I wish people wouldn't just see me as the Asian girl who beats everyone up, or the Asian girl with no emotion. People see Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock in a romantic comedy, but not me. You add raceto it, and it became, 'Well, she's too Asian', or, 'She's too American'. I kind of got pushed out of both categories. It's a very strange place to be. You're not Asian enough and then you're not American enough, so it gets really frustrating.
The Chinese Student Association at Cornell put together their own play. It was all Asian people in the cast except for me, because they wanted to do a couple of scenes about an interracial relationship. I was the only non-Asian person on stage; the entire audience was Asian apart from my 10 friends that showed up.
I hope that when people see Asian women, they realize we are all different. A lot of time with Caucasian people, they just group us together as Asian. But even with different cities in China, people have different personalities... We look Asian, but we still look different. We don't look the same.
My brother often complains to me about the 'angry Asian male' in the United States. As a female, I haven't encountered this, but Asian-American men are angry. They're angry because, for so many years, they've been neglected as sex symbols. Asian women have it much easier, I think; we're accepted into various circles.
I wish reporters were more in tune to the difference between the Asian experience and the Asian-American experience. I think often they lump the two together and think that when I talk about Asian-American narratives that they can cite 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' or 'Mulan' as proof of concept when it's a different experience.
Within the model minority rhetoric, Asian Americans are represented as "good" minorities and African Americans are represented as "bad" minorities. Here, the achievements of Asian Americans are used to discipline African Americans. As model minorities, Asian Americans achieved the status of "honorary Whites". Again it is important to point out that the honorary whiteness of Asian Americans was granted at the expense of Blacks. It is also significant that as "honorary Whites," Asian Americans do not have the actual privileges associated with "real" whiteness.
Three women were brought to the Singapore General Hospital, each in the same condition and needing a blood transfusion. The first, a Southeast Asian was given the transfusion but died a few hours later. The second, a South Asian was also given a transfusion but died a few days later. The third, an East Asian, was given a transfusion and survived. That is the X factor in development.
Lee Kuan Yew
As a community, we're fighting for Asians to play Asian roles. And then there's the other battle, which is Asian Americans playing roles that aren't written for Asians, and I think that's something that completely should happen; Why can't an Asian American male just play a leading cop figure... or the Matt Damon roles?
Asian food is very easy to like because it hits your mouth very differently than European food does. In European food, there may be two things to hit - maybe sweet and salty, maybe salty-savory, but Asian kind of works around, plus you have that distinct flavor that's usually working in Asian food.
Out of nowhere she tells me that Oliver Stone - you know, the director - she's like, 'He has this huge Asian fetish, and I find it totally offensive.' And I'm like, 'Why, Kwan? That sounds awesome.' She's like, 'I'm offended because I'm Asian.' And I was just like, 'Well, I'm sorry, but I didn't even notice that. I thought you were just really tired.
It's always fun to see faces that are either familiar or resemble yours. I was fascinated by movies like 'Big Trouble in Little China' growing up because there were so many Asian people in it! The same with 'Year of the Dragon' or 'The Last Emperor'. It was just so great to see so many Asian actors working.
Hollywood can be a really tough environment for anyone trying to make a living. Unfortunately for actors of color, namely Asian Americans, opportunities have been and remain substantially limited. One place this is not the case is on 'Hawaii Five-0,' where we have three Asian American series regulars and a landscape rich with diversity.
Ian Anthony Dale
There aren't as many roles, and I think there's a lack of openness in casting an Asian character in a leading role or unless they're a stereotype. It's been hard. I've been able to play some non-stereotypical roles, which is great, but I have a lot of Asian actor friends who are struggling.
I do think it's getting better, but I have noticed that Asians are not well represented in awards shows, and not a ton of Asian faces on the big screen either. Perhaps some of the young Asian actors who are on TV series now will be seen in upcoming movies in the near future - Jamie Chung, Constance Wu, Suzy Nakamura, to name a few. Fingers crossed.
I sense a kind of fear of writing black or Asian characters from non-ethnic writers, who perhaps feel that they don't know the culture and therefore can't write about it. By and large, if there's an Asian character, I might get a call. But if the character is called 'Philip,' the chances are I won't.
In Asia we face an ambitious and aggressive China, but we have the will and we have the strength to help our Asian friends resist that ambition. Sometimes our folks get a little impatient. Sometimes they rattle their rockets some, and they bluff about their bombs. But we are not about to send American boys 9 or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Television and movies were our biggest teachers. When we came to the United States, the Vietnam War was just ratcheting up. And so the Asian faces that I saw on the news, they were the face of the enemy. Asian men, particularly, were either small, ineffective, or they were evil. And those messages were deeply, deeply embedded in me for many years.
If we in Asia want to speak credibly for Asian values, we must be prepared to also champion those ideals which are universal and belong to humanity as a whole...It is altogether shameful, if ingenious, to cite 'Asian values' as an excuse for autocratic practices and the denial of basic rights and civil liberties.
The challenge for me, and for Asian models in general has been convincing editors, stylists and photographers that we can have mass appeal, but Asian, especially Chinese models have become a stronger presence. Just a season or two ago, there weren't many models for me to talk with backstage in my native Mandarin. Now I usually have no trouble finding someone at any show.
I know when I was growing up in New York, whenever I turned on the television, I never saw a face that looked like me. Whenever there was an Asian person on television, it would be a huge event, me calling to my older sister 'There's an Asian person on television!' It was unheard of back then.
I remember watching Swan Lake and everybody looking exactly the same, but being able to relate because they were the only company I had ever seen even on video that had Asian dancers. The Asian community in Hawaii is actually almost as dominant as the Caucasian community. I thought "I can relate to that company because they look like people that I see every day." They weren't all little stick-thin Russian ballerinas.
So that's what we want is a secure and sovereign nation and, you know, I don't know that all of you are Latino. Some of you look a little more Asian to me. I don't know that. [Note: its the Hispanic Student Union. The whole room is Hispanic teenagers.] What we know, what we know about ourselves is that we are a melting pot in this country. My grandchildren are evidence of that. I'm evidence of that. I've been called the first Asian legislator in our Nevada State Assembly.
In any East Asian culture, you will find that women have a very tangible power within the household. This is often rejcted by non-Asian feminists who argue that it is not real power, but.. Japanese women look at the low status attributed to the domestic labor of housewives in North America and feel that this amounts to a denigration of a fundamental social role - whether it is performed by a man or a woman.
As a first-generation "Asian American woman," for one thing, I knew there was no such thing as an "Asian American woman." Within this homogenizing labeling of an exotica, I knew there were entire racial/national/cultural/sexual-preferenced groups, many of whom find each other as alien as mainstream America apparently finds me.
Shirley Geok-lin Lim
We cannot educate white women and take them by the hand. Most of us are willing to help but we can't do the white woman's homework for her. That's an energy drain. More times than she cares to remember, Nellie Wong, Asian American feminist writer, has been called by white women wanting a list of Asian American women who can give readings or workshops. We are in danger of being reduced to purvey ors of resource lists.
Gloria E. AnzaldÃºa
I think it's not an accident that you don't have that many Asian American women writers who are breaking out. I don't think it's an accident that you don't have that many Asian American writers, either women or men. I don't think that immigrants are encouraged to become artists. That's very gendered and racialized and ethnicized.
Min Jin Lee
They were like an overconstructed novel, each representative of some cul-de-sac of idiolect and stereotype, missing only a handicapped person - No! At Berkeley we say handi capable person - and a Jew and a Hispanic, and an Asian not of the subcontinent, Louis always said. He had once placed a personals ad on Craigslist to recruit for those positions: Diverse social club seeking to make quota requires the services of East Asian, Jew, Hispanic, and handicapable individuals to round out Multicultural Brady Bunch Troupe. All applicants must be visibly identifiable as members of said group. Reformed Jews and ADHDers need not apply.
T. Geronimo Johnson
Checking a box on a form for race-"Caucasian, " "Hispanic, " "African-American, " "Native American, " or "Asian-American"-is untenable and ridiculous. For one thing, "American" is not a race, so labels such as "Asian-American" and "African-American" are still exhibits of our confusion of culture and race. For another thing, how far back does one go in history? Native Americans are really Asians, if you go back more than twenty or thirty thousand years to before they crossed the Bering land bridge between Asia and America. And Asians, several hundred thousand years ago probably came out of Africa, so we should really replace "Native American" with "African-Asian-Native American." Finally, if the Out of Africa (single racial origin) theory holds true, then all modern humans are from Africa. (Cavalli-Sforza now thinks this may have been as recently as seventy thousand years ago.) Even if that theory gives way to the Candelabra (multiple racial origins) theory, ultimately all hominids came from Africa, and therefore everyone in America should simply check the box next to "African-American.
Financial Times commentator Martin Wolf concluded in 2010: "We already know that the earthquake of the past few years has damaged Western economies, while leaving those of emerging countries, particularly Asia, standing. It has also destroyed Western prestige. The West has dominated the world economically and intellectually for at least two centuries. That epoch is now over. Hitherto, the rulers of emerging countries disliked the West's pretensions, but respected its competence. This is true no longer. Never again will the West have the sole word." I was reminded of the Asian financial crisis in 1997. When Asian economies were devastated by similarly foolish borrowing the West - including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank - prescribed bitter medicine. They extolled traditional free market principles: Asia should raise interest rates to support sagging currencies, while state spending, debt, subsidies should be cut drastically. Banks and companies in trouble should be left to fail, there should be no bail-outs. South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia were pressured into swallowing the bitter medicine. President Suharto paid the ultimate price: he was forced to resign. Anger against the IMF was widespread. I was in Los Angeles for a seminar organised by the Claremont McKenna College to discuss, among other things, the Asian crisis. The Thai speaker resorted to profanity: F- the IMF, he screamed. The Asian press was blamed by some Western academics. If we had the kind of press freedoms the West enjoyed, we could have flagged the danger before the crisis hit. Western credibility was torn to shreds when the financial tsunami struck Wall Street. Shamelessly abandoning the policy prescriptions they imposed on Asia, they decided their banks and companies like General Motors were too big to fail. How many Asian countries could have been spared severe pain if they had ignored the IMF? How vain was their criticism of the Asian press, for the almost unfettered press freedoms the West enjoyed had failed to prevent catastrophe.
Cheong Yip Seng