Founder of Organization for Asian Women Called Out for ‘Anti-Asian Male’ Tweets
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with a statement from Cassandra Lam.
A founder of a new organization that aims to empower Asian women was called out for past tweets that were called “racist” against Asian males by some.
Cassandra Lam co-founded The Cosmos, a community that connects “self-identifying women, femmes, gender nonconforming, queer and transgender individuals of Asian, Pacific Islander and South Asian descent” and supports them through transformational leadership retreats, workshops and events.
Lam, with co-founder Karen Mok, launched the organization on March 8 in time for International Women’s Day — but only to be criticized days later for posting anti-Asian male tweets from five years ago.
“One of the founders of @jointhecosmos is an anti-Asian male racist! WHAT A SURPRISE,” Twitter user Albert Hur wrote in reaction to an article from AsAm News.
“F*** this organization and f*** @AsAmNews for promoting it. DO YOUR HOMEWORK, STOP PROMOTING RACISTS,” Hur added.
Apparently, Hur uncovered Lam’s old tweets while expressing his disappointment over the founders’ confession “to ‘distancing’ themselves from Asian identity and blaming parents for their problems, rather than host society discrimination.”
The enraged netizen is now demanding an explanation:
Shortly after being called out, Lam responded in defense and argued that she now knows better.
Lam told one user:
“Those tweets are five years old and don’t reflect my current values or perspective towards Asian men. I was naive and wrong to say those things at 22 years old. I have learned a lot these past few years and vow to keep learning.”
Lam also stated she plans making a statement to address the matter:
Others weighed in:
Cassandra Lam has since released a statement to NextShark:
“First and foremost, I’d like to acknowledge and apologize for the tweets that surfaced on Twitter. Five years ago, I was 22-years-old and sent them recklessly in response to unwanted attention at the club that made me uncomfortable. My statements were mean-spirited, immature, and unnecessarily racialized the situations at hand in a time when I was not aware of the full power of my choice of words. The tweets in no way reflect how I feel about Asian men, in the past or present, and I take full responsibility for the ways in which they may have hurt members of the AAPI community. I strive to empower, support, and advocate for all Asian people — men, women, trans, and gender non-conforming individuals — and will always put my heart into learning how to do it better.
“I’m grateful that this has given me an opportunity to be held accountable for my past, to recognize how much I’ve grown since, and to engage with Albert Hur, who is equally passionate about Asian Americans. We met each other through video chat on Monday evening to have a sincere, thought-provoking, and informative dialogue. We both care deeply about uplifting the Asian community, which implies the necessity of a culture of accountability from our leaders and a willingness to have difficult conversations that push the needle forward. In the future, we hope our friendship will involve cultivating more important dialogues for Asian Americans in offline and online spaces.”
However, it’s important to note that dated tweets should not be misconstrued to diminish the overall and meaningful strides for Asian women that the founding of the The Cosmos symbolizes. The organization remains a promising, forward-thinking organization that provides a generous space for AAPI women to connect, engage in dialogue and empower each other.