Gurriel’s Racist Gesture to Darvish Recalls Other “Slant eye” Photos

Over the weekend, the World Series broke my heart. First, being a Dodgers fan, the way they have lost have crushed the soul out of me… and then there was the whole Yuli Gurriel incident after hitting the home run off of Japanese/Iranian picture Yu Darvish.

In case you’ve been living in a cave, here is the image of what he did:

But just to keep it in context, he wasn’t the first to do it and won’t be the last. Here is a list of other people who did the same thing.

The Spanish Tennis Federation:

The Spanish Men’s basketball team:

Miley Cyrus and friends:

Joe Jonas:

Brazilian tennis player:

Uruguayan soccer player:

Another baseball player:

A failed one, but the intent was there… Kate Gosselin:

Argentinian soccer team:

And there are others. Lots of others. In fact, so many I got tired of saving images off of Google and uploading them here. Let’s just be clear, these are not okay and not funny. And WE ARE OFFENDED.

Follow me on Twitter @Ksakai1

My Father’s Lost Concentration Camp (Pt. 2 of 2)

In April of this year, I was asked by Southern California Public Radio to do a presentation about my family as part of their new series called, Unheard LA. The following is the video from my talk, followed by my original speech (broken into two parts). Please note, the text is from the original draft of the speech, so at points is considerably different than the actual talk I gave.

Be sure to read, Part 1. 

CHAPTER 5: The story (cont.)

The “camp” my family was sent to was in Topaz, Utah.

Now imagine: People going from sunny and WARM Hawaii to the high deserts of Utah—where in the winter there was a snow on the ground and in the summer it was often over 100 degrees. They couldn’t have been prepared for that.

It is important not only to know where they were but why. In 1943, America needed soldiers and people to help the war effort. And there were 120,000 Japanese Americans sitting idly in these “camps.” But the problem was that the government couldn’t tell the “good” Japanese Americans versus the “bad” Japanese Americans. So, they created a loyalty questionnaire.

The two most important questions were questions 27-28.

There were only two possible answers to these questions. Yes, Yes and No, No. Answering one of them no, meant you were answering them both no. These two questions literally divided my community and its effects can still be felt today.

So why did people answer yes-yes? It’s pretty simple actually. They were loyal and willing to prove it. And they had no allegiances to any other country. The No-Nos were a bit more complicated. Some said, take me out of camp, take me out of this prison, I’m willing to answer yes, until then: No. And they believed Question 28 was a trick question, because the basic underlying assumption was that you had allegiances to another country.

How did my grandfather answer these questions? No Question 27 and No to Question 28.

Here are my grandfather’s words on why he answered the way he did:

  1. As an American citizen, he was insulted.
  2. He thought if he answered yes-yes, he and his family would be released on the mainland where they had no friends and family and into communities where anti-Japanese sentiment prevailed.
  3. If they were going to be deported anyway – as my grandfather believed – a ‘yes’ answer would not look good.

And, because of his answer, they were sent to Tule Lake.

…where all the “bad” Japanese were sent.

In 1944, the US government passed a law that allowed American born citizens to renounce their citizenship voluntarily during wartime. The bill was designed to pave the way for the mass deportation of Japanese Americans after the war.

It was under this law that my grandfather (and other Japanese Americans like him) renounced his citizenship. He said he did this because he was convinced that Japanese Americans were going to be deported to Japan and it’s better to be first rather than last in line. Secondly, there were pro-Japanese factions in camps that threatened him and his family if he didn’t renounce his citizenship.

Once Tule Lake closed, they were sent to Crystal City, Texas.

This camp was for an “enemy aliens” and had to adhere to the Geneva Conventions, meaning better food and shelter than the “regular camps”. And when I looked into it, there was a swimming pool in Crystal City

After the war, my grandfather and other Japanese Americans realized renouncing their citizenship was a mistake. They worked with Wayne Collins, a wonderful lawyer from San Francisco, who said, “You can no more resign your citizenship in a time of war than you can resign from the human race.” He argued their renunciations had been the result of the unlawful detention and the terrible conditions in Tule Lake and not their decision.

My grandfather argued he was an American by birth. His rights had been violated. But he wanted to remain in the country.

After much hand wringing, my grandfather and his family were allowed to stay…

… they were given $25 dollars each and one way tickets back to Hawaii. Their citizenship was returned to them 10 years later.

I don’t look at my grandfather’s story through rose-colored glasses. There are many disturbing things about his story. In fact, the first time I read it I thought he was a spy. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away before I was born. I have so many questions I wish I could ask him. The most important being, did he know about Pearl Harbor.

But even without those answers, I no longer believe he was a spy. He just got caught in a wave of hysteria and was making the decisions he thought was best for him and his family. Blaming my grandfather also takes blame away from the government, who incarcerated 120,000 based entirely on their ethnicity.

Now that I know the story, I use every opportunity to pass the story to my son.

CHAPTER 6: Passing the story

It started with a trip to Manzanar when he was four.

But this was not just a one-time thing. Every time we pass places where Japanese Americans were incarcerated here in Southern California, I make sure to remind him. So that includes Santa Anita Race track, Griffith Park, Pomona Fair Grounds, and Tuna Canyon. I tell him, “this is where they locked up our people.”

This is my life’s work, to share the story of my family and others who were locked up. In fact, I constantly tell my son that we, as decadents of people who were locked up in these “camps,” have a moral responsibility to make sure that it never happens again to anyone ever. And I share it with all of you in the hopes we don’t let history repeat itself again.

Follow me on Twitter @ksakai1.

My Father’s Lost Concentration Camp (Pt. 1 of 2)

In April of this year, I was asked by Southern California Public Radio to do a presentation about my family as part of their new series called, Unheard LA. The following is the video from my talk, followed by my original speech (broken into two parts). Please note, the text is from the original draft of the speech, so at points is considerably different than the actual talk I gave.

CHAPTER 1: My hero

My father’s name was Walter Sakai. He was my hero. I know a lot of people say that about their dad’s, and I’m sure they mean it, but I had a special relationship with him. You see, he had a stroke when I was born that left him unable to work. Because of it, he took care of me and we got to be very close.

The one part of him that I never understood was what happened to him when he was in “camp.”

CHAPTER 2: My understanding of what happened

“Camp” is shorthand in Japanese American for the “internment camp” or more accurately, “concentration camp.” I know people always freak out when they hear that word. This is no disrespect to what happened in Europe, because those were much worse, those were death camps. What happened here is the picture book definition of a concentration camp. In fact, the people in government originally called it a concentration camp. Calling it an internment camp is a euphemism. Another euphemism from that time is “relocation” instead of what it really was an “incarceration.”

One of the earliest memories I have of my father was him trying to make sense of what happened to him when he was a child. Time, sickness, and age had worn down his memory until he had only three left of his time in camp.

  1. His dad worked for the “Japanese government” and that’s why they were taken.
  2. That they had been in the Tule Lake, Northern California camp.
  3. That the food was really bad.

No one else in the family seemed to remember much more. When I asked my uncle, the oldest child in my father’s family, he told me they were in Topaz, Utah. And my aunt, my dad’s older sister, said they were Crystal City, Texas. My aunt also remembered a swimming pool at Crystal City! A swimming pool? In a concentration camp? What’s unusual about all of this was that most Hawaiian Japanese were not taken to the camps. So why them?

The one thing everyone said was that neither of my grandparents wanted to discuss what happened and that my grandmother would have a visceral reaction when she thought about her time in “camp.”

CHAPTER 3: Trying to find his story

Just because my father wasn’t sure what happened to him, didn’t mean “camp” didn’t keep popping up in our lives.

In 1988, my father received his twenty thousand dollars and an official apology from the government. I remember how much it meant to him when he got it. It was vindication that what happened was wrong.

A few years after that, my father took me to the Japanese American National Museum, which was relatively new when we went. I only remember one thing from the trip, my father looking up his father (my grandfather) in the library. The records indicated that my grandfather was a mechanic. My father didn’t like that! He said he wasn’t a mechanic and we left.

I didn’t see this at the time but my father was yearning to find out answers as to what happened and why.

CHAPTER 4: My path to the story

It wasn’t until I started working at the Japanese American National Museum in my mid-twenties that I started to ask questions about what happened. Being around Japanese American history and culture as well as people who had been in camp, I suddenly needed to know my family’s story. Everyone who knew—including my father—had passed away or didn’t remember much, so I started to do research. I wrote to the National Archives, Dept. of Justice, and the FBI…

CHAPTER 5: The story

… and this is the story I found…  I hope this puts my father’s soul to rest.

My grandfather was a NISEI, a second generation, or in other words an American citizen.

My father had been right, my grandfather worked for the Japanese government. He was a clerk in the consulate’s office in Honolulu which was the equivalent of working for the Taliban in New York City right before 9/11. Not a great place for him to have been.

The FBI believed my grandfather was pro-Japanese with anti-American sentiment, more “old-time Japanese” than anything else.

My grandfather was taken by the FBI and sent to Sand Island in Hawaii. He was accused of three things:

1. In 1937, he and another consulate official took a camera from a naval intelligence officer who was taking a picture of a Japanese ship.

2. During a hearing, he admitted seeing other consulate officials acting suspiciously and did not report it to the proper authorities.

3.  And probably most damming, he was paid to burn paperwork on August 1, 1941.

The charges were vacated but the government considered him so much of a danger thhat he could not be released. So, they sent him (and my family) to the camps on the mainland.

To be continued…

Follow me on Twitter @ksakai1.

Asian American Journalists Have Space to Shine In The Changing Industry

Former anchor of The Today Show Ann Curry spoke at the 2013 national convention of Asian American Journalists Association in New York City about keeping faith and passion in the changing industry. Before a flight to the edge of Syria, Curry took the stage of the AAJA gala with MSNBC anchor Richard Lui. She gave her support to the community of Asian American journalists and reminded young journalists that “the job of a journalist is to give voice to the voiceless.”

Curry said “I am always Asian American,” in response to Lui’s question, “When are you Asian American?” Recounting the days when she felt lonely as one of the few Asians in her community or in the newsroom, she said to other Asian American journalists “I applaud your success and I cheer for you.”

I was part of VOICES, the student newsroom program of the convention, and the 13 of us student journalists flew in early in the week and started reporting for the convention with our mentors.

Students had shown high level of professionalism. Student journalist Mega Sugianto had witnessed a terrible car accident on her way to report another story. She quickly pulled out her camera and started shooting the tragic scene as one woman was seriously injured. Sugianto said she was traumatized by what she saw, but the instinct of a journalist pushed her to take on the difficult task. She made her name on the New York Daily Post that day with the valuable footage that no one else had. As I had reported a crime story related to two dead victims and been in a campus shooting rampage myself, I understood by first hand how traumatizing it can be, and how difficult to be a journalist, especially a professional journalist, in situations like that. My heart goes to Sugianto and I applauded her true professionalism.

I had the opportunity to interview Laura Ling and Lisa Ling before I came to the convention for a story I did for VOICES. Both of them, including Ann Curry, said that although the journalism industry is changing, and there may be fear about the tough job market, that passion in journalistic storytelling that can pull you through.

There are many amazing Asian American journalists in the country like Ann Curry, Lisa Ling, and Laura Ling. As the newsroom become more diverse, young journalists like Sugianto will find their place to shine.

See the future stars in the journalism industry.

DISCLOSURE: Shako Liu and Jocelyn “Joz” Wang are both members of AAJA. Joz also serves on the National Advisory and Governing Boards of AAJA, but did not assign this story to Shako. Shako submitted this story to 8Asians for editorial consideration without prompt.

Bay Area Giveaway: See Jet Li, Andy Lau & Takeshi Kaneshiro in ‘The Warlords’ this Weekend

I’ve had my eyes on ‘The Warlords’ since it was released in Asia as The Blood Brothers (投名狀 / tóu míng zhuàng) in 2007. Directed by Peter Chan, this spectacular historical action film is set in the midst of war and political upheaval during the Taiping Rebellion of the 1860s.

Based loosely on real events in Chinese history, it stars Jet Li as General Pang, who barely survives a brutal massacre of his fellow soldiers by playing dead. Pang soon joins a band of bandits led by Er Hu (Andy Lau) and Wu Yang (Takeshi Kaneshiro). After fighting back attackers from an helpless village, the three men take an oath to become blood brothers, pledging loyalty to one another until death. Of course, it wouldn’t be a movie if things didn’t quickly turn sour — the three men become embroiled in a web of political deceit, and a love triangle between Pang, Er Hu and a beautiful courtesan (Xu JingLei).

The film won a ton of awards in Asia and it was clear to me as I was watching the film that the sweeping cinematography and the masterful direction was what set ‘The Warlords’ apart from most modern Asian cinema. I’m not one for gory and grizzly fight scenes, but I couldn’t keep my eyes away from the battle scenes, even at their bloodiest. The three male main characters were engaging — though I’m the first to admit that I’m an unabashed Takeshi fan. The major distraction of the film is the “love triangle” storyline, but then, if you’re watching this movie for the love story, then you’re definitely watching the wrong movie.

Due to scheduling conflicts, I was not able to speak to Director Peter Chan as I had planned to, but I was curious to ask him how he thought American audiences would respond to the film, considering that most people here don’t have a background in the history of China. So since I couldn’t ask him, I’ll ask any of our 8Asians readers who have seen the film for their opinions on this topic. Do you know anything about the Taiping Rebellion or the Qing Dynasty? Does having knowledge of the historical background of a film’s setting make a difference in how you might view it?

‘The Warlords’ is available on VOD, XBOX LIVE and AMAZON and opened in selected theatres April 2nd. The Bay Area opening is on April 9, 2010 at Landmark’s Lumiere Theatre, in San Francisco, Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley, and Camera 3 in San Jose. The film’s running time is 110 minutes, and is rated R. In Mandarin; fully subtitled in English.

If you like epic films, then you’ll probably enjoy this film as much as I did. Want to check it out this weekend, Bay Area folks?

What you could win from Landmark Theatres and 8Asians:
A free pair of tickets for Opening Weekend (4/9/2010) in SF (Landmark’s Lumiere Theatre) or Berkeley (Landmark’s Shattuck Theatre)!

How do you enter?
All you have to do is to leave a comment with your preferred location and your favorite out of the 4 stars (Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, or Xu Jinglei) and one lucky winner will be selected to go!

Hurry, the deadline to enter is: Thursday, April 8 at 12noon (Pacific Time)
ONE lucky winner will be selected and contacted that afternoon.

Rules for entering:
1) Please be serious about using the tickets– unused free tix suck!
2) Contributors to 8Asians and their immediate family members are not eligible to win.

Prize courtesy of: Landmark Theatres and 8Asians.

Giveaway: “I Love Yous Are For White People” T-shirt & Autographed Book

UPDATE: Congrats to our winners! Thanks to all who entered, but kudos to Confuse_Us, whose comment was long, complex, and orginal and ngatruong, whose comment was short, simple, and genuine!

This isn’t an April Fools joke, yo! Thanks to the generosity of Lac Su, the author of “I Love Yous Are For White People,” we’ve got another great giveaway for 8Asians readers.

So if you haven’t followed our advice to read Lac’s memoirs, or if you have already read this book and just want the companion t-shirt, this is the giveaway for you! People who’ve read the book kept telling Lac that if he would stamp the words “I Love Yous Are for White People” onto a t-shirt, they would totally wear it. So Lac made it happen with the help of Donnytello Tran from Neaato (who drew the illustration) and to Ryan Suda at Blacklava (for screening the image onto nice, soft, and comfy t-shirts).

It is so cool of Lac to create these shirts because he is using them to fundraise for Giant Robot Magazine and the Asian American Studies program at Purdue University, two organizations that need financial support. So if you don’t win the t-shirt in this contest and you want to buy one, they are just $20 and proceeds go to support these two worthy causes.

What you could win from Lac Su, Blacklava and 8Asians:
One t-shirt and an AUTOGRAPHED copy of “I Love Yous Are for White People” (book). (Two winners will be selected!)

How do you enter?
Simply leave a comment answering the following question: Why do you think Giant Robot Magazine and Asian American Studies in universities are important for you to support? (The two best answers win, as determined by an esteemed panel of judges*)

Hurry, the deadline to enter is: Tuesday, April 6 at 11:59 pm (Pacific Time)
TWO lucky winners will be selected and contacted later that week.

Rules for entering:
1) Please be in the US or Canada. Sorry, we will not be shipping anywhere else!
2) Contributors to 8Asians and their immediate family members are not eligible to win.

Prize courtesy of: Lac Su and Blacklava.

To help you write the best answer, visit Giant Robot Magazine and the Asian American Studies program at Purdue University

*Judges may include Lac Su, contributors to 8Asians, and other cool peeps

Belldandy, Genghis, and other Fabulous Filipino First Names

Belldandy as Power Rangers Operation Overdrive Drivemax Megazord

We received a link from a reader who thought that Ernie was kidding in this conversation with Rosemary about Filipino names but realized he wasn’t when she saw this link featuring a Filipina girl named Belldandy whose parents dress her up in cosplay outfits.   What kind of parent names their kid Belldandy?”   A Filipino parent of course!  (And also a manga fan, as Belldandy is a character in the manga Oh My Goddess!).  Filipino parents are famed for creating all kinds of crazy first names and nicknames.  I have a first cousin named “Ludwig” and another named “Lyndon Johnson.”  One Filipino who wrote for 8Asians is named “Genghis.”

So how did this name craziness start?  It started when the Philippines’ Spanish colonial masters converted Filipinos to Catholicism. Filipinos took up religious names, but in a rather random kind of way.  “They arbitrarily adopted the names of saints and this practice has resulted in the existence of thousands of individuals having the same name,” complained Spanish Governor-General Narciso Claveria. “I saw the resultant confusion with regard to the administration of justice, government, finance and public order, as well as the far-reaching moral, civil and religious consequences to which this might lead.”  In 1849, he sent out a catalog of acceptable names for Filipinos to use.    Some lazy local administrators simply named every person in a village with the same last name.  Other administrators had everyone in a village have the last name starting with the same letter.   As a result, many Filipinos have the same last name.  If you have the same name as a criminal (a common occurrence), you have to go through a lengthy process and carry with you a note from the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation saying that you are not the criminal with the same name.

To avoid this problem and to grant their kids have at least some individuality, Filipino parents have no qualms about coming up with, well, “atypical” first names.  This story from the Wall Street Journal talks about a man named Hitler Manila who has sons named Himmler and Hess.  Apparently the names didn’t go over well with some Germans.  A favorite is technique is to combine names, mentioned in this article from the BBC, resulting in names like Luzviminda (from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao – major regions of the Philippines) or “Jejomar” (combining Jesus, Joseph, and Mary).  I had a friend with the name of “Alvi”, from her father “Al” and her mother “Violeta.”

Does this tradition live on in Filipino-Americans?  Well, yes and no.  Yes, as my brother named his daughter “Kira Nichelle” after Kira Nerys from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhuru in the original Star Trek series.  No, as I suggested naming my son Valen Kosh (from the Babylon 5 TV series), but The Wife vetoed that idea.
h/t: Catherine for the Belldandy Pointer

Asian American Commercial Watch: All American Mom, Daughter & Boyfriend in Target Ad

While watching The Amazing Race on my DVR, I had to quickly rewind to see what I thought I had seen. Target has done it again, this time with a new television commercial featuring an all Asian American cast featuring an over-protective mom named Wendy as she keeps an eye on her teenage daughter and her new boyfriend. I really hope this ad is airing in other markets besides the Bay Area and California, as I find them so refreshing, especially after those recent commercials from MetroPCS and Radio Shack.

When Is It Stereotype and When Is It Just You?

I was intrigued when I first read Jennifer’s post over at Mixed Race America on things we avoid just to avoid perpetuating a stereotype. For example, when you’re at the food court in the mall, do you avoid going to the Asian food stands, because it would help perpetuate the stereotypes that Asians eat rice (and other Asian foods)?

I bring up that specific example, because when I went to college in Philadelphia, my roommate, Phil, whose family was local, invited me to dinner one night. His mom was Italian-American, and his family has been in the U.S. for a few generations. Phil warned me before we got to his house that his mom had made rice for dinner, as she didn’t know what else to make for a Chinese guy (it didn’t matter that I’ve been in the U.S. since I was 2, and she’s met me and knew I spoke English with a perfect Long Island accent). Phil’s girlfriend, Val, at the time was African-American, and Phil’s mom prepared fried chicken whenever Val went to dinner at their house, so I guess I shouldn’t have been offended. (And I was plenty happy to have rice for dinner, since I was a poor college student living on mac and cheese.)

Speaking of not doing something just because it would perpetuate a stereotype, Jennifer (of Mixed Race America) brings up the example of not wearing a cheongsam at her wedding, because she didn’t want to perpetuate the stereotype of her being “Suzie Wong”. I do catch myself sometimes thinking I shouldn’t order “oriental chicken salad” and then do it anyway, just because I like mandarin oranges. There’s probably dozens of other examples just like that. And then sometimes I do things just to completely be opposite of a stereotype. My entire career and profession is sort of a reaction to the Asian stereotype. My parents wanted me to be an engineer, but I followed a career path to become a marketing executive. Instead of being meek, quiet, and hard-working at my desk in a cubicle farm, I go out and give presentations, talk loudly at work functions, and meet and greet customers.

This topic gets more difficult when I try to apply this to my four year old daughter. I want her to learn about her culture and heritage, even if it means perpetuating stereotypes, because it’s too easy to lose sight of where you’re from as an Asian American. I want my daughter to wear a cheongsam at her wedding and to consider it a part of who she is, rather than what it makes her appear to be.

The question remains whether as a society we’re ready to see people for who they are or are we helping to perpetuate stereotypes when we do things that are really just who we are?

Apolo Ohno vs. South Korea

I realize that the 2010 Winter Olympics ended last week, and you might not care, but I do, so I’m going to keep on writing about it until the cows come home. Whatever that means.

I love the Olympics. We already covered that. My second favorite Winter Olympic sport is Short Track Speed Skating. My fandom of this sport is in large part to a certain cutie named Apolo Ohno who makes speed skating look like the hottest sport ever invented. I’ll admit that I’m pretty biased when it comes to Ohno, because even if he makes ungracious comments, I’ll overlook it, chalking it up to his good looks impairing his social graces during interviews.

I’m sure you’ve been aware, but ever since the 2002 Winter Olympics, it seems that those living in South Korea have hated on Ohno over his controversial medal.

Ohno finished runner-up to Lee Jung-Su after two other leading Koreans, Sung Si-Bak and Lee Ho-Suk, collided and crashed into the boards around the final turn in the men’s 1500m final on Saturday at the Vancouver Olympics…[The] Korean media slammed Ohno’s post-race comments that Korean skaters deserved to be disqualified in a fresh flare-up of the antipathy which surrounded him after he won the same event at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

Anyone who has watched the sport understands that the races are intense, and that at any given second, things can take a turn for the worse or better for any or all of its competing athletes. The nature of the sport forces the contenders to skate in close quarters, where accidents are bound to happen.

So maybe you can understand my incredulousness at South Korea for singling out our Ohno as the sole contributor for things not working out well for their countrymen. Let’s just accept the fact that it is what it is in Short Track Speed Skating and let bygones be bygones. I mean, are we, America, going to hate on Canadian Short Track Speed Skaters because we had our own bit of tussle at this year’s games?

Tekken Movie Looks Like Tekken

We’ve had movie versions of Mortal Kombat that was kinda campy but watchable, and we’ve had movie versions of Street Fighter which were pretty bad to downright terrible. Now video gaming males from ages 18-35 — and Moye, ha ha — can rest tight knowing that there’s going to be a movie about everyone’s favorite four button fighting game that incorporates corporations and demon possession, Tekken.

Tekken will be centered around Jin Kazama, played by British model and wushu martial artist Jon Foo, and will have some of the characters from the latter series, including one scary-ass lookalike for Craig Murduk and Chiaki Kuriyama, who as Ling Xiaoyu will be able to stay in her “I kill people in a schoolgirl outfit” roles she took on for Battle Royale and Kill Bill. (Update: Nope, not true.)

Who won’t be in the movie? Paul Phoenix, which attests to the fact that they were not able to convince any 45 year olds to get a Kid-N-Play haircut and be a cheap asshole. (In this movie, that role goes to Eddy Gordo. “Hows it going, Eddy Gor-” [gets leg swept]) So what’s the verdict: will this movie be bad good, or bad bad?

PSA: Write in “Taiwanese” on the 2010 US Census

Recently, the Taiwanese American Citizens League (TACL),, Taiwanese American Foundation, TACL-LYF: Leading Youth Forward, Taiwanese American Professionals – San Francisco (TAP-SF)Taiwanese American Federation of Northern California helped produce this Public Service Announcement (PSA), advocating for all Taiwanese Americans to self-identify for the 2010 U.S. census taking place in April as Other Asian” and write in “Taiwanese.”

For more information about the PSA, check out , where you can learn about the Taiwanese Americans in the PSA, including California State Assemblyman and California Attorney General candidate Ted Lieu.

According to TACL, the 2000 estimates of Taiwanese Americans are 1.12 million (in the census 2000, only 144,795 Taiwanese Americans were recorded an under count by almost 90%. The U.S. Constitution requires a national census once every 10 years and census forms will be mailed to every household in March & Census Day is April1, 2010. The census counts EVERYONE residing in the United States (including non-citizens & international students.) The census is confidential – your responses are protected by law under Title 13, U.S. code, Section 9 and only takes 10 minutes to fill. The census data is important because it directly affects how more than $300 BILLION per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities & non-profit organizations. That’s more than $3 TRILLION DOLLARS over the 10-year period.

After the jump, you can read more about my rant on being a Taiwanese American and why it matters.

Continue reading “PSA: Write in “Taiwanese” on the 2010 US Census”