“You must be smart.”

Google: “You’re Asian. You must be smart.” and behold the many articles and blogs about the being the model minority. I am not for writing on the same topic so many other people have talked about but maybe if enough people complain about the same exact thing, it will get noticed; so I’ll add my 2 cents to the fray. Now, on the surface, the assumption that Asians = smart people seems like a good thing, but look closer, and think about what that statement is really saying. Because we…

Bamboo Ceiling


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  Sources: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/24/115th-congress-sets-new-high-for-racial-ethnic-diversity/ http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21669595-asian-americans-are-united-states-most-successful-minority-they-are-complaining-ever https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/11/cracking-the-bamboo-ceiling/380800/ 嘉盛

Asian + Math = Headache

I recently spoke on a panel of seniors to potential Mathematics and Computer Science majors to give advice on how we knew Math was the right major and how to distribute classes once you’ve decided. We began by describing our experience declaring the major. To preface, I was the only Asian American on this panel, but I was not the only woman nor was I the only person of color in the room. I happened to be the last to speak so I said, “I had a very different experience…

Reflections of SERCAAL

Sometimes I just need a space where I can be as Asian as I want to be. So when I had the opportunity to go to the South East Regional Conference for Asian American Leaders in Atlanta, I thought why not? I didn’t expect much (except maybe to find people who love Korean Dramas as much as I do or a really cute desi guy…) I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did I meet tons of other Asian American activists, I had great conversations with people who cared about these…

Our “Good” Stereotypes

Let’s talk about stereotypes, “good” ones. I don’t mean ones that accurately generalize a group of people, if that is even possible, but ones that universalize populations with desirable features or skills. For example, all Asians are good at math. In fact, Asians are just all smart. Most of us have heard something similar about Asian intelligence directed at us in school. Asians being smart is a “good” stereotype. Rather then a stereotype towards being criminalized or greedy, we are characterized as talented. It’s a stereotype some do not see the harm in and maybe…

Yellow Peril and the Docile Chinaman

It is winter 2015. Venice Beach, California. A group of street performers, an elderly Chinese man, and a crowd of eager onlookers. What could go wrong? I am relishing the sight of black and brown and yellow faces surrounding me, the comfort I feel at simply being one of many faces in a crowd rather than one of the few colored faces in a sea of white. But then the unmistakable “Kung Fu Fighting” starts blasting from the speakers. And then the performers, a group of black and Latino men, chant,…