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.

18 comments for “A Heavy Hand on the Hunan Heat

  1. July 7, 2009 at 6:22 am

    Woo! Welcome.

  2. July 7, 2009 at 8:40 am


  3. July 7, 2009 at 10:49 am

    great! look forward to your posts.

  4. July 7, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Awesome to have you here, Kai! Thanks!

  5. July 7, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Woo, Kai!!

  6. Kai
    July 7, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for the good vibes, folks!

  7. July 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Looking forward to reading your posts, Kai!

  8. July 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Can I rattle off a personal identifier for you?

    “Restaurant-chooser extraordinaire.”

    and yay, to see you any/everywhere. xo

  9. July 7, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Looking forward to your posts!

  10. July 7, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    I like Kai.
    A lot.

  11. July 7, 2009 at 9:04 pm


  12. July 7, 2009 at 9:05 pm


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

  13. Alison
    July 8, 2009 at 11:31 am


  14. Deoridhe
    July 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    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!*

  15. July 8, 2009 at 3:12 pm


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

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

  16. Katie
    July 8, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    *swoons without dignity*

  17. July 9, 2009 at 8:55 am

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

  18. Kristin
    July 10, 2009 at 9:45 am

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

Comments are closed.