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Entertainment Featured Inform Inspire Politics Video

Why Asian Stereotypes Are Harmful

Portrait of stressed, serious, worried, upset asian woman college student suffering from headache, cold in city campus environment

There are many common experiences within marginalized groups. The age old question of, “Where are you from? No, where are you really from?” is routinely one of the most harmful.

From Latino to Asian, our varied countries of origin, include both dynamic and damaging experiences that run the gamut. Whether we emigrate or forcibly migrate to new places, or even arrive as refugees seeking asylum, it can be daunting. The panic of being forced to learn a new language and acclimate is ever-present. As such, many of our parents struggle with the epic decisions of how to go about guiding us in preserving our cultures once we’re here.

That pain is one we bury deeply. Which is why when the question emerges, we’d rather just answer with, “Oh, I’m from San Jose.” No? Not specific enough? “Kaiser Permanente. That’s where I was born.”

Having our origins questioned because we are different, or “othered,” is typically based on assumptions, harsh prejudice, and/or systemic racism. In the moving “Soul Pancake” video below, we watch Asian-Americans describe what this experience is like for them, how they coped, and overcame.

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