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LEUNG | Educating the American Mind

The word “snowflake” is used to identify a person who has an inflated sense of uniqueness — a person with too many emotions and an inability to deal with opposing opinions. It has become a politicized insult by the political right to insult the left. Those targeted as “snowflakes” are seen as fragile, weak, easily offended and desperate for “trigger warnings” and safe spaces. While frequently used to insinuate and insult, it has been increasingly common for Trump protestors to hold up signs that say, “Damn right we’re snowflakes and winter is coming.”

College students seek emotional health by demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like, suggests an article in The Atlantic, which is actually detrimental for their education and mental health. The authors warn against trigger warnings and restricting speech because students must learn to live in a world that has a plethora of potential offenses.

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WANG | Tackling LGBT Topics as a Chinese American

When I was younger, I found myself in a Shanghai bookstore looking up at a tall bookshelf that seemed to be only that large to mock me. Oddly, I had an urge to get to the top shelf. So, I climbed. Well, it ended poorly. I only got a foot on the shelf before wiping out and bringing down with me an impressive amount of material.

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PARK | Subtle Asian Traits

When I was in elementary school, my mom tried to pack me Korean food for lunch. The ensuing judgemental glances and whispers about my “stinky food” in the cafeteria prompted me to march home and shut that down. From then on, I brought white lunches to school and ate Korean dinners at home. Growing up Asian in a primarily white town, I was surrounded by people whose understanding of my culture was limited to math, tiger parents and Kim Jong-il. In order to fit in, I suppressed the parts of my identity that made me different and I never really gave it much thought until joining a Facebook group called Subtle Asian Traits.

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CHANG | Increase Asian-American Power in Politics Through Dialogue

2018 was a uniquely momentous year in Asian-American politics. For the first time in a long time, it felt like Asian-Americans were being elected outside of California. In New Jersey’s third congressional district, for example, Democrat and former Obama staffer Andy Kim won over long-time incumbent Tom MacArthur, who engineered the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and is closely aligned with President Trump. Republican Young Kim was poised to be the first Korean-American women in Congress, although the race was just called on Saturday for Democrat Gil Cisneros. Certainly, neither of these examples speak to a paradigmatic shift in the representation or enthusiasm of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in politics.

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WANG | Indistinguishable Asians

A few months ago in the spring, I had a sit-down with a charming professor about a homework problem I was stuck on, and while the chat was productive, it soon devolved into tiptoeing around a racial issue that, frankly, has worn a bit thin on me. When I told her I was Chinese, she inevitably started talked about her experience traveling abroad in mainland China, and while her eyes glowed when she talked about the sights she saw, her mouth began to twitch uncomfortably when she descended from the sights to the people. And word for word, before she began, I knew what she was going to say. It isn’t a secret in the Chinese American community that there is a certain disdain for their peers from abroad. Whether it’s true or not, nationals are regarded as louder, less behaved and generally less suited for assimilation in America.

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Crazy Rich Asians Reintroduces a Revolutionary Leading Lady

It’s been a long way back for Michelle Yeoh. The Malaysian Chinese action star who gained renown for her stunt work on a string of popular Hong Kong action films in the 1980s entered a new pantheon when she played the main love interest in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 1997. It was a movie where people glided through the landscapes of China and spun proverbs. It was as if David Lean directed The Matrix, but instead of a frumpy, aged man and heavy CGI, it was the work of an unknown director named Ang Lee and the female leads that carried the film. But it was Michelle Yeoh’s performance, filled with manic restlessness and fierce action work, that redefined what an Asian actress could accomplish on the silver screen.

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JEONG | Bursting the Asian Bubble Myth

Over the weekend, Cornell hosted the East Coast Asian American Student Union conference — the largest Asian American conference in the East Coast. Overall, it was a notable weekend: Asian Tinder was absolutely on fire, Duffield radiated with the smell of food from the homeland and Buzzfeed’s sweetheart Steven Lim graced campus with his wholesome presence. It was inspiring and uplifting to see so many Asian American students from all over the country discuss ever-relevant issues in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. During my freshman year, Eddie Huang of VICE Munchies and Fresh Off the Boat fame came to Cornell to talk about food, media and everything Asian American. Unabashed in his opinions on racial politics and embraced by viewers of all colors, he represented what I believed to be the best of what a new generation of Asian Americans has to offer.

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JEONG | Don’t Tell Me What Needs to Be Offensive to Me

It has been over a year since the Student Assembly passed a resolution to introduce a new Asian American Studies major. You can see the profound progress we’ve made on the Fall 2017 Class Roster, where you will find a whopping two classes listed under the department. If progress doesn’t come in the form of AAS 2100: South Asian Diaspora and AAS 2620: Introduction to Asian American Literature, I don’t know what does. The dearth of courses on the Asian diaspora in America represents a larger issue facing Asian Americans today. We are silenced by the dominant culture, and we refuse to be silenced any longer.