1. Being Asian does not automatically make me a savant. But, yes, I can and will kick your ass at school.
2. Asking me to help you with your math homework is okay. Using “I figured I’d ask you because, you’re — you know — Asian” and then giggling as if this were a reasonable justification will only induce me to tell you that two plus two equals six before walking away.
3. Broccoli and beef or chicken curry from a dinky, food court counter in the mall qualifies as authentic Asian cuisine just as about as much as hot dogs with mayo can be considered authentic “American” cuisine.
4. Even though stereotypes toward Asian females paint us as obedient, docile, or subservient, most of us embody none of the above. We are more tigers than we are sweet lotus flowers.
5. If you attempt to hit on me with racially charged pick-up lines, I will take the drink you bought for me and splash it over your head. I will respond favorably to neither “ni hao” nor “hello, China doll.”
6. Most of us are actually quite adept at driving. However, I will admit that I’m personally not the best example of this.
7. Spewing gibberish or making clucking noises with your tongue in an attempt to imitate the language that my parents and most of my extended family speak will only make me wonder why you lack the brain cells necessary to come up with a wittier shtick.
8. “You don’t really look Asian” is not so much a compliment as it is backhanded. It makes me question if there is something wrong with looking Asian or what that even entails.
9. Just because my family comes from a particular country in Asia does mean that I have opinions about that country’s current political issues. Or, if I do, it doesn’t mean that I necessarily want to discuss those opinions with people I don’t know very well.
10. Even though I’m an Asian college student, I’m not pre-med, and I can’t help you come up with answers to your organic chemistry assignment.
11. Despite sharing some physical similarities, not Asians look alike. I know, it’s as difficult a realization as figuring out that not all blonde people look alike.
12. Stereotypes sometimes depict Asian males as weak or less “masculine” than men who fall into other racial categories. Those who actually believe these stereotypes have obviously never seen a Bruce Lee film or watched Yao Ming play basketball.
13. When you ask me where I’m from, I’ll tell you my home state. When you keep badgering me to specify, I’ll name the city and neighborhood where I was born and have lived all my life.
14. Our parents do sometimes raise us on tough love. But, like most other parents, they do this because they care enough that we won’t rot our brains by watching too many episodes of South Park. Or that we do well enough for ourselves to have a shot at a decent future.
15. Though we are often grossly underrepresented in American media (except for a few exceptions — props to those like Lucy Liu, Mindy Kaling, or Tao Lin), we do represent a portion of the population that is expanding with verve.