Studio Glibly+ Your Authors @NoTotally Shaun Lau. He/him residing on unceded Tongva land. Shut up and fight fascism already. Aug. 18, 2019 1 min read + Your Authors

Let me expand on the last part of this tweet, in case fellow Asian Americans aren't understanding.

You know how we have a lot of conversations in the community about what "Asian American" actually means? And how it's always tricky because so many different cultural heritages seem to be collapsed within that broad designation?

It's accurate, in my opinion, to say that the popularized AsAm umbrella erases the vast majority of Asian identity in favor of prioritizing light-skinned East Asian descent and culture.

So why in the world would we use a designation that broad? What's the end goal of what looks like an attempt to flatten a diaspora that's too varied to ever be combined in this way?

To understand, you have to go back to the roots of the term "Asian American," which was created as an explicitly political designation. Good introduction here: 

It makes sense, then, that "Asian American" was never meant to encompass a singular cultural aesthetic, but to create a solidarity bloc comprised of people with highly varied backgrounds, connected by continental background.

To me- and I understand how other Asian Americans may not feel this way- this means that a fundamental expression of an "AsAm" identity is the aggressive expression of solidarity with other communities harmed by the same white supremacy that invented yellow peril.

This is a personal evolution of thought; in my early days on twitter and of course decades before that, I only really thought of Asian Americanness as an aesthetic, and I was lucky to have people on here help me with the history.

And now, this is the only way "Asian American" makes sense to me. Our many varied cultures should be celebrated, but when it comes to all of us, under this too-broad umbrella, we should be using our combined power and voices for both ourselves and in solidarity.

You can follow @NoTotally.


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