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The Otherness of Being Asian American

Identifying as Asian American means being woke. That’s a tough pill for most Asian Americans to swallow. 
Jay Caspian Kang’s insightful NY Times article got me thinking about Asian American identity and masculinity. At first glance, this piece about 20-year old Michael Deng’s death during a weekend fraternity getaway seems to be an expose on the excesses of fraternity hazing. That’s absolutely not what it’s about - as the title should indicate but the majority of commenters seems to miss.   Through the lens of an Asian American fraternity’s initiation ritual, Kang highlights the challenges of defining an Asian American identity. The article concerns the trial of four of Deng’s fraternity brothers for their involvement in the death of Deng. Ultimately, Kang’s article is not so much about ethnicity but a man’s hunger for belonging and the male need to define and express their identity through aggression.
I didn’t realize I was Asian American until I moved to Atlanta in eighth grade. Befor…

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