[Intro music] WHAT IS UP, EVERYBODY! Alright, it is May. And you may or may not know this but May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. A month celebrating the generations and cultures of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have helped enrich this country’s history. An event I sorely need to take part in because I know there is a lot of Asian culture and history that I have yet to be introduced to. Maybe there are some of you out there who can also identify, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for another “I can’t believe I never knew” video. And just like in previous videos, I brought along some friends to help me. Thomas: So, who wants to go first? Jarling: Let’s enforce the patriarchy, Rud you go first. [laughter] Hi, I’m Rudra! [laughter]
Rudra: This is my sister, Tara. Tara: Hi! I’m brown, and I’m proud! Thomas: There you go!
[some cheer] Freddy: What’s up, friends! Thomas: You might wanna do crouching just so that you’re- you’re [bursts into laughter] Freddy: Hi, my name is Freddy. [laughing and trying to speak at the same time] Jarling: I’m Jarling
[Thomas laughs] Thomas: Don’t be afraid of the camera! Darla: Hi, I’m Darla. And I’m Filipino. Darla: Red Ranger, Green Ranger, Blue Ranger, Yellow Ranger and Black Ranger. Tara: You’re not gonna be in it? Thomas: Me?!
Friends: Yeah! Thomas: No, this is your introduction!
[Friends protesting] Thomas: Well, I need to be the White Ranger. [Laughter] They are a fun bunch. [Laughs] And like in previous videos, I’ve asked them to do a little bit of research and create some questions about historical facts and figures or present-day facts and figures that I might not know about or that they might want to talk about. And hopefully it’s just a great round of getting to know new things that might be interesting or important to know! So yes, I’m excited! [Giggles] Let’s do this! Thomas: Your hair is so good!
Jarling: I tried. Thomas: Alright! Thomas: Looking good!
Rudra: [softly] yeah. Rudra: I might have to use your phone, I’m at 1%.
Thomas: [Laughs] Thomas: You ready, Jarling?
Jarling: I’m here. Jarling: I’m here and I’m queer.
Thomas: Here and you’re queer? Jarling: Ready.
Thomas: Love it. Thomas: Alright, you ready?
Freddy: Yeah. Thomas: [claps] Ready Freddy?
Freddy: Ready Freddy! Thomas: You’re so sick of that, probably.
Freddy: Nope, I hear that all the time.
Thomas: [laughs] Freddy: Who was the first ever Asian to play in the NBA? F: Jeremy Lin, Yao Ming, Wataru Misaka or Wang Zhizhi? T: ‘Kay, this is the first ever. T: Yao Ming is what strikes me in the NBA, [Freddy laughs] T: I’m gonna go ahead and say Yao Ming. F: No [buzz sound]
T: No. F: But he’s the best. [ding] F: Wataru Misaka played in 1947.
T: 1947!? F: First ever Asian- F: A WW2 sergeant.
T: What?! F: Drafted by the New York Knicks.
T: Okay! F: This is like a time of… racial oppression, and he’s Japanese! T: I was gonna say, yeah, right out of World War 2 as well!
F: Right out of WW2. Off camera: This is the same year Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier for baseball. T: What?!
F: Woah! T: What a cool year for sports!
[Off camera]: Yeah! Tara: My phone is at 20%, so-
R: That’s fine. [Thomas laughs] Thomas: Tara’s coming in clutch! Tara: I do so much for him.
R: I know, I know, I’m thankful for that, Tara! R: First question! R: This is subcontinental. I’m from India. R: A lot of Indian words are actually used in American culture- R: Name the Indian word that is actually used much in English. R: Pajamas, burrito, kebab, hummus! TS: Okay so I think… kebab is Middle Eastern, so I’m gonna- right?
Tara: I’m not-!
TS: So, okay, okay! So I’m gonna go with pajamas. R: Yup, that’s correct, actually!
R: Yeah! R: So there’s an Indian clothing, it’s called ‘Kurta’, you usually wear it to special occasions like maybe Pujas or weddings, and stuff. The full name is ‘Kurta Pyjama’. TS: Really?
R: Yeah! R: Some other words are actually like… ‘avatar’ [TS gasps] ‘jungle’, ‘juggernaut’, ‘khaki’ TS: ‘Juggernaut’?!
R: Yeah. [Talking off camera]
Off camera: Like the X-men? TS: Really, juggernaut’s Indian?
R: Juggernaut, yeah! TS: I always thought that was Russian! R&TS: [Say ‘juggernaut’ in a Russian accent] R: [giggles] TS: Wow! Darla: First question.
T: Yes! D: Who was the first Asian American to campaign for President of the United States? D: Patsy Mink, George Ariyoshi, Elaine Chao, Eugene Chung. T: Is it George Ariyoshi?
[buzz sound] D: No.
T: No? D: Do you wanna try again?
T: Is it Eugene? [buzz sound] D: Nope.
T: It wasn’t?
D: Yeah. T: It was a woman?
D: Yeah! It uh D: The answer is-
T: Was it- Elaine? [buzz sound]
D: No. It’s D: Patsy Mink.
T: Literally the last person, that I guessed. D: Patsy Mink was a third generation Japanese-American and the first Asian-American woman to be elected into Congress. And in 1972, she campaigned for the Democratic party’s presidal nomination-
T: Oh my goodness. the same year that she co-authored and sponsored the Title IX Amendment of Higher Education Act which prohibited gender discrimination in the US school systems. T: Oh my goodness!
D: I know! T: That’s awesome, in the 70s. J: Question.
T: Answer! Probably, maybe. J: Okay.
[Thomas laughs] J: What was the most recent year an Asian actress has won the Academy Award for Best Actress? A) 1935, or you-you just… you just wanna, like T: Please go ahead, but I feel like there’s some truth that’s gonna be dropped. J: I mean… Uhm
[Thomas laughs] J: 1935, 1957, 1984, 2003. T: I legit don’t know, so I’m gonna say 1984. J: Trick question! No Asian actress has ever won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
T: I knew you were gonna say that. J: But! In 1935 an Asian actress was nominated Merle Oberon and… that was it. T: They were- that…
J: She was, she was-
T: That was the only Asian actress that was nominated… J: No, she was the first and last Asian actress to be nominated for Best Actress.
T: No way. T: What?!
J: Yeah, I- I KNOW! J: She was nominated for ‘Dark Angel’. Well, I mean, she was part Sri Lankan but she always like, denied her Asian heritage because like, at the time opportunities you get would just be based on, like how much, like… you can pass as white. And, like, she even went as far as, like, pretending that her mom was her maid because her mom was like darker skinned… It just reminded me how much, like, people went through back then, because it made me sad she wasn’t, like, embracing her Asian heritage. This was when, like, the Asian Exclusion Act was implemented. A lot of anti-Asian sentiments at the time. In 1957, Miyoshi Umeki was a first generation Japanese-American who did win Best Supporting Actress, but she was also the first and last Asian-American to do so. T: What the heck? That’s so… What the heck?! J: It just really shows to you that the lack of diversity in Hollywood There’s a lot problems with it, but one of it is just they don’t give enough roles to, like, Asian-American actors and actresses to be able to showcase their talents, you know. And then- whitewashing, like- These roles that are meant to be for Asian-American actors are being taken away like, they don’t even get an opportunity. Off camera: Jar’s gonna be the next one and she will be good…
J: I- pfft T: Please!
J: Hire me. [Thomas clears throat]
F: Right, enough about sports. Let’s test you on some Chinese history.
T: Okay, Freddy! F: What was the last Chinese dynasty. The Qing dynasty, the Shang dynasty, the Zhou dynasty or the Han dynasty. T: Shang dynasty? I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of them.
[Freddy laughs] T: Ming dynasty?
F: Not one of my answer choices, but- T: OH NO!
[Both laugh] T: Zhou dynasty.
F: It’s gonna be wrong [buzz sound]
[Both chuckle] F: That’s like, the very beginning. That’s in the BC.
[The others are singing in the BG] T: There were dynasties in the BC era?
F: Oh yeah. Off camera: Yo, Chinese people have been around forever. T: Wow!
[Others giggle] T: You recite a song?
F: To memorize all of them. F: So it goes ‘Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han. Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han. Sui, Tang, Song. Sui, Tang, Song. Yuan, Ming, Qing. Yuan, Ming, Qing. Republic of China’.
[Laughter in background] But that’s not even all the dynasties, there’s like little ones in between. Those are like, the major ones. T: So, it’s Qing!
T: Ah-! F: You know what year that ended?
T: What year? F: Little bit more than a hundred years, 1911. T: Really?
F: So it ended- T: From like the BC era to 1911?! F: For the first republic. T: That’s mind-blowing. D: Which one of these Asian-Americans organised the Delano Grape Strike; a major labor strike that lasted over five years in protest of the Californian farmowners’ refusal to pay their workers the federal minimum wage. César Chávez, Jerry Yang, Larry Itliong, David Wong. T: Is it Larry Itliong?
D: Yes! T: Is it really?
D: Yeah! T: Oh, that’s awesome! D: So he was the first one to lead the Delano Grape Strike as a member of the predominantly Filipino Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee. T: Man…
D: He helped unite Filipino migrant workers with the Mexican-American National Farm Workers Association. And together they became the United Farm Workers of America. And, October 25th is recognised in his honour. D: That’s-
D: That’s Larry Day! D: He also has a really cool nickname
T: What is it? D: “Seven Fingers” D: Isn’t that, like, totally cool? T: Does he have seven fingers?
D: I have no idea, but- [Thomas bursts into laughter] R: Now we’re gonna, uh, bring it to Indian history! Back in the 40s, and stuff, there was the Independence Movement T: Yeah!
R: From Britain- T: Yeah.
R: When we broke away… R: Who was the leader of that Independence Movement? Should be a pretty obvious answer. T: Yeah, that’s Gandhi, right?
[ding] R: Yeah. [Thomas giggles happily]
R: You got it right. There’s also… Jawaharlal Nehru and he also actually helped. T: That’s awesome! They pulled through with that movement, I love that.
R: Yeah. T: That’s what got them the independence, right?
R: Yeah T: Man, that’s really cool.
R: Basically- J: Who founded the Critical Path AIDS Project in 1989? Kiyoshi Kuromiya, Kim Coco Iwamoto, Dan Choi or Jung Chang. T: Dan Choi.
[buzz sound] J: No. Dan Choi was the guy who became the face of [Multiple voices saying ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’] J: Dan Choi became like the face for that because I think he like went on TV and then he said he was gay and then he was like… outed. J: Poor man.
T: Wow, I admire his bravery.
J: Yeah, it’s a rough life. T: Right?! J: Actually, Kiyoshi Kuromiya. [ding] He was born in Wyoming in an internment camp during World War 2! And then he became a civil rights activist an anti-war activist and openly gay delegate to the Black Panther Convention for gay liberation T: What?!
J: He was one of the founders for Gay Liberation Front and Act Up and he was also an assistant to Martin Luther King Jr. T: WHAT?!
J: So, the guy did everything. [T: Yeah!] He’s got quite the resume. J: He was diagnosed with AIDS in 1989 and then he self-taught him, like, everything about the disease. And then he started the project to help others with AIDS. That project provided resources; there was like a newsletter that was sent to people all over the world about, like up to date, like, treatment options for AIDS and he even sent them to people who were incarcerated so they weren’t left out and they knew, like, their options. He helped patients attain, like, free drugs- he had one of the first websites about HIV on the Internet, which gave a lot of people an easy gateway to learn about HIV and, like, what it entails. And like T: That’s so great! J: So, he created this website, then he was like ‘Oh, well, I mean this website won’t mean anything if people don’t have Internet.’ So he provided free dial-up Internet in Philadelphia so people could go on the Internet, and like, find out information. T: What the heck!! J: And, so like… T: What a saint!
[J: Ma boy] F: So recently, starting like, the 21st century beginning you know that Asians are starting to get into rap music? T: Yeah. F: So, can you name me the first big Asian-American to sign with a major label. F: I’m gonna let you know that some of these might not even be Asian-American the might just be strictly Asian but this guy paved the path for them. Okay, so: D Pryde, Keith Ape, MC Jin, Dumbfoundead. T: Oh, no! T: D Pryde?
[buzz sound] F: No. T: No?
F: Take one more shot! T: MC Jin.
F: Yeah! [ding] T: Really?
F: Yeah! T: When did he first come onto the scene? F: Early 2000s, 2001-ish.
T: Oh wow! T: I can already tell you’re super passionate about this. [Thomas laughs]
F: He’s like, my feel! He’s the Justin Bieber of Hong Kong. T: Really! F: He’s like, ‘I’m gonna come back to the United States!’ T: What?! T: Wow!
[Off camera]: Christian rap? T: Now he does?
F: Now he does Christian rap.
T: Christian rap. D: In 1951, The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong made history as the first ever US television show to star an Asian-American lead.
T: Oh! D: Who was their leading star? Anna May Wong, Pat Morita, George Takei, B. D. Wong. T: B.D. Wong is very recent. I’m gonna go with Anna May Wong. [ding] D: You’re right!
T: Oh yeah? D: No,
D&T: Anna May. [Giggling]
D: Not anime!
[Thomas laughing] D: So, not only was she, like, the first Asian-American leading lady but she was also the first Chinese-American movie star and the first Asian-American actress to gain international fame. T: That’s cool. Go Anna May! R: You know there’s the, uh, traditional way with the Kurta Pyjama Indian women also have a very traditional dress that they wear throughout India, so…
T: Okay. R: Hula skirt, Kurta, Kimono or Sari. T: Sari. R: Okay, that was pretty obvious.
[Cheering off camera] Tara: Kinda like a bed sheet-
R: It’s a- it’s a- bed sheet, almost you wrap it around you in a very intricate way. And some go for thousands of dollars just to have, like, diamonds and gold embedded in it. T: Oh my goodness!
Do you wanna come up and sit here behind me, Tara? Tara: I have so many Indian clothes it’s scary.
[Talking off camera] This is… kinda easy one. What is the main religion in India? R: You could probably- don’t give him the choice I wanna see if he can guess it. [Tara: Yeah.] T: Hindu. [ding] Tara&Rudra: Yeah!
R: Yeah, it is! Islam, or Muslim, it’s a very close second, like, there’s a lot of Muslims in India. T: Okay.
R: People don’t realise that. J: Who was the first Asian-American member of Congress? Norman Mineta, Dalip Saund, Philip Vera Cruz, Pamela Ki Mai Chen. T: The only name that remotely sticks out to me is Philip Vera Cruz. J: Really?
[Giggling] T: What was the answer, then? J: Dalip Saund. [ding] So, he was the first Asian-American but also the first one of a non-Abrahamic faith; that means non-Christian, non-Jewish, and non-Islam. To be elected in Congress in 1957. T: 1957…
J: Hm-mm. J: He was born in the Punjab province and then he immigrated over, because he was inspired by the idea of independence that Britain had promised India. And so, he went to America first to study food canning and to start his own business and then he went to UC Berkeley. He couldn’t be a citizen so he formed the Indian Association of America in the 1940s to fight dimescri- to fight discrimination!! And then they won, so Indians could become citizens. Ran for Congress and then there was a lot of, like, anti-immigrant and a lot of, like, racist discrimination against him when he was running. He was like appointed to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which was really unusual for someone who just becomes, like, a congressman.
T: Hm-mm. J: And then this really opened, like, future doors to other Asian-Americans who wanted to be in politics.
T: Yeah. T: Does this month speak to you in, in a personal sense? Freddy: Yeah! Uhm, being Asian, I know some people- they look at white people and they’d rather be white or they look at black people and they’d rather be black. But, you know, being Asian is something to be proud of, it’s something to be celebrated. Jarling: Asian-Americans especially are written out of history when we’re talking about America We don’t really talk about things like Japanese internment camps, during World War 2. And we have this stereotype that’s called, I think, the perpetual foreigner stereotype? Which basically means people are just like will never see you as like, really American. But, like, Asian people have been here since the early 1800s. So it’s just really important that we have like a time that we’re able to talk about our history in America. Darla: It’s okay to not be like everyone else and it’s okay to be who you are and to not feel ashamed for being different. Rudra: It’s great to know because there’s a lot of stereotypes. It’s great to put those stereotypes to, like, rest to show that those are not actually true, to showcase our culture and just everything about… T: Yeah.
R: The race. Gives you great perspective, doing stuff like this. J: Intersectionalities with Asian-American history there’s a lot of gay Asians that are taken out of history as well because Asian-Americans don’t see themselves in media and because other Americans don’t see Asians in media it’s like we’re basically erased. Darla: It’s about diversity and I fully like if any creators are watching this if I’d seen those shows like Brown Girls as a young like, child, it would have really helped me realise that I can do anything despite, like, being told otherwise, because of, like, my race. Tara: The majority of Indians actually come here uneducated. R: Actually, the majority of Asians come here uneducated. Tara: Asian. Off camera: But they work hard. T: I feel like for us being born here there’s a lot of inherent privilege. R: Especially with this month, it shows the amount of work that they put in and how it pays off. T: Yeah.
R: And the culture that they bring here. T: Yeah!
R: It’s really important. J: If someone works hard for something and you say it’s just because they’re Asian, or whatever, you’re taking out the fact that they worked hard for that. It’s also ignoring the fact that there are so many different types of Asian people coming to America, and it’s important that we are acknowledging that we are American but also having this month to be like we’re American but we also love our heritage. F: To have such great people, you know, to eat such great food [laughter] T: I love- yeah! To just have that cultural background it’s important, it gives you perspective. T: Well said!
F: Being Asian is great! R: Indians are cool.
[Thomas laughs] F: Chinese-Vietnamese right here. T: Beautifully said! T: That was really good. T: Yes.
Tara: Like I said, I’m brown and I’m proud. T: Yes, Tara, I love it! T: Well done!
F: Diversity. Thank you, Thomas! T: I love that! Okay, so, I had no idea how much I did not know [Chuckles] About the struggle that still exists today, representation, equality. Just the fact that, it’s so much more diverse than a lot of us take time to recognise. Take the time. If not this month, then some time this year to do your own research, because there are so many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in our history that deserve recognition for their achievements and their struggles. I hope that you all got to learn something today because I definitely did. [Chuckles] Thank you all so much for watching and thank you to Jarling, Darla, Freddy, Rudra, and Tara for all of your help today, you guys were awesome, I love you all so much. All of their information is down in the description below and their sources! Also, if you’re interested in my previous videos click over here; if you’re new to the channel and would like to stay updated, click the subscribe button down here; and if you’re interested in becoming Featured Fander click over here! That’s it and until next time, take it easy guys, gals, and non-binary pals! PEACE OUT! Thomas: Nailed it!
[Giggling] Darla: It’s great that, like, things like Hamilton are coming out. ‘Immigrants, we get the job done’ If Lin-Manuel Miranda, if you’re watching this, I love you. Thomas: If Lin-Manuel Miranda’s watching this, I’m honoured. [laughs]