Chinese-American TEDx Speaker Demolishes Racial Bias “I am not your Asian stereotype”


In the wake of recent violence against Asian Americans, the world has a renewed – and long overdue – interest in not only protecting racialized individuals, but examining the way we view and treat them.

But while the pandemic has brought the issue into a stark light, the truth is that Asian Americans have faced forms of bias, racism and discrimination for years—and it doesn’t take a gunman to make their safety and sense of self feel threatened.

“As a child, I quickly began to realize that I had two options in front of me,” explains TEDx speaker Canwen Xu, who immigrated to America from China at the age of two. “Conform to the stereotype that was expected of me, or conform to the whiteness that surrounded me. There was no in between.”

Five years before a gunman killed six Asian women (and two other people) in a shooting rampage in Atlanta, Xu gave an emotional and revealing TEDx talk that revealed the struggles she faced as a Chinese immigrant to the United States, and the inspiring way she learned to embrace her background’s disparate parts.


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