Angry Reader of the Week: Traci Lee

"I think I’m an optimist, but I’m too angry about rampant ignorance and intolerance to admit it."

Hey, everybody! You know what's up. It's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Traci Lee.

Who are you?

Traci Lee. My Chinese name is Lee Gar-ling, but I don't ever ask anyone to try and pronounce that.

What are you?

I'm second-generation Chinese American. I'm the granddaughter of immigrants who left China for Hong Kong after the Communists took over, and then chased their hopes for a better life to America in the '60s. I'm also the daughter of immigrants who are loving, silly, and fierce individuals, and who are more popular on Instagram than I'll ever be.

I'm a journalist, a feminist, a pragmatist, and eternally curious about everything I don't know. I think I'm an optimist, but I'm too angry about rampant ignorance and intolerance to admit it.

I'm also a total nerd who grew up staging mock newscasts with my stuffed animals instead of tea parties. I wish I could say that's where my early love of journalism came from, but it was because I didn't think it was fair for my stuffed tiger to handle a teacup without opposable thumbs.

Where are you?

I live in New York, though I guess it's more accurate to say I really just exist on the Internet and Twitter. I spend most of my work day (which is, let's face it, almost every day) staring at screens and communicating through the web. That's probably not good for my eyesight, right?

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Sacramento, California, which is where my dad's family settled when they came to America from Hong Kong. My mom's family settled in Los Angeles after my grandfather spent a few years working his way through South America.

What do you do?

I'm the Managing Editor of NBC Asian America at NBCNews.com. I oversee every corner of the site and our channels, and have the privilege of working with amazing contributors around the country to report news and to tell the stories of our community.

Recently my colleagues at NBC Latino and NBC BLK and I started hosting a show on MSNBC.com every other Tuesday called “Changing America.” It's fun because we get to create a program that reflects the news we cover daily, although I don't think I'm very good at reading a teleprompter.

I also blog/rant at seetraciwrite.com, and am an occasional musician -- or, at least, my roommate's dog enjoys my ukulele covers.

What are you all about?

Telling honest stories. Engaging in dialogue. Connecting people, and connecting with people. Encouraging content creators to just make good shit and keep representing the Asian-American community in every blog they write, every video they make, and every passion project they pour their souls into.

What makes you angry?

The lack of representation and the abundance of misrepresentation of Asian Americans in the mainstream. That makes me SO angry, and it's what fuels me to do what I'm doing, honestly. Someone once told me that as a minority, I'd have to work twice as hard just to get a seat at the "mainstream”"table. But if I'm going to work twice as hard, then I want to do twice as much: why can't I build an awesome table with other people of color and invite others to come sit with us, while also being part of the "mainstream" conversation? There's no rulebook that says I can't, and so I won't.


angry archive