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There is never a single story about any place. Asian american short stories friend brought up this TED talk to discuss the single story about Thai women ; after reading her thoughtful piece, my thoughts wandered to the single story about Asian Americans.

Donald Sterling Asian american short stories preached this story. Earlier this year, Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld wrote a book largely based on it. Even Serial, the most popular podcast in America with which I am newly obsessedsubtly reinforces it. The single story creates stereotypes, and Naked in the jungle without any clothes problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete.

They make one story become the only story. The reality is far more complex: There are countless Asian American narratives. There are Asian Americans who immigrated a few years ago and ones who have been in the US for centuries.

There are Asian Americans who are amazing at school and plenty who are not. The single story is something that all minorities in America — in terms of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, SES, what have you — have to face. One of the most tangible representations of privilege, in my mind, is the luxury of having multiple stories. They can watch Whiplash and not worry that non-white viewers might think that all white people have inherent musicality.

The Asian american short stories of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we Asian american short stories different rather than how we are similar.


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