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How Did #NotYourAsianSidekick Become The Place To Talk About Race and Stereotypes Online?

suey park smiling
Suey Park

Lots of people are talking about race on Twitter this week, using the hashtag #NotYourAsianSidekick.

The person who started the conversation is the writer Suey Park. She says that there are so many stereotypes: Asians are submissive, good at math and science, and play the violin. She wants to have a fuller conversation about Asian Americans.

This minute and a half BBC video is a good intro to Suey and the topic:

Suey says that she developed an eating disorder when she was a girl. "I was hearing all of these messages that it was supposed to be easy for me to do well in school. And easy for me to stay thin. People think that eating disorders only happen to white women."

illustration, woman, arms crossed
Credit Twitter
Suey Park's Image on Twitter

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Suey Park about "Not Your Asian Sidekick." Jennifer Ho, a professor of English and Asian-American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Sara Sandman, student at UNC-Chapel Hill and a member of Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, also join the conversation on The State of Things about Asian-American feminism.

Carol Jackson has been with WUNC since 2006. As Digital News Editor, she writes stories for, and helps reporters and hosts make digital versions of their radio stories. She is also responsible for sharing stories on social media. Previously, Carol spent eight years with WUNC's nationally syndicated show The Story with Dick Gordon, serving as Managing Editor and Interim Senior Producer.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.