Top 5 Things AAPI Millennials Want the Presidential Candidates to Understand

Written by Helena Berbano. Follow her at @helenaberbano.

AAPIs have been straight killing it this year with social media activism. From #BeingAsian to #StarringConstanceWu to #BrownAsiansExist, we have made our voices loud and clear. We not only want representation, we are DEMANDING it. Furthermore, we want our voices both heard AND listened to. 

We shut down Mulan taking a backseat in her own narrative. We halted Mail Order Family from becoming a reality. We advocated for data disaggregation in California (#AB1726). We demanded justice for Akai Gurley, and stood in solidarity with our fallen black brothers and sisters.

This is a mere fraction of what we advocated for this year, and it is certainly not the end. For instance, we have a very important date coming upTuesday, November 8th to be exact. Election Day.

As evidenced by our activism, we will NOT be silent. AAPI millennials are engaged and ready and will not be #WhiteWashedOut this election.

So, presidential candidates—please take notes. Here is a list of what AAPI millennials want you to know:

1. We are not a monolithic community. We do not share the same language, and we each have our own unique identities. We are approximately 5% of the population, comprised of 40+ different ethnicities. So, please...don’t feed into the binary, are you Japanese or Chinese?

        We HATE that.

2. Don’t explain to us. Like other marginalized communities, we know the issues that affect our community. We don’t need you to say, “I know your issues”, we need you to LISTEN.

3. Don’t feed into what is traditionally said about AAPIs being “uncivic”. Our take? When AAPIs get contacted and mobilized, we turn out in droves and are the margin of victory, locally, statewide, and nationally.

Are you guys taking notes?

4. We ain’t tied to NOBODY!  Asian American Pacific Islanders are not particularly inclined to fully support Democrats or Republicans. So Democrats and Republicans? Ya’ll better listen. Third parties? Talk to us too!

5. ...and FFS, please know what what AAPI stands for.

    Not pointing any fingers or anything ;)