Asian American responses to anti-Asian hate range from silence to flight, self-defense, and organizing. Dr. Deborah Wong reflects on the recent surge of anti-Asian violence in the US by sharing what my friends and family have said to me when we are in spaces of Asian American safety, and I will show how interethnic solidary work by Asian Americans has been an essential response.
Dr. Deborah Wong is an ethnomusicologist and Professor of Music at the University of California, Riverside. She has written three books: Louder and Faster: Pain, Joy, and the Body Politic in Asian American Taiko (2019), Speak It Louder: Asian Americans Making Music (2004), and Sounding the Center: History and Aesthetics in Thai Buddhist Ritual (2001). She served as editor for Nobuko Miyamoto’s extraordinary memoir, Not Yo’ Butterfly: My Long Song of Relocation, Race, Love, and Revolution (2021). Active in public sector work at the national, state, and local levels, she is a curator for the new Asian Pacific America Series for Smithsonian Folkways, and in 2021 she joined the boards of the Chinese American Museum DC and the community-based Asian American arts non-profit Great Leap. Her happiest hours of the week are spent preparing and then going on air with her weekly radio show Gold Mountain for KUCR 88.3 FM in Riverside.