Wisdom Lives in Words

Memorable Quotes by Alex Tizon

I do remember instances where girls would just fawn over me because they liked that I was different - exotic - to them. And they didn't use the word 'Asian' at the time. All of the aspects that make me Asian, they liked.
Alex Tizon
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When depicting Asian people in movies, books, and television or as historical figures, it's more important to humanize them and give them all of the dimensions of humanity, and that includes sexuality. Ascribe the human the full range of human qualities.
Alex Tizon
Messages hidden in the thickets of a story are the ones that burrow deepest because most of us don't realize that any burrowing is going on at all.
Alex Tizon
We all, to some degree, absorb the mythologies around us, our vision refracted by the prisms of our particular time and place.
Alex Tizon
Television and movies were our biggest teachers. When we came to the United States, the Vietnam War was just ratcheting up. And so the Asian faces that I saw on the news, they were the face of the enemy. Asian men, particularly, were either small, ineffective, or they were evil. And those messages were deeply, deeply embedded in me for many years.
Alex Tizon
You are validating someone's life by telling their story. Even if it's a sad one.
Alex Tizon
Wen wu contradicts the very American notion of John Wayne being the ideal of manhood. In the wen wu way of thinking, it's much more important to restrain rather than exert yourself through brute power.
Alex Tizon
It wasn't a conscious decision to search for my Asian self; it was an urgency born out of an emptiness I was trying to fill.
Alex Tizon
My siblings and I kept everything to ourselves, and rather than blowing up in an instant, my family broke apart slowly.
Alex Tizon
Admitting the truth would have meant exposing us all. We spent our first decade in the country learning the ways of the new land and trying to fit in. Having a slave did not fit. Having a slave gave me grave doubts about what kind of people we were, what kind of place we came from.
Alex Tizon
To our American neighbors, we were model immigrants, a poster family. They told us so. My father had a law degree, my mother was on her way to becoming a doctor, and my siblings and I got good grades and always said 'please' and 'thank you.'
Alex Tizon
One of the things I love about wen wu is its encouragement of developing the spiritual and intellectual aspects of the self that are actually more important than the development of the body and the capacity to commit violence - which is how much of Western pop culture defines a man.
Alex Tizon
I first visited the Philippines when I was 29. I thought I would feel at home there, but I felt more out of place than I did in the U.S. I discovered I was more American than Filipino. It was shattering because I never felt quite at home in the U.S., either.
Alex Tizon
Shame is hard to confront. Even if you know it's baseless, it's still hard to come face-to-face with.
Alex Tizon
In the America that I grew up in, men of Asia placed last in the hierarchy of manhood. They were invisible in the high-testosterone arenas of politics, big business, and sports. On television and in the movies, they were worse than invisible. They were embarrassing. We were embarrassing.
Alex Tizon
When I was 15, Dad left the family for good. I didn't want to believe it at the time, but the fact was that he deserted us kids and abandoned Mom after 25 years of marriage.
Alex Tizon
The stories I work on, especially for any length of time, do tend to become personal to me.
Alex Tizon
My grandparents bowed to the Americans and sought to learn from them. My parents sought to be them.
Alex Tizon
The idea that humanity is divided into these separate and distinct and disparate groups with clear boundaries has been disproven by science a long time ago, decades ago. Humanity really is more of a continuum, and that people belong on the same continuum and there are no clear breaks between these so-called races.
Alex Tizon
I think there has been a long-running notion in the West that Asia was a continent of people that were really conquerable. That people from Asia were weak, they were small in all ways - including physically small, geopolitically small, economically small - all of which are changing, of course.
Alex Tizon
I didn't go into journalism thinking it would solidify my identity. I did it because I needed to make a living, and I was proficient in writing. But in becoming a journalist, I learned about other people who felt like they were on the edges of American mainstream life.
Alex Tizon
American pop culture is perpetually in adolescent mode. The notions of what it takes to be a man, as depicted in pop culture, are very superficial, one-dimensional, and adolescent.
Alex Tizon
I guess you could say I've written a lot about one thing as a journalist. But I hardly ever saw it as exclusively about race. To my mind, it was more about telling stories of people who existed outside the mainstream's field of vision. Invisible people.
Alex Tizon
My brother Arthur was born in 1951. I came next, followed by three more siblings in rapid succession.
Alex Tizon
Most of us, when imagining an All-American, wouldn't picture a man who looked like me. Not even I would.
Alex Tizon
The thing about stereotypes as we all know, there is often truth in them, but it's almost always a partial truth.
Alex Tizon