The Fresh Off The Boat author proudly charges full price at Baohaus
Fresh Off The Boat author Eddie Huang has urged immigrants to charge “full fucking price” in America.
Huang made the comments as part of his keynote at the National Immigrant Integration Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. In his ‘No Coupons’ speech in front of 1000 people, the author and restauranteur encouraged immigrants to stop selling themselves short.
Huang begins his speech by discussing the plight his father faced when he moved to America from Taiwan, saying he “felt like a guest in this country… He was willing to work three times as hard for the same opportunity for the same pay for the same work, simply to live in a country where he could grow his hair out without judgment.”
The author described how his father felt that “being a fragment in America was still better than being a whole human in Taiwan.”
In Huang’s powerful speech, he acknowledges that whilst times have changed since his father first moved to America, immigrants are still succumbing to discounting their work. “Immigrants have graduated from road coaches… and the perception that we’re inferior… The one thing that didn’t change was the discounts. We continue to honour the discounts.”
“Being a natural-born American, I refuse to see myself as a guest or an alien, no matter how many people tell me to go back to China,” Huang said, “I was born on the same soil as every other white man in this country, I stood for the same pledge, I breathed the same air.”
“I hope that one day America will acknowledge my identity and accept that I am a yellow-blooded, whole American, entitled to equal rights, because nowhere in our creation story is whiteness tied to the definition of an American.”
The entrepreneur discusses his personal experience with starting Baohaus, saying that his food “continues to represent his American immigrant experience.”
“There is a lie I’ve seen told to white immigrants somewhere between the first and second generation, which convinces them that their struggle is the American one, and no other immigrant struggle can be understood as such and that inequalities against anyone wearing an SPF lower than 50 are somehow ordained,” he said. “This is the lie that has propelled Trump to the White House. And whoever wrote this lie, voted for this lie, or turns a blind eye to this lie needs to stand with us today and dispel it, because the rest of America has to live it.”
Huang’s powerful speech is excellently delivered and his pertinent points will undoubtedly resonate strongly with immigrants in the US. The orator’s delivery is faultless too, retaining a calm and collected manner, despite touching upon topics that clearly anger the Fresh Off The Boat author.
“We are only foreign until we’re family and narratives are the bridges to familiarity.”