Identity angst is a luxury of the privileged. And I was privileged. And I was/am angst.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-10-27 16:28Z by Steven

Identity angst is a luxury of the privileged. And I was privileged. And I was/am angst. The fact that I have time space and a vocabulary to tease out my own relationship to race and represent Asian, and to lobby for more gender equity or fight for diversity in Western media and culture, means that I am already living my mother’s American dream. It wouldn’t look like that to her. Nope. She used to sigh and roll her eyes when I did shows like “Birth of a nASIAN” at the Smithsonian about Asian American identities. She was furious when I got into Juilliard because it meant I was not going to morph into a blonde doctor by sheer force of her will. And she would still be mad today that I am not pursuing her dream of passing as one of the Real Housewives of Assimilation Hills.

Kate Rigg, “My Asian Mom bought me a Blonde Wig.Medium, October 25, 2019.

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My Asian Mom bought me a Blonde Wig.

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2019-10-26 23:07Z by Steven

My Asian Mom bought me a Blonde Wig.


Kate Rigg

Yeah I wore it ONE TIME. To Wigstock at the end of high school. Doesn’t count.

And Other Adventures in Internalized Racism

“It will make you feel like success! You can be anyone you want in America. So why not have blonde hair and blue eyes?”

My mom’s big idea was that I should go to my first day of high school wearing a blonde wig and blue eye contacts.

“Why not? It will be a change! Fantastic! I will buy them for you! we can get matching it will be fun!”

So many exclamation points! So much fun! Gesturing at me with a People magazine with Pam Anderson on the cover! I was fourteen; and even then I knew that this situation was no fun. Not for me. And deep down, I bet, not for her.

I tried to verbally tap dance out of it. “I don’t have time for all that. I have to get school supplies and clean my room. Ok see you later byeeee.” Tried to lie my way out of it. “Oh yeah, sure I would totally do that, but I want to pay for it myself so it really feels like me.” Tried out reverse psychology out of it “People should like me for who I really am. Isn’t that what you taught me?”

The one thing I didn’t do was flat out say “No.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Mom Was a Brown-Skinned Asian Migrant. She Was Also Racist. Now What?

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Canada, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-08-27 01:19Z by Steven

Mom Was a Brown-Skinned Asian Migrant. She Was Also Racist. Now What?

Human Parts

Kate Rigg, Actor, Writer, activist, futurist, culture vulture, Amerasian rebel

That’s her on the left. She loved sunglasses. And me. And whiteness. All photos taken/owned by the author.

The dirty little secret of my New American family

Both sides of my family, the white one but especially the Southeast Asian one, are going to freak when they see that title. However, since my mom went to the great Gucci outlet in the sky a few years ago, there is no one here to throw a massage sandal at my head and verbally assault me for an hour in response. And my dad barely does email, let alone read blogs, so let’s continue.

The title of my story is the great unspoken truth for many of us North Americans “of color.” I have heard my mom say, “Send them back!” in various political and casual conversations concerning various ethnic groups — including her own…

Read the entire article here.

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Critical Mixed Race Studies 2010 Event Report

Posted in Media Archive, Reports, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2011-02-19 20:31Z by Steven

Critical Mixed Race Studies 2010 Event Report


Wei Ming Dariotis, Associate Professor Asian American Studies
San Francisco State University, IPride Board

Camilla Fojas, Associate Professor and Chair
Latin American and Latino Studies
DePaul University

Laura Kina, Associate Professor Art, Media and Design and Director Asian American Studies
DePaul University

Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference
DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus
2250 N. Sheffield
Chicago, Illinois USA 60614
2010-11-05 through 2010-11-06

For the inaugural CMRS 2010 conference, we had over 450 people registered and 430 people actually showed up from all over the U.S. from Hawaii to Tennessee to New York as well as scholars from Canada, Korea, and the UK. The programming included 62 sessions of panels, round tables, and seminars; multiple film screenings, keynote addresses by leading scholars Mary Beltrán from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Andrew Jolivette from San Francisco State University, and community activist and artist Louie Gong from MAVIN and Eighth Generation; a Mixed Mixer social event with live jazz music; a performance by comedian Kate Rigg; an Informational Fair; a Book Table; Caucus and Business meetings.

We sold out three boutique hotels with CMRS attendees and many panels were standing room only or at capacity. We were honored to have many senior scholars present at CMRS 2010 as well as a strong contingent of undergraduate and graduate students from area colleges, community members, and a surprisingly high number of graduate students and junior colleagues from across the country. A critical mass of new media artists (podcasters, bloggers, film and video) including bloggers Steven F. Riley from and Fanshen Cox from the Mixed Chicks Chat podcast joined us as well. Representatives from community organizations came out in full force from: MAVIN, SWIRL Inc., Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival, Multiracial Americans of Southern California,, and the Biracial Family Network.

You can find links to download the conference poster and a PDF of the schedule as well as the video of the welcoming address and the three keynote addresses and audio recordings from 18 sessions via iTunes U on the CMRS 2010 website:

Outcomes and Future Goals
We can’t express how grateful we are to all the attendees, participants, volunteers, hosts and co-sponsors for making this event happen.

Following the 2010 CMRS conference, we were able to establish the following Tangible Outcomes:

  • DePaul’s Media Production & Training (Wen Der Lin and Greg Barker) video recorded, edited, and posted video from the welcoming address and the three keynote addresses on iTunes U.
  • DePaul’s Media Production & Training (Wen Der Lin and Russ Patterson) worked with the organizers and participants to audio record conference sessions. 18 conference sessions were edited and MP3 audio was posted on iTunes U.
  • DePaul’s Linda Greco created updated the conference website under the Global Asian Studies URL (
  • Laura Kina started a Google group “criticalmixedracestudies” which participants are using to continue to stay in touch. If you haven’t joined yet, please do so at:!
  • CMRS participants are also using our “Critical Mixed Race Studies” facebook page to stay in touch. Friend us!
  • Chris Paredes, a student at the University of Washington, organized a network of mixed race student organizations from across the country to stay in touch on a regular basis. If you would like to join this discussion, please contact Chris at:
  • Amanda Erekson, President of MAVIN, is coordinating monthly call ins for the community orgs. If your mixed race community organization would like to participate, contact Amanda for details at:
  • DePaul LA&S undergrad student, Erin Kushino, would like to start a mixed race student org at DePaul. If you know DePaul students who might want to help her with these efforts, please contact her at:

Goals in progress and/or that we need help with still:

  • Next CMRS conference – Camilla Fojas and the DePaul University Department of Latin American and Latino Studies will host the second CMRS conference in November 2012. Be on the look out for the call for papers shortly. Please direct all conference questions to Camilla Fojas at:
  • G. Reginald Daniel and Paul Spickard (University of California, Santa Barbara), Laura Kina (DePaul University), Wei Ming Dariotis (San Francisco State University) plan to launch an online peer reviewed CMRS journal. We are in the process of reviewing digital platforms for the online journal and drafting a list of CMRS journal advisory board members. We will be sending out invitations to senior scholars shortly. We will be looking for additional junior and senior scholars to be blind reviewers and guest editors. Please direct all questions about the journal to G. Reginald Daniel at:
  • Plans are in the works to found an association for CMRS. If you are interested in volunteering for a leadership role, please contact Laura Kina at: Our immediate needs are for a volunteer lawyer to review our by-laws and help us apply for non-profit status.

Thank you for supporting the inaugural CMRS 2010 conference!

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