I’ve experienced anti-Asian prejudice since I was a kid. The first time I ever rode a school bus, my white neighbors leaned across the aisle, stretching their eyes and pantomiming buck teeth amid stifled laughter.
When I was 15, a New York City policeman caught me jaywalking and asked me frankly if I spoke English, expressing surprise when I responded in perfect Newyorkese.
And yes, when I applied to Harvard in 2012, I was told that I might as well subtract 200 points from my SAT score — or just give up entirely. Top universities already had more Asians than they could handle, and I wasn’t different enough to make the cut.
Already then, the anti-Asian bias in elite schools’ admissions was an open secret. One Chinese-American acquaintance confided to me that she was advised not to be “another Asian girl who plays the violin”; Harvard rejected her.
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Please take a look at our Chinese American WWII Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act short video. It explains why S1050 and HR2358 is so important and time sensitive. Please share.
Usually, when we say “American slavery” or the “American slave trade,” we mean the American colonies or, later, the United States. But as we discussed in Episode 2 of Slate’s History of American Slavery Academy, relative to the entire slave trade, North America was a bit player. From the trade’s beginning in the 16th century to its conclusion in the 19th, slave merchants brought the vast majority of enslaved Africans to two places: the Caribbean and Brazil. Of the more than 10 million enslaved Africans to eventually reach the Western Hemisphere, just 388,747—less than 4 percent of the total—came to North America. This was dwarfed by the 1.3 million brought to Spanish Central America, the 4 million brought to British, French, Dutch, and Danish holdings in the Caribbean, and the 4.8 million brought to Brazil.
A still image from “Radical Cram School” provided to Colorlines on August 14, 2018. Kristina Wong
Imagine a children’s TV show in which an effusive host teaches Asian- and Pacific Islander-American girls media literacy, intersectionality and solidarity. Comedian Kristina Wong makes this vision possible with ”Radical Cram School,” the new independent web series she hosts and co-produces. She released all six episodes on YouTube in mid-August and publishes each on Facebook every week.
In a statement, Wong describes the series as “’Sesame Street’ for the Resistance.” Via email, she tells Colorlines that Liberty, the daughter of co-producer and friend Teddy Chao, inspired the show. ”This was almost a year into the Trump Presidency and [Chao] was worried that Liberty would start internalizing the racist and misogynist rhetoric around his campaign,” Wong explains. “He wanted me to sit down and talk to her and I blurted out, ‘We should make an Asian-American girl Town Hall web series!’ From there, Wong says, they began thinking of ways to equip young Asian girls with tools to resist “the ever-present racism and misogyny of our times.”
Wong counts The Radical Monarchs, an Oakland-based organization that combines anti-oppression education with Girl Scouts aesthetics and uniforms, as an influence. “They create opportunities for young Black and Brown girls to form a sisterhood and radically contribute to their community. I love their work and thought ‘Radical Cram School’ could be a space where Asian girls could learn about social justice and how to be allies to other movements.”
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