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AAPI heritage month is dumb

Happy AAPI heritage month to you, America! Being someone who constantly gets asked about where I'm from despite having the most common last name in the most populous country on Earth, I am fairly sure I have the authority to say that this is a really stupid idea.

AAPI is one of the most useless labels on the planet. "Asian American" is already dumb because when people say it, you know they mean people from East Asia. Maybe Southeast Asia is included in that if they're really globally-minded. Anyone else from Asia need not apply - I'm pretty sure Indian people still get told that they're not Asian, and let's not get started on West Asia. But people keep trying to push the idea that all people from Asia qualify as Asian American when that is clearly not the connotation in the US.

To be fair, I don't think we should ever use one blanket label to refer to everyone who has ancestors from Asia unless we're talking about factual demographic information. "Asian" should be a geographic label, not a cultural one.

But it's not a geographic label right now, so it's disengenuous to pretend that the phrase "Asian American" is supposed to refer to all people of Asian descent by occasionally throwing a token Indian or Arab person into "AAPI" programming that's otherwise filled with E/SE Asians. Even lumping E/SE Asians together isn't that useful.

Throw the "PI" in there and I am thoroughly convinced that nobody knows what the fuck they're doing here. The only explanation I can come up with is that someone somewhere thought "Pacific Islander" is supposed to refer to people from, like, the Philippines or Malaysia. Sure, those are islands in the Pacific, but so is Japan, and I think we can at least agree that the Japanese aren't Pacific Islanders... I think.

But really, Pacific Islanders are an entirely culturally distinct group that we've decided to assimilate into The Blob. They don't even suffer from the same targeted oppression that Asians do (and Asians already don't suffer from the same targeted oppression as a whole group). And, again, AAPI stuff barely even includes Pacific Islanders, so why bother?

(This doesn't even address the fact that East Asians are happy to throw other Asian ethnicities under the bus whenever it's convenient. So much for Asian solidarity or whatever.)

At this point we might as well start including Europeans in AAPI stuff since Europe is really just an extension of the Asian landmass, if you think about it.


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