In this year alone, I’ve seen Asian Twitter blowing up my feed with different hashtag conversations including: #OscarsSoWhite, #PraisinTheAsian, #StarringJohnCho and #WhitewashedOUT. To continue the conversation, we saw another hashtag spark more tweets about the Asian American experience.
On Tuesday, 17-year-old Michael Tarui sent out the following tweet: “I’m in a group chat and we’ve decided we should start a conversation of what it’s like #BeingAsian and the racism that comes with it.”
The hashtag spread like wildfire in the Twitter-sphere as many people used it to share their experience of what it’s like to be Asian American. Many tweeted about the struggles of being profiled and/or not fitting the profile of what is perceived as “Asian,” as well as the the perpetuation of insensitive stereotypes like the Model Minority.
#BeingAsian means being nicknamed Bruce in high school even though you know no martial arts and barely share any resemblance to Bruce Lee.
— Jason Y. Lee (@jasonylee_) June 29, 2016
#beingasian means everyone invalidating your hard work & good grades bc you're asian so you're supposed to be a genius so it 'doesn't count'
— julie (@julieedoan) June 29, 2016
While the hashtag was meant to point out racism towards Asians, some also used it to hash out grievances within the Asian American community, specifically racism within the community towards other people of color.
Even with its serious purpose, the hashtag has also been used to spread humor and positivity.
Is a meal truly a real meal if it doesn't have rice????????????? #beingasian
— ling ling (@CamilliaLim) June 15, 2016
Positivity: #beingasian is discovering myself w/in a beautiful, warm community of progressive activists & finding our revolutionary history
— Reappropriate (@reappropriate) June 29, 2016
While #BeginAsian has added more key points to the conversation within the Twitter-verse, I hope that we can keep the it going. In the meantime, we should all just follow the words of immigration activist and journalist Jose Antonio Vargas:
— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) June 29, 2016