Posts tagged with "aapi"

Jun 4


Hi, everyone. My name’s Phil Yu, and I’m the founder, editor and primary blogger behind this blog, Angry Asian Man. 

I’ve been running this website for over thirteen years. When I first launched the blog, it was a humble little endeavor, and I honestly didn’t expect anyone to read it, outside of a few close friends. Well, it’s still a humble little endeavor, with maybe just a little more notoriety now. Somehow, over a dozen years later, it’s become a thing. A destination. A resource. And I’ve dedicated myself to managing and writing the best blog I can.

So thank you for reading.

Heads up. Later on in this post, I’m going to be asking you for money. Just letting you know, if you’re not interested in reading that sort of thing. Before we get to that part, I have a few things to share. 

Happy Anniversary

Last month happened to mark the one-year anniversary of getting laid off from my job. For nearly seven years, I worked as a content producer for Yahoo! Movies, one of the internet’s biggest movie-related websites. It was a fun job, and had its share of cool perks — not least, a steady paycheck plus benefits — but it had to come to an end. One year ago, I packed up my cubicle and wondered what the hell I was going to do next.

The answer was fairly obvious. It was finally time to make Angry Asian Man my full-time gig. By then, it was already certainly way more than a hobby. I had already been working at it longer than I’ve done any one thing my entire life. For years, I had been devoting long, late hours to the blog while concurrently working the regular 9-to-5. It was basically like working two full-time careers. It was now or never. So I took the plunge.

I normally don’t divulge a lot of details about my personal life. A lot of people have probably assumed for years that running Angry Asian Man was my full-time gig. Now it actually is. The past twelve months have been one of the most creatively fulfilling periods of my life. It’s also been incredibly challenging.

The Ask

It’s taken me a long time to work up the courage to write this post. Part of it is a hesitation to open up about myself, but the other part is a reluctance to ask for help. I wavered back and forth over whether or not people would be willing to open up their wallets and lend a hand, but as a good friend advised me, I would never know if I didn’t ask. So… this is the part where I ask. Can you help me keep Angry Asian Man going?

I am continually amazed and thankful for your readership. But as this blog has grown, so has the cost of keeping it running. We’re not in danger of going dark or anything, but between escalating server costs and other fees, steering this ship is not cheap. On top of all that, running this site has become my job job — it is partially how I pay the rent, utilities, groceries, etc. This website generates a little bit of cash through banner advertising and affiliate sales — fairly typical, though not particularly lucrative methods of generating blog revenue — but as I assessed the situation, I got to wondering what could happen if I directly appealed to you, my readers.

Would you consider joining with me to help keep Angry Asian Man going? Are you a regular reader? Is this blog a daily destination for you? If you’ve found this site’s content useful, informative, entertaining, provocative and/or valuable, would you consider pitching in with a modest donation? Your generous support will help pay the bills, keep the work going, but most importantly, affirm through your partnership that this work is important and appreciated.

Join the Angry Asian Nation

I’ve set up a donation page with PayPal links. You can make a one-time donation, but it would really help if you signed up to make a recurring monthly automatic donation at a level that works for you. Even a regular contribution of as little as $1 a month will make a difference. You can cancel it anytime.

There’s no paywall, no restricted content. Either way, you can continue to read and enjoy the blog as usual.

Editorially speaking, things around here will continue as usual. There is no squadron of Angry Asian Bloggers — it’s always been pretty much just me, with the help of one awesome, intrepid intern (who receives a tiny stipend). Eventually — with your help? — I’d love to get into a position to take on more paid contributors.

This is a new reality for me, and I thank you for your understanding. Consider this the first of many semi-regular appeals for support. I’d love to set up some kind of nifty reward system, where you get like a tote bag or something for signing up. That’s probably coming. In the meantime, all I’ve got is an honest appeal to your altruism, and the thanks of a grateful blogger. Donate here.

Stay Angry.

Assemblyman Ron Kim slams Tiger Mom author Amy Chua for sending the wrong message

Help Asian Americans Reclaim our History in the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad!

This historic photograph captured the ceremony celebrating the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which united east and west coasts of this country by a land route for the first time; yet, the thousands of Chinese Americans who helped build the railroad were conspicuously absent. Photo credit: Wikipedia

On May 10th of this year, the transcontinental railroad will be 145 years old. On that day in 1869, track laid by Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad companies finally connected, and insodoing created a railway that spanned 1,928 miles. For the first time in American history, it was possible to travel from coast-to-coast without sailing around the North American continent.

It is estimated that as many as 12,000 Chinese American labourers helped build the transcontinental railroad, predominantly on the West Coast. Working for a fraction of the pay of their non-Asian White counterparts, Chinese “coolie” labourers were assigned some of the most dangerous tasks, including blasting away rocks that lay in the path of the track. Unknown numbers of Chinese American men lost their lives in the course of laying the railroad. This was in part because of ongoing anti-Asian racism among the work crews; White labourers viewed their Chinese American colleagues with disdain,calling them “midgets”, “effeminate” and “monkeys”. Nonetheless, Chinese American labourers participated in the construction of virtually every railroad track on the West coast built during that era.

Yet, when the railroad was completed on May 10th, 1869, an event commemorated in a historical photograph that showed actual railroad workers crowded around the final spike as it is hammered into the ground, Chinese American labourers were left out of the photograph. They were literally erased from history.

Every year on May 10th, that historic photograph is re-created by the park officials who maintain the national park commemorating the site of the Golden Spike ceremony. And every year, park officials refuse to make any specific effort to make the Asian American community visible in the photograph recreation.

Corky Lee has been documenting the Asian American Movement's protest actions and historic moments for over the last 40 years.

Corky Lee has been documenting the Asian American Movement’s protest actions and historic moments for over the last 40 years.

This year, acclaimed Asian American photographer and historian, Corky Lee — whose iconic black-and-white photographs have documented some of the most landmark moments in the political history of Asian America — is organizing a “flashmob” style event to correct the historic wrong of that 1869 Golden Spike Ceremony photograph.

On Saturday, May 10th at 9:30am, Corky is inviting Asian Americans to join him at the Golden Spike National Historic Site in Tremonton, Utah (group transportation is being organized from Salt Lake City). He is hoping to get at least 145 Asian Americans to join him in recreating that historic photograph, but this time with the faces of Asian America front and center!

If you are 1) Asian American, and 2) able to get to Utah on May 10th, I urge you to please come out and help him in making this important project happen! Please help challenge the erasure of Asian Americans from the history of the transcontinental railroad.

Please join (and share)this Facebook Event page to help get the word out.

And, if you are able to make it to Utah on May 10th, please contact Ze Xiao (zxiao [at] slco [dot] org), who is coordinating transportation to the Golden Spike site for Corky’s photograph.

Facebook event here!

Mar 6

Some thoughts on Greek life:

How can we as a community of Greek-affiliated people and other students move forward together, united? It definitely won’t get done through stereotypes and snap judgments. During a panel on Greek life at ECAASU I was on, someone came in during the middle, asked an inflammatory question with false information (a wrong assumption of Asian interest Greek organizations being racially exclusive), then left before any panelists were able to answer and talk with him. This is unfortunately relatively common in my experiences as an activist and as a Greek. There is little room for tolerance and thus little room for mutual education and growth because we are so quick to polarize the conversation.

There are very valid and true critiques of Greek life’s infrastructure. There are also many distinctions within the larger Greek community, such as the North-American Interfraternity Conference (umbrella organization for fraternities organized in 1910), the National Panhellenic Conference (umbrella organization for sororities organized in 1902), the National Pan-Hellenic Council (9 historically African-American fraternities and sororities, organized in 1930), the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (established in 1998), and the National Asian Pan-Hellenic Association (founded 2005), and the oldest active Asian-interest fraternity is Pi Alpha Phi, founded in 1929. It’s impossible to make judgments on an institution that is so diverse and different in countless ways.

Yes the system  as it currently exists is inherently exclusive due to enforced gender-based admissions, financial requirements, etc. But there is change and there are people working their asses off to create this change. Greek life is hundreds of years old and progress doesn’t happen overnight, which isn’t an excuse of any kind but simply something to keep in mind. It also doesn’t happen when those who aren’t a part of it condemn and write off thousands of people based on their choice to affiliate. There are also vast differences between organizations, chapters, and individuals. Institutionally there needs strong reform that can pave the path for future students, and individually there needs more bridges built based on interaction and understanding, not stereotypes and assumptions.

I am not a person who enjoys burning bridges or giving up.  I’ve learned through the work I do that judging an entire community based off of stereotypes is wrong. I joined my sorority because of the values it stands for and the community it gives me. They are my chosen family and my home away from home. I can only assume that misconceptions about Greek life influence critics’ comments. I know that people work together to support one another through financial strain. I know that organizations do everything within their power to ensure that money doesn’t become the main deterrent. I know that I’ve seen more generosity, support, and flexibility within the Greek system than in many organizations for oppressed peoples and student unions.

Let me highlight a few examples out of countless large steps forward. Members of the Phi Alpha Tau fraternity chapter at Emerson College have helped raise money so a rush could afford a female-to-male gender top surgery. Excess donations were donated to the Jim Collins Foundation. Title IX empowers fraternities and sororities to include trans* members. There’s a resource guidebook for fraternities and sororities to create reform that reflects inclusivity of people from all backgrounds.    Gamma Rho Lambda (GRL) National Sorority is dedicated to providing a social support system for young college students. GRL has been referred to as the first national lesbian sorority, however they strive to be inclusive of all members, whether they identify as lesbian, bisexual, ally, transgender, questioning, straight, or with no label. Pi Kappa Phi (Pi Kapp) gave a TEDx talk on undocumented student issues and has launched campaigns for more grants to provide campuses with more disability friendly resources. I could go on forever. The legal precedent is there, and I challenge all Greek organizations to take the step to be as inclusive as possible and advertise that Greek spaces can be inclusive spaces.

And maybe these circumstances aren’t in the spotlight, but they are happening. And they deserve recognition and support.

Just this year on my campus, Greek organizations (Asian-interest in particular) have done so much. Launching campaigns against sexual assault, support for cancer survivors, bringing awareness to issues like premature births, human trafficking, sexism, feminism, cross-racial coalitions…the list goes on. How often do we hear about this? How can we foster change when people with the resources and passion for justice who aren’t affiliated create hostile environments that don’t feel safe for those who are? In response to specific comments made by a person who I admire very much, at least on our campus our Greek organizations are purely on their own. There is no financial support from the existing institutions, no housing, and little encouragement or support from the administration. We have to fight to survive, and Asian-interest Greeks in particular have to fight for recognition, sustainability, and support.

Curtis Chin recently came to our campus for a screening of “Vincent Who?”. He talked about how many people read by society as Asian American may not identify as Asian American and therefore don’t feel the urge to engage with what we call the “Asian American” community. But people create their identities and communities and have the right to that autonomy. How can we as gladiators of justice (I’ve been watching a lot of Scandal lately) hold members of our campus, our peers, our friends, our family even, to this high standard without extending a hard to help build and maintain a relationship?

A term I’ve heard is “activist privilege”. I’m hesitant to use it because the word “privilege” loses its power and meaning from overuse. We have had the privilege of having resources, opportunities, and mentors to guide us in our own paths toward political consciousness. However, the idea that many student activists get so caught up in their own communities and ideologies and end up treating those who aren’t as aware with condescension is a reality. I am very guilty of this. I was an arrogant and conceited activist (and sometimes still am — I’m a work in progress) and thus not an effective or “real” activist. It took me years to learn and truly understand that everyone is at a different level of readiness and awareness. It is a chronic lack of reflection and humility in our communities when we start deciding who’s a part of our community and what standards we hold people to. Social and political consciousness isn’t something we can force on anyone, and we shouldn’t try to. But we can be patient, flexible, humble, and loving when it comes to spreading awareness and education.

Perhaps some of us have tried and met hesitation, apathy, or hostility in response. I joined Greek life late in my college career and I know how frustrating it is when it feels like no one is listening. All I’m asking as a proud activist and proud sorority member is room to grow and discuss. Remember the context of these preconceptions and be aware that we have to consciously work to create an inclusive space for everyone if that’s what we want to do. We have to deliberately create a safe space that is mindful, open, honest, and full of healing.

One complaint many Greek members have is that everything we do, no matter how impactful or progressive, seems to be swept away and glazed over simply because we are affiliated. Our milestones, our accomplishments, and our multi-faceted identities, are erased in many people’s eyes by the letters we stitch onto our hearts. And that’s wrong. That is not social justice. That is not community building. Why walk into a lion’s den knowing you’ll get torn apart for your affiliation?

As an activist who also happens to be affiliated with a Greek sorority, here’s an olive branch. Let’s be better, we all deserve that at the very least. I know we can do better because we’ve already started.


Like this page! CAACTUS: Coalition of Asian Americans Collaborating Together to Unite the Southwest

Like our page! 

We are currently working with folks in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and Colorado to create a regional coordinating organization specifically for the Southwest region of the United States. This organization is inspired by and based on existing organizations such as ECAASU (East Coast Asian American Student Union), MAASU (Midwest Asian American Students Union), and WCAPSU (West Coast Asian Pacific Student Union).

So for anyone who knows people in the Southwest, please point them our way! We’re looking to develop and create something with people of all backgrounds and organizations. It’ll be CAACTUS: Coalition of Asian Americans Collaborating Together to Unite the Southwest! Email us at weareCAACTUS@gmail.com

Jason Chu’s upcoming album MILLENIAL is set to drop February 7th. You may recognize him from his spoken word pieces on colorblindness or his work with Model Minority, but this album is where the real talent lies. I was lucky enough to snag a preview of his album, which I’ve reviewed here:
MILLENIAL not only touches on some difficult topics to discuss such as insecurity, self-harm, and mental health…it pulls you in head first and takes you along for the ride as Chu battles his demons.
"free", which is featured in the teaser video above, is also the album’s first song and immediatel y sets the stage for the most honest musical project of our day. Chu’s flow is smooth and fierce at once, most displayed in the second track "Oh Lord" and the sixth track "Shine With Me"
Chu talks porn addiction and objectification of women in "no angel", the fourth track, and breakups in "3AMLookingtYourPictures". His ability to transition from slow poetic tracks to the energetic and fast-paced songs is skillful and keeps you on your toes never knowing what’s coming next.
The album centers around "Red Lines" where Chu openly talks about his history with self-harm and cutting. As a former self-harmer myself, I really appreciated hearing and seeing similar experiences being talked about instead of hidden. Mental health is so often a taboo and silenced topic, and MILLENIAL is  an incredibly brave album where Jason Chu bares his soul to us. It’s meaningful, empathetic, and truly trouching.
Jan 9

#NotYourAsianSidekick is taking it to the next level!

Back in December, you helped take Twitter by storm by participating in #NotYourAsianSidekick — the hashtag that showed up in over 95 million Twitter feeds.1

Started by activist Suey Park (with help from fellow social justice movers and shakers, Juliet Shen and 18MR’s own Cayden Mak), #NotYourAsianSidekick began as a digital exploration of Asian American feminism — but thanks to you and millions more around the world, the conversation has grown to cover issues of race, ethnicity, identity, class, and culture.

18MillionRising invites you to help channel our incredible Twitter energy into other spaces and places — starting by participating in 18MR’s first #NotYourAsianSidekick Google Hangout next week ThursdayWill you join us?

We know many of you are eager to take #NotYourAsianSidekick to the next level. Stickers are a good start. Now, we believe a series of public conversations about AAPIs, our history, and our activism can help set the stage for more local and national organizing. We hope you’ll be inspired by the panel of incredible AAPI women who will share their experiences and perspectives on the #NotYourAsianSidekick Google Hangout next week. If folks are inspired by the movement-building work of other AAPIs, everyone is more likely to stay engaged for the long haul!

Please tune into next week’s #NotYourAsianSidekick Google Hangout. In addition to listening, participants will also have the chance to submit questions to the panelists, so come ready to tell us what’s on your mind. You can RSVP for the hangout here.

Here’s to kicking things up a notch!

In solidarity,
PaKou, Samala, Cayden, and Cynthia
The 18MR Team

P.S. We’re planning to do more Google Hangouts, and want to hear your ideas. Tell us about what topics you want to discuss in future hangouts.


Early-bird registration for ECAASU 2014 in Washington DC has opened! Register now for a great price on the largest and oldest Asian American student conference in the U.S.!

Online Organizing Internship Opportunity - Center for Community Change

Location: Washington, DC
Date: Spring 2014

The Center for Community Change is a national social justice non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.  Founded in 1968 to honor the life and values of Robert F. Kennedy, our mission is to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to have a significant impact in improving their communities and the policies and institutions that affect their lives.

The Center for Community Change is committed to help build powerful and dynamic movements in diverse communities across America that will be the impetus for creating a society in which everyone has enough to thrive and achieve their full potential.  Inspired by a belief in the dignity of all people, the Center has been instrumental in the fight for comprehensive and fair immigration reform, a push for a bold jobs agenda, and protecting essential retirement security programs. The Center played a major role in recent positive changes to immigration laws that will keep thousands of immigrant families together. Our Housing Trust Fund Project has helped bring affordable housing to millions of people. For further information please visit our website at: www.communitychange.org.

For further information please visit our website at: www.communitychange.org.

Position Description:

The Online Organizing Intern will assist the Communications Department in using online tools and technologies to gather and share up-to-date information on the issues we care about including immigration, jobs and worker rights, and connecting the media to stories of people faced with social problems related to these issues.

The Center for Community Change is committed to helping our interns gain valuable work experience and skills.

This position reports to: Director of Digital Strategy

Principal Responsibilities: The intern’s responsibilities will include: writing materials such as blogs, Facebook posts, tweets, and web copy; conducting online research and monitoring specific online trends related to our issue areas; assisting in the strategy and execution of various rapid-response and strategic online campaigns; and other digitally-focused work, as assigned by the Director of Digital Strategy.

Qualifications: Qualified candidates should be self-motivated and responsible, enjoy writing, have strong communication skills and be passionate about community organizing and social justice. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.  Spanish language skills preferred but not required.

This is an unpaid positionThis internship is for the period January – May, but scheduling is flexible and determined based upon the intern’s availability and course/exam schedule.

How to apply: Please submit resume, a cover letter and at least two writing samples to: employment@communitychange.org; (Fax) 202-387-4891; Center for Community Change, Human Resources, Re: Online Organizing Intern, 1536 U Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009

The State of Asian American Women in the United States

Asian American women are a growing and influential constituency in the United States. Asian American women’s share of the female population will grow from 5.14 percent in 2012 to 7.8 percent in 2050. Asian American women are making significant strides in education, participation, health, and other areas, but there is a long way to go to fully close racial and ethnic disparities. New policies such as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, and other proposed policies such as paid sick leave can greatly improve the lives of Asian American women and their families. For example, under the ACA, around 2.5 million Asian American women with private health insurance are currently receiving expanded preventive service coverage under the ACA. Estimates suggest that 970,000 Asian American women will gain access to affordable or subsidized health insurance.

This fact sheet provides a snapshot of statistics about health, education, entrepreneurship, economic security, and political leadership that should guide our choices to enact sensible policies to unleash the potential of this growing demographic and benefit our economy. Except for where noted, the following information reflects Asian American women in aggregate as a single group and, due to limited data, does not take often into account variations about Asian subcategories, such as Chinese-, Japanese-, and Korean-Americans, which often differ significantly.


Many Asian American women lack health coverage and more than one in five Asian American women of child-bearing age—ages 15 to 44—is uninsured. And while Asian American women face significant health challenges, there have been a number of notable improvements.

  • Fifty-nine percent of nail technicians were women of color in 2007, a large share of whom were Asian American women.  These women are disproportionately at risk for exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals that have been linked to reproductive harm, such as infertility, miscarriages, and cancer.
  • Asian American women are twice as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes such as embolism and pregnancy-related hypertension.
  • In 2013, 37.6 percent of Asian American women over age 40 did not get routine mammograms, and 32 percent of adult Asian American women did not get routine Pap smears.
  • U.S.-born Asian American women had a higher lifetime rate of suicidal thoughts, at 15.9 percent, than that of the general U.S. population, at 13.5 percent.
  • Birth rates for Asian American women ages 15 to 19 decreased by 5 percent from 2011 to 2012.

Educational attainment

Asian American women have achieved a higher level of educational attainment than other women and are often doing as well as their male counterparts.

  • Asian American women surpassed white women in actual graduation rates in 2004, the last year for which data on Asian American women are available. College graduation rates for white women and Asian American women were 45.8 percent and 49.4 percent, respectively.
  • Asian American women held 8.36 percent of bachelor’s degrees held by women while only constituting 5.14 percent of the female population in 2013.
  • Asian American and white women earned an equal amount of science and engineering degrees as their male counterparts in 2010.


Asian American women are underrepresented among the Fortune 500 CEOs and board members. Business ownership among Asian American women entrepreneurs, however, has grown immensely over the past 15 years. There are 620,300 Asian American women-owned businesses in the United States. This reflects a tremendous 156 percent increase since 1997.

  • Asian American women own 6.7 percent of all women-owned firms across the country.
  • The states with the largest number of Asian American women-owned businesses are California at 193,300, New York at 68,700, and Texas at 51,800.
  • There are an estimated 620,300 Asian American women-owned businesses in the United States. This reflects a tremendous 83 percent increase since 2002 and a 156 percent increase since 1997.
  • Asian American women-owned firms across the country have estimated total receipts of $105 billion. The total receipts of Asian American women-owned firms grew 181 percent since 1997.
  • A full 82.5 percent of Asian American women-owned firms are nonemployer firms, or firms with no employees, with average receipts of $34,204.
  • Asian American women-owned firms have more paid employees compared to Latina and African American women-owned firms, employing an estimated 649,000 people across the country.

Economic security

Despite their high achievements in education, Asian American women make disproportionately less money than their male and non-Hispanic white counterparts. These disparities are leaving a growing portion of our population more vulnerable to poverty and its implications.

  • The American Association of University Women found that Asian American women made 73 percent of their male counterparts’ wages in 2012.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 22.3 percent of Asian American women worked in the service sector in 2012 compared to only 20 percent of white women.
  • The health care industry is the largest employer of Asian American and Pacific Islander women.
  • The share of Asian American women at or below minimum wage more than doubled from 2007 to 2012.
  • The unemployment rate for Asian American women increased from 4.9 percent in 2008 to 8.5 percent in 2011.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report “A Profile of Working Poor, 2011” indicates that 5.38 percent of Asian American women in the labor force are “working poor.”
  • In 2011, 12.3 percent of Asian American women lived in poverty.
  • The top industries for Asian American women-owned businesses include other services, at 25.5 percent of all Asian American women-owned businesses; health care and social assistance, at 13.9 percent; and professional, scientific, and technical services, at 13.3 percent.
  • The average total unemployment rate for all Asian American women was 5.8 percent from 2008 to 2010 while non-Asian American women had an average rate of 7.4 percent. When we observe the ethnic diversity within the category of Asian American women, we find that some subgroups of Asian American women are doing far better than others. Asian-Indian women showed an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent; Chinese, 4.5 percent; Filipino, 5.6 percent; Japanese, 3.7 percent; Korean, 6.2 percent; Vietnamese, 5 percent; and all other Asian women’s groups had an even higher unemployment rate at 7.6 percent.

Political leadership

While Asian American women have a rich history of leadership in their communities, they continue to be greatly underrepresented in positions of power in government.

  • In the 113th Congress, seven members are Asian American women—six in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate.
  • Of the 1,789 women serving nationwide in state legislatures, 32 are Asian American.
  • In America’s 100 largest cities, there is only one Asian American woman mayor—Jean Quan from Oakland, California.

To be quite honest, this is really really “Model Minority” esque rhetoric. Not sure if I dig it, but I’m always thirsty for more facts and updates. Also skeptical because this was put together by a non-Asian dude. Hmm.