In the basement of the finest and perhaps most politically controversial restaurant in Oberlin, OH – an Asian fusion restaurant that dares combining ciabatta and seaweed – I sat somewhat dumbfounded by my company: ten other student leaders of Oberlin College political organizations and our esteemed guest, Lt. Dan Choi. Patiently waiting for my ramen dish (sans organic fish cake), I listened to my peers pelt questions in Lt. Choi’s direction. Finally, a pause in the conversation just long enough for me to muster the courage to speak my mind. After twenty minutes of blabby mainstream environmentalism, I felt prepared to add some color to the table. In the company of all white people withstanding one other student and the revered guest himself, I felt a moral (and intellectual) obligation to ask Lt. Choi about race.
How has your Asian American experience affected your military life? Your queerness? Your activism?