Why Doesn’t Huffington Post Have Asian Voices And Do We Asian Americans Even Care?

Thirteen days ago, a fellow LinkedIn member, Susan Miyabe - Sugimoto posted a question-- “Does anyone know why there are no "Asian Voices" on the Huff Post?” even though there are black, latino, and gay voices categories-- on the LinkedIn group Asian American Leadership Network, in which we both belong. Though there are 609 members in the group, no one responded to her.  She commented on her own post: “..perhaps the HuffPost came up with the same conclusion that no one cares about the Asian Americans...there just is not a large enough market share out there for them to be significant.”  And then she added she decided to send a message to the Huffington Post to see why they themselves decided not to have Asian Voices.

I didn’t see Susan’s post until a few days later.  But reading her post and her comment about no one responding to her post struck me for two reasons.  One, damnit, she’s right.  Why isn’t there an Asian Voices in the Huffington Post?  Why are we less important than the Black community, Latino community or the gay community?  Is it because of our numbers?  Sure we are smaller than the black and hispanic communities, but according to the US Census, we have the highest growth rate of any racial group, and I am sure we are bigger than the gay community.  Heck, Huffington Post even has a “Weird News” category.  Is weird news more relevant than Asian Americans?

The second thing that struck me about Susan’s post, her comment to her post actually, was that why didn’t any anyone respond to her post and because of this lack of interest, is that the same conclusion Huffington post came up with?  That Asian Americans don’t care to have a voice?  That struck me more deeply than the original post by Susan, on why Huffington Post don’t have Asian Voices?

I responded to Susan, after she commented again that after 5 days, Huffington Post still had not responded even though she went through all the protocols for contacting them.  I said, “It's unfortunate but it just shows we have to make our own voices. And I think more and more of us are doing that. We are trying with TigerStartups to enable Asian American entrepreneurs to have a voice and to have a place to promote themselves. I do hope Huff Post, as a huge medium, does see that we are a people that have a voice and that we are a market that is worth marketing to.”

In reply Susan said, “ It’s sad, but maybe the Huff Post looks at us as a group that does not have a voice...therefore, no Asian Voices.”

As I read Susan’s response, I couldn’t help but think she may be right.  Maybe the Huffington Post doesn't have Asian Voices because there is just no demand for it.  No demand from any Asian Americans of influence (that I know off) that is loudly asking Huffington Post why they feel that we Asians don’t deserve a voice, but other minorities do?  Perhaps not enough emails and telephone calls asking Huffington Post why they don’t to represent Asian voices.  Basically not enough Susan Miyabe-Sugimotos.  I thought this was probably the reason.  And it made me sad but not totally surprised.

For too long Asians are known as the mythical model minority.  A minority that works hard, studies hard, is affluent and stays out of trouble.  I never liked this label put upon me let alone the community to which I am supposed to belong.  Yes, I am a hard worker, and yes I studied hard enough to go to college and get my degree though my family was in poverty.  I didn’t like this label because I felt it propagated Asians from thinking they are the “accepted” minority while the other minorities, black, and hispanics are somehow less accepted.  That implication, was antithetical to me.  It made me think we are glad to be accepted by the white majority, thus subservient to them and not as equals.  It insinuated an “us against them” mentality, them being the black and latino communities.  That just made me very uncomfortable if not sick.

I can’t help but think that we are still feeding this model minority label.  And because of this, we are still not speaking up for our voices because we are the model minority so we shouldn't rock the boat. But damn it, this is not 1902 when race riots occurred against Asian Americans.  This is not 1942 when Japanese Americans were interned.  This is not 1982 when Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, was murdered on the day of his bachelor party because a laid off United Auto Worker thought he was Japanese and getting away with the murder - to this day not spending a day in jail.  This is 2012.  We are supposed to past this fear of speaking for our voices.  Maybe if we spoke up and had our voices heard long ago, Vincent Chin’s murderers would have faced justice.  Maybe it’s because we failed to speak up for our rights.  And to speak up for our rights, we need to raise our voice.  We need to have a voice period.

Thank you Susan Miyabe - Sugimoto for speaking up.  We need more like you and when we do we will finally have Asian Voices in the Huffington Post.  To do your part-- tweet, facebook and write and email the Huffington Post demanding that your voice be heard.



31 comments | 0 plugs

Susan Miyabe: Hello again! Its been a year since Peter posted this article on his Tiger Startups. Alas, still no Asian Voices on the Huffington Post. However, I have noticed that Asians are well-rounded people, many post about Asian Americans appear on Gay Voices, Weird Voices, Religion, Business, Celebrities, Sports and even when we were noted as the biggest growing demographic group in America, it was posted on Latino Voices! Perhaps we are not special enough to warrant our own voice, however, I noticed that many advertising companies are noticing that we are good enough to be a targeted audience. I especially enjoy the wonderful treatment I get at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa when I shop with my Japanese speaking friends in the high end stores. After a year and no action, I figure that the Huffington Post is satisfied that the Asian Americans are not vocal enough to have their own voice.
April 03
Susan Miyabe: Hello fellow Tigers! Happy New Year! Its approaching the one year anniversary from when I asked the Huffington Post why there was no "Asian Voices" in their line up. Still no reply from them. It has become an ongoing joke between many of my friends...some even saying that because I am so loud, perhaps the Huffington Post thought I AM Asian Voices. Now that the Tiger network has expanded, I am wondering if there is anyone out there that has insight to this question.
Feb 13, 2013
Susan Miyabe: The HuffPost may not care about Asian American's having a voice, but all Asian Americans SHOULD care that they have a voice and that their vote matters. PLEASE REGISTER TO VOTE AND EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT AS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN!
Sep 25, 2012
Susan Miyabe: Open message to the Asian Americans that did support the Huff-Post to add Asian Voices...I realize after trying to bring attention to this since April of this year (5 months), that there are many variables at work here that make it not a priority for Asian Americans to want their voices heard on the Huff-Post (too bad for them). With the election near, I have been studying the demographics of Asian Americans and we seem to be invading this country in large numbers and I finally realized that whether Huff-Post wants to have Asian Voices or not, it won't matter. We will have our voices heard.
Sep 24, 2012
Susan Miyabe: Jamilah, I went to that link and signed also...I agree, the more solidarity that we show in helping each other the closer to our goal we become.
Sep 11, 2012
Jamilah L.: It looks like there is another petition with a similar goal - AND with a lot more signatures - I'm going to channel my support there for solidarity. The more the better. http://www.change.org/petitions/editor-establish-an-asian-pacific-voices-page-on-huff-po
Sep 07, 2012
Peter Shen: I signed the petition too! I hope we help get more people involved. Thanks Jamilah for letting us know!
Aug 29, 2012
Susan Miyabe: I signed and now I am going to forward it to as many Asian Americans that I know...thank you Jamilah, I'm glad someone else other then Peter and myself feel that Huffington Post needs a wake up slap...FYI, so far they gave ignored all of my request for a courtesy reply on why they don't have one. I just figured that they were hoping that it goes away, like a lot of issues that concern Asian Americans.
Aug 27, 2012
Jamilah L.: Let's show the Huffington Post that enough is enough and that an 'Asian Voices' is necessary - Please sign this petition I created here: http://www.change.org/petitions/hey-huffington-post-add-an-asian-voices-page
Aug 27, 2012
Susan Miyabe: Interesting observation is that when the Huffpost wrote about Asians being the fastest growing minority group they posted it on "Latino Voices"!
Jun 22, 2012
Ryan Oliver: Took awhile but I see.. I did look at the heading and realized there wasn't any "ASIAN VOICES" section. A little late but I see it now. A flagrant omission.
Jun 22, 2012
Peter Shen: Hey Ryan, I think you're missing the point about Susan's question about why Huffington Post doesn't have Asian Voices. Sure it is nice that HP sometimes invite Asian writers to blog occasionally, in which most times they don't write about Asian American issues anyway, but it is not the same thing as having a dedicated "channel" just for Asian American interests and issues. That's what is missing. They can invite more Asian writers but that doesn't take away the fact that they don't think we need a voice to be heard unlike black, hispanic and gav americans.
Jun 21, 2012
Susan Miyabe: Without Asian Voices, will America really see who we are? I am a NASCAR fan, Motocross fan, and a fan of the NRA. I would like to know about other Asian Americans and what they have and are experiencing in life, just in general, whether good or bad. Huffpost being one of the larges source of internet news should consider this as an opportunity. If they can't figure us out...spend a bit of market research money and find out who we are...I think the Huffpost will be surprised.
Jun 21, 2012
Ryan Oliver: Hear hear! Disgrasian has their own segment within the Huffington Post that dates all the way back to June 18, 2010. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/disgrasian
Jun 21, 2012
Susan Miyabe: Yesterday, I noticed that the HuffPost had an article about how the fastest growing minority in America are Asian, they posted it on Latino Voices...I am starting to find this amusing. I guess they will catch on after awhile that there is a need for Asian Voices.
Jun 20, 2012
Ryan Oliver: Here's an Asian writer who wrote for them back in '09. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-huang
Jun 20, 2012
Susan Miyabe: After I posted this question, and there was no response from the Huffpost, nor did the Asian community appear to be concerned about this subject, I noticed that there are many successful Asian American writers, journalist, newscasters etc.. This is mainstream and does not highlight the unique features that we have living in America as Asians. That is why I thought "Asian Voices" would be a cool place for Asian Americans as well as other Americans to get a glimpse of our lives in America.
Jun 18, 2012
Ryan Oliver: They have Teresa Hsiao writing for them now! ............... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/teresa-hsiao/how-to-tell-your-mom-single_b_1588413.html
Jun 18, 2012
Susan Miyabe: Peter, I hope the prove us both wrong!
May 31, 2012
Peter Shen: Susan, I'm afraid not enough Asians are speaking up, not because of being cautiousness. I hope I am proven wrong however.
May 31, 2012
Susan Miyabe: Update...I contacted the HuffPost four times and no response, not even a courtesy reply. I was thinking of sending an angry message, but that would be dishonest because I'm really not upset, just wondering why they do not consider it significant to have "Asian Voices". At this point, I'm rather bored with the HuffPost, I am going to change my home page on my computer so I get my news somewhere else...so they won't miss one person. Peter, your blog page got more comments than the Asian American Leadership on Linkedin, but it just could be that normal people are more cautious posting on Linkedin.
May 30, 2012
Susan Miyabe: @ John, do you mind if I post your comment on Linkein under the Asian American Leadership Network? Perhaps, it would get some body, any body to respond.
Apr 30, 2012
Susan Miyabe: @ John, was that her reply? That's lame.
Apr 28, 2012
John Nishio: I tweeted @ariannahuff, and I asked, "Why is there no Asian American Voices on HuffPost?" Blacks are presumed to be "American" (US citizens) first. Unfortunately, Asian Americans are often considered Asian first (the perpetual foreigner). Latino-Americans like Asian Americans face mixed reactions with regard to whether they are considered "American" (US Citizens) first. I know, ideally, we're all US Americans, but unfortunately, that ain't the way it is. European Americans...I always think they are from Germany.
Apr 28, 2012
Susan Miyabe: What appeals to me about how the HuffPost handles their "Gay Voices, Black Voices, Latino Voices, etc" is that it also educates people on the different voices within that particular group. Having Asian Voices can also demonstrate to Asian Americans how we are the same, yet different in many ways. BTW, I sent another request to the HuffPost, still no reply, almost 30 days now.
Apr 27, 2012
Peter Shen: John, it's for Asian Americans but Asians is just a term to describe our ethnic group just as Black Voices and Latino Voices are described vs African American Voices or Latino American Voices.
Apr 27, 2012
John Nishio: Do you want Asian voices or Asian-American voices?
Apr 27, 2012
Ryan Oliver: To call you a minority is to cast you out. You're supposed to be a fellow citizen not a 'model minority'. What a farce.
Apr 26, 2012
Peter Shen: Welcome to TS Susan! And don't give up harassing the Huffington Post. They may respond just because of that. :) And Frank, thank you for the comment. I agree with you like Susan about how we need to lead and help our community. Hurray to that. And I do respect your opinion about the model minority. Personally I have a problem with it. Though I can expand on the reasons to several pages long, the crux of my problems with the model minority label are in the article. But I do want to add a couple examples why I think embracing the model minority is counterproductive to Asian Americans. Because of the label, many Asian Americans who are in poverty (more than anyone thinks), especially immigrants are not getting the help they need, since people and the government will either assume Asian Americans don't need help or because of lack of pressure due to the stereotype, they don't care to help. I don't mean to say help as in handouts but just to provide basic services that NGOs and governments provide. In addition I think by embracing the model minority label, it psychologically prevents Asians from speaking up, as by speaking up we would be afraid of rocking the boat and becoming a 'problem minority' instead of an 'accepted minority'. Again the words 'model' and 'accepted' conjures that we are beholden to the white majority which is what I have the most problem with. But this is just my opinion. But I think we all are in agreement that how we choose to live our lives define us. And I hope to set a good example for my son and my community.
April 20
Susan Miyabe: I like what Frank has to say "Take the good parts, break the mold and go further. Speak up, be assertive, mentor and help others in the community, and lead" I would like to see more Asian based community blogs addressing this issue to our youth. I still have not received a response from HuffPost, and I feel the third time might be annoying, but I'm not giving up yet. Perhaps, they just need the time to do research to give us a reason why we have no voice.
April 20
Frank Lio: Thanks for the great article. I don’t feel offended over the label of “Model Minority”. Would we rather have the label of being lazy, etc.? It’s our attitude toward that label that will define us. We set our own limits. Would we we rather have the label of being lazy, etc.? I am proud of and thankful for those before me who worked hard and honestly (and most likely suffered hardships) to create the “Model Minority”. There’s something called “Unfair Advantage”. For example, we tend to interpret that someone with a British accent is more intelligent in the US. Make the “model minority” label your unfair advantage. Take the good parts of that, then break the mold and go further. Speak up, be assertive, mentor and help others in the community, and lead.
April 19

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