When I saw the headline, Asian-American Voter Registration Not Matching Population Growth, I wasn’t surprised and of course disappointed. This is one reason why I am motivated to be active in politics – to make-up for my fellow Asian Americans. This is the saddest part of the online article (IMHO):
“Despite the Asian-American population increasing 46 percent between 2000 and 2010, those numbers do not necessarily carry over to the voting booth because a large percentage of adult AAPIs are not US citizens, have limited English proficiency, or are simply not registered to vote. According to Eugene Lee, democracy project director at Advancing Justice – LA, in California alone, there are 1.2 million Asian Americans who are eligible to vote who remain unregistered.”
According to the State of California, there are currently 17.6 million registered voters in the state! Back in the Fall of 2007 when I first attending the first San Mateo County straw poll, I asked, Where are you Asian-American? – since the county was over 20% Asian American, and there were barely any Asian Americans.
If Asian Americans are not active in the community, fulfilling a very basic democratic activity, no wonder why some may consider Asian Americans the ‘perpetual foreigner.’ More importantly, if you complain about the government at the local, state or national level, and don’t vote, you have no right to complain! You might as well be living in a dictatorship rather than a democracy.
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Thank you WMMARoundup for this nice little breakdown of Jenny Liou Shriver’s fight with Jamie Moyle this upcoming Invicta FC9 on Saturday Nov 1. As you can tell from this analysis, this is going to be a beast of a fight. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Shriver will get that helicopter armbar, which would be a lovely submission of the year, but I’m just really looking forward to checking out her stand up game!
From what I recall, I first heard about Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIA) (“…a national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in electoral and civic participation”) when I had attended the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) and met Christine Chen, the Executive Director.
Since the November 2014 mid-term elections are coming up, APIA is spreading the word about voting. As part of that effort, APIA is posting a series of YouTube-based Public Service Announcements (PSAs) of “Rock the Vote” with well known Asian Americans, including Kelly Miyahara of “Jeopardy”, reporter Richard Lui of NBC and MSNBC, actor Dante Basco, and actress Kelly Hu:
The hashtag for the campaign is #TURNOUTFORWHAT – I’m assuming because many people don’t vote in non-presidential years, but they are just as important, if not more so, than presidential year elections.
If you didn’t already know, in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles County, California sits the largest buddhist temple in the western hemisphere, the Hsi Lai Temple, aptly named to mean “Coming to the West Temple”. It’s a major community center with workshops, summer camps, Chinese school, daycare, and even its own university. There’s also a vegetarian buffet and a tea house on site as well as a museum. The whole place is quite beautiful, and every time I visit, there always seems to be a soft breeze floating through the place no matter how hot the heat wave hitting the Southland.
So when I went to Kaohsiung, I had to stop by the Fo Guang Shan Temple, which is basically the main base buddhist organization that Hsi Lai Temple sprouted from. The place has a sort of grandiose ancient aliens feel to it. Luckily, we were there on a cloudy day, which really gave the place a celestial ambiance.
Although there was no photography allowed in some places inside, there was plenty to photograph.
8$ is a series which occasionally highlights interesting crowdfunding projects. Every day, the 8Asians team is inundated by many worthy pitches. We are unable to highlight every one that comes our way, or even the ones we might individually support. The projects selected for 8$ are not endorsements by 8Asians. (To be considered for 8$, we highly suggest you not harass the writers or the editors of 8Asians.)
East West Players was founded in 1965, and is currently embarking on its 50th Anniversary!
As the nation’s premier Asian American theatre, East West Players (EWP) produces artistic works and educational programs that foster dialogue exploring Asian Pacific experiences. EWP was the first theatre dedicated to portraying an authentic and non-stereotyped Asian Pacific American experience, and today stands as the longest-running professional theatre of color operating in the U.S.
WHAT: Indiegogo project: East West Players Creates the World of Takarazuka!!!
TAKARAZUKA!!!, a play with music by Susan Soon-He Stanton, is set at the Takarazuka Revue, an all-female Japanese performance troupe, that has put on lavishly staged spectacles for decades. Facing retirement, the Takarazuka’s Top Star, Yuko, begins to be haunted by the ghost of a former top star. Mysterious events happen at the theater as Yuko’s sayonara performance looms and a new star is set to rise to the top in this thrilling and seductive new play.
The Takarazuka Revue in Japan has performed to packed houses since 1913, showcasing all-female casts in productions that are renowned for their lavish costume and set designs, melodramatic performances, and extravagant musical productions that combine traditional Japanese music and dance with western influences. Many now consider the Takarazuka Revue to be as significant as noh and kabuki in terms of its contributions to indigenous Japanese theatre.
TAKARAZUKA!!!, the play, offers a rare glimpse behind the scenes, revealing the almost obsessive discipline and training that are required of the women who enter the world of Takarazuka, and the elaborate, dreamlike spectacles that have thrilled and fascinated audiences for the last century.
WHEN: Deadline to contribute is Wednesday, November 12, 2014 (11:59pm PT).
Help us recreate the splendor of Takarazuka!!! We want the show to look fantastic, and we want you to enjoy it! Your support will enable us to bring the world of Takarazuka to life through beautiful sets and costumes.
Scenic Designer Tesshi Nakagawa has designed an intricate and innovative set that transports the audience from the glitz and showmanship of the Takarazuka Revue, to the gritty behind-the-scenes of a working theatre (check out the gallery for some photos!). June Suepunpuck is designing costumes that capture the ornate and fanciful showmanship for which the Takarazuka Revue is renowned. In our efforts to represent the performance styles as authentically as possible we look to you for help bring their visions to life!
We need to raise $5,000, and we have received a $1,600 challenge match from a friend of East West Players, Wendy Chang — that means that the first $1,600 you donate will be doubled, and we can reach our goal even faster! Please donate today to help us reach our goal by opening night, November 12!
Vietnamese American nurse Nina Pham declared free of ebola. The Texan will be returning home to friends and family to continue to heal and recover.
Being a blogger for 8Asians, I am on a lot of email lists, including the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies one, and was pleasantly surprised to hear recently that Asian American candidates are running in record numbers this November in the mid-term elections, with the highlights including:
“The November election will include 22 Asian-American congressional candidates in 12 different states and territories; 39 ran in the primaries. In the 2008 elections, only 13 Asian-American candidates ran for Congress. … APAICS leaders say representation of Asian Americans is crucial to encouraging engagement and participation, and point out that only 14 of the 485 federal legislature members are Asian American/Pacific Islander.”
Of course, amongst politicos, the most watched race is Asian American vs. Asian America race of Ro Khanna vs. Congressman Mike Honda.
Whatever your political persuasion is, I recommend that you vote. In a Democracy, if you don’t vote, then you shouldn’t’ complain about your government since you might as well be living in a dictatorship, IMHO.
I’m a moron when it comes to footwork and reflexes in punching, blocking, and dodging, which is why I love watching Japanese strawweight Mizuki Inoue fight. She’s been called one of the most technical strikers in MMA. Clearly, there’s a reason why her fight against Karolina Kowalkiewicz is the co-main event at the next Invicta FC9 event.
Here’s her previous Invicta fight where you can really see her skills and ferocity in ample evidence.
Here is one of her recent fights:
Just another reason to look forward to Invicta FC9!
You may or may not have heard of Asian American activist Grace Lee Boggs. PBS is making the documentary about Boggs available for free online viewing from Oct. 16th – Nov. 15th, 2014. I saw the documentary earlier this year when it was broadcasted and Boggs was definitely an activist ahead of her time, battling for civil rights and particularly active in the African American community in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. To be honest, I didn’t know much about Boggs when I saw her speak at V3con back in June 2013.
“Grace Lee Boggs (born June 27, 1915) is an author, social activist, philosopher, and feminist. She is known for her years of political collaboration with C.L.R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya in the 1940s and 1950s. She eventually went off in her own political direction in the 1960s with her husband of some forty years, James Boggs, until his death in 1993. By 1998, she had written four books, including an autobiography. In 2011, still active at the age of 95, she wrote a fifth book, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, co-written by Scott Kurashige and published by the University of California Press.
Her life is the subject of the documentary film American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs released in 2013, produced and directed by the American filmmaker Grace Lee.“
If you don’t have time to watch or want to learn more, here’s the trailer:
If you’ve got the time and inclination, I recommend watching this fascinating documentary.
As reported by CBS News, North Korea has refused to allow a high level envoy to retrieve three American citizens from their detainment. The three include Matthew Miller of Bakersfield, CA; Jeffrey Fowle of Miamisburg, Ohio; and Kenneth Bai of Lynwood, Washington.
Race. Multiculturalism. Diversity. Culture. Big words that it sometimes seems we talk around and around. Jeff Chang’s new book Who We Be: The Colorization of America–released today–takes a big step in helping to provide a vocabulary and a history to America’s long relationship with this complex topic through images and ideas.
By teasing out the development and evolution of conversations on race from the 1960s through to today’s “post-racial” moments, Chang guides us through the back story of the different ways that the United States has talked about race, color, whiteness, and other topics. Though the book is a bit lengthy and looks like a lot to take on, Chang uses art and culture as his (ready and accesible) entry points to think about visuals as both overt and subtle influencers — about artists and culture makers who have provoked conversations and confrontations behind bigger iconic moments in American history, and about people of color asking for visibility and acceptance however they defined it.
In the introduction of Who We Be, Chang lays it out:
We can all agree that race is not a question of biology. Instead it is a question of culture and it begins as a visual problem, one of vision and visuality. Race happens in the gap between appearance and the perception of difference. It is about what we see and what we think we see and what we think about when we see. In that sense, it’s bigger than personal affinities, preferences, tastes, and bonds.
Through liberal and conservative moments, progress and setbacks, Chang unfolds his narrative over a wide range of subjects, from art, advertisement, and history, to the definitions of words, crises of whiteness, crises of color, and questions of representation and presence. He builds on the project begun in Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop which looks at the history of hip-hop, its creators and influencers. So what makes this book, among all the books being released today, worth reading?