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Angry Asian Man

“You may think your actions are meaningless and that they won't help, but that is no excuse, you must still act.” The words of Ghandi resonated in my mind after I left the thought-provoking, inspiring workshop led by Phil Yu (popularly known by his blog alias as Angry Asian Man) at the 2011 East Coast Asian-American Student Union (ECAASU) conference.

Yu is an Asian American political activist who not posts updates on news relevant to the Asian American community but also actively promotes social justice by voicing his opinions against prejudice, racism, and injustice towards Asian Americans broadcasted in the news or seen in popular media. For example, one of few earlier controversial pieces that spurred him to blog was the creation and selling of racist tee-shirts with offensive depictions and catch phrases about Asians by a retailer notorious for racial discrimination, Abercrombie and Fitch. Phil’s commentary on said incident contributed to the community’s movement for discontinuation of the racist tees off the market by spreading awareness to Asian Americans everywhere. His blog is a platform for individuals to have an open dialogue and address Asian American issues.

During the ECAASU conference, Yu discussed the necessity for individuals, especially Asian Americans, to speak out against injustice that is omnipresent—prejudice, discrimination, and racism create the uphill battle Asian Americans face everyday. Individuals need to realize the importance of addressing all issues, for instance, the use of “ching-chong” derogatory slurs still prevalent in today’s society. The aforementioned racist interpretation of Asian language is even exclaimed by famed people like Rosie O’Donnell, Shaquille O’Neal, and Rush Limbaugh. Injustices like these left unaddressed is equivalent to the allowance of racism to continue.

From the workshop, I felt empowered to vocalize my own opinions, promote social justice, and share my unique experiences as an Asian American. Although, some think the actions and words of one individual may not make a substantial difference—it is important to keep in mind -- “be the change you want to see in the world.”

Stefanie Chin, Media Relations