Emilie and Zach return to the SituAsian room for Season 2 to welcome Ryan Alexander Holmes. Ryan is a content creator who discusses his experience being Black and Asian. Emilie, Zach, and Ryan talk about his Blaisan experience and identity, upbringing in Los Angeles, coming together, and so much more.
In the SituAsian Room, Emilie, and Zach welcome Kay Yu, the Voter Protection Director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. Kay shares her story of “being her first client” fighting for her own citizenship and discusses the importance of civic engagement, voting, and how to vote in PA. Before the 2020 election (Nov 3), we want to stress how important it is for the AAPI community to vote!
Birtherism, like the Coronavirus-related racism, is rooted in the perpetual foreigner stereotype. The term birtherism refers to the political obsession with the birthplace of Former President Barack Obama and his personal background, his religion in particular. One of the most vocal proponents of birtherism was President Donald Trump. He’s now recycling birtherism and adapting it to the recent Democratic Nominee for Vice President, Senator Kamala Harris. The conspiracy argues that Senator Kamala Harris may not be a citizen because both of her parents were immigrants, and depending on their immigration status at the time of her birth, she might not qualify. Senator Harris, who could be not only the first female Vice President but also the first Black and Asian American to fill the role. She was born in Oakland, California to her father Donald Harris of Jamaica, and her mother Shyamala Gopalan of India.
As a young Asian American, I didn’t have many other Asian faces to look up to. I spent my younger years obsessed with Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan because they were some of the few famous Asian roll models that we heroes on screen. But there was always one hero on TV: Grant Imahara.
How does no-churn ice cream work? Don’t you have to aerate it? These questions swarmed my head as I thought about making it. After working at a Dairy Queen for almost four years, I was so accustomed to soft-serve ice cream and the humming noise of an ice cream machine churning the mix (liquid ice cream mixture before being frozen). Churning allows the mix to aerate, which is what most conventional ice cream machines do to your mix with a simple plastic blade. Instead of churning, no-churn ice cream aerates the mix with a baking mixer instead.
How can beans be a dessert? How could they be sweet? These are the questions my friend Daniella asked me when I tried to convince her she needed to try something with red bean paste. Daniella is of Puerto Rican descent and moved around between Spain, Miami, and Southern California, where she developed in a love for Asian food. But when I tried to convince her to try red bean desserts, she immediately associated red beans with Puerto Rican beans.
Puerto Rican beans are also red but unlike Adzuki beans, they’re usually prepared stewed with spices and vegetables to go with rice…not quite a dessert (but still delicious!) I promised her that red bean paste from Adzuki beans is nothing like Puerto Rican red beans. I told her to think of it like a third bean flavor to chocolate and vanilla because those are both beans too!
The new surge in hate towards Asians and Asian Americans is based on the premise that Asian Americans cannot be equated to a real American. We’ll always be foreigners, despite our birthplace, citizenship status, and contributions to society, and culture. The idea that people of Asian descent cannot be American stems from the notion that to be “ethnically” American, you must be Black or White. Nevermind that I was born in Pennsylvania, miles from Independence Hall and I’ve never left the country. For those in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI), and many in the Latinx community, we’re left out of the picture of what an American looks like.