May is Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, a time to reflect on how these communities have shaped the history of the U.S. while also examining the struggles and discrimination they have faced in America.
The “CBS This Morning” podcast spoke with a historian, actor and author about what it means to be Asian American in today’s times and how they are impacting their respective fields.
Actor John Cho on what it’s like to be Asian American during the coronavirus pandemic
Actor John Cho recently wrote a powerful op-ed about being Asian American in today’s times. He joined the “CBS This Morning” podcast to tell CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang why he decided to speak out.
“People have a propensity to trivialize racism towards Asians,” Cho said. “It’s important if you think that racism is a problem anywhere that you have to stand up for it everywhere you see it.
“We are Americans by virtue of being here, by virtue of our citizenship and very, very often by virtue of our birth. I don’t think that anyone has to earn that.”
“Little Fires Everywhere” author Celeste Ng on Hulu adaptation and diversity in publishing
Author Celeste Ng discussed her best-seller-turned-Hulu series, “Little Fires Everywhere,” along with her journey as a writer and her efforts to bring more diversity to the publishing industry.
She told CBS News’ Elaine Quijano, “One of the things we need to do is to create a space where that writing about being ‘other’ and different experiences is valued and people can advocate for that kind of work. I think it’s great to say that writers need to write those stories. It’s true. But we also need people to open the gates for those stories and to champion them and bring them out.”
How Asians and Pacific Islanders shaped America
Erika Lee, one of the nation’s leading immigration and Asian American historians, as well as a professor of American history at the University of Minnesota, joins CBS News Asia correspondent Ramy Inocencio to discuss the concept of “Asian America,” and the pivotal moments and essential lessons in history.
Lee, who is extensively featured in the five-part PBS docuseries “Asian Americans,” also explains why she thinks Asian Americans “fall through the cracks in some of the larger conversations about race or immigration.”