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A new AARP study tells us what all of us Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) already know. AAPIs are more likely than any other racial group to care for their elders. “Caregiving Among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” is the title of the first of three reports by AARP about issues affecting AAPIs age 50 and older.
The study found that 73 percent of AAPIs age 45-55 are expecting to care for their aging parents and/or older relatives. This compares with just under half of the total population of the same age (49 percent). Along with caring for elders, AAPIs are more likely to talk to doctors on behalf of their elders, contribute financially, and handle paperwork and bills for their elders.
And of course, many more AAPIs, age 50 and above, live in multi-generational households compared with the total population of Americans (17 percent versus 7 percent).
Like most Asian Americans I was raised with the expectation that I’d be caring for my parents as they got older. I’ve written about some of my experience with caring for my aging parents in a previous 8Asians article that focused on which child got to take care of their parents as they got older.
The AARP report though focuses on a few other aspects of caring for an immigrant parent that many children of immigrants take for granted, and for those who’ve never had the experience, probably never even realized was part of the immigrant experience. Since my mother never spent the time to perfect her English, my siblings and I were always the one to translate at the doctor’s office, and just about everywhere else starting from the time we were small kids. We also filled out all the paperwork for our parents even though we were just small children.
Translating and taking care of paperwork and bills was just something that continued on into adulthood and into elder care. By the time my parents moved into my home as senior citizens, so that I could care for them more easily, I was again taking them to doctor’s appointments, and also translating, and filling out paperwork. And this time around, I was also the main financial support for the whole family. I tell this story to my own elementary school age daughter, but she doesn’t get it.
Every night my daughter expects us to answer questions for her about her homework and help her figure out problems she doesn’t understand. I tell her I never had help with my homework. I mean really I had no one who would have understood the English in my homework to help. I say this and my daughter looks at me blankly, and my husband, just tells me, he’s heard it already, and enough, we’re helping our daughter with her homework. At the same time, we don’t set any expectations that our daughter will care for us when we’re older. I guess we’re too American for that. Instead my husband has purchased long-term care insurance, and tells us to put him in a nursing home when it’s time.
But secretly, inside my mind, I wish my daughter will remember and will be the one to care for me when I get older.
Dear 8Asians readers, After a long long long hiatus, I’m back! And asking the hard hitting questions I’ve come to be known for. Please send me questions that you want answered! Today’s topic is—drum roll please—“Do Asians Smell?” (This should not be mistaken for my article, “Do Asians have the worst smelling farts?”)
Before I begin, let me be clear: I don’t smell. Never have. At least, I don’ t think so. Any ex-girlfriends out there who can dispute my claim? Speak up now or forever hold your peace. When I was in college, I used deodorant because I felt it was weird that I didn’t use deodorant. But then times got tough (News flash: writers don’t make any money) and I had to cut back on things. The thing I cut back on was buying deodorant that I didn’t need.
I hadn’t thought about my lack of smell until recently when I got into a spirited conversation with a friend. I told her that I didn’t use deodorant and she freaked out on me. It was as though I had told her that I worshiped Satan and ate babies or something. I told my friend to smell me. She refused (which is the proper thing to do when asked to smell another person), but I assured her that I didn’t smell. She told me that if she didn’t use deodorant, she would smell bad after only a few hours. This got me thinking. Do Asians have a smell? And I guess the bigger question is this: Do people of different races smell differently?
First, being the intrepid reporter and researcher I am, I did a Google search on whether Asians smelled. I was surprised to find out that people—many of them—thought that Asians not only smelled, but smelled bad. Here were some of the more common ones I read: rice cakes (cliche), fish (sushi?), Chop Suey (of course we do), Chinese food going bad in the refrigerator (oddly specific), old women and noodles (should be a perfume), sour and malodorous (whatever that smells like), moth balls (a very common answer), feces (this link was found at a bodybuilding website, but they weren’t the only ones), curry (a sad story from Australia), and I can go and on, but I think you get the point.
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Since I got my UFC Fight Pass to watch Invicta Fights, I have been watching a lot of the other content available on UFC TV, including all the previous UFC fights and some of the shows such as The Ultimate Fighter. The newest season of TUF, season 20, has featured the first all-women cast, and on top of that, all of these women are vying for the UFC strawweight (115 lbs) championship belt. Although I have been enjoying the show, I’ve been sad to note that there is not a single female fighter of Asian or Pacifica Islander descent among all 18 of the contenders, at least not one that I know of. It’s possible one of them is a ninja APIA, the way Shayna Baszler was in TUF 18, the first season to have women on the show as well as female coaches. In any case, hopefully we’ll see more APIA women fighting on TUF and in the UFC in the future.
California’s 41st district representative Mark Takano taught 20 years of high school English, so when he got a letter from a Republican against the Senate’s recent immigration bill, he put on his teacher hat, pulled out a red pen, and corrected the paper. He gave the Republican an F, noting the lack of evidence, contradictory statements, and failing to address the issue at hand. Takano’s family is from Riverside, CA, and his parents and grandparents were sent to Japanese American Internment camps during World War II.
As a child, I attended public school. I didn’t have a choice, it was all my parents could afford, there was zero chance with my parent’s financial status that I’d ever get to go to private school. Even attending public school, I thrived as a student. We lived in a good school district in the state of New York, and public schools were well-funded in the 1970s. My public school was almost completely homogeneous. As someone else described it to me, my elementary school was “all-white, made up of Italians, Irish and Jewish kids”. My sisters and I were the only non-white kids in our elementary school. Generally there was no racial tension other than the occasional degrading remark about our lunches or our last name.
Fast forward almost forty years and then it was my turn to enroll my own daughter for elementary school, I was a big proponent of sending her to public school and I didn’t even give a second thought to the racial make-up of the school she would be attending.
We visited our local public elementary, and we enrolled her. First grade was promising, we loved her teachers and she seemed to thrive, even with the few problems we did encounter. Second grade was equally satisfying, but we could start to see the issues that did exist continue to fester.
Additional programs seemed to disappear each year with funding to public schools being cut year after year. Field trips for students seemed to get fewer and fewer each year. By the time third grade came around, there were no field trips that year. And it was third grade, where we encountered “the straw that broke the camel’s back“. By the time third grade was half over, we realized there was something seriously wrong.
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Recently, Kristina Wong was featured in New York Times in a video series called “Off Color”, and I visited her artist website and also discovered her satire dating site about the objectification of Asian women, BigBadChineseMama.com, where she and volunteers basically make fun of the fetishization of Asian women.
Wong cracks me up, and her way of throwing apple pie in your face and then having you realize it’s actually a pie full of turd is definitely attention grabbing. It’s a good approach for the dense folk out there who hopefully are brought to question some of their own assumptions and unquestioned desires.
I also know that there are a lot of people out there, men and women, who are not really sure what “objectification” actually means, what it is like to be an objectified Asian woman specifically, and also how to avoid objectifying Asian women. So, I thought maybe I’d try my hand at presenting a simple-to-understand explanation and guideline on the objectification of Asian women and how to avoid it.
1. What does “objectification” mean?
Simply put, “objectification” means treating a human being or a group of human beings as an object instead of a human being. For example, let’s compare a table with an Asian woman.
A table is clearly an inanimate, non-living, non-sentient object. If you love a table, it will not love you back. If you paint it your favorite color, you don’t have to worry about the table’s feelings, and if you break or hurt the table, it will not feel pain.
An Asian woman, however, is a living, sentient being. If you love an Asian woman, she may love you back. If you paint her your favorite color without her permission, she may get very very angry at you. If you break or hurt her, she will feel great pain and suffering.
Basically, you don’t have to worry about the table’s thoughts, experiences, emotions, and desires because the table has none of the above.
An Asian woman, however, does have all of the above, and if you treat her like an object, objectify her, then you DO NOT CARE about her thoughts, experiences, emotions, or desires.
You are objectifying an Asian woman if you are prioritizing your own thoughts, experiences, emotions, or desires over hers.
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I am a Fidelity Investments customer (as well as other financial services) and saw this television commercial the other day. To be honest, I am not sure advertising the fact that Fidelity does 1-second trade executions is that much of a differentiator to really convince others to switch to Fidelity or to execute more trades. Most individual investors are not day traders, and tend to hold securities longer than your average high speed frequency trader… But nice to see an Asian American male portrayed as an every day American individual investor.
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.)
WHAT: Indiegogo project: We Need Diverse Books
What is We Need Diverse Books™?
Reading is the ultimate form of empathy.
Though more than half of schoolchildren are minorities–people of color, LGBTQIA, and/or people with disabilities–the fact remains that too few of these children see reflections of themselves in the books they read. Books are more than mirrors– they’re windows as well. The more kids read, the more they understand not just themselves, but the Story of Us All.
We Need Diverse Books™ (WNDB) is a grassroots organization dedicated to advocating and supporting non-majority narratives.
WHEN: Deadline to contribute is Monday, November 24, 2014 (11:59pm PT).
With your donation, WNDB will be able to:
- Diversify our classrooms: Through our Diversity in the Classroom program we will work with An Open Book Children’s Literacy Foundation, First Book, and the National Education Association to bring diverse books and authors into disadvantaged schools. Diverse authors will also visit other schools to give all children windows into different backgrounds and cultures so they can increase their empathy and understanding.
- Support diverse authors: Through our newly announced Walter Dean Myers Award & Grant program “The Walter” will recognize outstanding diverse contributions by authors in Young Adult and Middle Grade literature, and provide funds to help develop new diverse authors and artists.
- Promote diverse programming: WNDB will continue to have a presence at conferences across the country, aiming to foster positive, honest, and constructive discussions on diversity and show people that a diverse book is just a good book that any child can enjoy.
- Develop educational kits: In conjunction with School Library Journal and the American Booksellers Association, WNDB is creating educational kits to introduce teachers, librarians and booksellers to select diverse books.
- Host WNDB’s inaugural Kidlit Diversity Festival: It will be a celebration of diversity in children’s literature to be held in the Washington, DC area in the summer of 2016. The festival will showcase both diverse authors & illustrators, as well as authors who write diversely, with programming geared to promote the importance of our shared life experiences.
A veteran MMA fighter who has stepped into the cage about 30 times already, Roxanne Modafferi is not of Asian descent, but aside from studying multiple styles of Asian martial arts, she is fluent in Japanese, lived in Japan for quite a number of years, and is an anime fan. As a fellow anime geek and student of Japanese, I feel like I could actually hang out with her, although her Japanese is like a million times more legit than mine.
Modafferi recently wrote an article about the experience of being part of the production staff and official translator at a UFC event in Japan, and in an interview for Yahoo Sports, she discusses the “culture shock” of moving back Stateside as she had spent her adult life in Japan. She gives some insight in the differences between MMA training in Japan and the Untied States.
Known as the “Happy Warrior”, she is the adorable geeky sweetheart of MMA. You’d be hard pressed to find an MMA fighter that doesn’t like her as a person and respect her as a fighter.
Modafferi’s win at Invicta FC8 in September 2014 really made a statement that she is on a new warrior’s path, definitely a happy one, and she’s stated that she’s gunning for the Invicta FC Flyweight (125 lbs) Championship Belt from Barb Honchak. She recently switched over to the Syndicate camp in Las Vegas, which has really been showing up in her new and improved fighting styles.
You can read all about her life in her autobiography, “Memoirs of a Happy Warrior” available as a ebook on Amazon.
She will be fighting in InvictaFC10 on December 5 in a re-match against Vanessa Porto.
When I hiked Mission Peak two years ago, I saw lots of Asians on the trails, but I was surprised to see recent headlines like “Crowds Overrun Mission Peak in Fremont to Shoot Selfies.” Apparently, the number of hikers there has skyrocketed, causing parking problems, crowds, and other changes. So what happened? Are selfie-obsessed Asian Americans really swarming and degrading Mission Peak Regional Preserve? Continue Reading »
A message from Dan Ha’s brother via the Find Dan Ha Facebook Page:
Hi everyone. I would like to thank all of you for your continued support and prayers in the search for my brother Daniel over the past week. I would like to especially thank you, Dan’s friends, and everyone who has been in close contact with us in coordinating the search effort including the First Mennonite Church of San Francisco, Dan’s employer Metromile, the Stanford community, and those at StartX, Facebook, Square, Postmates, Apple, Uber, and others in the tech community, and finally, to all of the news stations, reporters, and media who have covered this story.
Yesterday morning, the Coast Guard recovered a body found in San Francisco Bay. In speaking with the Medical Examiner, while the face and body were indistinguishable, the clothes, wallet contents, and phone matched Dan’s personal belongings.
At this time, we believe the body is Dan’s. We are still waiting to hear from SFPD for a full confirmation.
We will be holding a memorial service for Dan this Friday at 7:30pm at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco, located at 16th and Dolores. We are accepting donations to help offset the cost of funeral expenses, which will be held in WA. Instructions can be found at http://finddanha.com/monetary-donations/.
– Mark Ha
SF Engineer Dan Ha, Missing Since Halloween Night (11/8/2014)
8$: Contribute to the Search for Dan Ha (11/9/2014)