Being Asian, my Authenticity is Questioned

Colette, Sacramento, CA. “I love Asian girls” “I love Japanese people” “Konnichiwa” “Ni hao” “Sayonara” “Kamsammida” ‘Your a bad Japanese. You don’t know Japanese.’ “Are you Chinese?” “I don’t think people in Osaka speak Kansaiben” “I know Chinese” “You look the most Japanese” “You could be an other Asian too” One Caucasian man approached my […]

Uncomfortable around non-Asians, don’t know why

Pamela, USA I grew up in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in Southern California. It was a hard transition living in places where Asians were the minority…non-Asians were just so foreign. But I’m doing exactly what I’m fighting against: making others the Other. My brain has learned to fight these Othering thoughts, but I can’t always […]

Stopping myself from hating white people

Simone, Canada. I’m Asian-Canadian, and honestly, it’s kind of hard not to feel just plain alienated right now. It’s just gotten bad lately. The level of xenophobia towards Chinese, or anyone assumed Chinese, is seriously tiring. It’s maybe the straw on the camel’s back here. It reminds me of my early childhood in Vancouver seeing […]

Don’t think of you as Asian…

Dan Ellerman, Baltimore, MD. I was adopted from S. Korea at the age of 3 by a German/Irish couple. I grew up in a white household and neighborhood and went to predominantly African American schools in Baltimore city. The words I chose were told to me by my family and friends with the best intentions […]

Proud Celt: Neither White Nor Asian

Marian L. Ireland I’m Irish with an Asian-sounding surname; suffice to say people are always surprised to see me turn up when they’re expecting someone just a wee bit different! Moving abroad taught me about white privilege, but being Irish, I identify more with the colonized and oppressed. Please don’t label me as white; I’m […]

Little bit of everything and everywhere

Ashlee Johnston, Ladera Ranch, CA. People tell me they thought that I am White but once I tell them about my Asian/Hawaiian/Spanish/Canadian…. background they say they can tell. I am proud to be so many things from all over the world.

You’re nice for a black person.

Imelda Rivera Edwards, Antioch, CA. My 13 year old son shared this statement with me when I picked him up from school in Dublin, California that has predominantly Asian and white student population. He said, “mom, I told my classmate that that’a racist remark.” I said, “Good for you.” (BTW, I’m Filipina and my son […]

You may not know you’re racist.

Taylor Hirano, Irvine, CA. Growing up in a mostly Caucasian community, many of my fellow peers didn’t know they were racist against me. It could come from backhanded compliments like “You’re so pretty for an Asian”, to minor comments such as “My sisters boyfriend is Asian, you probably know him”. Whenever I said anything they […]

America is not Black and White

Anonymous, NY And every Asian, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American people are living in it. We need to understand why being an anti-racist is not just pro-Black, and Black people need to understand that most don’t see the world like they do. We have different cultures and experiences, but understanding that most of us don’t live […]

The model minority myth blinds Asians

Dylan Ha, Milpitas, CA The model minority myth is the idea that Asians are the “perfect” minority. They don’t retaliate against the majority, conform to societal standards, and assimilate into American culture. This myth is used to create a divide between the minorities in America. The myth blinds Asians into thinking that they are not […]

You are pretty for an Asian

Laurel Nelson, Corona, CA My whole life I never felt like I was the ‘right’ race to fit into being ‘pretty’ because of this phrase I was always told. Every race and every individual is beautiful. CBU HIS311

Do you eat dogs and cats?

Ian, Lake Forest, CA Being an Asian American, we are constantly under the attack of racial discrimination and stereotype. In middle school, since I lived in a white town, being the ONLY Asian in my school’s 150 years of history, I get asked the same question every single day: “Hey! you Asian right? so you […]

I don’t belong on both sides

Renee Chen, Mission Viejo, CA As a first-generation Chinese American, I found it increasingly difficult to be accepted by both cultures as it seems that I don’t fit in as either Chinese or American; I’m either too “white-washed” by my relatives or “too Asian” by my peers when I was younger. And they base it […]

A$!@n Kid Helps Teacher with Computer

Khoa Le, Elk Grove, CA. Ever since I started school as a kid, whether it’s a math class, history, or English, a teacher will always have technical difficulties with their computer. They then ask the class, does anyone know how to fix this. An Asian kid raises his hand and helps the teacher. As I […]

I never think of you as Asian.

Virginia, Cambridge, MA. I’m half Filipina. And I’ve always thought of myself as half. But one day at a faculty meeting a colleague told me I “passed” as white. It’s bothered me ever since.

White mom, colorful kids, heart ripped.

Tanya Haney Middleton, WI I am a white mother and school employee; my kids are white, Asian and I have been a foster parent to an African-American child. I have been struggling and driven to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem of institutional racism, but I struggle daily. People look […]

Rice is my LIFE. Deal with it.

Emily, Perris, CA. I have NEVER been so proud to be a Filipino-American. My culture is my everything and I would not trade it for the world. Being the handful of Asians at my school makes me even more unique. I want to promote diversity, I want people to be okay with the color of […]

White dude, Asian wife. Stereotype away.

Chuck, Albuquerque, NM People often say things like “Oh he must have a fetish for Asians” or “She must be looking for a Green Card” or “He must not be able to get a White girl”. No one ever says “Oh, you two nerds are perfect for each other” even if it’s true. In Asia, […]

“You all look alike to me”

John Kwong, Mesquite, TX Growing up an Asian American in Dallas, TX, I often heard the words of ignorant people say “All Asians look the same,” “Chinese, Japanese, Korean… what’s the difference?” To be truthful, these words hurt. Associating all extremely different ethnic groups into a single title. Our backgrounds, our culture, and our family […]

Yes, he’s my dad… Yes, I’m Japanese.

Isabella, The University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH Ever since I can remember people have been shocked to see what my dad looks like. My nana is 100% Japanese and my papa is Irish/American. So my dad looks very Japanese, even for being only half. My mom is a white woman with blonde hair and […]

The plantation haunts my gay marriage.

Erik Shawn Frampton, Charlotte, NC. I am the descendant of a line of plantation owners in South Carolina. As a gay man, my upcoming marriage will finally occur on our 20th anniversary together. My larger southern family struggles to see my identity as sacred, just as they struggle still to see minority life as sacred. […]

He should already know the answers

John David Rodriguez, Sacramento, CA. Being an Asian-American today is not even a far cry to what it was 20-75 years ago, especially if you were a Japanese American who had to endure living in the American Japanese Camps. Not even many Americans remember those days. I am a Californian that is Japanese, Mexican, Irish, […]

But, you don’t look white.

Anonymous, USA Growing up I received comments on my olive skin tone. I grew up within a white family and culture. Many curious people often ask where are you from? I reply Florida to only receive “yeah but like where is your family from?” Having previous knowledge and the help of a DNA test I’m […]

I hate being called a “white boy”

Anonymous, USA. “White boy”, , , . What I don’t understand is why there has always had to be a race at the bottom. No one seems to be able to get the freaking idea of racial equality through the six inches between their ears. First it was Africans. Then Jews, Asians, Latinos, Middle Eastern […]

Blessed to grow up in diversity

Rob Daniels, Bolingbrook, IL. I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago at a time when our community worked extra hard to be racially and ethnically diverse on purpose. Our small community was also nationally recognized for its racial diversity. I recall thinking that it was so incredible to be around so many different […]

“Are they yours? Are you sure?”

Adam Conner Washington, DC My sister and I are both adopted from South Korea. Our parents are white. One of my memories from childhood is being at the grocery store and constantly having people ask my mom “Are they yours?” point to my sister and me. I remember one time someone then adding “Are you […]

My friends forget I am Asian.

Ben, Reno, NV. One time a bunch of friends and I were hanging out, and I forget what exactly was said, but one of them whispered in another ears. I asked what what it was, my friend laughed that the other friend forget I was Asian lol.

Why can’t I simply be me?

Jessica Seargeant, Bellevue, WA. I am half Japanese and half Caucasian. I’ve been told I’m not Asian enough by Asians and not “white” enough by Caucasians. I’ve been accused of choosing between my races when it suits me and advised to just say I’m “white.” Why can’t I just be both?

I’m Mexican (but) get confused as Asian

Nobody, Nowhere I’m Hispanic but I get confused as Asian quite often and it annoys me. There’s nothing wrong with being or looking Asian but the majority of the people in my school are either black or Hispanic and there awfully racist to any other race and it annoys me because I’m getting called “Chinese”/”Chinita”. […]

White and some kind of Asian

Miles Foltynowicz, Edwardsville, IL. I’ve dealt with racial ambiguity most of life. It is not uncommon for someone to ask me, “What are you?” in reference to my race/ethnicity without explicitly saying so. Others play the Asian guessing game: Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean et cetera. If you are hoping I will reveal my proud ethnic heritage […]

Boy From America’s Heartland, Indian American

Rahul Iyer, Mesa , AZ. I graduated high school from Dixon IL, a small town halfway between Rockford and Moline, in the Northwestern part of Illinois. Dixon IL is a small town, and boyhood home of former President Ronald “Dutch” Reagan. Cornfields surrounded the town. I am the son of two medical doctors who practiced […]

Tennerican Asian passes on only Asian

Rosita Gonzalez, Madison, WI. I am not who I seem. Roads converged to make me a person of three races, of which only one sticks. My children only identify with the one that sticks. But I cannot tell them much about that race that defines them. I blog about it to examine and heal both […]

I wasn’t Asian. I became one.

Kasumi H University Park, PA I came to the USA to attend Penn State as an undergraduate student in 2010. I was born in Saitama, Japan and grew up in Shanghai, China. When I arrived, it felt like I was turned into a spokesperson for all Asians. Before, I was just a person, a girl, […]

My children jumpstarted my racial identity.

Johnny, Concord, MA. As a gay Asian man married to a white man with two adopted children of color (one black, one Latino), I came to understand my own racial identity trough the experience of welcoming our two children into our family. It’s taught me that to really provide a strong racial identity for my […]

How did you get a boy?

Claire Wallick Moy, Maplewood, NJ. This is what I was asked in 1998 when I moved to NJ. Our 3 children look much more like their father than me. so many girls have been adopted from China in this generation, but not boys. A white Jewish woman with an Asian looking boy is outside of […]

I don’t care about blacks anymore.

Paul Rojas, Tulsa, OK. I’m going to come out and say it…the same thing thousands, probably millions of people in this country are feeling, at this point. I don’t care about black people’s problems anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I care very much for the black people I known personally. I care about them as […]

I Won’t do your Math homework.

Nicholas Le, Sanger, CA. Since im Asian people always say im really good at math. Some people ask me if I can do their homework. I really suck at math so I couldnt even do my own homework. One day there was this dud in middle school and he told me to do his homework, […]

I’m not that A+ Aisan student.

Yia Yang, Saint Paul, MN. I’m a student, just any regular student who listen and do their work. I don’t always get good grade or the grade everyone expect me to have. I’m Asian but it doesn’t mean I’ll be a A+ student because of all these rumors or post on social media saying “Asian […]

I am more than a face

Benjamin T. USA. I’m Asian, but I guess I’m pale or something because people sometimes find that hard to recognize, and when they do, they aren’t always respectful. Being Chinese and Japanese and also liking rice and anime pretty much makes me a stereotype, but that doesn’t give people the right to treat me differently.

The only white person here? (How does it feel)

Rebecca Zavala, Los Angeles, CA. Well, to start I’m not even white… I get this ALL THE TIME. People assume I’m white or Asian, or a mix of the both. It is not insulting to me now, but growing up it was a little irritating having to continually explain that I am Mexican American. At […]

They only see the Asian half.

Katelyn Tsukada Northampton, MA My mother is of Irish and Italian heritage; my father of Japanese descent. Both of my parents were born in the United States as were their parents before them. Both consider themselves to be American as documented by their passports, drivers licenses and birth certificates. My mother and father speak English […]

Neither Asian or White Enough

Susie, Fairbanks, AK. I am tired of being told I am not white enough or Asian enough. As mixed race, racial identity is already hard enough. My mother is Korean and my father white. I identify as asian, my sisters identify as white. I am the most anglo looking, as they both look Asain. Me […]

Indian American South Asian Desi American

Jacob Kuriakose, San Diego, CA. I would like to bring up the idea of “Indian” to label Native Americans, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis, etc. I would also like to talk about lumping East Asians, South Asians, and South East Asians into the general term “Asian” as well.

Uniquely Made, The American Girl Today

Christina Rains, Riverside, CA. French, Indian, Mexican, Dutch, but American? It is quite clear that you cannot judge individuals by their color. Race in reality just identifies where your family has lived and what part of the world you are from. Throughout my life, I have been called “white girl” but in reality, this categorization […]

Oceanic? I’ve NEVER heard of that.

Lee, Saipan, MP. Oceania is the proper geographical name of a defined region, as are North America, Europe, Asia, etc. People are Native American, European, Asian… I am, among other things, Oceanic or Oceanian; a person descended from ancestors from Oceania. Specifically, Micronesia. The term “pacific islander” as a racial category is an oddity that […]

I don’t care if I’m good

Ricky Vang, Saint Paul, MN. Being Asian, you were never really praised by others in sports unless you’re really good at it. It just sucked growing up nobody to help keep you motivated because everyone always bashed on “Asians can’t ball” but now its okay. I got to a point where I don’t care, I […]

Image portrayed, impression made. It DOES matter.

P. Contreras, Benicia, CA. How you choose to dress gives an impression about you. Whether that impression is accurate or not no one will know unless they get to know you. But, they won’t get to know you if your image repels them. Example. Teenage Boy (black, Hispanic, Asian, white) in your neighborhood in jeans […]

China, Yellow, hardworking, dream, versatile, active

Yilan Miao, Selinsgrove, PA. Maybe we should improved the inaccurate term “racism” with the much more accurate and potentially productive term “stereotype”. As American people always think, I am really good at math and this is the beginning of the third month for me to study in a small town of America. As you can […]

I’m Asian. Don’t assume I’m Chinese.

Gaby Segalla Washington, DC Most people see me and assume I’m Chinese. As an adopted Asian girl most people think “Oh that girl is probably Chinese.” I don’t take offense to that mostly because I have become used to being asked I’m Chinese. I’ve gotten used to people asking me where I am from and […]

“They’ve never heard of us before”

Lucy Moua, Fresno, CA. My name is Lucy and I am Hmong. “Hmong” some may question and say as most people are not aware of this particular ethnicity. Growing up, I’ve always thought my ethnicity was well known and familiar to people as I grew in a community where people embraced the Hmong culture even […]

In my blood, not my face

Lauren Via “Visualizing Change at “PROOF” – The National Geographic Blog about Photography and Culture To me it’s not about race, it’s about culture. I am 1/4 Japanese, and don’t look the least bit Asian (though my brother does). I grew up in America, but with my mom growing up in Japan, she passed down […]

Made-up, fear, love, in, out, together

Dev Michel Luthra, Jamaica Plain, MA. I am the child of an Indian (Asian) father and a European mother, both of whom were raised in Africa. I have spent most of my life here in the US. My brother and children were born here. I still struggle with how entitled the white elite is in […]

See me, not my skin color.

Refugio Zavala, Stockton, CA. All throughout my life, people have judged me by the color of my skin. When I was in the United States, people would call me things like “beaner” and “wetback.” These are racial slurs meant to humiliate and make me ashamed of my culture. So what that I liked to eat […]

White Jewish girl in a bubble

Emily Einhorn, Beachwood, OH. Whenever there is talk about racism, a part of me feels guilty. I have lived in a small suburb my entire life. In this town, people joke you’re either black, Jewish, or Asian. I have never witnessed a racist act and I feel as if I’ve missed out on being a […]

Biracial White/Asian Travels to Southern States

Sean B., Riverside, CA. I am half white and half Filipino. Growing up in a melting pot such as Southern California has been awesome. I never truly understood how lucky I was to live here until I traveled to the south (multiple states) to visit family. My wife is Filipina (born in the south). While […]

If I’m Filipino, Am I Asian?

Danicka Sailer, Honolulu, HI I am 25% Filipino. My Father was 50%, and my grandmother was full. Although I look white and most of my ethnic background is “white” I am still Filipino. I have always considered myself technically Asian. Whenever I try to explain this to people they tell me that I am not […]

The Pinoy Debate: Asian? Pacific Islander?

Vince Domingo, Fresno, CA. I’m proud to be Filipino. And I’m also proud to be an Asian Filipino. No, not a “Pacific Islander Filipino”, whenever you see them, avoid them as much as you can, they’re terrible people. They hate puppies. Okay, okay, I jest. They are just misunderstood. This is not even a geographical […]

But where are you really from?

Christopher Lee-Rodriguez, Boston, MA. We don’t live in a post-racial society. We live in a post-race society. We live in a country where in a short amount of time, there will no longer be a majority race. And race is continuing to be reshaped and redefined. I am half Chinese and half Puerto Rican. I […]

Making fun of Asians is not fun

Seungmin Shin, Korea, Republic of. I’ve been watching standing comedies these days, but I stopped watching it recently. I found a serious irony from those standing comedies; they make fun of Asian people a lot, and they feel no guilty, while they very carefully or never make joke about African-Americans or black people. People are […]

What’s having an Asian baby like?

Taylor Pederson, MN. Almost 2 years ago I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. She has my smile, my big eyes, my fine hair with a touch of red that shows when the sun hits it, my long fingers, and so much more. But no one sees this. They don’t see me in her […]

My skin is not my culture.

Rachel Brinson, Centennial, CO. People always want to put me in a box and assume what I find offensive, what I find familiar, and how I choose to see myself and others. No one chooses to see human first, identity second. I will forever be explaining that the body given to me is arbitrary, and […]

White skin is the best camouflage

C. Badour, MI. In America today, the best way to fly under the radar is to be white. Assumptions are made about blacks, asians, and hispanics based purely upon race, which cannot be said about whites. Non-whites seem to stick out in America, as if being white is considered a social norm and being non-white […]

Soo, what are you?

Christian Sandoval, Los Angeles, CA. I’m half Asian half Caucasian, but people always mistake me for other races and I honestly don’t have a problem with it. I think people are genuinely just curious for the most part. I grew up in South America for a large part of my life and when I moved […]

I’m A Human, Not A Fruit

Gabrielle Guzman San Diego, CA Yes, I am Mexican. Yes, I know I apparently hold the same facial features as someone who would be considered Asian. No, I did not just cross the border. No, I do not speak Spanish, although I can understand it fluently and am taking classes to learn it. I am […]

Kindergarten Registration: White? Asian? Choices? Eskimo!

Heinrich Beck Melville, NY I am white. Both my parents are from Germany. I have reddish blonde hair and a red beard. My wife is Okinawan (from Japan). I went to register my older daughter for kindergarten, and they use “Power School” as an intake form. My daughter looks much more like my wife, but […]

I’m a girl not a fantasy.

Ngoc Ma Sugar Land, TX I hear it more often than I should – ‘I love Asian women.’ That’s great, I love southern cooking. Or ‘I’ve never been with an Asian woman before.’ And you’re streak will continue. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with information like that. I have found that men […]

My skin is not your accessory.

Michelle K. Chicago, IL Racist men who are interested in me solely for their “yellow fever”: my skin is not your accessory. Racist people who want to befriend me solely because they “loooove” my culture: my skin is not your accessory. Racist people who think being Asian is all about KPop and “kawaii”: my skin […]

I am not your curiosity game.

Victoria, Salem, OR. As a biracial person, people often ask me, “what ethnicity are you?” – aka what race can I define you as? People who first meet me will ask me this question without ever asking for my name. They seem to only care about what I am not who I am. However, I […]

Asians challenge the Black-White racial binary.

Jason Fong, Los Angeles, CA. Asian Americans have been in the U.S. for hundreds of years and yet we are routinely excluded from discussions about race relations in America. I’m in the 11th grade and I learn nothing about Asian Americans and our long history in America in my U.S. history class. I don’t think […]

I’m Asian, not invisible, not disgusting.

Chuck, Portland, OR. It’s that look. The look I’ve seen all my life. Like you just found a gross bug in your house that you don’t want to deal with. I don’t think that the look is intentional but it’s the first thing I see when you see me, and I immediately know that you’ve […]

They told me I couldn’t be Asian

Phil Vongsavang Midland, GA I volunteered to join a faith based prison ministry and was told by the local sheriff’s department that I was not allowed to join as an Asian. Said the deputy “we only do white or black. Do you want to be black today?” After more than a year, including receiving a […]

Parents’ interracial marriage seems selfish sometimes

Anonymous, Santa Cruz, CA I’m tired of my bi-racial experience being used as proof of progress… Sometimes I think my parents were selfish to have kids and then act like everything would be fine. There are still unequal power dynamics, still racism in their relationship, and they wonder why their kids are insecure and damaged. […]

Questioning My Parents’ / Society’s Racial Preferences

Jordan Seigal, Flushing, NY. I’m Eurasian with a white father. At times I think, of course he was white. I wonder why, exactly. Why were Asian men not good enough? I look Asian. I have been turned down and called terrible things by Asian women, because of my appearance. Am I considered better because I […]

Slavery by All, Ended by Whites

Michael, San Rafael, CA. While all races practiced slavery, Whites were the ones to end it. All Christian White countries ended slavery approximately 150 years ago but sadly it is still practiced by Blacks, Asians, Asian-Indians and Muslim Whites today.

“I’m not just “that white chick”

I have been dishonored and have had racism directed towards me recently in my life, and all because I am a young white female. I have gotten sour looks, disrespectful words, and mean gestures thrown my way because of this. Although I have not experienced a lot of this behavior, I still feel it is […]

My Obaa is Japanese – I’m not.

Livia Messenger, Northhampton, MA. Smith College Before I told you my grandmother was from Japan, I wasn’t Asian to you. I’m white. I don’t speak Japanese. I’ve never been to Japan, worn a kimono, or even met my Japanese relatives. I flunked out of calculus – but I suppose my “white side” was holding the […]

There’s more to me than color.

Christina Veland, Virginia Beach, VA Throughout my entire life, I have heard the phrase “well, of course you’re good at that. You’re Asian!” But there is more to me than the color of my skin. Beneath the surface is a real person with real struggles. It is difficult explaining to my peers that it hurts […]

They like you because you’re white

Meghan, Boston, MA. Right after my mother picked me up from my high school freshman orientation she told me that the Asian and Black girls I was talking to, “Only want to be friends with you because you are white,” and that I need to make sure I talked to more white girls. My best […]

The Asian/Pacific Islander category is very enticing.

Cheryl Mercado Arnedt, West Orange, NJ. My grandmother and her sister — red-headed daughters of NYC cops — both married full Filipino men and were disowned. There was no race in our family – just rice AND potatoes at every meal. My grandfather “Pupa” intentionally didn’t pass down his Asian-ness or his language Tagalog so […]

Yes, I was born in America

Yonah Vang, Fresno, CA. Most of the time in high school, students who are not Asian are really confused. They can not understand that the Hmong ethnicity is a type of Asian. They also constantly assume that I was born in a different country.

Not all Asians look the Same

Michelle, San Jose, CA. Are you [insert East Asian ethnicity] I never got Vietnamese. Looking back, people may have responded that way based on my features or because they had never seen enough Vietnamese girls to make an educated guess. I used to be flattered by people thinking I was not Vietnamese because I didn’t […]

Your husband’s black? But you’re Asian.

Nina Ball, Baltimore, MD. When people first meet my husband and/or see a picture of us together, the surprise is obvious. I’ve had a few people outright tell me that they just assumed he was Korean. More often than not, I get the question, “What do your parents think?” When they find out that, like […]

They were Asian and left 20%!

Caitlyn Rize, Ann Arbor, MI. As a waitress on a college campus, the people I work with constantly stereotype their tables before even walking up to them. Oftentimes the other servers will “give their table away” — meaning they don’t want to serve them — to us other servers who give everyone the chance to […]

Able bodied Financially Successful Minority Male

AJ, Falls Church, VA. I am a white American female with multiple disabilities. I realize that generally speaking, my whiteness and U.S. citizenship is a benefit for me in society. But recently, I had several experiences where a person of another race assumed something about me that was false, and it pissed me off. In […]

“You’re Asian? You must be smart.”

It’s very annoying how many people say that i’m smart just because of my race, like if i were to tell someone that i was asian they would be all like, “ Oh, that’s why you’re so smart!”, Yeah i may be smart, but it’s not because I am Asian! Many people believe that people […]

Not all Asians are extremely smart.

Cora Keahl, Lakeland, FL. My mother has always held high expectations of me when it comes to grades and knowledge, I’ve always been really good when it comes to testing and keeping my grades up. And when I told people that I was Asian (Filipino), they would make remarks like, “that’s why you’re so smart” […]

Yes, I am Filipino, not Chinese.

Caroline Galvez, USA. Growing up, I always knew that I was of Asian descent because I am Filipino. For some reason, everyone I met who was non-Asian assumed that I was Chinese just because I had the slanted-like eyes as how many Asians do. I noticed that many people who see an Asian person immediately […]

Don’t check something you are not.

Raj Merchant Philadelphia, PA Hey my name is Raj Merchant. I am Indian so technically I am Asian. I am a high school student, and I go to a magnet school called Central High School of Philadelphia. My grandfather said this line when I was going over the thing that were on the PSAT. When […]

I’m Tired

Christopher McDowell, Columbia, SC. I am tired. I’m tired of having to preface conversations with blacks with ” I’m not racist” because the media has told you all whites are racist. I’m tired of being told I cant have an opinion about race because I’m white, since when is logical thought a minority only thing? […]

Who doesn’t have a little identity crisis?

Ben, Madison, WI. Every time I think about race, especially when I’m asked to indicate it, I feel three things: anxiety, resentment and shame. Anxiety: Even if I have the option not to indicate my race I feel a wave of anxiety. I have a “White name” and light skin, English was my first language, […]

The Minority: To Represent or Not?

Rehenuma Meadville, PA As an Asian American Muslim women, I have been asked many times to represent my “people.” As I have gotten older, I no longer feel eager to do so. I am now more sensitive to who benefits from this type of representation and the effect it has on my own psyche. Sometimes, […]

Asian: Discounted everywhere but HR reports

My experience Seattle, WA People say “reassuring” discounting things like “I never think of Asians as people of color, you’re like white people with funny eyes.” and operate using stereotypical assumptions believing they are operating “color-blind”. In most workplaces recognition of racial diversity is limited to certain days of celebration and when it makes HR […]

Asians ARE people of color, too!

Maureen Boyd, Oakland, CA. It is very hard when non-Asian people of color who are supposed to be your allies in racial justice do not honor your experience as an Asian person as an experience of a person of color. While the model minority stereotype, global employment markets and certain cultural values may have resulted […]

I am Asian but look white

Jason Eng, Hong Kong. As a kid I looked more Chinese, and I identified as Chinese, because all my relatives looked Chinese and I was proud to associate myself with the subculture of Asian America. As I got older my appearance changed. Now I think that one should be able to identify as one chooses. […]

We never saw you as Asian.

Lor Lee Albertville, MN I grew up in Minneapolis, MN and when I moved out to a small rural school district many of my friends suggested that I was just one of the guys. By not seeing my “Asian-ness” were they not validating that part of who I am? I have now worked in the […]

Ivy League, Indian Asian American aspiration

Radhika Guruju Chandler, AZ Education is what helped us get to this country and therefore for most Asian Indian families it still remains the top goal for their children, and education at a Ivy league school is what the focus is on starting as early as 7th grade. Study hard and develop a work ethic […]

New Brand Of Racism Is Worse

Anna Berch-Norton, Pittsburgh, PA. Yeah, when white guys call their friends “my nigga” and people say to their Vietnamese friend, “it’s funny cause you’re Asian”, that doesn’t mean that we’re totally over that whole racism thing. It means that people are subscribing to the hipster theory of racism that you can say really racist, disgusting […]

Asian nephew, but wife’s not Asian?!

James K., Riverside, CA. I’m a white male and my wife is half Mexican and half white, but her sister is half Thai because they have different fathers. Any time we get to have our nephew come visit, we try to do as much as possible with him like going to the aquarium or disneyland, […]

Not White Nor Asian But Wasian

Bryce Barrett, Summerville, GA. I am Asian-American and that means Asian jokes. People call me Wasian when I say am part Asian, Thai in particular. Im not offended by it and sometimes I play along with them. It sometimes gets on my nerves that that say “Hey Wasian!” instead of my name. :L

Lost in the buildings reflective surface

Natalie Rossi Canton, MA I am 50% Irish, 50% Italian, and 100% Chinese. I am adopted, I live with a white American family. I am Asian and when we went to Flushing NY and I looked at the building beside me and saw all the Asians, I could not find myself. there was a sea […]

Afraid of Not Being “Asian” Enough

Gwyn, Chicago, IL. My Dad was born in Japan to a Caucasian Father and a Japanese mother. He moved to America with his father and siblings and unfortunately had to leave his mother behind. He no longer speaks Japanese, but he still holds his heritage very dear to him, placing various objects from Japan around […]

Being Mixed Doesn’t Define Cultural Identity

Morgan Engelhardt, Norfolk, VA. A lot of times I get shut down for calling myself Pacific Islander or Asian because I look white. The truth is, I’ve always preferred to identify myself with my Filipino ancestors rather than my white ones. It feels like home to me.

Being Asian doesn’t mean I’m Chinese

Kay West Jordan, UT I get called Chinese all the time, and I have a lot of Chinese friends, but I am Japanese. Just because I am Asian, does not mean I am Chinese. Just like being Hispanic does not make them all Mexican. Being Caucasian doesn’t mean they are all from England. Every culture […]

Studying is not my only hobby.

Marc Doria, San Francisco, CA. I chose these words because of the stereotypes from my Asian American background. Asian Americans are known for studying all the time, getting good grades, and parents disowning us for not getting good grades. Myself and all Asian Americans do other things such as sports or other hobbies, so don’t […]

Don’t let it get to you.

Brandon Yang, St.Paul, MN. I use to have friends that were nice to me for one reason. Homework. Even though I knew that they were still good friends to just talk with. But one day they copied off my test and the next day we got them back, we all had bad scores. And so […]

Race should not define me, right?

Ivy, Salem, OR. It’s sad, because I thought for the longest time that race doesn’t matter. At least in my household it doesn’t. I was brought up by white parents who taught me that our skin colors didn’t define us. Our family was a family no matter our racial differences. Yet, when I stepped outside […]

I’m mad that I’m reflexively racist.

Jordan Weil, Minneapolis, MN. I’m really angry that my first reaction to a young black man is to start checking my surroundings and wondering if I’m safe. I don’t do this with white guys, or Asians, or Latinos. I feel like I’ve been conditioned by the media that I consumed as a kid and a […]

No, I’m not Hispanic. I’m Arab.

Ian M., Orange County, CA. My mom is an immigrant from the Middle East, my dad was born in Texas, yet my brother and I look as white as you can get. Every time I’ve filled out college apps for state or private schools, the US census, standardized tests like AP, SAT, and GRE, race […]

How did you get a boy?

Claire Wallick Moy, Maplewood, NJ. This is what I was asked in 1998 when I moved to NJ. Our 3 children look much more like their father than me. so many girls have been adopted from China in this generation, but not boys. A white Jewish woman with an Asian looking boy is outside of […]

Oh, your English is quite good.

Sandy Jiang, San Francisco, CA. When I was in a different state for a course, we were building a foot trail for a national park and I was talking to the park guide. We were talking for a bit and then he told me “Your English is very good. You have a nice tongue.” It […]

Always desired culture. I’m just white.

Cassandra Coats, El Cajon, CA. I grew up in a very multi-cultural school where being white was the minority. I was never teased for it, but I felt like I was missing out. I spent most of my childhood wishing I could be Asian, or Native American, or speak Spanish, etc. Sure, I have red […]

First generation immigrant; you’d never know.

Choua Yang, Green Bay, WI. I was one of the lucky to escape Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War conflict. It was 1980 and I was only a baby when I came to the United States. As I progressed through school, I was immersed in western culture everywhere but my home; and it frustrated me […]

Are you Chinese or something?

Brigitte Dees, Stillwater, OK. Growing up half Japanese, Native American, and white in Oklahoma was a challenge. I don’t look like anyone else and people have reminded me of that my whole life. As an Asian girl I was expected to be quiet, studious, and polite. The reality is I have ADHD and dyslexia, which […]

White, Black, Latino, Asian, or Human?

Michael S., Elk Grove, CA. My mom divorced and remarried 3 times with 3 different men with totally different race and had a child from each marriage. Her first marriage was gentlemen from Jamaica, second was a man from Ecuador, and last was from Thai. My mom been immersed and learned every one of her […]

Can you help me with math?

Samantha, Seattle, WA. I’m an Asian American woman who gets this all the time. Throughout high school, people assumed that because I was Asian, I should be smart. Most times I laughed it off, but that’s allowing the stereotype to live on. It’s interesting to look back and see how other Asians in my year […]

White Privilege Asian Wife Still get it…

Lee, Queens, NY. I live in NYC. A melting pot no? I am one of the few people where I work who is white American. I have a lot of experience but there are people there that have more experience than me and are better then me. I make at a minimum $15 more per […]

Big-eyed Asian? Yup, that’s possible.

Sonyca Bermundo, Chicago, IL. I am an Asian born with really big eyes. It always frustrate me when people say, “All Asians have small eyes,” “You have big eyes for an Asian!” or “ Why are your eyes so big?” To be honest, I don’t understand why it’s a big shock to most people that […]

You’re not asian,You’re White.

Kristine Ratanaphruks Durham, NC I look ethnically ambiguous and, at times, I pass for white. I grew up watching white men call my father “boy” — I’ve heard countless racist remarks made by people who don’t realize my heritage — I’ve heard the question ” What are you? ” too many times to count and […]

Try To See Through (My) Asian Eyes

Juliette A Clancy, Culpeper, VA. Since I am half Asian and my eyes are the only Asian thing about me, people think that I’m automatically straight off a boat from China. I AM 50% SOUTH KOREAN AND 50% IRISH. Get to know me before judging me for what I look like.

Check One Box Only-White? Asian?

Elizabeth Soda Cupertino, VA Being from a mixed racial background brings a whole other set of issues. Your not White enough to be White and not Asian enough to be Asian. All the racial surveys out there that force me to pick one of my “halves” over another just highlight how much further we have […]

Last name Smith? But you’re Asian.

Trish Broome Baltimore, MD My father is white and my mother is Korean, so I grew up with my father’s last name, Smith. On the first day of teaching orientation they called my full name, Patricia Smith, so I raised my hand. I clearly remember the woman sitting next to me say, “You’re Patricia Smith? […]

Excuse me, I was before him!

Ayako Sato Washington DC I often get passed up in line even though the person at the counter looks directly at me and knows I have not been helped. Sometimes I wonder if it is because I am an Asian-American female and the person at the counter has an image of a passive Asian as […]

“Asian” to whites, “white” to Asians

Anonymous Being of mixed race can make a person feel out of place, and lacking of identity. My friend and I were talking about which race we feel closer to and he said to me, “white people think I’m Asian, Asian people think I’m white.” of mixed Asian and white I do feel similar. Being […]

You’re not like other Asian people!

Julie Phan, San Jose, CA. Hey, what are you? Uh, I’m Asian…? Really? You don’t look Asian. You’re tan, and chill, and not like other Asians. And you’re kinda ghetto. Honestly, you look Mexican or mixed. 1. My skin color does NOT identify my race, nor does it identify anybody else’s race/ethnicity. 2. Is not […]

What I am, not just “Asian”.

Alvin Vang, Fresno, CA. Well as you can see I am Asian but if you dont know what type of Asian I am you can’t just call me a Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Philipian, Thai, Laos, Cambodian, Malay, and etc. You can ask me likw what race of asian are you instead of taking a huge […]

Race envy on school’s cultural day

Andrea Krida Goff, Providence, RI. I’m a teacher in a wonderfully diverse urban high school in Providence. Every year during Spirit Week, one of the days is devoted to cultural celebration. We have African-Americans wearing colorful headwraps, Asians wearing kimonos, Dominicans waving their country’s flag, and me. Every year I struggle with a wardrobe that […]

No thanks man, I speak English

Manny DeVera, Gurnee, IL. A couple of my friends and I (all Filipino) were in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Bridge taking pictures when a white guy came up to us and said in HIS best impression of an Asian person ” You want me take picture” while making a camera motion with his […]

Most white college students don’t care

Gene Gruber, Houghton, MI. College students don’t seem to care about racial inequality, On campus, there is a lot of racial diversity but off campus is mostly dominated by white people. There is even a place where “the Asian people live.” Nobody ever seems to try to mingle outside of campus though. I wish there […]

Am I here because I’m Asian?

Jamie-Claire Chau, Philadelphia, PA. We have reached a dilemma in our fight for justice. How can we intentionally battle racism without being racist? We think reconciliation is embracing people because of their race rather than despite of their race. I constantly question whether I have what I have and am where I am because I […]

I Am Not All Asian People!

Shirin Akhter, Philadelphia, PA. When I tell other that I am Asian, they don’t believe me because they think my skin color is a little dark or my eye shape or the way I talk. I am west asian, i am from the west side of asia. All asians don’t look alike, we don’t have […]

“Are you Asian? Are you Caucasian?”

Santana O., Philadelphia, PA. I’m asked by new people commonly, “Wow, you look so Asian! Are you Asian?” I’m also asked, “You’re really pale, are you Caucasian? Are you sure you’re black? WOW! You’re Puerto Rican & black. That explains it.”

What’s Wrong With Asians in the Library?

Samie Hays, KS I work at a university library. Our university is lucky enough to have students from all over the world. We are not so blessed in the fact that we are a rather conservative town. One comment that I hear over and over is “those Asians are ALWAYS in the library!”- as if […]

Culturally white with an Asian face

Tara Conforto Sharon, MA I was adopted when I was less than 3 months old and raised in a non-diverse area of NJ. People have always made assumptions about me based on my Asian appearance, such as saying that I’m so respectful because Asian children are taught to respect their elders, asking me for Asian […]

Teasing Asians because they’re smart=DUMB

Lauren Dalecke-Sabandith, Holland, MI. About my whole life people teased me because I was Asian. I also hear people teasing other people to. People used to say “I’m smart because I’m Asian” and I told them it has nothing to do with being Asian, it is only my race. Asians aren’t born with a computer […]

Try so hard – still see color

Sherri, Juneau, AK. As hard as I try to see people as people, not black or white or Asian etc., I can’t seem to deprogram my brain. I remember the day I was helping at a school giving enrichment lessons to a group of advanced students. When they came into the room there was one […]

Not All Asians Speak Chinese, Okay!?

Austin McGlothlin, Berea, KY. I’m an Asian studies major with a concentragtion in Japanese language. I have spent the only year I’ve been in college identifying the cultural differences in Asia that has created stereotypes about all Asians being smart or gifted at musical instruments,etc. But I’ve mostly noticed the fact that no one, even […]

Not white enough, not Asian enough.

Robert Zeboski, Autin, TX. I am born from a Japanese father and an Irish German mother. I was adopted by my Polish step dad years later. All my life, the white kids would tease me by saying things as “Go back to your home land,” or other racially tinged words. The Asian kids would dismiss […]

“Ching-chong” isn’t an actual word.

Tu Nguyen, Philadelphia, PA. I am a 9th grader at central high school in Philadelphia. I wrote these words because I know that I’m not the only one who has heard them before. I am Vietnamese, but people often assume that I am in some way, Chinese. I notice that often then not, people tend […]

I try but stereotypes still linger

Anastasia Rogers, Detroit, MI. I am a firm believer that everyone, no matter if you’re a man, woman, or something in between, black, white, Asian, or a different race, should be treated equally and with respect. That being said, I often find myself making snap, harsh judgments about people that I’ve never even had a […]

Stop using RACE as an excuse.

Renee Chapman, Colbert, WA. I have seen race used as an excuse for bad behavior or saying something is happening to someone because they are Mexican, Asian, and Black etc. I had a personal experience with it when neighbors aggressive Rottweiler killed my 6 mo. old puppy, police were called and neighbor was really angry. […]

I am a proud Asian American

Jake, USA. Empowerment and civil rights for African Americans has not always translated into equality for those with Asian backgrounds. We may be viewed as model minorities but often we face discrimination and racism, especially from the African American community. One would think given the civil right movement, they would have understood what it meant […]

Not Asian, nor American, but Asian-American.

Margaret Lin, Houston, TX. Although ethnically Asian, I stick out like a sore thumb in Asia. When I visited China last summer, my mother told me that everyone there could tell I wasn’t raised in China. Perhaps it was the way I dressed, or my heavy accent when I attempted speaking Chinese, or how my […]

Why is this number so high?

Katrena Kennedy, Kaneohe, HI. This was a question the Asian (american?) H and R Block representative asked me when she looked at my W2 form and saw how much I had already paid in Federal taxes ($51,000.00), the inference being ” You’re a black female. It is not possible that you could be making that […]

I’ve grown to hate white people.

Chiyoko, USA. I am one quarter Japanese. I have auburn hair, light brown eyes, and freckles. I am five foot nine, and my skin is paler than even my white friends’ skin. But my name is Japanese, which leads people to ask me where I’m from, no, where I’m REALLY from. I’ve been called J*p, […]

Loving and Hating being Asian

Vivian Li San Jose, CA I deeply appreciate my heritage as a Chinese-American. It has taught me about a complex culture, thousands-of-years-old ideology, and a strong sense of identity. I am proud of the country my ancestors hail from and its incredibly rich and its understudied history. It has given me beautiful looks, and the […]

Don’t define me by my eyes.

LiLi Alameda, CA Just because I’m Asian doesn’t mean I have dragon/tiger parents, I’m automatically great at math, I speak perfect Mandarin, play violin and piano, and have never gotten below an A- on an assignment. I break all of those stereotypes, every single one of them, and hey I’m still Asian.

Tired of Asians being a minority

Jaimie Nguyen San Jose, CA There are not much Asians in the media, not many Asians exposed in the light. Also, it saddens me how narrow-minded this society is. When there is a foreigner in America of a European descent, we say this person is “exotic”, “sexy”, “edgy”. Then, if there is a foreigner in […]