'Late Night' Writer Shares Rules for Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
"If you're a white person trying to join in on the fun, I've got some dos and don'ts for you," Karen Chee explained during Thursday's episode of the late-night show.
Late Night writer Karen Chee helped the audience celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month during Thursday's episode of the NBC show.
She began the segment by sharing that the May celebration has taken place for 27 years, but some people still don't know how to properly recognize Asian Pacific Americans. "If you're a white person trying to join in on the fun, I've got some dos and don'ts for you," she said.
The first item on Chee's list was to not ask her where she's "really" from. "Because when I say I'm from a suburb of San Francisco, I can tell you're disappointed," she said.
"Asian American people are descendants of many different countries, which is just a polite way of saying number two. Don't say 'Ni Hao' to me," she continued. "Just because I'm Asian doesn't mean I speak Chinese. I don't walk up to every white person I see and assume they know where the nearest Williams-Sonoma is."
For the third item on her list, Chee stated, "Do bow to me." After she received an enthusiastic round of applause from the audience, she explained, "But it's not because I'm Asian. It's just because I'm cool as hell."
Chee next informed the viewers to not ask what her "real name" is. "It's Karen. I don't have a secret Asian language name," she said. "Even if I did, I wouldn't tell you because it's a secret."
"Don't ask me what your tattoo says. I can't tell you what it says," Chee continued as a photo of a woman with a Chinese symbol tattooed on her back appeared onscreen. "But I can tell you what it means. You make bad choices."
The writer's final rule was to buy her a drink. "It's just a stereotype that Asian people can't drink alcohol, but we drink all the time," she said, joking. "Hell, I'm drunk right now."
"So back to you, Seth. Or, as we say in my country, 'Back to you, Seth,'" concluded Chee.
Watch the full segment below.