8 Asians

While the rise of Asian Ethnoburbs had been highlighted last year, the much debated (and maligned) Pew Report on Asian Americans says that only around 11% of Asian Americans live in such neighborhoods.  The report implies that Asian Americans are more likely to assimilate into more affluent white neighborhoods.  Is this the case, or is there more to the story?  This article in the Atlantic examines data regarding majority Asian suburbs such as those in the San Gabriel Valley.  Amidst its many graphs and tables, the article shows that some of the Pew Reports conclusions are simplified, and stresses many of the points that many make about statistics about Asian Americans.

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A man in Ahmedabad, India recently named his new clothing store “Hitler” (complete with swastika), not realizing that rule #3 in Things To Never Ever Do In The 21st Century is to associate one’s business with Nazis and/or the Holocaust. The kicker is that after locals raised their ire over the offensive name, owner Rajesh Shah said “‘I will change it (the name) if people want to compensate me for the money we have spent — the logo, the hoarding, the business cards, the brand.'” But why? “Hitler” was his strict grandfather’s nickname and Shah said, “‘It was only when the store opened I learnt Hitler had killed six million people.'” The more you know, people. The more you know.

Catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 of Scott’s piece following the Richard Aoki debate.

By Scott Kurashige


I can appreciate how and why Aoki became an Asian American icon. Japanese Americans have used and needed icons in diverse ways. Before World War II, when Japanese immigrants were barred from citizenship or full membership in the American body politic, the community held up Japanese homeland figures as their icons and used economic nationalism as an entrepreneurial survival strategy. The Nisei generation saw all their citizenship rights stripped away, so their leaders put forward Japanese American war heroes as model citizens who proved their ethnic group could make great contributions to America. When this morphed into the model minority stereotype and was manipulated by conservatives and anti-black racists, Sansei radicals looked for models of resistance and Afro-Asian solidarity. Of course, Yuri Kochiyama fit the mold perfectly, but sadly her health issues have limited her in-person exposure in recent times. Richard Aoki was there for those younger activists who needed to be shown it was possible to break the mold and chart a new path forward.

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Carolina Panthers safety Haruki Nakamura is one of the few Asian Americans in the NFL. He is also one of the few (only?) NFL players who are better known in Japan rather than the US. Nakamura got his start in football in an interesting although disturbing (for this parent) way, as told in this story from the LA Times.

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Why I Heart The 626


Recently, the Los Angeles Times ran the article,  “The Asian American youth culture is coming of age in ‘the 626‘,” highlighting the role of people like Andrew and David Fung, who have brought much deserved attention to the San Gabriel Valley or 626 (which is the area code).

For those of you who don’t know, the San Gabriel Valley (SGV) is located east of Los Angeles city and represents home to many many many Asian/Asian Americans.

I was born and raised in the SGV. And if it’s up to me, I’ll also die here. When I got married, I told my wife that I didn’t want to ever leave.

People ask me why I love the 626 so much. It’s simple. It’s because it’s the only place in America that I have ever felt truly comfortable.

Let me explain.

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Click here to read Part 1 of Scott Kurashige’s piece on Richard Aoki.

By Scott Kurashige


“Man who armed Black Panthers was FBI informant.” That’s the headline from Rosenfeld’s article on Aoki.

Now Rosenfeld is very careful to say that there’s no clear-cut evidence that Aoki did any of his work for the Panthers at the direction of the FBI and that he’s never found any document saying Aoki told the FBI he gave the Panthers guns. So he’s covered his ass in this regard. But that headline is clearly nudging readers (especially casual and lazy readers) to think that Aoki was actively working to undermine the Panthers when he armed them—and certainly all the initial chatter flying around the web centered on just that thought.

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I waited at the McDonald’s at one of the many uninspiring malls for everyone to come. It could have been anywhere in the world because these joints don’t have much variety for lifeless interior design, but the giveaway that this was Jakarta, Indonesia, was the hijab the Muslim female employees were wearing. Aside from the profile pictures I saw on the Couchsurfing site, I had no idea what to expect aside from fellow expats of the American variety and a few locals, plus whomever else was coming for the meetup.

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By Bill

I recently discovered an apparel company called Veteran Clothing through a Stolen Valor website. Anyone would assume that this company would be run by veterans, for veterans, but that’s far from the truth. Veteran Clothing is actually run by CEO Billy Troung, a 19 year old entrepreneur whose company mission statement is,

VETERAN is about experience and being original. Your Own Boss. You’ve been in the game for infinite years. Everyone Respects You. No more fancy handshakes, stay Saluting. Remember, you can be a Veteran in anything.

Of course, this has caused uproar within the military veteran community, and many military veterans feel that this diminishes the value of the word veteran and the sacrifices they have made. I am personally angry at what Billy is doing, his practices within the company I view as deplorable and outrageous.

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UPDATE 9/6/2012: Congrats to the winner: Nikki!

On September 8th, 2012 the 3rd Annual Kollaboration SF Talent Showcase will return to UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Auditorium with eight fierce competitors who’ll be facing off for a $1000 Grand Prize.

Come watch and support talented, local artists who carry Kollaboration’s mission to empower and inspire a better representation of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the media.

Jayne Rio – www.facebook.com/jaynerio
Dustin Ako – www.facebook.com/DustinAk0
Outer Sunset – www.facebook.com/outersunset
Team Loopkicks – www.teamloopkicks.com
Peter Chung – www.facebook.com/peterchungmusic
Monsters Calling Home – www.facebook.com/monsterscallinghome
CryWolffs!Violin – www.facebook.com/pages/CryWolffs-Violin/261775710548604

** Hosted by **
Paul PK Kim – www.facebook.com/dreambigchannelpktown

** Guest Performances by **
Joseph Vincent
New Heights
VIP San Jose
KT Tatara

** Guest Judges**
Ellen Kim, hip-hop dancer & choreographer
Fiona Ma, California assemblywoman
Janelle Wang, NBC Bay Area anchorwoman

Website – http://kollaborationsf.org/show

If you’re in the Bay Area, you can buy tickets via this link: http://bit.ly/MdQCyM

$15 Presale; $20 General Admission; $40 Meet N Greet

Ok, ok, you just want to know how to win the tickets? Read on!

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By Scott Kurashige

“What did you know and when did you know it?”

That was the question thrown in the face of Old Left supporters as reports belatedly surfaced of atrocities committed by the Soviet Union under Stalin. The allegation was that leftists in America (and beyond) were such naïve and blind ideological proponents of Russian Communism that they idealized the Soviet utopia and turned a blind eye to crimes against humanity. Of course, the right wing and the state wanted to do everything it could to discredit left-wing activism and the ex-socialists turned neocons smugly declared that they were ahead of the curve. But the liberals also were deeply invested in this line of questioning. Though they worked in coalition during the New Deal and World War II, liberals and leftists had a stark falling out during the Cold War, when (to make a long story very short) leftists accused the liberal establishment of selling out the people, kowtowing to the imperialists, and being complicit in the McCarthyist purges. So with supposed exposes of the left, the liberals sought to prove that they were the sound minds who pursued a rational course of democratic reform. A generation of scholars studying the American Communist Party from the 1950s through 1980s was caught up in this debate. Left scholars upheld the CPUSA for its challenge to U.S. Cold War foreign policy and claimed vindication as the liberals dissembled during the Vietnam War. Liberal (and to be fair, left-wing “anti-Stalinists” too) scholars denounced the CPUSA for being a puppet of Moscow that put Soviet directives ahead of its purported mission to serve the proletariat.

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The Golden Nugget Casino of New Jersey has sought legal reprisal against a perceived injustice against its honest business endeavors by suing the gamblers who won $1.5 million USD and Gemaco card company for “selling a pre-shuffled deck that wasn’t pre-shuffled” on 30 April.

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Have you met Megan Lochte yet? She’s the sister of Ryan Lochte, who’s been making headlines for winning all those medals in the 2012 Summer Olympics. She’s also totally comfortable with using racial slurs like “chink.”

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