8 Asians

The recent attack on two Asian International students on a Sydney train really made me angry. Based on the students accounts, not only was it not necessary for anyone to step in on the bashing of two people but apparently, one passenger who was targeted even said, “rob them, they are Asian and they have got money.”

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Does former DC mayor (and current DC city council member) Marion Barry have an Asian problem?

First, he got into trouble when he criticized some Asian businesses in his district for being “dirty,” remarking that “We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops.”

He later clarified those remarks, saying that he was only referring to the “less than stellar Asian American businessmen:”

I am sorry that my choice of words in expressing my discontent with some of the Asian business owners in my Ward offended the Asian American Community and I am deeply apologetic for any harm that I have caused.

Note the absence of an actual apology for saying those words in the first place, but whatever.

Esther wrote a thoughtful open letter to Mr. Barry, asking him to “‘do better, and to come up with some solutions that will create real opportunities for your community, rather than resorting to hateful memes that will inevitably lead to more violence and misunderstanding and no solutions.”

Instead, Barry went after Filipino nurses next.

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April 29, 2012, marked twenty years after the LA riots.

It’s been said that the media coverage at that time played a part in worsening the violence. In an interview about his documentary, Clash of Colors: The LA Riots of 1992, David Kim describes that the media’s focus on the tension between the Korean American and African American community exacerbated the conflict. Twenty years later, most of mainstream media is still choosing to remember only the violent confrontation when it comes to the role of the Korean American community in the events of April 29, 1992.

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This post was originally published on ThoughtCatalog and has been republished here with permission.

By Ruth

I suck at games. I don’t have the attention span to memorize the rules of poker. I don’t have the agility to compete in any kind of physical sport without irony. And I sure as hell can’t get into any kind of video game that requires me to inhabit the body of an ax-wielding elf. In fact, the only games I have mastered are Uno, Pictionary, and Foosball: activities that require nothing but a steady hand and zippy flick of the wrist. People usually don’t engage me in competition.

It used to come as a surprise to me, then, when complete strangers would recruit me in a game I like to call “Guess Her Race!” This isn’t an activity for the athletically gifted, intellectually blessed or the strategically savvy. There are no props, points, or rules, but there must be at least two people playing and at least one of them has to have a racially ambiguous appearance.

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Triangle Wall Shelf

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We don’t know about you, but to us wall shelves are boring. So linear–so yesterday. Spruce up your wall space with these Triangle Wall Shelf set of 4 ($80). Rearrange them however you wish in order to create the shelving design of your dreams. Other shapes are available, so go crazy.

I saw this Vonage ad the other day and noticed the actor who portrays the dutiful son and husband is that of the now defunct TV series Outsourced, Rizwan Manji. I’ve never personally tried Vonage, but in general, I am pretty pleased with the overall quality of Skype‘s VOIP. I have to imagine if you have a lot of friends and family in India, the $14.99/month deal (on top of I’m sure regular monthly fees), sounds like a great deal – especially if the call quality is there.

 

At a briefing held by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, it was reported that the Ford, W.K. Kellogg, and Kresge foundations have pledged an initial $1 million to support Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI)  communities. The money will support initiatives to combat problems such as significant income and educational  disparities among Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Southeast Asian Americans and the harassment of South Asian and Muslim communities.

UPDATE 4/27/2012: Congrats to the winner, Eymard Meneses Cabling who said, “…I would love to attend the Gala to show my support, learn more about the involvement of Asians in the entertainment industry, and to be humbled in the presence of those who have already and continue to make a difference.”

So here’s the deal. I’m on the Board of East West Players (EWP), the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work and the longest running professional theater of color in the country. Since I’ve been on the Board, I’ve hosted a table or two of VIPs at EWP’s biggest night of the year: the annual Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction. And this year, I’ve saved a pair of tickets for a lucky 8Asians reader who will be my personal guest at this year’s Gala! (Last year two of my guests were Moye and Ernie!)

About the event:

Kimora Lee Simmons will be honored by East West Players on April 30th, 2012 at the Universal Hilton. As a fashion and entertainment leader of Korean, Japanese and African American ancestry, she has raised the visibility of Asian Pacific Americans as trendsetters on a global scale.

“We are excited to celebrate Kimora Lee Simmons and her impact on American culture,” says Tim Dang, EWP’s Producing Artistic Director. “While her brand is larger-than-life, it is a relatively little-known fact that she is also a Tony Award-winning theatrical producer, and I believe may be the only Asian Pacific American with this accolade to date. Celebrating Ms. Simmons is really poignant right now, as producers can make a critical impact and it can go unnoticed. We want to acknowledge this along with all of her amazing accomplishments.”

Honorees also include groundbreaking jazz ensemble Hiroshima and the internationally-recognized Japanese drum group TAIKOPROJECT.

Tamlyn Tomita (Karate Kid Part II, Joy Luck Club) and Parvesh Cheena (Outsourced, Barbershop 1 & 2) will serve as emcees of the event. The evening’s performers include MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew Season 5 champions Poreotics, silk aerialist Sarah M. Moser, 14-year old musician/songwriter Russell Dimaano. Award-winning composer Nathan Wang (Beijing Olympics/Shaolin Monks, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar Award-winning film The Last Days) will serve as the evening’s Musical Director.

For more information visit www.EastWestPlayers.org

Joz is giving one lucky 8Asians reader a chance to win a pair of tickets to the East West Players Gala!

Ok, ok, so you think you’re ready to enter? Read on!
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Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Over the weekend, Richard Lui of MSNBC did a nice profile of William Tong, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut. I had first blogged about Tong back last November when his campaign reached out to 8Asians.

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Following the heels of Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, two African American football players who filed an entertainment lawsuit against ABC, executive producer Mike Fleiss, and The Bachelor/The Bachelorette’s production companies, I demand there be some fine Asian brothers and sisters to be represented in the show.

This comes at a hilarious time as the 8Asians team received an email from an affiliated show’s casting producer:

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With a knee injury ending Linsanity for the 2012 regular season, one might wonder about the future of Asian American basketball.   Is all of the current enthusiasm over basketball just a temporary craze that will fizzle out?  Will another Jeremy Lin emerge?  To answer those questions, it’s helpful to look at the past history of Asian American basketball to see where it is going in the future.
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Our internal e-mail lists have us discussing all kinds of stuff: Asian American identity, representation in the media, the experiences of activism in an academia setting and its progression as we transition to the working, adult world. And sometimes, we talk about innocent things. Innocent things like milk and cookies and OMG BOOBIES. Case in point, this delightful internal South Korean ad for the Oreo cookie.

Joz: Seems to be real. Also, my problem with it is that it was a bad Photoshop job to add the Oreo into the baby’s hand.

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