A Heavy Hand on the Hunan Heat

Hello folks! Kai here. Some of you may be familiar with my writings, ramblings, and riddlings — especially if you’re the type who prefers to chill on the other side of the tracks where levels of melanin and capsaicin seem to increase in tandem. By which I mean, communities of color and spicy foods are my comfort zones. I’ll be slummin’ it here for a couple weeks, though, crashing on the futon and rifling through the pantry. Let’s see what we can cook up.

When I started blogging in 2004, I didn’t really have a clear idea of what I was going to focus on. I knew I wanted to explore the craft of polemical writing from a subversive Asian American perspective, so I named my blog Zuky, an anglicized version of a word used in karate meaning “hand strike”. At first I started posting online the Iraq anti-war essays I’d been printing as colorful leaflets and plastering in train stations and bus stops in the middle of the night. However, it quickly became apparent that the so-called progressive blogosphere was plagued by a particularly foul, airborn strain of white liberal racism; so I started pointing my linguistic arrows in that direction, and ever since then my writings have been primarily associated with anti-racism and my blog has found a home amid a kind cluster of melanin-rich online offerings.

Last year, I also became one of the founders of a community blog called The Sanctuary, which focuses on immigration and which I’m proud to say received a 2009 National Ethnic Media Award from New America Media in the category of Best Blogger on Ethnic Perspectives. My friend and longtime blogmigo Nezua (who incidentally has also previously done a guest-blogging stint here at Feministe) flew to Atlanta to accept the award on behalf of our crew, and as you can see from the official photo of all the award-winners, one of these recipients is not like the others. Yep, the one wearing shorts and a Felix The Cat hoodie, sitting on the floor — that’s us.

Anyway, this is probably a good moment for me to thank Jill, Lauren, Holly, and the whole Feministe crew for extending the invitation for me to spill my unpredictably seasoned words on this platform. It’s a questionable move as I’m well-known to have a heavy hand on the Hunan heat, but I’ll do my best to balance the flavor profiles I bring to this table. I’m not going to bother rattling off a catalog of personal identifiers at this time because I’m an old-school believer that you will know me by my words and actions in real-time rather than the banners I fly in downtime. Be forewarned that issues of race and immigration will inevitably come up, and if these subjects confound you in any way, well, don’t worry; they’re not supposed to be easy. I’m a 38-year-old dude of color from an immigrant family and these subjects often continue to confound me. So I only ask that you approach my words and thought-forms with open hands, not clenched fists, and we can work on this tangled knot together.

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18 Responses to A Heavy Hand on the Hunan Heat

  1. Miranda says:

    Woo! Welcome.

  2. gogojojo says:

    great! look forward to your posts.

  3. Holly says:

    Awesome to have you here, Kai! Thanks!

  4. Kai says:

    Thanks for the good vibes, folks!

  5. annaham says:

    Looking forward to reading your posts, Kai!

  6. Joan Kelly says:

    Can I rattle off a personal identifier for you?

    “Restaurant-chooser extraordinaire.”

    and yay, to see you any/everywhere. xo

  7. La Lubu says:

    Looking forward to your posts!

  8. Lisa says:

    I like Kai.
    A lot.

  9. Lauren says:


    Quit your swoonin’, ladies — this is a feminist blog. It’s undignified.

  10. Alison says:


  11. Deoridhe says:

    So I only ask that you approach my words and thought-forms with open hands, not clenched fists, and we can work on this tangled knot together.

    I love how you put that.

    *swoons in rank defience of Lauren’s call for dignity!*

  12. nezua says:


    way to represent for DOC! (dudes of color, por supuesto :)

    lookin fwd to see what you cook up here, ‘mano.

  13. Katie says:

    *swoons without dignity*

  14. kyledeb says:

    Looking forward to what Kai comes up with, here. Thanks also to the folks at Feministe for giving him a platform.

  15. Kristin says:

    Glad to see you here, Kai. You’ve long been one of my favorite bloggers.

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