In August, the American President threatened to rain down nuclear genocide upon the Korean people in a way the world “has never seen.” Experts and journalists debated the chances for war, and whether casualties would run into the millions or the mere hundreds of thousands. Americans reacted with a resigned apathy. For Trump, threatening the destruction of the Korean people was just another day at the golf course.
Three days later, Charlottesville erupted in a violent White Power Comic-Con of neo-Nazis, alt-right weebs, and Donald Trump cosplayers. Trump refused to call out the racists as terrorists, and by the end of the weekend the legitimacy of his presidency was in serious peril.
Race matters in America. It matters more than nuclear war. The concept of a post-racial American utopia has been shattered permanently, and Asian Americans have no choice but to wake up to the realities of racism, xenophobia, and sociopolitical marginalization.
Plan A Magazine was conceived within an explosion of online conversation by Asian people living in the West, all trying to make sense of the chaos. We are encouraged by the pocket door action of public discourse: the more They push Their door open to what’s acceptable speech, the more We are liberated to push Ours.
The racists are paid millions to preach their hate and ignorance on national television, and to opine on whether we deserve a place in their vision of the future. In this storm, a familiar vision of us re-emerges: cheats, spies, eunuchs, concubines, and invaders. In its wake, we are left traumatized by the breakdown of civil society. Intimidation and assaults. Abductions and murder.
The starting point for Plan A Magazine is the knowledge that we Asians are not as we’ve been labeled. We have strong convictions, deep feelings, and creative responses to the problem of American racism. We can shape the future that will emerge out of this morass, but we cannot be silent.