Hackernoon logo#StopAAPIHate: Asians of Hacker Noon Talk About Their Experiences With Racism by@linh

#StopAAPIHate: Asians of Hacker Noon Talk About Their Experiences With Racism

Linh Dao Smooke Hacker Noon profile picture

@linhLinh Dao Smooke

Hacker Noon Mama-in-Chief. But also like a real mom (to Norah).

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Almost a third of the Hacker Noon team are of Asian descent. In light of recent events, we shared our love for our Asian families and friends as well as discussed our personal experiences with anti-Asian racism and racism at large; and what we can do about it as individuals.

LinhMar 18, 2021, 5:24 PM
Let's honor Asian lives amidst all these disgusting hate crimes. I’ll go first. This is my grandparents and my dad and 2 uncles.
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 5:27 PM
Aww yes 🥰 do you know when that picture was taken?
LinhMar 18, 2021, 5:29 PM
Yes around the 1970s :)
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 5:27 PM
These are my grandparents
LinhMar 18, 2021, 5:29 PM
Your grandparents are so cute!
HangMar 18, 2021, 5:30 PM
My beautiful mom and my grandmother ✨ also a pic of my parents doing just fine in Vietnam. Miss them so mucho
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 5:30 PM
OMG look at your mom’s heels shes a BABE hahaha
HangMar 18, 2021, 5:31 PM
Flexing on my mom in the traditional Ao Dai lol she’s the real icon!
LinhMar 18, 2021, 5:32 PM
She is BAE 🥰
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 5:32 PM
omg she looks so young ASIAN GENES FOREVER
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 5:32 PM
omg this is getting out of hand. i'm gonna see myself out
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 5:33 PM
but seriously that is a stunning photograph!i like the setting too
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 5:34 PM
I will also share this. This year I was able to find the record of my great grandfather’s immigration. He immigrated from China to Vancouver in 1920 at the age of 14. Here it says he paid the $500 head tax that only Chinese people were subjected to pay.
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 5:34 PM
(er the tax- not so cool, but old documents = cool 📜)
LinhMar 18, 2021, 5:36 PM
wow Amy maybe i should save mine for future grand/great grand children 😂
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 5:37 PM
Linh you should! I’m really happy I found it. The Canadian gov has this listed online to public access but you gotta search through the records
LimarcMar 18, 2021, 5:35 PM
Me and my grandpa first time I went to the Philippines...I'm holding a baby chicken
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 5:35 PM
LOL Limarc this photo is classic Asia
LinhMar 18, 2021, 5:36 PM
okay that baby chicken holding pose is like way cute.
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 7:35 PM
I almost hate to ask and get into it.. but do y'all have personal experience with racism?

i've been talking with an old college friend that is Taiwanese .. and he doesn't live too far from me. he's been called names from car windows as people drive by. I didn't realize that was really a thing here.. I guess I've just not witnessed anything like that in many years
LimarcMar 18, 2021, 7:39 PM
It depends on what level we are talking about. Like in school, all kids call each other names because we don't know any better. Making fun of someone for eating noodles instead of bread or wearing a turban instead of a baseball cap seems no different to a kid than calling someone fat.

In my adult life, luckily I can't say that I have. I have experienced like "positive" stereotypes. As in, my high school homeroom expected me to choreograph our class's pep rally dance because I'm Asian and they assumed I could dance. They were like "come on Limarc...stop playing you're friends with name omitted (asian guy in our school that loved breakdancing)."

Also in Japan I've definitely been stereotyped for being a foreigner, but I've never felt my life was in danger or that I was being threatened
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 7:41 PM
I hung out with some black and asian b-boys in high school too! 😄 (some of them skateboarded so there was some cross over appeal and why how i was involved) sorry I got happy excited thinking about that..
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:39 PM
I would say yes but nowhere nearly as severe as some others. Edwards where we live is a small town, about 10k people or so. I go to this cafe very regularly and most people remember me by name. One time, I was ordering my usual and when asked to sign my name, I saw that a waitress that i really liked had written my name down as “linh long ching chong”. That hurt. I texted the owner about my experience and she was fired the next day. I shouldn’t feel bad for her but I do.
LimarcMar 18, 2021, 7:41 PM
That's interesting Linh because the stereo type that I have of America is that racism would be MORE prominent in smaller countryside like communities in Edwards where there are older people...more set in their ways..less metropolis like atmosphere
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:43 PM
I think it’s more complicated than that Limarc, I would categorize Eagle county where we live blue and liberal, but doesn’t mean racism doesn’t happen. But i guess that assumption is generally true.
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 7:43 PM
uhhg.. that's so stupid how can an adult be so childish to write that
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:45 PM
Richard yeah i think it was ignorant than anything. But how nice it is to live in willful ignorance never affected by actions of others.
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:41 PM
Also, there’s this concept called “microagression” which is very hard to prove. Many times I got funny looks or people asking “but where are you from really” that bug me but those encounters would not necessarily be qualified as overt racism. But still unconscious bias at least.
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 7:45 PM
Yes I have been yelled at many times in the streets to go back to where I came from (but also my family probably has deeper roots in Canada than a lot of white families do. Not to mention that no one is “from” Canada except Indigenous Canadians). And I’ve also been pestered about where I’m “really from”. But I came home from traveling abroad due to COVID and when I came back it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. People were yelling at me in the street every day.
LimarcMar 18, 2021, 7:47 PM
Amy Tom IN VANCOUVER?
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:49 PM
Limarc and Amy - i might be totally off but if that happens to amy and not limarc in the same country…. sexism might play a factor?
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 7:49 PM
Limarc yup. And all of my Asian female friends in their 20s won't go out alone. 100% sexism plays into it.
LimarcMar 18, 2021, 7:49 PM
According to this, white people are the minority in Vancouver.
LimarcMar 18, 2021, 7:50 PM
I agree Linh I was just surprised because Vancouver is one of the most asian places in Canada.
HangMar 18, 2021, 7:49 PM
Well yeah when I was in LA I encountered this lady while waiting for the train in Long Beach. I was wearing a shirt that say "I don't play nice" on the back and she approached me saying thing like "Oh little you don't play nice huh? Where you got that shirt in your country?" She almost grabbed me but her train/bus came and she said "You're lucky today little b****." To this day I still haven't figured out if that was from the way I dressed or because I am Asian.
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:52 PM
Hang: that fucking sucks. The stereotype that Asian girls are these little wallflowers fucking enrages me
HangMar 18, 2021, 7:54 PM
Linh yes and I still blame myself for getting dressed like that today. I don't wear that shirt in public anymore.
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 7:46 PM
so what do we do?
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:46 PM
like, about racism?
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 7:47 PM
right
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 7:47 PM
it makes me sick to my stomach but I don't wanna forget the feeling and stick my head in the sand, i want to make some sort of impact on our culture
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:48 PM
loaded question… i guess first step would be to acknowledge it exists and it doesn’t have to be so bad like KKK or using noose to actually be racism. It can simply be something you unconsciously hold.
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:50 PM
Also - the burden of education shouldn’t be on the minorities and communities affected but on the perpetrators of the stereotypes/racism.
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:50 PM
And conversation like this helps i guess.
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 7:53 PM
richard-kubina I think it comes down to acknowledgement firstly. And secondly a bit of retraining of thoughts. Unconscious bias will tell you one thing, which will trigger an initial reaction. And I think people just have to question their initial reactions for a while to investigate where the thought process comes from
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 8:02 PM
can you help me understand that, please Linh ? about how the perpetrators need to address these problems (the the burden of education). you mean to stay positive? not dwell on the negative but instead we should elevate the good?
LinhMar 18, 2021, 8:04 PM
Yes i mean a lot of times, when someone experiences racism, lets say from a white person, the white person or white people usually burden that person who just experienced racism even more by asking why was that racist. That is just exhausting. The person who did the racist action should do their own research and not ask for more emotional labor from their friends of color
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 7:54 PM
how do you put someone in their place and not escalate, I need 'ammo' in this regard to address racism when I see it.. like I have heard jokes said in my presence and all I do is point out that I am not racist at all, that I don't agree or think the joke is funny.. but then im like some weakling in their eyes
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 7:54 PM
and so i am just another outsider getting lumped with the other people they couldn't care less about
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 7:55 PM
like im not charismatic enough to have clout ? not influential enough
LimarcMar 18, 2021, 7:56 PM
You can't really de-escalate a conversation where you call someone out for being racist. It's gotta start with the individual. I can't imagine anyone changing their mindset over a single conversation with you, me, or anyone else.
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:56 PM
I think standing up to herd mentality is hard. But still worth a try to “educate”. I think you still have more clout than someone just like you but nonwhite.
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 7:56 PM
(in this case I am thinking about, it was a joke about black people)
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:56 PM
Yeah that sucks, agreed with limarc that trying to persuade someone about racism never really works. at least not right away
LinhMar 18, 2021, 7:59 PM
Another thing you could do, is to not center the feelings of ignorant/racist people but rather shine spotlight on that of your friends of color instead.
LinhMar 18, 2021, 8:05 PM
as for your group of friends who you struggled standing up to… idk - maybe they shouldn’t be your best friends?
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 8:07 PM
well they were work colleagues. I took my stand. I would say the struggle has to do with that public stance having an impact in the mind of the listener
LinhMar 18, 2021, 8:08 PM
yeah it’s hard i don’t really know the answer. I mean this is the country where 70 million people voted for donald trump the second time around…. so how can you change the mind of 1 person?
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 8:08 PM
I sometimes have the fantasy like a lot of people, I imagine.. ruminating on that perfect come back.. could the right statement make a difference. would they be ashamed of themselves?
LinhMar 18, 2021, 8:09 PM
ha my guess is no.
LimarcMar 18, 2021, 8:09 PM
I don't think there's a perfect statement man. At best you win the argument and they just get even more pissed that they lost and try to justify themselves afterwards.
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 8:09 PM
yea I dunno, I do feel naive.. but I know I have to do something to improve things
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 8:10 PM
you're right Limarc, just adds fuel to the fire
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 8:12 PM
only something drastic like a racist's life is saved by a person they despise .. those feel good stories that are 1 in a million, seem to be example of people coming around..
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 8:12 PM
guess we just keep on... keeping on
LimarcMar 18, 2021, 8:12 PM
I think the best way is to get people to make bonds with people outside of their own culture. It's a lot harder to be racist to an Asian, if you worked beside one for 20 years and said good morning every day to each other.

I used to love war films, until I came to Japan. In America, Hollywood glorifies the US as the heroes and the Japanese as the wild, brutal, enemy...the crazy people that do kamikaze maneuvers. After living here for 3 years, I can't watch any film like that any more. Just thinking about it is enough to make me wanna cry. Because you meet these people, real people, and see the good and the bad in them and realize we're all the same.

The struggle is creating that level of empathy in other people who can't move to another country and don't have a desire to learn new cultures.
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 8:19 PM
Yes and how the "other" kids bring "weird" food to lunch
LinhMar 18, 2021, 8:14 PM
Oh yeah, the different glorification of war in different countries is something else… a whole another topic for another day. In america, it’s called the Vietnam war. In Vietnam, it’s called “the great war against the american agression” 😂
HangMar 18, 2021, 8:18 PM
Talking about war, I just finished this book called "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" by Ocean Vuong. It touches base on stuff like PTSD, war trauma, and identity. Very heavily emotional but I could never shut up about it.

The author talks about kids making fun of other kids who do not look like them or doesn't speak English as fluently. That's kinda sad that some children automatically and subsconciously have that stereotype toward those who do not look like them
LinhMar 18, 2021, 8:19 PM
Yeah i love ocean vuong. richard-kubina, you are a dad - i think one great way to make impact is to educate your children ❤
HangMar 18, 2021, 8:20 PM
Yeah Linh I really like that book. To the point I convinced Amy to try it out
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 8:21 PM
guess I need more kids!! :all_the_things:
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 8:25 PM
Yes another way to support is to support local BIPOC businesses in your neighbourhood
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 8:25 PM
you know, come to think of it they do teach these topics in 2nd grade here. my 8 year old daughter learned about MLK and the civil rights movement
LinhMar 18, 2021, 8:27 PM
As for Asian American history, I don’t think American textbooks do it justice… I would send your kids abroad at some point to learn lol
Amy TomMar 18, 2021, 8:29 PM
Yes also Canadian social studies tend to gloss over the truth. Or do 10 lessons on British wars and 4 on Asians, Indigenous Canadians, and slavery all together.
LinhMar 18, 2021, 8:31 PM
yeah sounds about right, i think across the board there’s a glossing over of native/indigenous people because there’s a level of existential shame
Utsav JaiswalMar 18, 2021, 8:45 PM
I feel like Richard in this conversation. Never faced it and reading all of the above that you had to deal with - silently, when I know how wonderful y'all are, breaks my oblivious belief that there is no such thing privilege.

Re: calling that out, I've noticed that mocking it does the job for me - make the tone deaf person question their belief out of fear of being labeled stupid does better than anything else.
LinhMar 18, 2021, 8:56 PM
Utsav: I think you might see it lets say if you migrate to US/Canada. I never experienced racism when I was in Vietnam.
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 8:51 PM
I feel that way, but I think Limarc is probably right that it could just make them dig in more.. with their injured pride a catalyst for further malevolence
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 8:54 PM
I reckon the root cause of their willful stupidity comes from feeling threatened in the first place, a feeling of inadequacy. they'd take the path of least resistance and lash out rather than think they could use some self improvement
LinhMar 18, 2021, 8:57 PM
Richard: I think it’s a combo of that and actually the opposite: feeling superior to other races because no matter what, at least they are white
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 9:05 PM
yea you might be right.. if they are taught that from an early age they might actually believe it.
I suspected that inflated self-image/ ego came from fear.. that they aren't anything special, that in reality they are undeserving and so they cope by projecting
LinhMar 18, 2021, 9:12 PM
Yeah... not to be that annoying leftist...but what we are talking about is called intersectionality. The compound effect of race, sex, gender, others...
richard-kubinaMar 18, 2021, 9:17 PM
thank you, i'll look into it
LinhMar 18, 2021, 9:46 PM
richard-kubina this is one example of centering (or rather re-centering). Instead of discussing what flavor of wine the murderer likes, saying the names of the victims.
Amy TomMar 19, 2021, 2:20 AM
Limarc these are the stats for Canada. 70% of incidences reported in BC were reported by women and majority of reports are made by those aged 19-35. BC has more incidences per capita than anywhere in North America 😔 https://www.instagram.com/p/CE6t9g1hhE8/?igshid=1jvhgllxaiokw
KienMar 19, 2021, 5:36 PM
this thread makes me feel enlightened and safe ❤ love yall

Hacker Noon is committed to be an inclusive place for all our Asian colleagues and all our colleagues of color or of any background.

Linh Dao Smooke Hacker Noon profile picture
by Linh Dao Smooke @linh. Hacker Noon Mama-in-Chief. But also like a real mom (to Norah). My Digital Home

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