Michelle Li | Twitter
#VeryAsian is now a trending tag on Twitter

Recently, a Korean-American news anchor named Michelle Li, in St. Louis held a segment about foods eaten to celebrate the New Year’s. In doing so, she mentioned eating dumplings to celebrate. Afterwards, a viewer called to complain, saying they were offended and that she was being “very Asian” and “she can keep her Korean to herself.” She posted this and received a lot of attention from Twitter users rallying behind Li.

Not only were non-Asian Twitter users tweeting their response to Li, many Asian Twitter users shared their own meals, making jokes about how they also eat dumplings, but also noodles as well. A hashtag from the racist phone call even came to light, #veryAsian, to use the unkind words to showcase Asian culture and how different it can be.

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Though the words were, of course, very unkind, Li remained positive and was able to use the unkind words as a way to shine appreciation for Asian culture and how it looks different across very many countries. Not to mention, that Li had mentioned traditional American foods and discussed the reasons why for an extended period of time, only shortly mentioning that she eats dumpling soup, just as many Koreans do.

Now, the video has over one million views, with many people giving their support to the harsh comments made to Li. She instead made being “very Asian” into something to be proud of, whereas the caller wanted her to be ashamed of it and to keep her culture “to herself.” One Twitter user commented that dumplings represent prosperity, while many Chinese people eat noodles to celebrate longevity. This is similar to why Americans often eat black eyed peas or pork, as the foods each have their own meaning and reasoning to eating them.

Many were surprised to learn that racial or inappropriate comments are not uncommon to hear as a journalist or someone who is a host for a news show. Until people stop making these comments, however, hopefully many can take from Li and let the comments roll off their back, knowing that their culture is nothing to be ashamed of.