1. Difficult, annoying, hard to endure.
2. Attempting, making an effort, doing one's best
"Disappearing" at CUPSI 2013 Prelims
in gym class
my white best friend points to the flat of my face
and says “you don’t really have a nose.”
it’s the first time i notice the difference
in the geography of our faces
i wish for a tall, delicate nose like hers
like my white boy punk idols
like the girls the boys see as beautiful
7th grade is a year of disappearing
the boys lounging in the breezeway
cackle about how i don’t have an ass
the department store jeans sag over the thin of me
it’s the first time i learn my yellow body
does not exist here
i’m in college
the first time a man old enough to be my father
hollers at me on the street
"sup lil mama!
me love you long time,
his words lick the back of my neck, slow
there’s a part of me that takes it as a compliment
there’s a part of me that wants to falcon punch the lecher out his face
it’s the first time someone makes me understand
how my yellow body shouts
across the sidewalk
port of nagasaki thighs
for you to commodore perry open
cambodian countryside cunt
to bomb in silence
in the mirror
i want to skin the chinadoll off of me
these almond eyes
flushed porcelain cheeks
that betray me
look how cute you did yourself up today
you were asking for it
the halloween store sells costumes called
"geisha beauty to ninja cutie"
modeled by white women in black wigs
cleavage bursting through strategic seams
my skin a little something sexy to don for one night only
they wear the fantasy of it
but never know the itching
how we asian women
carry a certain insanity
with the yellow of our skin
tiptoeing the ghostland
between invisible and undesirable
visible and easy victim
i’ve learned to speak steel trap
when talking to white men
keeping my smiles from showing too much interest
because the air is heavy with ghosts between us
chinese women abducted into new world prostitution
british opium ravaging pearl delta apart
in 2008, the 16 asian women in oakland victimized by police
in 2000, the 2 japanese women in spokane
raped by 2 white men “infatuated with the japanese race”
i’ve learned i can’t trust anyone to see me
under the histories this country
has mapped onto our skin
the paper pale english major next to me in
seems too interested
in whether or not i have plans for the weekend
i can’t tell if he’s just friendly
or viewing the beginnings of a porno
in the corners of my smile
i want to tear the “undemanding”
the “passive” from my skin
i leave the classroom
hoping walking away
is enough to not disappear
Fast food workers struggling for a wage of $15 an hour and the right to unionize participated in a nonviolent civil disobedience action last week.
This is Emily Nguyen (ponytail) and Kalia Vang (visor). Emily is 20 years-old and a sophomore at Sacramento City College. She’s worked in fast food for a year and a half and makes California minimum wage ($9 an hour). She says, “I’m just working to breathe, to stay alive. I’m not really living life. We won’t stop till we meet our destination, till our wages go up.”
Seriously. Watch this video. Amazingly brave folks fighting for a fair wage and the right to unionize.
There’s been a dangerous sentiment by national press that Asian folks in the U.S. do not stand with Ferguson. Media has falsely perpetuated myths and misconceptions about Asian Americans and have formed inaccurate stories.
Looting stories of Asian Markets in St. Louis vilifying black men. Stories that stereotype all Asian Americans as the “model” minority. That all Asian Americans are geniuses, work hard, are great at math, and dominate universities. That if Asian Americans can achieve the American dream, why can’t other minorities?
Statistics and facts can be backed up by reports and data by the Census, government agencies, non-profit organizations*. “Good” and “Bad” stereotypes are merely fantasy, yet can be dangerously manipulated.
As a self-identified Asian American and Southeast Asian man, I stand firmly against false generalizations and speak upon my own experiences.
I composed this video to show that just like in the past, today, there are Asian American allies to social justice and humanitarian causes.
I strongly support the people of Ferguson. May Michael Brown and the countless men dying in our American streets Rest In Power.
*For more information: Check out APIASF’s most recent “APIASF and Care Peer Report"(April 2014), former "Care Report"(2011) and AAJC’s "A Community of Contrast"(2011)
Just wanted comment on the second photograph here. I, too, was at this baseball game at the Oakland coliseum. I took a standard iPhone shot, applied an instagram-esque filter, and posted it with an enthusiastic comment about our beloved local baseball team. But this … this angle; these empty seats; this light; these shadows; this view; I did not capture. Didn’t even *see*. This, to me, is direct evidence of my nephew’s talent, eye, singular perspective, sensitivity. This. Is. Art.
Who caught Bill O’Reilly’s recent “rebuttal" of white privilege yesterday? Consider it a case study in how the model minority myth serves to derail conversations about the realities of white supremacy and anti-blackness in America today.
It’s a textbook execution, Bill. But we’re not buying it. We choose resistance.
For more, read Scot Nakagawa’s ever pertinent “The Model Minority is a Lever of White Supremacy”: http://
If you’re like us, you’re asking what you can do for #Ferguson. PaKou Her, our Campaign Director, writes:
The answer is this: As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Ferguson is a call to action and solidarity. While our experiences with racism are not the same as the trauma of racism lived by Black people, there are plenty of reasons to be enraged about the damage being wrought by systemic oppression. If we as AAPIs fail to act, if we remain silent and choose to fill the shoes of the “model minority,” we have chosen the side of oppression.
Today, you and I can choose to disrupt the status quo and demand justice for Michael Brown – and it doesn’t require living in Ferguson or even traveling there. Here are three things you can do right now:
- DONATE to the Michael Brown Memorial Fund. The funds collected through the fund will be used by the Brown family to cover funeral and burial expenses, as well as travel and living expenses for Michael’s parents as they pursue justice for their son.
- SUPPORT grassroots groups and cultural media outlets that are reporting in real time from the ground in Ferguson. You can honor the leadership of young Black organizers by following the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice – follow them on Twitter, and like them on Facebook.
- SIGN this petition by Color of Change calling on the Department of Justice to issue a thorough investigation of anti-Black police brutality and excessive use of force by the Ferguson Police Department.
At this very moment, the situation in Ferguson is growing increasingly worse. Community organizers, journalists, and residents are facing brutal assaults on their safety and civil rights at the hands of a militarized police force; officers in tanks and clad in riot gear are firing rubber coated bullets and smoke grenades into crowds of peaceful protesters; and the police have turned to raiding churches and safe zones where protestors are storing the materials they need to treat those who are teargassed and otherwise injured.
AAPIs cannot stand on the sidelines. As Soya Jung, Senior Partner at ChangeLab says, “… Asian Americans often end up somewhere in the chasm between blackness and whiteness – whether pushed there, largely invisible and struggling to dodge the crossfire, or diving in to eagerly reap the rewards of non-blackness. Our options are invisibility, complicity, or resistance, and black rage is a clarion call for standing on the correct side of the color line, for reaping the collective rewards of justice … I choose resistance.”
Let’s channel our sorrow and immobility into power and action. Let’s step into solidarity to fight for the humanity and civil rights of Black people and communities. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world.
(The illustration is of a print created in response to the killing of Michael Brown by Mary Engelbreit, a renowned artist and St. Louis resident. You can purchase a copy of the print here. All proceeds from print sales will go directly to the Michael Brown Memorial Fund.)
Three simple things you can do in solidarity. Justice for Michael Brown