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.
Many millennials with similar backgrounds like myself are born in America and grew up speaking English as their native language, so we hold onto our culture through food. It is often one of our earliest introductions to our roots, a way of coming into our cultural identities. Although food is not the only way I try to stay culturally connected to my Asian identity, it is often the most accessible.
Some recent examples of being #whitewashedOut are seen in the films Ghost in the Shell, Doctor Strange, and Dragonball: Evolution. They have casted white actors in Asian roles, and in the case of Ghost in the Shell, they went one step further by testing CGI effects that would make actress Scarlett Johansson look Asian. In other words, modern day yellowface.
I’m someone who “stumbled” upon being civically engaged, and it took me years to find my voice. In fact, by all intents and purposes, it is surprising that I turned out to be a political activist considering my background. I grew up with a lack of exposure to politics, and the exposure I did have was homogenous.