We all hear microaggressions — those brief, commonplace statements that make you feel “less than,” excluded, annoyed or put down, whether intentionally or unintentionally. This is our guide to breaking them down, helping you to avoid making them, and showing you what you can do if you experience them.
What was said
“I can’t tell Asians apart.”
How it might come across
Saying “I can’t tell Asians apart” communicates that you do not see the person on the receiving end both as Asian and as a distinct individual. Everybody deserves to be seen and respected as an individual, and as part of the group they identify with.
What you can say instead
Sure, many of us are guilty of mistaking someone we know for someone else at some point or another in our lives—people can and do have similar features that can be easily mistaken for a friend or known acquaintance. It can be totally embarrassing, but just own up to it – don’t blame it on not being able to tell Asians apart.
What you can do if you hear it
If you’re on the receiving end of this comment, say something like “When you say that, it makes me feel like an indistinct member of a group and not an individual.”
To address anti-turban bias and increase awareness, NCAPA member the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) created the first-ever public service announcement about Sikh Americans to air on Comcast cable channels through July 27.
SALDEF received more than 400 photo contributions from the community across the country. The 30-second ad shows how Sikh American values are aligned with overall American values.
Keep a look out for this PSA and more news from SALDEF! You can also read more about the PSA in this Fast Company article.
NCAPA has grown! We welcome our newest member, the Center for Asian American Media, by announcing that they are co-hosting an online screening TONIGHT at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
The film, “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs,” will be shown in a social screening and details the life of activist, writer and philosopher Grace Lee Boggs. Boggs, who recently celebrated her 99th birthday, devoted much of her life to the African American movement and has been involved in several of the U.S. social movements of the last century.
Find out how you can watch the film tonight here. The social screening will feature a Q&A with filmmaker Grace Lee.
Laws that ban women from having an abortion based on the sex of their child have become a popular topic in recent years among some U.S. lawmakers. Eight U.S. states have laws banning sex-selective abortions, including Arizona, Illinois and South Dakota.
A report released June 3 combats myths about sex selective abortion laws in the United States. Proponents of these laws have even used language insinuating that the influx of Asian immigrants is the reason these laws are needed because of supporters’ belief that Asian culture favors males over females.
Here is one myth the study counters:
MYTH: Empirical studies of sex ratios at birth of foreign-born Chinese, Indians and Koreans prove that sex-selective abortions based on son preference is occurring in the U.S.
FACT: More recent national data of sex ratios at birth show that foreign-born Chinese, Indians and Koreans have more girls overall than white Americans.
The report also concludes that although lawmakers and proponents of sex-selective abortion laws claim the laws are needed to combat gender discrimination, these laws are generally proposed by legislators who are anti-abortion in general and are concerned with restricting abortion access.
The report, “Replacing Myths with Facts: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws in the United States,” is a project of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSRH).
Did you miss it? Watch today’s Tumblr Q&A right here to see President Obama answer questions on education, college affordability, and more.
Jason Lagria of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC levels Eugene Volokh’s argument that Asians are white. With data, of course.
“The racial wealth gap should be considered a national economic security concern. It would be short-sighted to expect the U.S. economy to thrive with fully half of its population mired in poverty.”