asian American millennial woman means to me, how I react differently to various stereotypes, and question the thought that my “Americanness” — not knowing enough about East Asian culture and not having hobbies or…

In this time of anti-Asian hate, we need look to the couple who fought for civil rights in Detroit

Photo courtesy of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Foundation

By Alice Jennings and Scott Kurashige

In the 2016 Netflix movie Barry, viewers relive Barack Obama’s personal and political coming of age during his years as a college student at Columbia University. A Black man in a sea of whiteness on the elite campus, Barry (played by Devon Terrell) dates a white woman, Charlotte (played by Anya Taylor-Joy), and plays pick-up basketball in nearby Harlem.

With young Obama feeling stuck in the crack between these worlds, the dramatized narrative concludes with Barry’s intriguing revelation. Charlotte’s mother introduces him to a “brilliant” Black and Asian American activist couple named James and…


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

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