March 2, 2015

In Support of Phil

Editor’s Note: The views espoused below or in our blog are those of the writer & not that of the parent organization, the AAA-Fund.

We’ve linked to Angry Asian Man whose proprietor Phil Yu is a tireless, foremost advocate for so many causes in our community, many of which are ours here at the AAA-Fund and its Blogteam both. His leading in publicizing matters, writing credible posts & lending his name & time & energy to our causes is steady, reliable & much appreciated.

Thus when Lela Lee, the founder of Angry Little Asian Girls, threatened to sue Phil due to trademark (don’t say copyright, she’ll get you) infringement, the anger and backlash against her were unleashed. Internet bullying is deployed fully against her, not that I advocate it but namely that she brought it upon herself with her caustic attitude, sharp writing, snide sarcasm, personal attacks, and request to keep everything private.

My 2nd offense is at her attacking. I don’t mean to say the AAPI community has to act as 1 or is 1 happy family, that’s unrealistic and unhealthy, but her attitude is so poor by any measure that it must be called out.

My foremost offense is at her hijacking the community and moniker “Angry Asian” for herself. Who gave her that right? With the same arrogance of lawyer combined with businesswoman, she swoops in to belittle, chastise, and bump off an innocent person? Who said she could exclusively be the only Asian to give emphatic expression? What right does she have to own the whole idea of an angry Asian much less its trademark? But the harm to our community, our cause, no way, such damaging persons cannot be left to do their craft.

The solution is to publicly shame her by simply, innocently, merely re-posting her posts a.k.a. archiving her blog from which she already deleted past items (but nothing online is ever deleted). Her harming the community with her selfish act deserves commensurate action. All our official and unofficial cross-posting partners from 8Asians (excellent letter) to ReAppropriate (excellent coverage always & especially good writing) and FascinAsians and Phil‘s original post and our friend Jeff Yang all agree, Lela Lee is wrong.

Why are Evangelicals Silent about Dead Egyptian Coptic Christians?

beheading Coptic Christians

Let’s jump right in, why are evangelicals silent about the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians? Or for that matter, any of the 1000s of Coptics killed for decades?

Some background, conservative pro-Christian media is usually very fast to promote news that makes evangelicals (that’s not the same as all Christians as they think they’re right & all other Christian sects are wrong, basically) look good. This time, their universe is silent. Here’s why:

  • Egyptians are all Arab and Muslim, right? what’s the difference anyways?
  • They’re dark so they’re not like us. We can’t care.
  • We’re comfortable in suburbia and that’s just too far.
  • Isn’t it normal in that part of the world?
  • Isn’t Libya also bad? Where’s Libya?

Extremist Christians are bad because religious extremism is the root of this whole problem. Using Christian extremism won’t solve the Muslim extremism.

I thought about doing this article as a split column with my reaction on the right, but likely your reactions to the Christians cited above is the same as mine. Explanations would kill the sarcastic joke.

Fresh off “Fresh Off the Boat”

First, why I’m writing about ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” here at the blog of a PAC whose mission is to increase AAPI involvement in US politics. Part of that is educating, identify, outing & resolving race issues in the US whether by political means or others (grassroots, education, public embarrassment, etc.). This show is an important step in that movement, a movement close in heart & action to those of our PAC.

There’re countless eloquent & well-written tributes to the show including

I add my own to the pile.

Constance Wu’s character Jessica Huang steals the show. At last, as the sentiment which underlies Asians Not Brainwashed By Media and this fan of On the Media yours truly is sharply aware, an Asian woman who is a real woman. Not some meaty object of desire, not some caricature, not some shell of a human being, not a moist stereotype, not just a generic “wife and mother” character as America is so apt to love, but a true human being with feelings, complexities, arguments, and growing pains.

Next, the father, wow a man of the house, haven’t we seen a lot of these on tv? Sarcasm, people, and now we add to the slowly growing list of responsible Asian men in American media, always a sore tender point.

And the kids, whoever casts for ABC with their many kids in many shows recently is great & I can only be so proud of them & their parents for raising such fine actors & aware people.

And my immediate reaction: wow, it’s my life on tv. At last, it’s like therapy.

Faith-based Deniers

Science Denial

What’s a term for faith-based psychos like birthers, deniers (climate & interrogation both), anti-vaxxers, truthers, etc.? Their main trait is using personal truth to refute truth. It’s reminiscent of religious folks, especially those I’ve long called GOP Christians who use the flag of Jesus and the US to self-justify personal flaws.

I don’t seek to write some long academic prose about how to carefully define such folks. We’re a blog & no one has that kind of attention span. Plus, peer citations are what those psychos use to justify themselves so peer citations are no assurance against psychos.

What is the most disparaging term for such folks? Comment below. I’ll use this such term in the future to better write against those psychos whose beliefs cause them to vote and be politically involved in ways which endanger our nation, rights & futures.

Out of Control Anger

Officer Rafael Ramos (left) and Wenjian Liu (right) were killed on Saturday in an ambush by a gunman in a Brooklyn neighborhood.

Endless political hate speech ensues. Let’s hope it’s dampened now that more died. All the causes are facing opposite directions compounding out-of-control anger.

Conservatives focus on the fact that both men died while resisting arrest & are responsible for their own demise, the risk to law enforcement by such folks, that blacks are the majority of violent criminals & thus risks to their & others’ well-being as well as an orderly peaceful society.

Liberals focus on how both criminals were victims of excessive law enforcement force, racial profiling and discrimination, blacks in the context of historical misdeeds, and decriminalization of “small” offenses.

Blacks focus on not being represented by 2 petty criminals, being generally hard-working law-abiding citizens, victims of persistent society-wide biases, how the system is gamed against them, and how disrespected they feel at all times.

Anarchists focus on hijacking the cause, openly calling for the execution of police, lionizing anarchistic assassins (including o called “civic” “leaders” advocating killing cops), and turning demonstrations into excuses for violence.

AAPIs focus on not being hijacked then overwritten for another’s cause, emphasizing safe communities (not anarchies), and educating each other about AAPI cases of police brutality.

Some are not for justice, they’re for hell on earth. Where are the sensible people? The overheated (hopelessly full of emotion) inane (excessively idiotic) discussion avoids the rational, intelligent & productive debate which a such thorny, ingrained controversy requires. Hope no more die in these so-called causes.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (IL-8) is Expecting

Editor’s Note: The AAAF endorsed Tammy Duckworth for her 2012 campaign.

Tammy Duckworth and her husband Bryan Bowlsbey are expecting a baby girl in early December! The Chicago Sun-Times reported the announcement yesterday as has the The Chicago-Tribune.

Congratulations to the growing family!

Futility of Peace

War Is Peace

I’ve blogged here since 2008 specifically about the toxic mix of religion & politics & notably how religion self-justifies personal flaws.

Today, let’s categorize Middle East crisis (now in its 2,500th year) camps:

  • Rational Historians: There’s been plenty written for centuries, especially recently, about the Mideast crisis. Most of what’s to be said has already been said.
  • Gave Up: A religious war 2500 years long with which self-justifies the mutual killing will end only when religion ends. Which is never.
  • Idealists: Let’s make peace! The endless stream of preachey & arrogant social media posts (i.e. “A Plea to Christian, Muslim and Jewish Friends“) by outsiders, especially white saviors & their kind
  • Jews: Peace is killing all the other side & taking their land.
  • Islamists: (see Jews)
  • Lawyers: Let’s defend religious expression with ethics and the rule of law. (as always, such folks are clueless & useless)
  • Killers: Busier killing the other side instead of bothering with futile social media posts like our friends’ & blogs like this.

So it goes on. And on. Until the end of time mortal. That’s not news, that’s daily life.

Clay Pell for Governor

Clay Pell for Governor

Exciting news about 1 of my childhood heroes when I heard Michelle Kwan’s husband Clay Pell is running for Rhode Island Governor. Yes, that’s the same Pell as in the famed scholarship program, the Pell Grants, which has funded the college education for a number of our readers including yours truly.

Putting aside Kwan’s star power, here’s why I’d vote for him if I were a Rhode Island voter:

  • accepting neither lobbyists’ nor PAC’s monies to avoid legalized corruption/bribery
  • Harvard undergrad & Georgetown Law School show the best education
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education at US Department of Education; White House Fellow 2011-2012; director of strategic planning for President Obama’s national security team; active duty Coast Guard officer
  • more important than the still good party support is his on-the-ground support; if polls speak to some political industry insiders, then he’s also +9% there
  • he doesn’t lie, whether you want to use experience reading news about him, his PolitiFact page, factual defense of the usual dumb accusations during campaigns, etc.
  • doing what progressive & smart economies are doing, funding professional internships
  • this past Tuesday’s debate showed how he’s not a career poltician in style, thought & treatment
  • sure his Republican opponent is an Asian, but Allan Fung is conservative and harmful to the state proving how supporting the greater good may take us outside our Asian roots

Learn more about Clay at ClayPell.com, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Or update the race’s Wikipedia or Ballotpedia pages.

Justice for Danny Chen 3/3

Pvt. Harry Lew, whose killers are even less unprosecuted.

Pvt. Danny Chen, US Army

On October 13, 2011, Private Danny Chen, a Chinese-American active duty private in the US Army, died while deployed in Afghanistan. The circumstances surrounding his death are outrageous and illegal (even in military law, a largely unknown beast): racially-biased hazing both physically and emotionally over months prior to his death. Suicide or murder, we can’t tell. His superior, Sgt. Holcomb, spent 30 days in jail & a weak admission of race-based hazing are the results. Not good enough. We take it to the court of public opinion to embarrass the DoD by:

  1. re-highlighting the intense and un-sustained media attention, especially during the military trial
  2. outing misperceptions & cultural myths by clarifying hazing vs murder
  3. list what rights one has once one enlists so those enlisting & enlisted have; we can’t bust military culture, but we can expose it as light shines most where there is darkness
  4. showing how to contact Congress & DoD to end race-based hazing

We’ll coordinate with the Organization for Chinese Americans (OCA) NY chapter as we did when the news first broke. To quote the Angry Asian Man, “In the end, all of this is work to ensure that another tragedy like this never happens again.”

Related

Lord’s Resistance Army’s Un-Christian

With all the bad news from Iraq thanks to so many failures from so many overpaid corrupt folks enjoying an Iraq time, I thought it useful to visit another failed state. So many to choose from, so let’s try Uganda, #22 on the Failed States Index, 1 better than North Korea (ouch).

Some are concerned that our sending military advisors to Uganda last year worsend the US’ might or our image in central Africa. Some falsehoods & truths:

Falsehood: Rush Limbaugh said the LRA (“Lord’s Resistance Army”) are Christians. They fight the Muslims in Sudan. They’re on our side. Obama’s a Muslim so he wants to fight Christians.
Truth: The LRA is not “Christian”. They are agnostic. It is not fighting “the Muslims”. It is killing, abducting and torturing ordinary citizens, originally in Uganda, now mainly in South Sudan, DRC and CAR. Most of its victims are Christians or followers of African traditional religions. The oppressive Islamist regime in Khartoum supports the LRA openly and officially with all sorts of support: logistical, governmental, militarily and legally.

Falsehood: The US sent soliders to fight their war.
Truth: These advisors are forbidden by international law and our mission from firing (except in defense) or being in direct combat. For something that doesn’t sound like it came from a press officer, we’ve too little to gain by breaking the law because they’ve not enough oil to satisfy any American corporate lobbyists.

Falsehood: The US is getting involved in war & we’ve no oil to gain anyways.
Truth: See above. Seriously. And Uganda’s our friend not enemy. Conservatives like the world black and white: no oil, no troops.

Falsehood: The Lord’s Resistance Army is the Lord’s work.
Truth: Just another Christian terrorist group waving the flag of Jesus to justify their personal flaws & equally flawed ideology.

Falsehood: The US is getting into messy alliances with people we can’t trust.
Truth: Luckily, we owe the LRA & Uganda government little.

Falsehood: We need to stop the terrorists.
Truth: The situation is so local, even professionals in international policy don’t understand the true nature of this fight.

I note the danger of listening to politically extreme radio personalities who don’t deal in truths but rather whatever is entertaining which can include falsehoods because few know the truth and fewer fact-check because they’re intellectually lazy.