asian american


What do I have?
Do I have the Asian?
I know that’s not what it means
I know what they’re saying

It feels like vanity, but then again
We’re always told to open our eyes
Told we have yellow undertones
Depicted with buck teeth
We’re one monoculture to Hollywood
Yet we come from an entire continent

Am I proud to be Chinese?
My heritage has nothing to do with me
And everything to do with who I am
It matters, but in a way hard to describe
Like something in the back of your mind
On the back burner of your identity

I don’t speak any Chinese languages
I’ve never been anywhere near Asia
What do I have but restaurants
That I frequent with my family?
Vague knowledge of Asian popular culture
I hear about from friends that certainly aren’t Asian
Always through a western lens

Holidays have no meaning to me
Red envelopes
Moon cakes eaten on occasion
I don’t even know my grandmother’s name

Well then…
Back to praising my face…
Sorry there is no resolution
I guess there is a little
I’m lucky to have my state’s population
At 3% Asian
It’s a small community
But it is something

And I know for a fact
Others feel similarly to me
At least in being Asian
I can be automatically connected
To a group of people
Just because our ancestors
Came from a general region


‘Fresh Off The Boat’ Is Bold, Funny And Not Afraid To Take On Race

Fresh Off the Boat” is good – at times, very good. Without question, it’s one of the best new shows of the broadcast network season: funny, well-acted and promising on a number of levels.

But I will confess to more personal concerns about “Fresh Off the Boat.” My husband, who was born in Malaysia and has a Chinese mother, is in the final stages of becoming an American citizen. I didn’t want him to set fire to his new passport after watching this show. (And let’s face it, based on American TV’s track record with Asian characters, there was every chance he would have been justified in doing so.)

There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, American television has never been all that concerned with depicting the personal or interior lives of non-white characters. Within that history of cluelessness and racism, Asian characters have been particularly marginalized. They’re routinely shoved into limited supporting slots (sexless nerd, humorless scold, mysterious villain) – and that’s if a show featured any Asian characters at all. It’s rare to see a character of Asian descent get a reasonable amount of screen time; it’s even more rare to see his or her culture woven into the fabric of the show in a skillful and informed fashion.

Read on for the full review of 'Fresh Off The Boat’ here.

Margaret Cho nails it

“Why has there never been an Asian-American host, cast member or musical guest on ‘SNL’ in 41 years? Forty-one years. Yet they want Donald Trump, a known racist, a known sexist, who disgustingly wants to have sex with his daughter. Who does he think he is, Woody Allen?”

“People come at me and say, ‘Oh, Fred Armisen is a quarter Japanese, Rob Schneider is half Filipino.’ Yeah, that makes three-quarters of an Asian-American, not even in one person, in 41 years.“


My friend (@charlitora on Twitter tweeted above) was the one who passed the casting call. It was notified people had safety concerns regarding the casting call for an Asian American trans male youth…

ZAL BATMANGLIJ, creator/director of the Netflix series casting for an Asian American trans boy has CONFIRMED the casting call is legit. As you can take a look, he has a blue verified check. Here are his IMDB credits and his Wikipedia if you wanna take a quick look at who he is. Here are official Hollywood news sites referencing Zal Batmanglij and his new series on Netflix: Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, IndieWire, Collider, and Just Jared His Twitter is here. Tweet receipts here & here. Feel free to do your own research for your own comfort.


The character will be a series regular on an upcoming Netflix series from filmmakers Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling (The East, Sound of my Voice). Produced by Plan B (12 Years a Slave, The Departed) and Anonymous Content. It will shoot in January 2016 for a few months likely in LA.



If you fit this description, please send your name, current picture, age, where you currently live, and contact info to

EDIT- 8/24/2015: Zal Batmanglij, the creator of “The OA” just re-CONFIRMED with the casting agency that is SAFE to submit. I’ve added screencaps to the tweets (source here and here.) The casting agency uses a gmail due to the large amount of submission they will receive due to the fact it is an OPEN casting call (though even in the future, do you research to be safe. i.e. If they ask for money, that’s a no!)

The casting director is AVY KAUFMAN. She’s a very big casting director who’s credits include Life of Pi, Salt, Scream 4 and Lincoln among others and has worked in the industry since the 1980′s. See her background via IMDB and Wikipedia.

Now go and submit and good luck!!!

EDIT- 2/19/2016 Please do not reblog this post as they have already cast this role at this point! Thanks!


Marvel, Please Cast an Asian American Iron Fist

via thenerdsofcolor

“Yes, I am proposing that a major comic book institution change the race of one of its popular characters as it transitions to a new form of media. In this case, I want Marvel Studios to cast an Asian American actor to play the lead in the upcoming Iron Fist show it is developing for Netflix.

It seems logical enough to me, though as always, there are fans who are urging Marvel to resist changing his race. Now, I know the topic of cross-racial casting has come up time and time again here at The Nerds of Color. And while there are a contingent of fans who don’t think such things matter — or worse, are vehemently opposed to such casting choices — I can’t help thinking that Iron Fist gives Marvel a chance to add even more diversity to its interconnected cinematic universe.

Not to mention that this is a case where changing the race of the character has the potential to actually add layers of depth to the story of said character. First, let’s get a couple of misconceptions out of the way. My call for an Asian American Iron Fist is not meant to displace Danny Rand from the story. It is, in fact, the opposite…" 

Keep reading Keith Chow’s article at thenerdsofcolor

There’s also a petition for Marvel Studios to cast an Asian American as Iron 18 Million Rising.

Get the Power Man and Iron Fist series  here

[ Follow SuperheroesInColor on facebook / instagram / twitter / tumblr ]

can we please talk about how tone deaf and offensive and painfully unfunny S02E03 of Kimmy Schmidt–aka the one about “Asian American activism” & with Titus dressed as a geisha in yellowface–is????

Like it first of all frame AA activism–and all activism–as unreasonable internet jerks who aren’t interested in a conversation, just in yelling at people

the placing of the “transracial” white guy in the AA group is gross just because a) there ARE transracial asians in real life, such Asian adoptees, and b) the conversation around Asians as just “honorary white people” is unfortunately real and pervasive, and this just perpetuates that

the Asian American audience has dubbed Titus “Hitler” because of course that’s what those easily offended and incendiary activists do 

the Asian-American crowd is “won over” by Titus’s performance, and is confused???????

and then they decide that mocking AA activism isn’t enough, they make a punchline out of sensitivity towards Black Lives Matter; the Asian American girl then vaporizes and disappears in a beam of light after she “offends” herself after saying that she can’t breathe

not to mention the presence of non East Asian voices in Asian American groups only there to contribute to the characterization of AA groups (and activists in general) as ridiculously disorganized and unfocused, and prone to exaggerated whining about issues as “silly” as “past lives”

Trivializing AA activism and people is not okay. what the hell????

The language that we use to talk about Japanese American Internment is so unacceptable to me. Read any article/textbook, and it makes it all sound so minor. The specific wording is so interesting: it’s ‘evacuation,’ not 'forced imprisonment.’ It’s 'Japanese,’ not 'Japanese American,’ bc it’s so much easier to erase history and forget that the majority of these people had never even been to Japan and were born US citizens (not that it would have been justified even if they weren’t, but this was just used as another tool to dehumanize and distance us). We learn they were given ‘accommodations’ in camps, but not how they were subject to extreme temperatures with inadequate protection in stables and roofless stalls filled with manure, or how people were shot on the spot if they were even suspected of trying to escape, or for disobeying orders. Some were shot just so the military guards could show their control. We learn that the JAs were eventually freed and allowed to return to society, but not how anti-Japanese sentiment was so strong that most could not return to where they had lived before, and that many returned to find any property and belongings had been looted or even steamrolled by the government. Those who returned were beaten or even lynched. We don’t learn about home raids, or asset freezing, or deaths as a result of illness from communal living an no health care.
My history teacher even tried to tell us EO9066 was issued for THE SAFETY of the Japanese Americans, as they’d have been lynched by the public otherwise. Roosevelt himself even said this! In school we barely learn anything at all about internment, even though I live in an area w a high concentration of JAs.
Also notice how little detail we receive about camps in school. Did you know, at the time that this was happening, the camps were called concentration camps by the government? And that people were sent by the trainload in cattle cars? Sound familiar? Of course, I don’t mean to compare the histories of Jewish Germans and JAs, but this country has made a very conscious effort to hide and erase so much history of the camps because of associations that might be made, so we can more easily brush it off as merely a small blemish in history, barely worth mentioning.
Probably the most enraging thing to me, though, is that the JAs who were interned are routinely talked about as if they just calmly and submissively, docilely, ACCEPTED what was happening to them, and that they were peaceful and ~zen~ about the whole thing once in the camps. Read the true accounts of internees and you’ll discover the truth: people were enraged. People fought. Round-ups could turn violent. Internment was not calmly accepted and quietly endured. To quote a poem from Poston camp, “We’re trapped like rats in a wired cage/To fret and fume with impotent rage.
So of course you get all these people suggesting we need something like registration and  internment camps for Muslim Americans and Syrian refugees today. No one’s learned from history because no one was really taught it in the first place. And that is fucking unacceptable.


Maria calls herself “the voice of unmarried Asian American women.”

Her traditional wedding hanbok was a gift from her mother, who appreciates the project. She was impressed with the way Maria brought new insight to a traditional topic. 

“My mother she loves it. She’s the glue that binds this documentary to this day. Her voice is between the clips, between the weddings. She defines the Korean cultural side and the conservative Korean American side and the American side.”

Her father still pretends it never happened.