Andy Kim Profile picture
27 Mar, 13 tweets, 5 min read
My 5 yr old boy came home and asked me why bigger kid kept calling him Chinese Boy. My son, confused, told the boy I’m a New Jersey Boy. He laughed it off but my eyes welled up. 50 yrs ago my parents immigrated here but we cannot shake shadow of foreignness. #StopAsianHate THREAD
I was sad because my son shared what was likely his first ever experience of discrimination. For me it wasn’t first time I heard bias about him. People told me he has cute slanty Chinese eyes or it’s great we teach him English as primary lang as if our default is foreigner. 2/13
When someone joked about whether he was born knowing Kung Fu, it reminded me of the Jackie Chan taunts I got that started “innocent” but then turned dangerous as I got older and found myself attacked by drunk men seeking to prove their strength by beating up “Jackie Chan” 3/13
WHAT DO I SAY? I was sad because I know this won’t be his last time facing racism. Other times will likely be worse and potentially violent. As a Congressman, I sadly know there is no law I can pass that will protect him fully. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to tell him. 4/13
@Capehartj asked me if my parents ever gave me “the talk” and if I would do that with my kids. The racism AAPIs face is different from black community, so conversations would be different, but I started to think about how I should talk to my kids. 5/13…
I would want them to hear some of the hurtful words that they may hear from me and their mom first, hoping that might take out some of the bite. I would want to tell them some of the struggles that I faced so they know it happens to others. But what else should I say? 6/13
I told @Capehartj my parents never talked to me when I was a child about discrimination I might face. I called my mom yesterday to seek her thoughts. She told me she wished she had the words then to prepare me. I asked my mom what she would want to tell me as a kid. 7/13
My mom said she would tell me about racism I may face and then follow up with “You are very special. Keep being yourself. You are never alone. Whatever problems come, let us know and we will go through together.” The opposite of feeling foreign is to be loved in a community. 8/13
I reassured my mom that she raised me well and with strength to face down discrimination. She and I then talked about what we think the boys are taking away from growing up during this moment of immense chaos in our nation where racism is so out in the open? 9/13
We both agreed that when I talk to my boys about racism they might face that I should also raise the racism/hate that others face. I would tell them that we stand against discrimination in all forms. Want them to know both their vulnerabilities and their privileges. 10/13
KNOW STRUGGLE OF OTHERS: I read this powerful article that says our kids “need to know the world we are in. And your children do, too, no matter what color their skin.” Tough conversations are not just for certain communities, but for everyone.11/13…
STAND FOR ALL: I will teach them names of George Floyd along Hyun Jung Grant (Korean American mom killed in ATL). The type of racism/discrimination that AAPIs face is different than others communities of color. We have different types of “talks.” But we stand up for all. 12/13
I’m going to get ready to have that talk with my son. I’m a bit nervous. He’s such a sweet boy and I don’t know how he will take it. He’s 5 so I won’t go into everything but I think it’s good to get conversation started as they grow up fast. I’ll let you know how it goes. END

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More from @AndyKimNJ

20 Mar
I’ll never forget the feeling when I learned that my own government questioned my loyalty. Before Congress I worked in diplomacy at StateDept. I once received a letter banning me from working on Korea issues just because of my last name. I was stunned. (THREAD) #StopAsianHate
I had previously worked in Afghanistan for State. I had a top secret security clearance. But here was a letter saying we don’t trust you. What confused me more is that I didn’t even apply to work on Korea. The StateDept was proactively telling me they didn’t trust me. 2/13
And it wasn’t just me. I learned that other Asian Americans at State had same thing happen. It was called “assignment restrictions” - a bureaucratic way of saying “failing loyalty test.”… 3/13
Read 13 tweets
18 Mar
I was asked if murder was racially motivated if killer wasn’t yelling KungFlu? Answer is yes. The killer fetishized Asian women and targeted them to murder(dominate) because of his hypersexualized objectification. AAPI racism isn’t just about Covid. #StopAsianHate (THREAD)
The fact that the killer doesn’t see his violence as racist is exactly the problem. The killer’s actions were motivated by the way he saw Asian women. Regardless of what he said, his actions and violence spoke the truth of his motivations. 2/7
And for members of the AAPI community, his message of hate is loud and clear. It’s a message that hits at the intersection of this hate crime. We don’t need to hear his spin, now is a time to instead listen to AAPI women who sadly know this discrimination/fear personally. 3/7
Read 7 tweets
17 Mar
There was a mass shooting in America last night. Sadly that is not uncommon. Many of the victims were AAPI. Tragedy sits at the intersection of multiple broken parts of our society. To honor victims and save lives, we must make progress across all. #StopAsianHate (THREAD)
I’ve been asked if the violence against AAPI is new, and if it is getting better with the increased recent visibility. The answer to both is no. Discrimination/violence existed before COVID and it will continue after. And sadly, I don’t think we have seen the worst of it. 2/13
I can’t tell you how much it means to me and others that anti-AAPI violence has gotten attention. Biden’s mention in his speech was powerful. Now we need follow through. Give AAPI communities more resources/coordination. Give us tools to counter. Listen to our needs. 3/13
Read 13 tweets
13 Mar
Agnes Chow just spent 24th birthday behind bars fighting for democracy in Hong Kong. While locked up, China this week imposed law meant to extinguish democracy once and for all. Here’s why Communist Party is terrified of this 24 yr old woman and others(THREAD) #StandWithHongKong
ORIGINAL BROKEN PROMISE: When Agnes was 7 months old, China agreed to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy for 50 years until the year 2047. When skeptics questioned China’s promise during the 1997 handover, China’s premier said China “would prove her words by her deeds.” 2/19
ONE COUNTRY TWO SYSTEMS: The Basic Law agreement sets forward "ultimate aim" for chief executive to be chosen by "universal suffrage." Agnes phrases it quite simply as “We want to choose our future by ourselves.” 3/19
Read 19 tweets
6 Mar
Her name is Kyal Sin and she was brutally murdered this week. She wore this black shirt that said “Everything will be OK” when she was shot in the head by Burmese military. Know her courage. Here’s how her memory may stop this coup and help protect democracies everywhere (THREAD)
WHO KILLED KYAL? One man set this chaos in motion - Min Aung Hlaing. A General so unremarkable that colleagues once gave him a nickname meaning “cat feces” as he reminded them of "something deposited quietly but leaving a powerful stink." 2/14
UNREMARKABLY REMARKABLE: Perhaps incorrect to describe him as unremarkable because he orchestrated the Rohingya genocide. Nearly a million displaced. Tens of thousands massacred. Thousands of women and girls raped. While quiet in personality, he is ruthless in action. 3/14
Read 14 tweets
4 Mar
I just received an email from Capitol security about “new and concerning information and intelligence” about possible militia actions against the Capitol tomorrow. We are now rushing to finish our legislative work tonight under threat of Qanon. This is insane. (THREAD)
Tomorrow March 4 is being called Qanon’s true Inauguration Day. Conspiracists say that Trump will become the 19th President tomorrow. That’s right, 19th, because supposedly the last legitimate President was Ulysses S. Grant who was sworn in on March 4, 1869 as our 18th. 2/8
I began to try to understand why 3/4 matters, but I realized that it’s not worth it. Something about the gold standard and secret laws. Supposedly there will be a ceremony anointing Trump, followed by “the storm” of military tribunals/executions. It’s impossible to follow. 3/8
Read 8 tweets

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