Hold Up. Where The MF Did You Say You Were From?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

When I started out this blog I had a few things on my mind - one of them being the fact that I wanted to promote the community and also put out another voice in the API blogosphere - all of which I've said before here. But I also came from the line of thinking that the less I said about where I was the easier it would be for people no matter where they were - to be able to relate to what I posted on.

Even in the smallest of ways.

So I've never actually said where I'm from in part because of the above, in part because of anonymity, in part because it's fun to see where people think I'm actually from, and in part - because I wanted to put in some time first (and say what you will but I just do what I do).

And while I planned on doing this post in May - I'm on a vibe - so I thought I'd just go with it.

And There It Is

It's funny to me the ideas that people have of the Midwest Asian American - that people think we have no perception of who we are in terms of race or community because we're outnumbered. Or that we're paler shades of the coasts where we'll always follow, rather than lead.

That in a way - we're just not as Asian.

That we live our lives as White America.

I won't tell you that there isn't a uniqueness and diversity that states like CA or NY have - there's nothing to argue there - and I don't even know why some would try.

Simply because of location and the sheer numbers, the generations of Asian Americans that have made those areas their homes - the artists, the organizations, the communities - amazing things come out from there - and I love seeing it - I love hyping it and in that way - it doesn't matter where you're from - if you're pushing - if you're moving - on any level even if that's just a personal one living your life making it through as an Asian American - you have to love that - you'd be a fool not too.

But we don't just live on the coasts. We don't just belong on the coasts. We create communities all across the country - large and small - sometimes just getting our feet wet - and other times growing day by day, strengthening our communities, supporting our communities - letting people know that we don't belong in just one area - that for whatever the reasons - we're here.

And that we have every right to be.

And deep down - I love that.

Because if you're going to push - in whatever way it is that you do - you have to love that.

But That's Equality For You

I've posted up throughout the years on different organizations, magazines, television networks, news outlets - many from the coasts - that have either shut down, struggled to survive, or just needed a helping hand - and while more than anything you want to see them succeed - it also says that no matter the numbers or the foundations that have been built - they don't always equate to longevity or support.

That we still have a lot to do on all fronts and in all places.

In that way - that fight - that good fight we all take on in some way or another - it's not central to one place or another - no matter what you think - and the bottom line is that people just hit the surface - they come on down for a degree, a quick drink, a ride from coast to coast just stopping along the way - and they never really truly see what these places have to offer - the richness that there can be - the deep roots that always exist even if only on a level of everyday living.

Concentrated With Love And White People

See - I can lose myself in pockets of my city, the greater metro, where I don't really have to see people who aren't Asian or of color as much as people might think. I can hit some Dim Sum, grab some Bollywood Film, Norebang, see some spoken word from API artists, or just sit with a Ca Phe Sua Da after some of the best Pho this side of HCMC.

But the makeup of my state does make me interact with all types of people of different races and ethnicities - and I enjoy that - I learn from that.

And at the same time, just by being here - by pushing in my own way - still learning and still growing as I immerse myself more to help create - it forces other people to take notice - to understand that their idea of what and who this place is - that it's changing.

That it has to change.

Because it's not just about being visible in our own community, but making sure we're visible, respected - and not just tolerated - in the eyes of all communities.

Before You Go

So if you happen to come from the mindset that there's nothing of substance coming out from the Midwest, that we have nothing to share, that we don't lead the fight - all I can really say is this:

Just remember who's MF blog it is that you're reading. Just remember that I get PR'd from all across the country. That I rep for the community on average 365 days a year 3-4 times a day, which is more than most people jerk themselves off in the same 24 hour period. That I put out a voice - for whatever that's worth - that people have seemed to connect with, and that grows each and every year - and while I'm just a small part of the whole community and what's become an active area for Asian Americans - whether you like it or not - you have to take notice.

You've already taken notice.

And then remember one other MF thing.

I'm outta Minneapolis.