A Podcast Episode Titled "Asian-Americans Talk About Racism, and We Listen"

A Podcast Episode Titled "Asian-Americans Talk About Racism, and We Listen"

An exploration of my racial and cultural identity


I recently listened to a podcast episode titled "Asian-Americans Talk About Racism, and We Listen," where different people called in and shared stories and experiences that affected the development of their identities as Asian-Americans. As I listened, I found comfort in knowing that so many people carry the same sentiments as I do in regards to my racial and cultural identity.

Although I have never felt endangered or discriminated against because of my race, I do feel a disconnect with my heritage. This affects me in ways that are difficult for me to understand because at times other people will pass judgements on a part of me that I can barely identify with. I want to explore this inner conflict in terms of my upbringing, fetishization of Asian women, and having to prove who I am as if the act of my being isn't proof enough.


Both my parents are Filipino. My mom was born in the Philippines and moved to the U.S. when she was eight and my dad was born in Mississippi. Their entire adolescence - or at least a majority of it - took place here on American soil, and I was brought into the world on that same ground.

I wouldn't say that my parents didn't expose me enough to Filipino culture because they did. We have tons of family and friends, we eat the food, we watch every Manny Pacquiao fight like it's our job, but aside from that, I do not know the national traditions nor do I have much knowledgeable on Filipino history. Even though I feel this dissonance between me and the Filipino part of me, it does not limit my ability to connect with my family members.

At times, however, I feel so un-Filipino when older relatives at family gatherings try speaking to me in Tagalog and I have to tell them I don't understand what they're saying. The looks that I've gotten are of disappointment. Or when other Filipino kids growing up would ask me why my parents didn't teach me Tagalog, that made me feel like I was missing something in myself that apparently - in the eyes of other Filipinos - I was supposed to possess.

"He probably likes you because you're Asian"

You know how many times I have heard someone tell me, "He probably likes you because you're Asian" ?? And how many times I've heard it from someone who's supposed to be my trustworthy friend, AND who is also Asian. When someone who I comfortably identify with in certain aspects of our childhoods and upbringings is using one of the things we have in common to discount my character? To listen to that nonsense – to hear it multiple times – tells me she really believes that one of the sole reasons men value me is simply because I'm Asian. Maybe I'm just a really cool person.

I think it's also important to note that men love coming up to me at parties saying, "You're cute, I like Asian girls." I've even gotten a "I've never been with an Asian girl before." My favorite, though, is when I was having a normal conversation with a guy and he had to tell me, completely out of context, that his ex was Filipino. That one made me laugh, a lot. Now, obviously people have "types," and some people are attracted to specific groups of people, but I'd prefer not to be approached in such a uncomfortable and sexually charged manner.

"You're basically white"

It's weird, the way young people now have an overwhelming amount of various cultural influences and still must find categorizations for who we are and how we define ourselves. I've had people of all races tell me that I'm "basically white." Which, while I can see where they pull that point from, only perpetuates ideas that the middle-class suburban lifestyle of living nice houses, owning the latest tech products, and doing brunch and going wine tasting is reserved for white people only. If you go off of where I grew up and how I grew up, you could say that most of my childhood friends who aren't white are basically white too then.

I am not the way I am because of a lack of exposure to Asian culture; the Bay Area has a broad Asian presence. I just don't feel that my race is a significant factor in how I define myself. I don't need to prove my American-ness or my Asian-ness, all of me is made of these parts whether I feel like it or not. When I think about what makes me who I am as a person, being Asian would not be anywhere near the top of the list and yet, it is something that I am still discovering on my own.

Listen to the podcast "Asian-Americans Talk About Racism, and We Listen" here:


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Customer Service Expert, Gary Brewster of Oneida Provides Tips for Displaying Appreciation to Your Customers

By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business.


Customer relationships are a core part of your business success. Many businesses that outperform their competitors are just more responsive in this area. By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business. How can you display genuine appreciation to them? Here are tips and practices from customer service expert and accomplished entrepreneur, Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee that you can adopt.

Event Sponsorship

There are many small signs of appreciation you can show to customers, but hosting an event provides significant evidence to customers that your business genuinely acknowledges and cares for their support. With these events, you can treat customers as guests - which can be a great way to elevate your relationship with them. After these events, you can follow-up with your customers, build upon that relationship, and gain additional insights into their expectations.

Customized Products and Services

Customers will be pleasantly surprised to see products specifically catered to their preferences. This shows that you do respond to their feedback and are appreciative of the information they provide. Also, you are reinforcing the fact that your business firmly puts a priority on their needs and is committed to elevating their experience. You can personalize your products through a couple of means, including offering them in certain colors, modifications, labels, and more.

Use Handwritten Notes

A handwritten note is one of the best ways to convey authenticity in your messages. When you use this medium for sending messages of appreciation to your customers, it generates a more positive response. In a world saturated with emails, social media messages, and mobile text, a handwritten letter can stand out. You can work with your team in organizing a schedule where customers are sent handwritten notes. These can especially work great for the holiday season as customers are more receptive to goodwill messages during this time.

Develop a Loyalty Program

While your business benefits form loyalty programs, they also make the customer feel more appreciated. For your most consistent customers, you are sending the message to them that their loyalty has not gone unnoticed and that you are truly grateful. When repeat business is rewarded, the long-term benefits will be valuable. Instead of merely creating a loyalty program from scratch, consider doing research and recognize specific purchasing patterns within your customer base. You can then highlight certain products they favor and make that the focal point of your loyalty program.

When it comes to maintaining a high standard of customer service, communication and goodwill are valuable. Showing appreciation to your customers is more than simply communicating with them, but also conveying a general sense of commitment to their needs. Your business stands to gain immensely by developing this unique approach to customer service. Consider adding more of these elements as you build your customer service strategy with your team.

About Gary Brewster:

Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee is an entrepreneur and commercial roofing expert. Driven by building excellent relationships, he takes pride in providing the best customer service possible. As a business owner, his goals include delivering exceptional service, solving complex problems, and giving back to the community. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time on his family farm with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

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My Hometown Just Experienced A Mass Shooting, If We Don't Do Something, Yours Could Be Next

You never think it will happen to you until it does.


I was on my way out the door to work when I got a panicked call from my mother.

"Can you look at the news online?" she said quickly. "There is a mass shooting somewhere nearby."

My heart stopped. For me, Aurora, Illinois is home. I was born there, I grew up around the area and I attended high school there. My siblings go to school close by and my boyfriend works for a neighboring fire department.

How could my beloved hometown become the victim of the latest tragedy?

After calling my boyfriend, who was at the fire station getting ready to deploy ambulances to the scene, I discovered that it had taken place at a factory nearby. My anxiety hit an all-time high as I watched the updates on all of the local city Facebook pages and groups. Officers down. Gunman at large. Mass casualties.

Hours later, all of the facts came out. A former employee of Henry Pratt's Company, a local industrial warehouse, had recently been let go and decided to get revenge. He entered the warehouse with a gun and began to shoot at random, killing five people and wounding many others, including five police officers. He was killed by local SWAT forces.

I am the kind of person who is pro-gun and pro-gun rights because of the second amendment and all of the freedoms I believe we deserve. But that doesn't make what happened okay and it never will.

While this situation doesn't change my mind, it does change my view of the world.

Why would somebody decide that shooting former coworkers was the way to go? Why would anyone want to hurt others? These are the questions that flooded my mind in the hours after the mass shooting. I don't necessarily think we have a gun issue in America, but issues with mental health and valuing life.

We pass bills to kill unborn children. We repeal bills that take away healthcare from million. We devalue life in its most basic form and respect those around us to still have enough respect for each other's lives. We stigmatize those who need psychiatric care and expect things to still be alright.

This is not alright.

Our country, our system, our values, and morals, they are all broken and backward. We have let mass shootings become normal and violence becomes accepted. It needs to be stopped. There needs to be a change.

One of the people killed was an intern from a local college during his first day on the job. Being a college student applying to internships myself, this hit far too close to home. Nobody deserves to die, least of all in their place of work while trying to further their career.

Five people lost their lives due to someone's disrespect of them. Yes, a gun was the weapon, but a mind was the actor. I pray that someday, our country will return to valuing life and respecting others enough to help them instead of pushing them away. This is not the first mass shooting, but it can be the last. If, and only if, we make sure of it.

If you want to help the victim's families in any way, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses

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