Category Archives: Race Matters: Candid Conversations on Race & Culture

A History of Complicity (spoken word poem)

Race Matters: Candid Conversations on Race & Culture, Uncategorized0 comments

A spoken word poem to help audiences understand systemic racism. This comes amidst the labeling of the Coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” which has led to increased violence and xenophobia targetting Chinese and Asians in the U.S and worldwide.

A History of Complicity:

You think I’m diseased, uncouth, the enemy,

but have you looked in the mirror,

or deeper into your psyche?

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How to Declaw your Asian Tiger Parents: 10 Easy Steps to keep them at Bay.

Asian Christianity, Asian Shame, Race Matters: Candid Conversations on Race & Culture, Uncategorized0 comments

Photo by Theen Moy on PhotoPin

Asian parents can be strict, overbearing, critical, or unloving due to the need to uphold cultural honor, despite the impact on their children.

This stereotypical style of strict parenting became notoriously or pejoratively known as “tiger parenting” from Amy Chua’s best-selling book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In it, she describes how her parenting style, learned from her childhood experiences with her own parents, fostered what she considered a “better” way to raise children compared to Western or American standards.

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Suicide & Ethnicity: How Asian shame and cultural stigma make Asians prone to suicide in the U.S.

Asian Shame, Race Matters: Candid Conversations on Race & Culture0 comments

Photo by JodyHongFilms on Unsplash

Suicide is the leading cause of death among Asian-Americans aged 20-24 years old at more than 30%.  White Americans rank second in this age bracket coming in at under 20%.  Among other ethnic groups, Latinos have a 15% chance of suicide and African-Americans have an 8% rate of dying by suicide.

You may ask how culture can play such a pivotal role in this alarming rate?  First off, Asian immigrants to the U.S. bring centuries-old viewpoints on education, mental health, and cultural identity.  First among these is the understanding of cultural Asian shame.  This is the belief that Asians come from traditional collectivist societies that value interdependence over independence.  Consequently, the need to preserve and perpetuate collective honor (i.e. family, ethnicity, society, etc.) is held in highest esteem.  Failing to do so leads to what I’ve coined as “Asian shame”, where one feels they have so disgraced their kin they must hide oneself (i.e. physical and/or emotionally) or rid oneself from society and atone for their actions by suicide (see past blog titled, “Asian shame and suicide”).

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Jeremy Lin is a Champion: Minutes don’t Matter

Asian Christianity, Race Matters: Candid Conversations on Race & Culture0 comments

When the Toronto Raptors won its first NBA Basketball Championship on June 13th, the nation of Canada exploded in celebration.  One player, Jeremy Lin, a Taiwanese-American was also on the roster.  While his contribution on the court and playing time was minimal, he too celebrated as a member of the Raptors.

When media outlets point out he made history as the first Asian-American NBA Champion, many critics scoffed.  They cited, he only played 27 minutes throughout the entire playoffs, with all the minutes meaningless to the outcome.  

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Culture Class: Western IndivIdualism vs. Eastern Collectivism

Asian Shame, Race Matters: Candid Conversations on Race & Culture0 comments

Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

I was reminded once again of how stark the culture clash is between Asian collectivist values and Eurocentric individualistic values when I recently gave a presentation at a college focused on the Asian-American experience.

Sure, when immigrants of any country arrive in the United States there will be a “culture clash” of sorts as they navigate a new language, customs, and the nuances of everyday American life. But for immigrants coming from collectivist cultures of Asia, the value differences between East and West can create a chasm between parents and their children being raised in western society.

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