Broaching the topic of “White Privilege” is not synonymous with “All white people are evil and, I hate them all.” Chill out.

Want to watch a white person rush away from a dinner party? Just bust out phrases like “institutionalized racism,” “white supremacy,” and the oldie but goodie “residual effects of slavery that are still with us today,” and watch a room of white people clear itself out, or, at least, have them stammer out the names of all the black people they are friends with, and then offer another unsolicited list off all the good they’ve done for people of color.

When I talk about systemic racism and historical racial inequalities as it ties into white privilege and modern-day racism, I think I must sound like this to white people: “Hey Whitey! I am going to kill you.” I know this is a lot to ask of white people, but could you please STOP FLIPPING OUT when the topic of white privilege comes up? I’m talking about being defensive, blabbing about how there is no such thing as race (just one human race, which is actually made up of different races), and how you are so gifted as a white person that you “don’t see race.” Ooh, that last one, ouch.

That’s why we need to have this conversation — because the inability to “see” racism and privilege is exactly what white privilege is. Talking about race is not a trap. It’s not a game of “Gotcha with your Klan Hood Down.” Talking about white privilege is not about asking white people to leave their race. Nor is it about declaring genocide on the white race. (Besides, looks like we’re already going to outnumber you by 2050, so you might as well sit back, relax and enjoy being Wong-splained.)

Talking about white privilege is not even about trying to make you feel like shit for being white. Surprising, I know. But the conversation on white privilege concerns you and yet is not about YOU. And when you make it about how you feel personally attacked, we really don’t progress further into talking about how we’re going to fix racism. Really.

If you are a white person who gets nervous when white privilege gets brought up, imagine having to navigating racism in every day life as a person of color who must live with it. Imagine systemically being locked out of better education or healthcare, job opportunities or the mainstream American narrative.

There are moments as an Asian American when I’ve been regarded as an “honorary white.” (There are also many other moments when I am reminded that I will always be a perpetual foreigner despite the fact that my family has been in the United States for three generations.) But rather than take whatever privilege I can and run with it, I’m interested in talking with people who benefit from white privilege -– how and if they can recognize it and use their positions of privilege to dismantle the systems that oppress other people.

Believe it or not, I’d love for the world to be more equitable for EVERYONE. And when I ask you to recognize your white privilege, it’s not because I’m trying to place blame. It’s about asking white people to consider the moments where they are able to “pass” in certain situations. Where they are afforded privileges that they never earned. It’s about finding ways to cede privilege, space, and comfort to allow others to live in a more equitable world.

So white people, the conversation about race can’t happen without you. We can’t get things better if we aren’t all talking. If racism were an easy problem to fix, we would have fixed it already. Ending racism starts with recognizing privilege, systemic control over society at large, and when you are dismissing issues of racism then you have the privilege of being oblivious to.

Don’t get me wrong there are people of color who proclaim to drink the tears of white people. There are anti-racism activists who will never organize with the most “down” of white people. I don’t want to drink your white tears, but I’d be lying if I said that I don’t enjoy watching you squirm a little.

Come on, you got to give me that.


Reappropriate has the full list of AAPI bloggers and journalists in solidarity with #NotYourMascot, along with this list of petitions to sign:

Act Now!

Here are many ongoing ways you can participate:

  1. Sign this petition by 18millionrising (@18millionrising) telling Dan Snyder and the Washington R*dskins that you do not support their team name and mascot!
  2. Sign this petition by EONM (@EONMassoc) over at Change.org, opposing the Washington R*dskins!
  3. Send an email (Wylliet@redskins.com) or a snail mail letter (Dan Snyder c/o Redskin Park; 21300 Redskin Park Dr.; Ashburn, VA 20147) to the Washington R*dskins administration asking them to change the team name.
  4. Participate in the #Not4Sale campaign to protest Dan Snyder’s offensive creation of a “philanthropic” organization to purchase the goodwill of Native people. Retweet photos shared to this hashtag to help send the message that Native people are not for sale.
  5. Bookmark Eradication of Native Mascotry (EONM) and follow them on Twitter (@eonmassoc)
  6. Please add any additional links you think would be useful to the comments section below as an additional resource.

APA #NOTYOURMASCOT SOLIDARITY: This week, a number of Asian Pacific American bloggers are writing to show their support for the Native American push to end racialized imagery in professional sports and popular culture at large. Check out Reappropriate.co for a full list of participating blogs.


Advancing Justice | AAJC offers a paid ($13/hour) development internship position for graduate or undergraduate students. The internship is 15-18 hours per week for the Summer (May through August) with an option of extending into the Fall semester upon successful completion of the Summer internship. Specific start and end dates are flexible and weekly hours will be set upon hire.

Title: Development Intern
Reports to: Director of Development
Term:   Immediately 
Status:  Internship, 15-18 hours/week. 
Position Summary:  Advancing Justice | AAJC offers a paid ($13/hour) development internship position for graduate or undergraduate students. The internship is 15-18 hours per week for the Summer (May through August) with an option of extending into the Fall semester upon successful completion of the Summer internship. Specific start and end dates are flexible and weekly hours will be set upon hire.
This is an ideal opportunity for students interested in fundraising, event planning, nonprofit operations/management and public policy/administration. Development interns have the unique opportunity to learn about Advancing Justice | AAJC’s programming while understanding the fundraising initiatives taken in nonprofits to ensure program backing. Interns will have opportunities to attend trainings and/or events related to their interests, such as the annual American Courage Awards reception, the national Advancing Justice Conference and topic-specific trainings in various aspects of fundraising.
  • Conducting individual and organizational prospect research and prepare individual and organizational profiles 
  • Undertaking a variety of writing and editing projects including acknowledgement letters, donor solicitations, promotional materials, etc.
  • Carrying-out large mailings to the Advancing Justice | AAJC donor base, including direct mail solicitation letters, newsletters, reports and publications
  • Assisting with planning of the American Courage Award reception and other special events
  • Researching and assisting in development of letters of inquiry and grant proposals for Advancing Justice | AAJC’s various program areas
  • Supporting general development department operations through administrative duties and other duties as assigned
Advancing Justice | AAJC seeks an individual currently pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree. The individual must be diligent, a self-starter with a commitment to work as a team, have excellent written skills, attention to detail and an interest in Advancing Justice |  AAJC’s work. Pursuit of a related course of study is a plus. Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel preferred. Familiarity with Raiser’s Edge is desirable.
Application Procedure: 
Please send a cover letter, resume and brief writing sample to:
Dana Malone
Director of Individual Giving
Asian Americans Advancing  Justice | AAJC
1140 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 1200
Washington, D.C. 20036
Application Deadline Extended: April 25, 2014. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 
*Please note, resumes received without cover letters and writing samples will NOT be considered.  
Advancing Justice-AAJC is an equal opportunity employer.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) works to advance the human and civil rights for Asian Americans, and build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. Advancing Justice | AAJC is one of the nation’s leading experts on issues of importance to the Asian American community including: affirmative action, broadband and telecommunications policy, census, immigration and immigrants’ rights, media diversity and voting rights. Since our founding – along with our Advancing Justice affiliates in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago – we have enacted a sweeping range of programs on critical national issues that enrich, enhance and serve our communities all across the country.


Job Department: 
Job Term: 
Washington DC

Apparently iTunes’ comedy section is featuring this “Asian Chipmunk” ringtone collection. Yuck and double yuck! Can we agree that stupid accent jokes like this aren’t funny anymore? 

My contribution to Delta Phi Lambda’s #idefystereotypes photo campaign and my line sister’s contribution! My contribution to Delta Phi Lambda’s #idefystereotypes photo campaign and my line sister’s contribution!

My contribution to Delta Phi Lambda’s #idefystereotypes photo campaign and my line sister’s contribution!

Feb. 6, 2014 New York, NY

It had only been 18 days since the cast of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother
appeared in an episode in in yellowface makeup and in stereotypical,
twisted, disrespectful “Asian” costume. The Asian/American community was
rightfully infuriated and took to Twitter, where the hashtag
#HowIMetYourRacism began trending. The producers tweeted “apologies” the
next day.

Eighteen days since HIMYM outraged social media with yellowface and
racist depictions - and just one day into a new month, and one day into
the Lunar New Year - when Saturday Night Live, an even more
widely-watched, long-standing television show featured yellowface in
their offensive opening sketch featuring a “kung fu master” with an
“Asian” accent and wire stunts. This led to another uproar on Twitter,
and the hashtag #SaturdayNightLies was born. That night, approximately
5.4 million people tuned in to SNL’s unapologetic display of White
supremacy and cultural appropriation.

Clearly, White television has not gotten the message. Shows continue to
include ignorant scenes, so audiences continue to laugh. What’s worse is
that this is not the first time SNL had White and White-passing actors
portray East Asian characters decked out in tired, hurtful stereotypes.
To review just a few of the many instances of SNL yellowface in the past
39 years:

1975 - 1979 - Samurai Futaba (John Belushi)
1992 - Arakawa Group (Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman)
1994 - Japanese Game Show (Mike Myers, Janeane Garofalo, Chris Farley,
Alec Baldwin)
2003 - Kim Jong Il (Horatio Sanz)
2009 - 2010 - Hu Jintao (Will Forte)
2012 - Kim Jong Un’s Best Friends (Vanessa Bayer, Fred Armisen)
2012 - Ordering Sushi (Maya Rudolph)
2012 - Chinese Peasant Laborers (Cecily Strong, Fred Armisen, Nasim Pedrad)
2013 - Kim Jong Un (Bobby Moynihan)

This is a call to action for all Asian/Americans and allies in NYC to
gather in protest outside of SNL studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza on
Saturday, February 15th, at 10pm, before the live taping of the show.
With special involvement of #NotYourAsianSidekick, we will gather
outside the NBC Studios marquee on the 49th Street side of the building,
between 5th and 6th Avenues. Bring your rage, let’s come together to
demand the respect we deserve, and that SNL acknowledge their racism and
do the following:

1. An on-air apology for 39 years of yellowface, and a promise to never
do it again.
2. Required race & cultural sensitivity training for all staff involved
in SNL production

Asian people across the world are fed up with being portrayed in
degrading and delegitimizing ways. Racism and cultural appropriation for
the sake of comedy is not comedy. Our cultures are not for people to
appropriate and butcher at their convenience for the purpose of
“cultural appreciation.” Our images are not for the face of our
oppressor to wear as a costume. Our voices are not for native English
speakers to imitate and mock—they are ours and we will be heard.

Communications Desk

And I quote:

Apparently Chinese people actually think it’s New Years. They’re an entire month late. Aren’t these people supposed to be good at math? They keep saying it’s the year of the horse which I guess is code for doing a shit-ton of smack and being a whole month off on the ball drop. By now, most people have already broken all their resolutions and resigned to another abysmal year as they patiently await death – not the Chinese, they’re just now sleeping off their “last hangovers” and googling gym memberships. Swearing off dog and gluten at least until Chinese Super Bowl (Chinese Super Bowl is next month.)

I checked out the author on TC and they seem to be a satire account run by a white person named Nick. Nick Mullen doubles as Nicole Mullen on TC as an ultra conservative mom who writes articles like “Why Isn’t There a White Girl History Month”. Here’s an article semi-explaining the horrible attempt at satire. Seriously, do people even pick up a dictionary before using words anymore? All these people yelling ‘satire’ are failing miserably.

You can find them on Twitter here. This is super bizarre and not what I was expecting to find. I’m going to virtually yell at them anyways.


Making an unpopular decision and accepting the ensuing criticism is part of the job of a university leader. Whether the topic is research priorities, academic freedom, athletics, or, as it turns out, snow days, there is always a range of opinion on a college campus. And there should be, provided the campus nurtures an environment where everyone feels safe entering into the debate.

When those opinions move from civil and respectful discourse into vitriolic attacks on an individual it can be discouraging and damaging – personally and institutionally. On Monday, about a dozen students, upset that classes were not canceled because of cold weather, took to social media to criticize the decision and to attack me – in comments that were vulgar, crude and in some instances racist and sexist.
People have asked me whether the attacks disturbed me.
Not necessarily on a personal level, because many of the comments could be dismissed as juvenile, notwithstanding the offensive language.

Not because the comments truly reflect my university. The outpouring of support from our students, my colleagues and others – including heartfelt apologies from several of those who posted comments – has shown our true nature.

What was most disturbing was witnessing social media drive a discussion quickly into the abyss of hateful comments and even threats of violence. I shudder to think what might happen if that type of vitriol were directed at a vulnerable member of our student body or university community.

The negative comments, as offensive as they were, are protected speech. But what is protected expression and what is the level of discourse we as educators expect from our students can be very different things. And the size of that gap – so evident this week – is what has been most disappointing. Racist, intimidating or culturally derogatory epithets have no place in any debate in any circumstance. Of all places, a university should be home to diverse ideas and differing perspectives, where robust – and even intense – debate and disagreement are welcomed.

How do we foster such an atmosphere? Only through an unwavering and unrelenting commitment to building truly diverse communities of students and scholars. One dinner with someone who doesn’t look like you and doesn’t sound like you can open new worlds of ideas. You can sit in a classroom and discuss situations in Egypt or in Syria based on academic readings. But, to hear these issues explained by a classmate from that country, from her or his personal experience, in his or her voice – this is when an academic exercise can become a moment of personal transformation. That is why we say diversity is the route to excellence.

And, in fact, we are a diverse campus at Illinois, with students, faculty and staff from every state and more than 100 nations. They are a key part of what makes our university special, a community of cultures and ideas that generate original thought, outstanding research and the excitement that comes with working with the top people in their fields. But this incident shows that we still have work to do.
On Monday, Jan. 27, we held classes, as usual, at the University of Illinois. And, I hope, we all learned something.