Jeremy Lin Matters to Kyle

Jeremy Lin is riding a well-deserved wave of goodwill and adulation. After being undrafted and waived by not one, but two, NBA teams last year–the 23-year-old point guard for the New York Knicks has become the sport’s latest sensation. And Asian Americans are loving it. Each time Lin shows off his skills on the basketball court or does an on-air interview where—surprise!–he has no accent, he helps Asian Americans get one step closer to being accepted as “real” Americans.

Go Away With … Hines Ward

Born in Seoul, South Korea, to an African-American father and a Korean mother, Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver Hines Ward was raised in Atlanta by his mother after his parents divorced. Because he looked “different,” it was challenging to make friends. But football became the great equalizer and suddenly no one cared what color the young phenom was. Now 35, Ward is the first Korean-American to have won the Super Bowl MVP Award. He’s hoping that his agility on the gridiron carries over to the ballroom. Ward is one of the contestants competing on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” this season.

Donnie Yen: Asians of change

Jet Li. Jackie Chan. Donnie Yen. Quick. Which one of these action film stars grew up in the United States? Or, more appropriately, which one of these stars had to leave the United States before he could make a name for himself in Hollywood? That would be Yen. Sure, while he’s not as famous in the United States as either Li or Chan, he has a loyal following worldwide and an impressive resume of films — the best of which were made in Hong Kong.

Beyond Asian stereotypes

“Chink-a-Chink-a Chinaman sitting on a fence; Trying to make a dollar out of 59 cents.” My parents were mortified when their 5-year-old daughter came home from school singing this chant. My friends and I had learned to jump rope to this song from older kids who thought it would be fun to teach a bunch of kindergartners a thing or two. At the time, I had about as much concept of what a “Chink” was as I did the actual value of 59 cents. But I was too young to see past my parents’ forced smiles.

Culture Clash: Ethnic Portrayals and Television

I don’t necessarily love her semi-autobiographical show “All-American Girl” yet, but I relate to Margaret Cho, the star of ABC’s new comedy. Cho is Korean-American. I am Korean-American. She is the antithesis of the ideal Asian woman (geisha girl). No one would mistake me for Suzy Wong. She snorts when she laughs. I snort when I laugh. She’s big (chubby). I’m big (tall). Once, a Korean friend’s father helpfully advised me to “stop growing” if I wanted to land a husband. She’s not a doctor, but a comedian. I’m not a doctor, but a journalist – kind of like a comedian. Cho dates losers. When I date, they’re usually losers. She’s 25. I’m . . . well, never mind.

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