Angry Reader of the Week: Bao Phi

Hello, good people. It's that time again. 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 Bao Phi.

Who are you?
Bao Phi, spoken word artist and published author. Arts Administrator at a literary arts nonprofit. Longtime nerd, geek, and somewhat of a refugee, both from the war in Vietnam and the 'hood I was raised in, in America.

What are you?
Father, partner, son, community member, poet, thinker, curmudgeon, artist, aspiring Vietnamese American revolutionary zombie apocalypse novelist.

Where are you?
What, like, right now?

Where are you from?
I was born in Vietnam in the Year of the Tiger, a couple of months before that infamous day in our history. They were shelling the airport for hours, trying to kill us while me and other families huddled in a bomb shelter. I was only a baby so I don't remember this. After that, I was raised in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis, which was at the time the largest, poorest, and most ethnically diverse neighborhood in Minnesota. My parents are still there. I'm across Lake Street in Powderhorn these days with my fam.

What do you do?
I write, I perform, I create and manage programs for marginalized communities especially communities of color, I read books, play video games, listen to music, eat too many donuts and don't go to the gym enough. I joke around on Facebook, I read Angry Asian Man and also video game websites.

What are you all about?
Continually asking how I can best serve the Asian American community.

What makes you angry?
Almost everything. But a few things that make me really, really angry: deeply imbedded ideas of racial hierarchies amongst leftists that would have us believe that Asians are more privileged than others. Exceptionalism and tokenism, Orientalism and Colonialism in general all piss me off. Oppression of marginalized people really pisses me off. White people who say they've lived in Asia and therefore know what it's like to be a minority really, really make me angry. People who hate on Jeremy Lin piss me off. And people who get mad when you criticize the race dynamics of Firefly and Battlestar Galactica really, really, really piss me off.

Photo credit: An Rong Xu

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