Lunar New Year 2023

Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD
21 min readJan 23, 2023

Revisiting an Asian Lives Matter discussion from May 13 (2021) hosted by San Diego City College

“The Model Minority Myth was created to directly wedge a divide between AAPI & Black communities, especially when AAPI & Black people were showing up for each other in solidarity” (Kim Saira).


AAPI Heritage Month Zoominar

(Addressing Hate Against the Asian American Community hosted by San Diego City College on May 13th 2021)

KM-Host: “Jarryd raised something really interesting. This issue of — and I’ll say this because my married name is [redacted], it used to be much simpler — there is this idea within our AAPI community when it’s time to be professional or when you’re a student seeking jobs there tends to be this practice of quieting a part of yourself. People will choose more Americanized names because they feel it’s easier for other people to say


they don’t want to bother having to correct other people, or they don’t want their more Asian sounding name to be butchered sometimes.

How do folks feel about the sense of having to kinda change… [unfinished]
Is this something… [this sentence was also unfinished]
As educators & counselors, how do we approach when a student asks us “Should I simplify my name? Should I change it?”

How do folks feel about that?”

[I think the unfinished sentences from the host help convey the relevance of this issue & the uniqueness of openly discussing it.]

[Comparison between her married name & her birth name — saying it used to be much simpler.]

E.H. — Panelist: “I think it says a lot when an individual unfamiliar with another culture’s standards of pronunciation takes the time to express awareness & asks to be educated

“Tell me how I pronounce your name. I know I’m not pronouncing it correctly but I’m going to try. Please correct me.

And I’m sure that gets old after a while {laughs} — correcting everybody.”

K.M.: “Your name is your name. Own that — be proud of that. However, if for whatever reason you choose to simplify it, make sure it’s for yourself & not for other people’s sake. We can’t live our lives quieting or silencing ourselves anymore. We’re seen as not really speaking up so that when we do speak up we have to speak up 10x louder.

Be comfortable & own it. Be proud of who you are & don’t silence yourself.”

Next speaker raises her Zoom hand…

M — Panelist: “A lot of my peers are having children, so when it comes to naming their children — you think about what you’re going to name them because it’s going to be something that’s going to be carried on for their own generation & generations to come.

When I asked some of my peers who said they’d name their daughter Riley, I said “Okay that’s great. Why did you choose that name?”

And the response is always “So they will have a better opportunity in the workforce & not be discriminated when they do apply for jobs or schools, because it’s such a unisex name, it’s easy to pronounce, and we don’t know if you’re a guy or a girl.”

So in addition to having the stressors & worrying about AAPI hate, they’re also worrying about misgendering. That’s why a lot of peers that I work with are using those kinds of names.

If our goal is to show that we’re united by our diversity, & we want to promote that equity, then one of the most important things to promote is who we are as a people & you find more strength in doing that when you have everyone on board. Even if it is uncomfortable, you allow that to happen so you can have those dialogues, so you can have that discussion.

While trying to figure out what will help the next generation grow & thrive in the United States, you also have recognize the uniqueness & resilience that comes from our own history & background & ancestries.”

My Question

13:09:26 From Jarryd Willis to Everyone : Question for Panelists

My bff goes by a different name in the United States than whenever she visits parents in China. Research supports this from a utilitarian perspective given the reality of name discrimination. But we also want a world where someone can put their real name on their CV, resume, application, etc without it negatively affecting their hireability.

My question is:
- If an international student asks whether they should use this strategy, should I say yes based on the name discrimination research,


say no & encourage them to continue applying until they find a job that accepts them as they are — name and all?

Asian Multiracials — Atkin & Yoo, 2019

“More than half of the qualitative research studies focused on Black-White Multiracial individuals, who only account for 20% of the Multiracial population according to the 2010 US Census (Jackson et al., 2017, Jones and Bullock, 2010).


zero qualitative studies are dedicated to examining Asian-White mixed race individuals, who account for 18% of the Multiracial population,

or American Indian/Alaska Native-White mixed race individuals, who account for 16% of the Multiracial population.”

#Allyship (verb):

Endeavoring to create a rising tide that lifts all boats.

“It is not a matter of making, producing, or instituting a community. . . . It is a matter of incompleting its sharing. . . . For a complete sharing implies the disappearance of what is shared” (Nancy 1991, 35).

However, Secomb argues that Nancy fails to present a picture of how this incompletion might be enacted or sustained. In addition, she argues, this vision of sharing must be balanced with an emphasis on “the defiance and non-conformity of being-together” (Secomb 2000, 143). The figuration of the fractured community is therefore produced in order to provide a form that emphasizes both.

(page 1046): An Ally Community is one that exists in a “yet hopeful fashion as that which it is not, at least not yet.”

“In order to commit to actively and self-critically developing the tools that allow one to be less threatened by others, the longing for change must permeate one’s lived everyday habits. Only then might we become the honest, compassionate subjects that this suspiciously generous politics calls for.

As bell hooks writes, “To have a non-dominating context, one has to have a lived practice of interaction. And this practice has to be conscious. . . . In reality this non-exploitative way to be with one another has to be practiced; resistance to the possibility of domination has to be learned” (1994, 241).

Allyship is a Verb (via, 2021)

“While the word allyship dates back to the mid-1800s, the word ally itself is much older in the English language. It’s first recorded around 1250–1300, ultimately coming into French from the Latin alligāre, “to bind together, combine, unite,” which is in turn based on ligāre, “to bind.” This Latin verb is the source of many other English words, including alloy, league, ligament, obligation, religion, and rely.

While newly added to our dictionary this year, allyship is, of course, not a new word in the English language. It’s first attested around 1850 in a broader sense of “the relationship or status of persons, groups, or nations associating and cooperating with one another for a common cause.” Its primary meaning today — when a person who is not a member of a marginalized group works for its inclusion in society — spread in the 1990s.

But use of the word allyship skyrocketed in the past 15 years. In fact, since 2011, frequency of the word, according to our data analyses from various corpora (big, searchable collections of texts), has surged an average of over 700%, including a steep rise in 2020 that continued into 2021. The word ally itself landed within the top 850 of the many thousands of search terms that led people to this year. What’s more, the top related search for allyship in 2021 is definitional in nature: what is allyship, which underscores the timeliness and relevance of our adding allyship this year.”

Model Minority Myth (Kim Saira)

“The MMM was originally coined in 1966 by sociologist William Petersen to explain how Japanese Americans were able to “overcome the discrimination against them” & “achieve success in the US.”

The 1960s-70s was a time for civil rights activism within the Asian American community. AAPI were calling for the end of the Vietnam War & reparations for Japanese Americans forced into intermittent camps during WWII.

During this same time, Black activism played a huge role in the AAPI civil rights movement, and vice versa. MLK spoke out against the Vietnam War in his speech, “Beyond Vietnam”, & a founding member of the Black Panther party, Richard Aoki, was Japanese American.

In short, the MMM was created to directly wedge a divide between AAPI & Black communities, especially when AAPI & Black people were showing up for each other in solidarity.”

13:17:02 From Jarryd Willis to Everyone : About 14–20 Filipino men per Filipino woman was allowed to immigrate.

This is also why most multiracials prior to Loving 1967 were interminority because ~100% of interracial marriages were between minorities.

Whites didn’t have the right to marry anyone who wasn’t White until 1967.

East Asian & South Asian

“South Asians experience more prejudice than East Asians in the United States (mostly phenotypic)” (Lu et al., 2020).

“Do not collapse South Asians with East Asian groups because South Asians often have very different experiences from East Asians” (Mishra, 2013).

Bias Avoidance Labor

What are some other utilitarian strategies the AAPI community may utilize in everyday life?

Wearing glasses instead of contacts? (glasses are easier to see & communicate positive traits)

Wearing a hat so racists they encounter won’t know they’re AAPI?

Removing past participation in an Asian American Student Org from their resume so it won’t hurt their chances at employment.

Name Discrimination (Kovie Biakolo, 2021)

“Whether in the U.K. or the United States, Anglophone-sounding names are considered standard. It’s the reason many potential employees of color with given names that honor their ancestry often replace them with White, Anglophone-sounding ones on their résumés [&] get more interviews that way.”

Chowdhury et al., 2020

East Asian applicants who adopt Westernized names experience more success in majority White labor markets (Chowdhury et al., 2020).

Ooi, 2016

Multiracial Asian-White individuals with a Chinese father (Chinese last name) make 11% less than those with a Chinese mother (White last name).

“White women married to Asian men earn approximately 10% less than Asian women married to White men.”

Thus, White women marrying interracially may want to keep their last name to avoid hiring & wage discrimination due to taking the last name of her minority husband. Moreover, the minority husband may benefit from taking his White wife’s last name because John Smith will be paid more than John Ruiz Nguyen-Singh.

#StopAsianHate — Tran & Sangalang, 2016

Contemporary mainstream western ethnoracial discourse presumes that Asian Americans experience less social & economic hardship than other racial/ethnic minority groups (Brand, Hull, Park, & Willwerth, 1987; Cheng, 1997; Committee of 100, 2009; Gee, Ro, Shariff-Marco, & Chae, 2009; Sue & Okazaki, 1990; Wong & Halgin, 2006).

Diversity is not Inclusion — (Haidt et al., 2001)

— Diversity is a public good with varying desirability —

“Diversity preferences will vary by domain such that diversity of all types will be most desired in the least intimate domain (the university), and least desired in the most intimate domain (roommate).”

Accidental Discrimination

v- attacking Sikhs after 9/11

v- White women in interracial marriages being denied housing loans because the realtor accidentally thought she was Hispanic/Black due to still having her ex-husband’s last name from an interracial marriage.

The Looking Glass Ceiling (Toledano, 2012)


Race as a social construct is an ontological argument that many hardly have the time to concern themselves with given the deontological reality of race in their everyday life (Bonilla-Silva, 1999; Song, 2018; Telles & Paschel, 2014; Torngren et al., 2019).

Cultural Museumology

Immigrants retain preferred traditions/values from countries of origin (enculturation) & embrace preferred components of their new residence (acculturation) (Doane et al., 2017; Gonzales et al., 2012).

Asian Americans & Air Injustice — Grineski et al., 2017

“Chinese women face notably high rates of lung cancer, given their low rates of smoking (Torre et al., 2016).

In 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order on the Asian community, which included calling for strategies to improve the health of Asian Americans and to redress health disparities impacting them (Obama, 2009).

When Asians are examined, results indicate that they face higher risk from environmental health hazards than Whites (Clark et al., 2014; Cushing et al., 2015; Downey et al., 2008; Houston et al., 2014; Lievanos, 2015; McKelvey et al., 2007; Morello-Frosch and Jesdale, 2006; Payne-Sturges and Gee, 2006).

Population-level statistics documenting high levels of education and income among Asian Americans conceal the systemic racism that Asians have experienced in the US over the past 150 years (Chou and Feagin, 2015).
Asian Americans more often suffer alone and in silence after being victims of discriminatory incidents, which disables them from collectively mobilizing based on their shared experiences of oppression (Chou and Feagin, 2015).

In Black communities, there is a stronger collective memory of racism and resistance culture. This contributes to lower levels of social movement organizing by Asians as compared to Blacks (Chou and Feagin, 2015).
Over 40% of the Japanese population and 30% of the Filipino population in the US lived in counties that exceed PM2.5 air quality standards; when aggregated together, they found that 20% of the US Asian population lived in exceedance counties (Gordon et al., 2010).

In cities across the US, Asian communities have mobilized against hazards in their communities, winning a multilingual warning system and halting an expansion at a Chevron Refinery in Richmond, CA (Asian Pacific Environmental Network, 2012)

Cancer is the leading cause of death for Asian Americans (CDC, 2010; Chen, 2005), yet physicians recommend preventative cancer screenings to Asian patients at a lower rate than other groups, in part because of the model minority stereotype (Ibaraki et al., 2014).

Sze (2004) terms “the problem of Asian invisibility” (p. 155).

Asian American Demographics Via NPR (5.28)

MYTH #1: Asian Americans are a monolith

More than 22 million people of Asian descent live in the U.S. While those of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent make up the largest shares — no group makes up a majority. A ​huge variety of ethnicities exist within regional groups.

MYTH #2: Asian Americans are high earners

A 2018 Pew study found Asian Americans were the most economically divided racial or ethnic group in the U.S. — with Asian Americans in the top 10th of the income distribution making 10.7 times more than those in the bottom 10th.

MYTH #3: Asian Americans face less discrimination

Hate crimes against Asian Americans have spiked during the pandemic. One survey found 32% of Asian American adults — a greater share than other racial groups — said they feared someone might threaten or physically attack them.

MYTH #4: Asian Americans are fairly represented

Asian Americans have the lowest degree of representation in political office compared with any other racial or ethnic group — and are even underrepresented in states with high concentrations of Asian American residents.

Revisiting the Asian 2nd-generation advantage — Van C. Tran et al., 2019

“5 Asian groups comprise 83% of the Asian American population: Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, Vietnamese, and Koreans.

Unlike Latino immigration, in which Mexico predominates as the single largest source country, Asian immigration is not dominated by a single sending country. Rather, the top source countries — China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Korea — account for 71% of the Asian immigrant population, and 83% of US Asian population.

Chinese, who have the longest migration history in the United States, account for the largest share of the US Asian population, totaling 4.9 million, or 25% (Pew Research Center 2017).
At 4.0 and 3.9 million, Indians and Filipinos are the second and third largest groups, respectively, each accounting for about 20% of the total Asian population.
Vietnamese and Koreans round out the top five, accounting for 2.0 and 1.9 million, respectively. Immigration has not only increased the Asian American population, but has also diversified it.

Prior to 1965, 80% of US Asians were East Asian, but today, they account for only 36% of the US Asian population. The recent growth in the US Asian population is driven primarily by South and Southeast Asians (Lee, Ramakrishnan, and Wong 2018).

Asian Americans comprise 6.4% of the US population, but account for over 20% of the country’s elite Ivy League students.”

Nadeem & Haroon, 2019 — Traveling Abroad

“Chen and Starosta (2002) devised an Intercultural Sensitivity Scale in an attempt to assess the intercultural sensitivity of individuals.
Individuals who tend to have higher levels of exposure are more open-minded and friendly are generally considered to be more culturally sensitive than those with limited exposure.

Penbek, Sahin and Cerit (2012) conducted a study on students to assess their intercultural sensitivity, [and found] that students who possess higher levels of exposure, either from traveling abroad or other forms of exposure, were more likely to be culturally sensitive than those with limited exposure.

Moreover, higher international interaction [was associated with] higher respect for diverse groups which also resulted in easy adaptability in diverse settings.

These findings are consistent with research on intercultural sensitivity conducted by McMurray (2007) which indicated that students with more international travel tended to be more culturally sensitive than those who had not traveled abroad.”

America’s Tri-Racial (or Tripartite) Hierarchy

1 — Top = Whites & multiracials (relative to skin tone) on top,

2 — Middle = Asians, Hispanics, Indians, Persians, multiracials (relative to skin tone) in the middle

3 — Bottom = Blacks + some darker skin tone groups at the bottom
(Bonilla-Silva 2004; Gans, 1999; Lee and Bean, 2007; Robnett & Feliciano, 2011; Mykel Rodriguez et al., 2022).

Racial homogamy in dating is the species-level default for all monoracial groups (i.e., Blackwell and Lichter, 2004; Joyner & Kao, 2005).

Intersectionality (Race & Sex)

— Asian men have consistently been portrayed as asexual or sexually unattractive (Espiritu, 1997; Han, 2008; Nemoto, 2009).

— Asian women have traditionally been portrayed as hyperfeminine and hypersexual, that is to say, sexually available (Collins, 2004; Koshy, 2004; Shimizu, 2007).

— Black women have been portrayed as less feminine (Collins, 2004).

Racial Status Exchange (unsorted sidenotes)

Social exchange theories argue that lower-status racial-ethnic groups trade wealth and education for a racially higher-status mate (Davis 1941; Merton 1941).

Minority group members who intermarry with whites exchange their higher socioeconomic status for the higher racial status of a white spouse (Blackwell and Lichter 2000; Kalmijn 1993; Qian 1997). Nonwhite daters gain status by dating any white. Whites, on the other hand, have little to gain by dating minorities unless the latter can elevate their economic status.

Education and income levels of blacks and Latinos are
similarly low (Census 2004bc), with blacks having the lowest rates of residential integration with whites, followed by Latinos (Iceland et al. 2002). Based on the secondary structural assimilation of Middle Easterners, East Indians and Asians, one might expect whites to prefer dating those groups over Latinos, and to least prefer dating blacks.” [page 808]

“Given the long and pervasive legacy of white racism, blacks may have more negative perceptions of whites, and may perceive Latinos as more willing to date them than whites. Our data support this contention.” [page 820]

“The exclusion of Middle Easterners and East Indians may be precipitated by ideas about religious affiliations, particularly after 9/11. As a recent study suggests, conversion to Christianity may promote inclusion (Ajrouch and Jamal 2007). According to a 2006 poll, almost 40 percent of Americans hold prejudices against Muslims and 22 percent said they would not want Muslims as neighbors (Elias 2006). East Indian Hindus in the United States are often perceived negatively by Americans (Kurien 2005). Although assimilation and social distance theories may partly explain the greater exclusion of East Indians and Middle Easterners than blacks, it cannot fully explain the gendered exclusion of Asian men.

Dating is a precursor to marriage and a marker of diminishing group boundaries. In the past, the acceptance of immigrant groups, including Italians, Poles and Irish, as romantic partners led to their general acceptance as white. Our study suggests that similar processes may be underway today. Latinos are the most accepted outdate among whites, followed by Asian women, but for East Indians, Asian men, Middle Easterners and blacks, boundaries remain in the domain of intimacy.” [821]

“Black college women are willing to date whites because they believe whites perceive them as unattractive or as stereotypically hypersexual and promiscuous (Childs 2005).

The relatively high income enjoyed by Middle Eastern, East Indian and Asian men do not correspond to increased acceptance in the domain of intimacy.

Like whites, Asians and Latinos are highly exclusive of blacks.

White women and Latinas exclude Asian, East Indian and Middle Eastern men more than black men, and East Indian and Middle Eastern men are among the most excluded by black women and Asian women.

Jacobs and Labov (2002) argue that the higher rates of Asian-female/white-male pairings can partly be accounted for by white servicemen having opportunities to meet Asian women abroad (war brides).

That women are choosier may reflect gendered dating dynamics. Since women are more likely than men to be approached on the internet (Hitsch et al. 2010), stating their preferences may be more important, while men may have less incentive to change the default option, “any” for preferences.

These percentages are conditional on stating a racial preference. Previous research shows that those who state they are open to “any” racial group do not act accordingly, and we suspect they are misrepresenting their true preferences (Hitsch et al. 2010).

Dating is a precursor to marriage and a marker of diminishing group boundaries.”

East Asian woman — White man couples are more common than East Asian man — White woman couples

(Chen & Liu, 2021; Cheng & Choo, 2015; Ding & Xu, 2015; Farrer, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014; Hu, 2016; Hyun-joo Lim, 2018; Kitano et al., 1984; Liang and Ito, 1999; Liu, 2017; Min, 1993; Nehring & Wang, 2016; Pan, 2015; Seong-kya Ha, 2002; Wang, 2015, 2019; Zurndorfer, 2018).

Multiracial Microaggressions

“A child at a school telling jokes targeted toward black Americans to a biracial black and white child. The child assumes the biracial child is white and therefore feels it is “okay” to say the jokes, which are actually offensive to the biracial child (Johnston & Nadal, 2010). These unique stressors can affect the well-being of a multiracial person (Salahuddin & O’Brien 2011; Sanchez, 2010; Shih & Sanchez, 2005).

Researchers show that multiracial identity increases an appreciation and empathy for cultural diversity among others (Shih & Sanchez, 2009).”

“This study builds on previous research that suggests that some gay men are able to maintain functional relationships that allow extradyadic sexual contact (Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983;
Kurdek, 1988; McWhirter & Mattison, 1984; Wagner et al., 2000).

As stated previously, findings suggest that many men separate sex from love and prize sexual variety (Buss & Schmitt, 1993; Glass & Wright, 1985, 1992; Hyde & Oliver, 2000; Leigh, 1989; Townsend, 1995); thus it makes sense that some male–male couples would establish sexually open relationships to accommodate both their intimacy needs and their desires for sexual diversity. “

“Gay males aren’t limited via female coyness/choosiness on how much sex & how many sexual partners they can have. Thus gay men have more sex partners than anyone.”


The Very Obvious Bleaching of Ariana Grande Paco Taylor, 2019

OJ apparently wasn’t dark enough. So the photograph was drastically altered in a way that would offer the very visceral fulfillment of one of America’s oldest cultural myths: that of the ‘scary’ black man.

The problem that I had with the Ariana Grande cover for TIME is that it appeared to have been altered in a way that would fulfill a long-standing cultural ideal of beauty in America, one that’s mostly devoid of melanin.
What is it that an art director seeks to communicate when the image of a woman who’s very tan is drastically lightened? And is there a connection that should be drawn to decisions made by other art directors to digitally alter the hairstyles of singer Solange Knowles or that of actress Lupita Nyong’o to have them conform more to Western beauty standards before magazines go to print?

For me, it isn’t acceptable to overlook the bleaching of Grande’s image on the cover of TIME under the dismissive reasoning of her being white any more than I would ignore the purposeful darkening of the OJ Simpson image because he’s black.

“Images, as we know, have power.

…in a country whose cultural legacy is rooted in centuries of a racial hierarchy that favors whiteness above all, it’s always a worthwhile endeavor to contemplate how images are used and to understand the underlying and sometimes even insidious messages they’re used to communicate.”


— 《稼说送张琥》宋 苏轼
“Do a lot of reading then distill the wisdom for use; store up affluently then release little by little.”
— By Su Shi • Song Dynasty

January 23 Update

APIAVote’s Statement on the Mass Shooting in Monterey Park, CA

Ruoping Chen

“WASHINGTON D.C. — APIAVote issues statement in response to the mass shooting that occurred on Lunar New Year’s Eve in Monterey Park, California which left at least 10 individuals dead and 10 injured.

On Lunar New Year’s Eve, the country received news that a gunman killed at least 10 innocent people in Monterey Park, California — on a day, and in a city deeply important to many in the Asian American community. While more details emerge in the coming days, one thing is for certain: gun-related violence continues to be the source behind so much tragedy across America — harming our dance halls, our schools, our groceries, our places of worship.

This shooting happened in Monterey Park, an area that is 65% Asian and is considered to be the country’s first suburban Chinatown. The city has a long history of being a hub for new immigrants arriving to find a better life, later as a base for Asian American political activism since the 1960s, and today as a welcoming and diverse community that had not seen this level of violence before.

“The Asian American community is grieving. Our communities have gone through significant trauma over the last three years, and this tragedy only adds to our collective anxiety, fears, and wounds. While it remains unclear what the now deceased-gunman’s motives were, this type of violence is all too familiar for all Americans across the country,” said Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote.

“Asian Americans, like other historically marginalized and ignored voters, are turning out in growing numbers every election and are the margin of victory. We are tired of the violence, we are tired of the thoughts and prayers, and we demand elected officials heed our voices and act now. According to our 2022 Asian American Voter Survey, 85% of Asian American voters ranked crime/public safety as an ‘extremely important’ or ‘very important’ issue. Furthermore, 77% of Asian American voters believe our country needs stricter gun laws.”

“We cannot allow this story, or the other tragic losses to gun-related violence to fade from the headlines; we must find justice for the victims. Nor must we allow special interest groups to exploit our tragedy for their own personal, monetary, or political gains.”

We encourage everyone to create space for their Asian American friends and colleagues to grieve, heal, and receive care as we await more updates and news. If you or someone you know is in need of trauma support, AAPI Equity Alliance has resources and info on local organizations offering English and in-language support. If you are able, please consider donating to the Monterey Park Lunar New Year Victims Fund to help support those impacted by the tragedy. We also encourage everyone looking to support our communities in Monterey Park to follow our social media for additional ways to support the victims and others who were affected by this recent attack.”

AAPI Vote (July 25, 2022)

Public school curriculum should include lessons on Asian American history

Do you speak a language other than English at home?

Affirmative Action



Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.