It was Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “I have a dream,” those words that spoke years ago that powerful message and legacy of Black Lives Matter. Why has our dream as Asians in America so often and so long been lost? Called foreign, invisible, docile, cheap, expressionless, model minorities, we have been silenced, and we have sometimes turned willingly silent, out of fear and the desire to survive in that American conversation between white and Black. Our story has yet to be fully told, explored or studied, even dreamed.
HaikuSept. 20, 2021 by Yuri Kageyama
These days, I live by the Sumida River, which retains much of its Edo Period character. Some recent elements are jarring, such as the people on blaring jet skis that zip up and down the waters on weekends and holidays. The irony of the old pop music that was playing, “Aitakute” by Seiko Matsudo, juxtaposed with this alleged image of hip defiance, was a true Tokyo haiku moment for me.
An ode to the Asian Uncle Tom A Yuricane poem (or does power always turn evil?) by Yuri Kageyama
You sit prim with your glasses Behind that desk, title, resume Won on the backs of The 442 Purple Hearts Oblivious in your banal Banana-ism To the fact that Yellow is your Color The most expedient, forgotten, Cheapest of lives Hiroshima My Lai North Korea You sip white wine at ethnic restaurants New York, Tokyo, Dubai, Bangkok They all look alike Smiling in Instagram posts You have it made You have them duped You have arrived Never mind, in your deepest fearful solitary moments, You can’t help but pick out Just those Who look like you: Race suddenly a Reality; You must put them down, And make sure they stay down, Remain the invisible man, the invisible woman, Establish as Fact through rumors and appraisals That People of Color Can’t be objective, and, be careful, Get easily used, You can do the math _ as the stereotype goes _ The slots are limited, Tokenism being a zero sum game, Diversity cannot be the majority; You’ve long lost your ancestral accent You’ve adopted the air of leaders You’ve deleted memories Of how we were all shackled, We picked strawberries, We built the Transcontinental Railroad, We survived behind barbed wires, Instead You go to meetings, Rehearse video appearances, Take vacations to the Caribbean and Bali, Sneer at Chinese going shopping, Plan your retirement, Asian American Only to whites