On 8asians, we have often talked about how are AAPI voices are not presented in mainstream media, but one voice that is seldom heard, whether in mainstream media or online, is that of Native Hawaiians. That’s why Until The Sun Sets caught my eye. It’s definitely not The Descendents, as it shows scenes of Hawaii before European contact. For more information and a talk with the director Kenji Doughty, see this interview at YOMYOMF, as part of YOMYOMF’s short film series.
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If you’re born in Michigan, was raised in Los Angeles County and educated at Harvard, the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, you still can be considered not American enough to run for Congress if you also happen to be of Asian heritage. At least that’s what seems to be true in the minds of a number of American citizens in the 39th Congressional District. It’s not the first time Chen has had to face accusations of being a spy from Communist China trying the infiltrate the American political process, nevermind the fact that Chen’s parents are from Taiwan, a country that “communist” China has missiles pointed at. As an American from the same community as these racist haters, I am absolutely ashamed of them as all Americans are. But, I can understand where the hate and fear is coming from. Change is terrifying, and not only has the diversity of that area been increasing by leaps and bounds over the last three decades, they have recently been drawn together with a number of heavily Asian Pacific American communities.
“In the aftermath of [Hurricane] Sandy, Chinatown residents need your help! CAAAV offices will be open to collect food/water, batteries, and flashlights. Volunteers are needed to pass out flyers and food, check in on tenants, and more. Also, if have access to a photocopier, please contact them. CAAAV offices are located on 46 Hester Street and will be open starting at 10 am today (Wed).” – via the Asian American Writers’ Workshop
The Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival celebrates its Sweet 16th birthday Nov 6-11 in Toronto and Nov 16-17 in Richmond Hill.
I sat with Aram Siu-Wai Collier, the Director of Programming for this year’s festival to go over some of the highlights and what we can expect, including musical performances, Rum’n’Roti and the festival’s first 3D film screening.
This is part 1 of a 2 part post on the 16th Annual Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival.
NYU Shanghai, the first US China Joint College, was established this month. A joint venture of New York University and Shanghai’s East China Normal University, the school will open its doors next year to some 300 students of which about half will be for Chinese students. It is hoped that providing choices like this one will reduce the number of Chinese students going overseas for study (estimated at around 340,000 in 2011), some of whom were from renowned high schools who completely skipped China’s college entrance exam, or gaokao.
Neveda is a battleground state in this year’s presidential election. On the political news site The Hill, Congressman Mike Honda (D-California) blogs on the difference Asian Americans in Nevada can make a difference:
“Even as AAPIs grew the fastest out of all ethnicities — growing 46 percent from 2000 to 2010 nationally — Nevada’s AAPI community grew at an astounding rate of 116 percent and now comprises 9 percent of the state. Despite our community’s impressive growth, however, only 55 percent of AAPIs are registered to vote nationally and one-third of AAPI voters remain undecided. … It makes sense why AAPIs would vote for Obama, and why in the 2008 election — this community gave Obama a 62 to 35 percent victory over Sen. McCain. On economy and job growth; healthcare; and education, the records demonstrate the President’s winning results for AAPIs.”
I have a friend who moved out to Las Vegas over a year ago and he had mentioned that his parents and a bunch of his parents’ friends moved there to retire (the low cost of housing, living and no state income tax certainly makes Nevada attractive to many retirees). I find it fascinating to see the growing Asian American population explode in Las Vegas (where I am assuming most Asian Americans live – since most of the population of Nevada is based there). Given the closeness of the presidential race, I’m thinking of heading there this upcoming weekend to see what the battleground looks like.
When I was a kid, I LOVED comic books. I bought every X-Men comic I could get my hands on. I was obsessed. This was a long time ago and back then the idea of Asian American superheroes was pretty much unheard of. This is not to say that Asian/Asian Americans weren’t in comic books. The one prominent one I remember reading was Sunfire.
Here is the Wikipedia description of him:
Sunfire is a temperamental and arrogant Japanese mutant who can generate superheated plasma and fly. Not suited for teamwork, Sunfire was only briefly a member of the X-Men and has kept limited ties to the team since. He has had some presence in the greater Marvel Universe.
Not someone I could get behind.
The Florida Board of Education joined Virginia in setting race based achievement goals that hold Asian American students to a higher standard. The rightmost column in the above excerpt from Florida’s educational strategic plan shows the differing expectations. As you might expect, this standard generated some angry responses.
The last time I blogged about Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, he was on The Colbert Report discussing his recently published book. This time around, Hsieh is profiled in the New York Times regarding his efforts to revive downtown Las Vegas as a community for startups, officially called The Downtown Project:
“Nevertheless, the Downtown Project is hoping to draw 10,000 “upwardly mobile, innovative professionals” to the area in the next five years. And according to Hsieh, he and his team receive requests for seed money from dozens of people every week. In return, the Downtown Project asks not just for a stake in the companies but also for these entrepreneurs to live and work in downtown Las Vegas. (They’re also expected to give back to the community and hand over contacts for future recruits.) In expectation of all these newcomers, the project has already set up at least 30 real estate companies, bought more than 15 buildings and broken ground on 16 construction projects. “
It’s exciting to see Hsieh emerge as a leader in a Bloomberg-esque way, laying out a community AND cooperative business environment. Personally, I am not sure if I could live and work in Las Vegas given the extreme summer heat. I’ve only been to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronic Show held annually every January. But given the low cost of living and favorable tax environment, maybe I’ll change my mind one day. Hsieh’s efforts certainly sound ambitious, but hopefully will be successful for not only entrepreneurs but also the Las Vegas community at large.
[Image courtesy of The New York Times.]
So the other week, Lucy Liu was under fire for her comment on David Letterman’s show about how she looks “a little Filipino” when she tans. Although Lucy has already apologized, a number of people are unsurprisingly still offended by the comment. The funny thing is, it’s not so much of an issue of ignorance as it is about cultural exposure. In the northern Philippines and parts of the south, there are light-skinned people who look Northeast Asian; in southern China, there are dark-skinned people who look Southeast Asian (Malay like some of the people found in the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia), and to the west in Xinjiang, some have blue eyes and “white” skin.
After two full days of making the most of each day, I had planned on the same for the third and final day of the DNC.
Thursday morning, I had planned on attending a talk I had RSVP’d to at 8:30 am in the morning on The American Dream: Communities of Color & the 2012 Election, but given my past two late nights, there was just no way I was going to be able to make it.
This time around, I decided to park where I did on Tuesday, not too far from the YMCA across from the highway overpass, and found a quicker way to make it to the convention center. Having some free time, I first wanted to try to get tickets to The Daily Show. I wound up walking up several blocks past the Epicenter to get the 7th Street and talk to a security personnel who blocked the theater (as the theater was within the security zone) that The Daily Show was being taped at. On my way there, I met a San Diego, Californian-based volunteer who was also interested in trying to see the taping.
I usually regard alarmist stories about Chinese college students in the U.S.with suspicion, but this particular story about a University of San Francisco (USF) administrator resigning over aggressive recruitment of Chinese students seems to have some substance. Dayle Smith, dean of undergraduate studies in USF’s school of management, resigned over “the aggressive recruitment of Chinese” students. 781 out of 10017 students there are Chinese nationals, mostly in the business school and representing an increase from 589. So what’s the problem?