This has been the longest that this typically bi-weekly blog has gone without a "Dose". After George Floyd was tragically killed one month ago, as much as I love this blog and appreciate all of you who are interested in the Asian American experience and culture and take the time to read, I simply didn't feel it was the time to continue putting a light on Asian Americans. For the last month I wrestled with this and have decided that the right thing to do now, in this time, is to share this platform to others to speak on the African American experience. This blog has always been about broadening our awareness of, respect for, and interest in what "Asian-ness" entails. Today, we give the mic to voices from the Black community, and I'm very happy to introduce someone I worked with years ago and have a tremendous respect for - Leslie Wingo, President of Sanders / Wingo. Here is Leslie's story titled "George Floyd, Anger, frustration and a path forward"
I challenge you to name three Asian American musicians. Not K-POP artists like BTS, but American. Can you? Why is that so difficult? Don't be surprised if you haven't even really even considered this question before. We don't often look for something that's not there... but in this case we should. There are so many talented Asian American musicians out there. Unfortunately, with few exceptions (did you know Bruno Mars is Filipino?), Asian American musicians have not been able to break through. Some of them have been 'discovered', but ultimately music execs struggle with how to 'market' them, which has resulted in either them dropping the artist or the artist rejecting what the label thought was needed to make them into a marketable musician. Instead, many have had to forge their own paths, leveraging platforms like Youtube and Soundcloud to build upon a local, loyal following. In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM), for this week's Dose, I'd like to highlight three Asian American musicians that are at the top of my list with the hope that some of you might also have a listen (while we're all stuck at home).
Over the last few years, there have been certain aspects of Chinese medicine that have begun to hit the mainstream, with professional athletes popularizing the practice of cupping, and acupuncture being covered by more and more health insurance policies. But what is less well known is what's behind both of those - and that is HOW they are trying to heal you. It isn't with medicine, or traditional physical therapy. The general notion in Eastern medicine of what is ailing you is that there is most often a 'deeper' issue at play and what you see/feel is but a symptom. With Western medicine, you can treat the symptom, but with Eastern practices, the goal is to get to the cause. And quite often, the cause has everything to do with how your energy, your Qi (pronounced "Chee"), is flowing through your body. If it is getting 'stuck' somehow, that's going to cause issues. Both of these treatments mentioned above, and many more Asian therapies (including foot massages!) at some level are ancient treatments, tested over literally thousands of years. You may remember that I briefly wrote about "Qi" in a recent Dose on facemasks and hinted that there was a story there. In this Dose, I am going to share a personal Qi story where I experienced this power first hand.
A little more than a year ago, we published a Dose article titled "In God we trust. All others pay cash." about how many Asian Americans still prefer cash over credit cards. And when you go into many Asian restaurants that's what they require - cash. No credit cards. As a quick aside, while there are active efforts to help support Asian Americans restaurants, they're suffering heavily during this crisis as the early stigma against Asian Americans carried directly to their businesses. Please support them if you can with takeout/Uber Eats (if they're still open). Well, while cash is still king among many Asian Americans, an interesting thing has been happening in Asia over the last few years, and it's become even more apparent during COVID-19. Even before this pandemic the rapid adoption of mobile payment was apparent with 80% of consumers in China last year having used mobile payment. How many people use mobile payment today in the US where the vast majority of Americans carry a smartphone? Just 10%. What is going on?
I'll start this week's dose with a follow up to my last one a couple weeks ago as many readers have inquired as to how my daughter Ally is doing. I'm happy to report that she's back to 100% and is excited to start distance learning tomorrow through her middle school. Thank you all for your concern and well wishes - and I hope you and your loved ones are all faring OK during this challenging time we are in. Given that we are spending so much time at home these days, it's allowed me a bit of time to reflect upon some things that are somewhat different in Asian American homes than in non-Asian American homes - and one of those differences is the topic this week's dose, which I hope you enjoy and can relate to.
Given what we're going through and everything else I selfishly could be dealing with, I debated with myself if I should write this or not - but I honestly think sharing related experiences and helping to spread knowledge can only help us to get through this together. So these Doses may come out a bit less frequently, but you can trust that they'll keep coming! Ok. So my 13 year old daughter Ally is sick. I don't know if it's Coronavirus because they won't test (not at high enough risk / not meeting CDC requirements given there aren't enough tests available). She has a persistent fever, is lethargic (definitely not like her) and has a sore throat - but tested negative for the flu and strep so they sent her home saying she has a common cold. She's been in bed for 4 days straight, but is doing much better today - resting a lot, drinking fluids, and seems to be on the mend as she sat up and read in bed for a while and has ventured out of her bedroom. It may just be a bad bad cold... some other nasty bug going around. But to be safe we are all staying home, washing hands a LOT, and when she has recently come out of her room to be around us, Ally wears a face mask. And that is what brings me to today's topic.
Regardless of our political biases, I sincerely hope that everyone feels some level of excitement in seeing our democracy at work on a day like Super Tuesday. Thus, I thought I would take this opportunity to talk a bit about the elections and Asian American's increasingly important role in them. And in doing so, also highlight a surprising candidate from this year's Democratic primaries that made it further than just about anyone would have predicted a year ago. In fact, he was the last person of color to drop out of the race as a Democratic presidential hopeful. That man is 44 year old tech entrepreneur and son of Taiwanese immigrants, Andrew Yang.
Given the magnitude of this subject as it relates to Asians and Asian Americans, I felt it important to address the topic of the growing effect the Coronavirus is having for this week’s dose.
Happy new year everyone! I sincerely hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season filled with time with family. I was actually asked more than once recently if my family also celebrates the holiday and it got me thinking that I don't believe I've shared a lot of background on my family in this blog. Well, there's really no better time to talk family than the holidays.
It feels like Thanksgiving was just yesterday, but that may be due to the fact that I am still digesting and coming out of my food coma. That’s not just me right? You might be wondering, do Asian Americans celebrate Thanksgiving?