8 Asians

Earlier this week, we wrapped our Sucker Punch Journey giveaway and now we’re excited to announce the two winners of the Ultimate Journey prize pack: Yelloboi and Evic. Thank you to everyone who entered, and congratulations to those who won!

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APA Spotlight is a weekly interview of Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) community leaders. It is a spotlight on individuals who have dedicated their careers to issues surrounding the APIA community with the goal of bringing much deserved recognition to their work and cause(s).

Doris Truong is a multiplatform editor at The Washington Post, where she was part of its 2010 “Top Secret America” team. She formerly supervised the copy editing of 13 weekly suburban sections and also worked on The Post’s National desk, where she helped with the Abramoff investigative reporting package that won the 2006 Pulitzer. A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Truong is 2011-12 national president of the Asian American Journalists Association. She is a Maynard Media Academy alumna, has been a guest faculty member at the Poynter Institute and has presented to multiple journalism groups.

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I wasn’t born in the United States, but came here the way most Asian immigrants did in the late sixties and early seventies. We were part of the official pool of immigrants that the U.S. government let emigrate to the United States under the quota policy. My younger sister on the other hand was born here in the United States, and I always felt a twinge of jealousy knowing that some day she could be president of the United States, while I could not, having only naturalized citizenship status. This quirk of being given automatic citizenship for being born in the United States is one that is being given more attention in the forum of public debate, as illegal immigration has quickly moved to a primary focus during this economic downturn. Anchor babies have been front and center as Arizona’s Republican legislature considered passing a law to ban anchor babies from receiving automatic U.S. citizenship.

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Ken Gushi is more than just one of the nation’s top competitive drifters. An Okinawa native who was raised in Southern California, Ken is also became the youngest drivers in the Formula DRIFT championships by the time he turned 16. Ken Gushi will be participating next week at Formula DRIFT’s Streets of Long Beach event (enter our giveaway for a pair of tickets!) and we caught up with the driver to learn more about racing, what it’s like being a competitive driver and food. Yes, food. We’re kind of obsessed with eating here at 8Asians. Check it out!

What are the most common misconceptions people have about you or about your racing?

People always think I am rich and balling out of control. I am a struggling student off the
track! Hahaha.

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X Factor, the UK show that launched Leona Lewis and the reason Simon Cowell quit American Idol, is coming to the United States, and the producers — perhaps being a little freaked out by the lack of decent APA talent on Idol since Jasmine Trias — are specifically looking for Asian American talent. Unlike Idols, auditioners can be pre-existing groups, and there is no upper age limit. (Translation: Plan on every Filipino uncle who has used a Magic Mike to show up; expect to hear “My Way” a lot.) Full audition info is available after the jump. Continue Reading »

When Being Half Asian Isn’t Asian Enough

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Having a 5 year old daughter of mixed race (Chinese and Caucasian), I’ve often worried she wouldn’t be accepted as Chinese by other Chinese or Caucasian by Caucasians, and living in some in-between land. So far we’ve been lucky; there’s never been an issue of racial identity by any of our friends, family and associates. I know this will change as she gets older. It’s not hard to find reports of complaints against Asian beauty pageant contestants who were not considered Asian enough to be eligible for the contest–not that it’s an ambition of mine for my daughter to enter a Chinese beauty contest, but I do wonder if she’d even be considered for one based on her background.

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Do you really want Asians cast in Hollywood roles? Yes. My qualm about it? It doesn’t seem consistent. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon with movies that did terrible at the box office. There are multiple sites dedicated to The Last Airbender with even a term coined for it (eg. racebending), and we won’t even go to that evil place called Dragonball: Evolution. In fact, for every bad movie that could have starred an Asian actor or actress, it seems like everyone has something to say about it.

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Leave it to a well respected media entity like the BBC to devote a whole article to the wacky names Filipinos have. Being the token Intsik in my group of Pinoy friends, I’ve had opportunities to meet plenty of old people named Junior, Boy and Girlie, so I can at least appreciate the article writer trying to figure why Filipinos don’t bat an eye at first names like JeJoMar, Fraternidad and Girlie: a combination of a need for individualization with the natural result of a culture assimilated with Spanish, American, Chinese and Muslim cultures. That said, I’m still kinda WTF about my friend who named his kid Xavier solely so he could call him “X-MAN.” Or Atom, pronounced Adam. Or my former co-worker named Cherry, middle name Cola. (Hat tip: Vera D.)

Buddhism in a box
Author’s Note: I wrote the following blog post after my mom passed away in 2009. It continues to be one of the more frequently visited articles on my personal blog, and one that I thought deserved a broader audience here on 8Asians. You can read the original post here.

I’m writing this partly to help anyone who is wondering what one does when a Chinese/Buddhist parent passes away, and for the future, if and when Lauren may need to bury me. I don’t want her to have to go through all the pain and difficulty I had to, in order to plan a respectful burial for my dad and my mom. I spent this past week making arrangements for my own mom, Lauren’s grandmother, and I’ll talk about the arrangements relative to what we did for my mom. My mom was a practicing Buddhist, and a Taiwanese immigrant to the United States.

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Fans of cars, racing and drifting–listen up because we’ve got one hell of a prize for you. 8Asians is giving away one pair of tickets to Formula DRIFT’s Streets of Long Beach taking place on April 8th and 9th, 2011.

Round 1: Streets of Long Beach will kick-off the 2011 Championship season in style with new cars, new drivers, and all the sideways excitement that Formula DRIFT is known for. Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. will be back to defend his title against all competitors including Ryan Tuerck, Dai Yoshihara, Chris Forsberg, Rhys Millen, and the rest of the talented pool of drivers.


Here’s the info on how you can win big!

What: 1 pair of Streets of Long Beach tickets

How: Leave a short comment telling us why you want to go to the Streets of Long Beach! (Be sure to use the email address you’d like to be contacted at if you’re the winner.)

When: NOW! This contest closes Friday, April 1st. This contest is closed.

Rules for Entering:

  • This contest is open to US residents over the age of 13 only. Travel expenses are not included.
  • Contributors to 8Asians and their immediate family members are not eligible to win.

Prize courtesy of: Formula DRIFT.

Congratulations, hentai! You’ve finally made it: you’ve officially been added to the Oxford English Dictionary to help parents understand what exactly their teenage kids are searching for on Google. You know, that quest so many mothers and fathers find themselves on after they look through their web browser search history and discover that maybe Bobby isn’t such a little boy anymore and is finally succumbing to those “mature” needs.

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Heal Japan PSA from Steez360

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My friend Tracy Nguyen-Chung of Steez360 put together this amazing PSA featuring an incredible number of folks to help raise funds for the Japanese tsunami relief. The folks at Steez360 created this dope Heal JPN t-shirt and all proceeds will be given to Give2Asia’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Fund.

Featured in this PSA is yours truly and Joz representing 8Asians, along with a whole slew of artists, activists, poets, writers, and community leaders who gave their voices to this project. While there are too many to name here, you can see folks like Steve Nguyen, Lac Su, Bao Phi, Fatemeh Fakhraie of Muslimah Media Watch, N’jaila Rhee of Blasian Bytch, Mondega, and Notorious MSG.

To do your part in helping Japan, click here to purchase the Heal JPN t-shirt from Steez360!