April 26, 2015

July 25: NYC AAIFF with AALDEF

Asian CineVision

Join the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) on Thursday, July 25 at the 36th Asian American International Film Festival for a screening of:

Director Jeffrey Chin | 30 mins
Civil rights leader and newspaperman Sei Fujii discovers several hurdles to acquire equal rights, within his own community and beyond.
Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 6:30PM
Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave (between 1st & 2nd Ave)

Other short films in the INTO PENUMBRA program:
Only Child
Director Christian Gosset | 6 mins
Keye Luke
Director Timothy Tau | 12 mins
Or Die…
Directors Gregory Bonsignore & John Petaja | 12 mins
More Than a Face in the Crowd
Director Samantha Chan | 25 mins

Discounted tickets for AALDEF friends are $10.50. Tickets are non-refundable. Please also consider a $5 donation (or more!) to help support AALDEF’s legal and educational programs.

RSVP by Monday, July 22th. For information or to purchase tickets, contact Jennifer Weng at 212.966.5932 x212 or events@aaldef.org.

The film festival runs from July 24 – August 3. Check out the entire schedule at AsianCinevision.org/AAIFF.

The Nation: Watching Fox Makes you Stupider

Fox News Channel

Over at The Nation, Ben Adler rips into Fox News for its failure to inform its viewers.

He writes at “It’s Official: Watching Fox Makes You Stupider“:

People who work at Fox News might like to think that they are despised by real journalists only because they are conservative and most journalists are liberal. Anyone who read the admiring obituaries of William F. Buckley Jr. in mainstream and liberal outlets would know that is nonsense. Journalists, both liberals and ones with no ideology in particular, are quite capable of respecting conservative pundits and reporters who deserve their respect.

But Fox does not. The reason is not because it holds a set of values that others may not share. And that is only partially because it claims to be “Fair and Balanced” when it is neither.

Rather, it is because it fails the fundamental test of journalism: are you informing your audience? According to a new study by Farleigh Dickinson University, Fox viewers are the least knowledgeable audience of any outlet, and they know even less about politics and current events than people who watch no news at all [emphasis added is mine].

Hyphen magazine: Happy VaLINtine’s Day

Ed. Note: The below is a repost of Hyphen magazine‘s “Happy VaLINtine’s Day“, the fifth in our collaboration with Hyphen Magazine. See past entries from this collaboration.

InterVarisity Linsanity Happy Valentine's

Dear Jeremy Lin,

Hi. My name is Terry K. Park. I’m Mr. Hyphen 2011. That probably means nothing to you, since you’re Mr. NBA 2012, King of New York, Emperor of the Twitterverse. But I just wanted to introduce myself to you, from one representative of the Asian American community to another, so you don’t think I’m some random crazy person. To be honest, though, I’ve become a little crazy. A little insane, actually. Okay I’ll say it.

You’ve made me Linsane.

Happy VaLINtine’s Day.

Wait! Please keep reading. I know you’ve been getting a lot of love lately. From the press. From Spike Lee. From Mike D’Antoni (and rightly so — he owes you big time). And I read an article suggesting 10 New York celebrity women for you to date. But since you’re in Toronto tonight, and no one attractive lives there, I wanted to make sure you had a Valentine’s Day card to warm your heart, from someone who really appreciates you, who’s been following you since your Harvard days.

Not literally following you. Don’t worry. I have a life.

And that life, before I was infected with Linsanity, consisted of being insane for the Utah Jazz.

The Utah Jazz? I know. It sounds weird. Allow me to explain why the Jazz meant so much to me, and why you, now, mean so much to me, on this day of VaLINtine’s.

When I was seven years old, my family moved to Salt Lake City from San Jose, CA. A couple months after I arrived, my new friends and I walked to the neighborhood 7-Eleven and saw, in the parking lot, a massive black pick-up truck. We walked into the store and saw, standing at the register, a massive black pick-up truck of a man. My friends pushed me toward him and then hid in the candy aisle. Stumbling, I looked in front of me and saw cowboy boots. I looked up, and up, and up, and a few minutes later when I saw his face, I asked, “Are you Karl Malone?” He craned his neck down and said to the midget Asian boy with the bowl cut, “Yeah.” I asked, “Can I have your autograph?” “Yeah.” As my friends finally joined me to get their autographs, Malone reached into his wallet, handed me a crisp five dollar bill, and said, “Here, go buy yourself a Big Gulp.” I gulped.

Soon after, Malone, along with his perennial pick-and-roll partner, John Stockton, adorned my bedroom wall. I quickly grew to love — obsess over — the Jazz. Not because their star power forward paid me five dollars for my allegiance, but because the team’s presence made me feel like I belonged in a state where I felt incredibly, desperately, alone. I could watch Jazz telecasts and be a loyal Jazzman like everyone else, no longer a short Korean American kid constantly betrayed by the pungent food in his fridge, the heavy accent in his immigrant mother’s English, and the non-white, non-Mormon face in his bathroom mirror. I had no one to cheer for on the TV screen who looked like me (I didn’t play tennis, so Michael Chang didn’t count), so I might as well cheer for the local team and their superstars: one black, one white. But it wasn’t enough just to cheer anonymously for the Jazz; I wanted to prove I belonged by excelling on several athletic fields, including the basketball court.

I thought that if I patterned my game after Stockton’s pass-first, team-first style of play, I would pass. Not quite. Even though I played well for my Junior Jazz teams, was selected to several all-star teams at the basketball camp of University of Utah Coach Rick Majerus, I felt that I was either hypervisible as a racial oddity or an invisible man whose skills were ignored. One particular moment at Coach Majerus’s basketball camp dramatized these two feelings simultaneously. We were all seated on the floor of the Huntsmen Center while Coach Majerus demonstrated how to set a solid pick for a pick and roll: “When you set a pick on your man, don’t take Chinese steps” — taking clipped, hesitant, pitter-patter steps — “take real steps” — taking long, more assured strides. Immediately, everyone in the entire arena turned their heads and looked at the only Asian American kid in the entire basketball camp. Yup, me.

Little did I know that someone about my height, with my complexion, and with much better skills, had probably felt much more alone, on that same court, in that same city, in that same state. In 1944, as Japanese Americans were interned at camps like Topaz in Utah, Wat Misaka, a 5’7’’, 150 lb Japanese American point guard from Ogden, led the University of Utah to their only NCAA championship at Madison Square Garden. Three years later, Misaka led the underdog Utes back to MSG for the title game of the more prestigious National Invitational Tournament against the University of Kentucky, coached by the legendary Adolph Rupp. Stated the New York Times on March 25, 1947: “Little Wat Misaka, American born of Japanese descent, was a cute fellow intercepting passes and making the night miserable for Kentucky.” That “cute fellow” held Ralph Beard, arguably the best college player that year, to one single point. Several days later, Wat was drafted in the first round by the Knicks — the first Asian American to play in the NBA.

If I had known then about Misaka and his heroics, maybe I would’ve felt less alone and more proud to be Asian in Utah and in the US. But I didn’t. And so, as I later moved to Korea, to New York, and back to California, I maintained my love for the Jazz, while scouring the internet for news of any Asian American sports stars, and finding very little. Even as I entered the academic world and understood that my shame that day at Majerus’s camp and my burning desire to find an Asian American male sports star indicated my problematic investment in dominant modes of masculinity, I still yearned for an athletic face and body that looked like mine, who didn’t take “Chinese steps,” but manly “Majerus” steps.

That’s why I was so glad when I found out that the star of Harvard’s basketball team was an athletic 6’3’’, 205 lb Chinese American point guard from Palo Alto. I loved watching YouTube clips of your dunks against UConn and your drives against Georgetown. I was a little disappointed (though not surprised) when you went undrafted in 2010, but was ecstatic when you outplayed John Wall in the summer league and signed with the Golden State Warriors. I felt bad for you that the Oracle Arena crowd erupted whenever you entered the game and touched the ball (even though I did just that when I watched you play against my Jazz — sorry), and even worse when it was clear that you would never get regular playing time behind Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. I was sad to hear you were cut by the Warriors and Rockets at the beginning of this season, but glad that the Knicks gave you a chance.

And then, last week, playing against the New Jersey Nets and their star point guard, Deron Williams (whom I used to cheer for when he played for my Jazz), you were finally freed from the end of the bench to score a shocking 25 points and 7 assists in a Knicks win… and I couldn’t believe my eyes or my ears, as the famously fickle MSG crowd chanted “Jeremy Lin” in the same arena where, almost sixty five years before, they chanted “Wat Misaka.” Your next game, to prove that you weren’t a one-game wonder, was against my Jazz. I picked up my good friend Taiyo Na, musician/actor and a native New Yorker, and we watched the game at The Go Sports Bar in Old Oakland. At that bar was fellow native New Yorker Eddie Kochiyama, son of legendary activist Yuri Kochiyama. Taiyo invited him to our table. We then watched you take Chinese steps all over the court to the tune of 28 points, 8 assists, and another improbable Knicks victory. For the first time in my life, I rooted against the Jazz. For the first time in my life, I had someone to root for.

Thanks, Jeremy.
Candy Hearts and Jump Shots,

Muppets Have a Dangerously Liberal Agenda Hating America And Promoting Socialism

When I read “Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog take aim at Fox News” after being accused of touting a “dangerously liberal agenda“, I found it hard to believe that even kids shows have now been politicized, but leave it to the media geniuses at Fox News to do so. Naturally, whatever it takes to garner attention and media supremacy is self-justifying.

Too bad Fox News’ fans won’t get it because they’ll reflexively react defensively to what they see as providing them the brand of brainwashing that self-justifies their own views, similarly to how they shop around for Christian sects which best agree with their degree of literalness, racism, orthodoxy, and narrow-minded world hating. Too bad that’s the GOP Christian worldview that is not quite what was originally Christianity. The old dangers about ideology and self-justifying arguments fail to save us from the ridiculousness that is this news story.

– Richard Chen

Survey: Uses and Users of Online Sources of Political Information

Ed. Note: The below is from Dr. Thomas Johnson, a professor at the University of Texas School of Journalism. We repost his query to our readers.

Hello: I am a senior scholar in the School of Journalism at University of Texas. My research partner and I are conducting our seventh online survey, investigating  social media use and political attitudes and behaviors. We ask the Asian American Action Fund‘s readers to help provide us data. We include questions about how people found out about Osama Bin Laden’s death, what sources they used to get further information and how they shared information about his death. We are still in the process of gathering data, but will post results later, particularly on our Bin Laden questions. The survey is online at http://survey.utk.edu/mrIWeb/mrIWeb.dll?I.Project=SOURCES2011.

Our survey has been approved by the Internal Review Board at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. As part of the permission process it is guaranteed that all submissions are anonymous and confidential. Any identifying information (i.e. IP address) will be deleted by the researchers upon receipt.

— Tom Johnson

Rise in Asian American Interracial Marriages


New America Media has a terrific 2 part series on the rise of interracial marriages in the Asian American community:

According to a study last year by the Pew Research Center, nearly 15 percent of new marriages in the United States in 2008 were interracial, double the level in 1980, and an all-time high. The rate is twice that amount (31 percent) for Asians marrying out of their race, the highest rate among all groups.

Unfortunately, the first part of the series points out that some members of the community are having trouble adapting to this growing trend. Mainly this seems to be a difference of culture though as elderly parents cope with their married children moving away and starting families elsewhere.

The second part of the series looks at interracial couples who are able to successfully integrate their Asian American in-laws into their families. Perhaps it all comes down to each couple’s “renpin”, a Chinese term that translates loosely to a “combination of morality and personality.” In English, we might use the term “homogamy” which means “marriage between people with similar perspectives and experience.”  So maybe what really matters is not the couple’s ethnicity, but their views on family and a willingness to include the in-laws.

As a twenty-something resident of the Bay Area, I have quite a few Asian American friends in interracial relationships. But what’s the dating scene like beyond California? Are there interracial relationships elsewhere, too? And what’s your experience been with interracial dating/relationships? Tell me in the comments!

— Liz

Chu Condemns Rush Limbaugh’s Comments Ridiculing Chinese Culture, President Hu Jintao

Ed.’s Note: Dr. Judy Chu is an Honorary Board member of the Asian American Action Fund and was endsorsed by the Asian American Action Fund in her successful 2008 election in California’s 32nd Congressional District.
Congresswoman Judy Chu, Serving California's 32nd District

January 20, 2011
Contact: Fred Ortega


Congresswoman Judy Chu Condemns Rush Limbaugh’s Comments Ridiculing Chinese Culture, President Hu Jintao

LOS ANGELES, CA – Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) released the following statement today in response to comments made by right wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh yesterday, during which he made ridiculed the accent of Chinese President Hu Jintao and made other comments disparaging of Chinese culture:

“I was shocked and appalled by Rush Limbaugh’s comments on his radio show yesterday. Calling the Chinese names and imitating the Chinese language was a childish and offensive tactic. It is one thing to disagree with a nation and criticize its policies, but it is another thing to demonize an entire people,” said Rep. Chu.

“There are 2.5 million American citizens of Chinese descent in the U.S. today. We have come a long way since the Chinese came to America to help build the transcontinental railroad. Over the last 150 years, the Chinese in America have faced severe racial discrimination. It wasn’t that long ago that the Chinese in America were legally excluded from the basic rights given to every other newcomer. They were called racial slurs, were spat upon in the streets, derided in the halls of Congress and even brutally murdered. So when I hear popular leaders in the media, like Mr. Limbaugh, unearth this same type of derogatory rhetoric I can only think about how far we have come and worry about whether we want to head back in that direction.”

The first Chinese American woman to serve in Congress, Representative Judy Chu was elected in July 2009 to the U.S. House of Representatives as the Representative of California’s 32nd District, which includes East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. She is a member of the House Judiciary, Government Oversight, and Education and Labor Committees.

Congresswoman Chu’s career in politics spans 24 years. A lifelong educator, Congresswoman Chu taught community college classes in Los Angeles and East Los Angeles for 20 years. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology and a B.A. in mathematics.

Book Review: White House Doctor: Behind the Scenes with the Clinton and Bush Families by Connie Mariano

Ed. Note: The below is a new book released yesterday written by Navy Rear Admiral (Ret.) Dr. Connie Mariano, a Filipino American woman who was Presidents George H.W. Bush and Clinton’s personal doctor when they were President.  We will post her book tour details when they are released.

White House Doctor by Connie Mariano: Book Cover
Buy from Amazon.com

White House Doctor: Behind the Scenes with the Clinton and Bush Families by Connie MarianoWilliam J. Clinton (Foreword by)

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: June 22, 2010
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • Format: Hardcover, 320pp
  • ISBN-13: 9780312534837
  • ISBN: 0312534833


From the Publisher

A riveting look into the personal lives of our presidents through the eyes of their White House doctor

Dr. Connie Mariano served 9 years at the White House under Presidents George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and George W. Bush. She participated in world headline-making news events and traveled all over the world. She cared for visiting dignitaries and was charged with caring for all the members of the First Family. From flirting with King Juan Carlos of Spain to spending the night on the Queen of England’s yacht, Dr. Mariano glimpsed a glittering and powerful celebrity that few ever see. White House Doctor is a fascinating look into what goes on behind closed doors at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


In 1992, DR. CONNIE MARIANO became the first military woman in American history to be appointed White House doctor. The founder of the Center for Executive Medicine, a medical concierge practice providing presidential-quality medical care to CEOs and their families, she now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Publishers Weekly

This doctor is a bit of a celebrity herself: the first military woman in U.S. history to be appointed White House doctor, the first female director of the White House medical unit, and the first Filipino-American to become a navy rear admiral. And though Mariano humbly bows to the bigger-than-life presidents—George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton—she cared for during eight years in Washington, it’s her journey that’s so remarkable. Having begun life in 1955 as the daughter of a U.S. Navy steward in the Philippines, she was appointed a White House physician by the navy in 1992, and her mettle was thoroughly tested during medical emergencies—and political storms. Whether helping to treat Bush’s skin cancer or dispensing a Band-Aid on the golf course, accompanying the president on overseas trips or performing a Heimlich maneuver on a choking guest at a holiday gala, Mariano always kept her cool and her sense of humor, which she retains in this unusual inside look at the White House. 8 pages of color photos. (June 22)

Kirkus Reviews

A memoir by a Navy physician whose patients were U.S. presidents and their families. Rising up the ranks from captain to rear admiral during her service at the White House, Dr.Mariano was the first woman and first Filipino-American to become the physician to a president and the director of the White House medical unit. She writes of her experiences with humor and justifiable pride. This is no fly-on-the-wall tell-all, although she does comment on the "tall, slender, long-haired beauties" who used to preen in front of President Clinton-they were called "POTUS bait" by the staff. While there were only minor alarms and excitements during her nine years on the job-Bush I’s last year and Clinton’s two terms-she faced some challenging moments and passed with flying colors through tough security-training exercises, countermanding her former boss’s instructions when he refused to relinquish his job and brushing off snide remarks that she benefited from a personal relationship with the president. Though she was the "wrong sex, wrong color, even wrong height [and] didn’t look like the stereotypical White House doctor," Mariano persevered, with special help from the "silent servant class at the White House . . . the people of every day attended to the leader of the free world in his private quarters." As director of the medical unit, she instituted a number of changes to improve the standard of care, including 24/7 on-site medical staffing and updated treatment protocols. She traveled with more than 130 overseas presidential trips and many times worked grueling hours, making the painful choice to sacrifice her own family time to serve two first families. Her retirement from the Navy in 2001 was simultaneously a time of celebration and sadness. An interesting, behind-the-scenes glimpse of life at the White House.

The launch party will be in Washington, D.C. The agent is Susan Crawford/Crawford Literary Agency

Jay Chen on The Daily Show

Ed.’s Note: Our friend Jay Chen was on the Monday, June 7, 2010 episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in the segment “Socialism Studies” with the description “Aasif Mandvi exposes the communist threat as Hacienda Heights introduces a Chinese language program to middle school kids.”

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Socialism Studies
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

A Letter to Tea Partiers and Your Anti-Racist Moment

(c)2010 Boston Herald; cover image; April 27, 2010; Massachusetts Cracks Down on Illegals

Dear Tea Partiers and your supporters,

With the signing of Arizona’s SB1070, this is your chance to prove that you are not racists.

Signs declaring that you are not racist doesn’t cut it. Putting your friends or family members of color up for show only make you 21st Century caricatures of yourselves (It is as laughable as a white man proving he is not racist by showing off his Jackson 5 music collection while supporting racial segregation in the South during the 1960s). Neither does showcasing your spokespersons of color. For Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, we had S.I. Hayakawa in the 1960s who trumpeted that World War II Internment was a good thing for Japanese Americans (Sorry, I forgot one of your own stars Michelle Malkin also supports this view).

You have clearly stated your active opposition to Hitler-like and totalitarian regimes. The image of a uniformed officer saying, “show me your papers!” definitely has that oppressive stamp. A law that allows police the authority to demand papers from someone if they look like an “illegal immigrant” and criminalizes, fines, and possibly imprisons legal noncitizen residents if they don’t carry their documents on them has definite Gestapo overtures (Please, don’t bring up drivers licenses. Currently, police cannot pull you over if they think you don’t have one so it does not apply). This definitely smacks of “big government,” which you abhor. Do you really believe that an officer should be allowed to have this power even if they don’t use it? Would it be ok if there was a gun control law that enabled an officer without court order to search your house if you look like you may be a gun carrier?

Lets be frank with ourselves, no one white will be suspect. This issue has been clearly racialized. The front page of the Boston Herald on April 27, 2010, in the aftermath of SB1070, declared “Mass. Cracks down on Illegals” and showed a picture of three people of color with the following words stamped on their foreheads: a Latino with “No Tuition,” an Asian man with “No Medicaid” and a black woman with “No Welfare“. The largest undocumented immigration population in the Northeast is Irish. If you are truly anti-racist, you cannot tell me that it is ok for an officer to demand papers from me because I may look “illegal”—code: “not white.” Unless the “birther” folks among your ranks have gained ascendance and now want to throw me and others with Obama and ask for all our birth certificates (For your information, I was born in the US and my tagalog is horrible and I still have people asking me when I immigrated here).

In the 1800s, an anti-racist opportunity presented itself for people of Irish descent in the US. In 1841, African American abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond returned from Ireland to the US with a letter written by Dublin abolitionists James Haughton and R.D. Webb and signed by over 60,000 Irish citizens that called upon the Irish in the US to support the abolition of slavery. “Treat the colored people as your equals, as brethren. By all your memories of Ireland, continue to love liberty—hate slavery—CLING BY THE ABOLITIONISTS- and in America, you will do honor to the name of Ireland!,” an excerpt of the letter reads. Unfortunately, in 1863, workers of Irish descent did not heed the call and rioted in New York and blamed and beat up the “rich” and African slaves for their conditions.

Or do you really support “big government” when it affects the “other?”

If you will not heed the 21st Century version of the Irish abolitionist clarion call, then lets be honest about the true contours of your vision for this country. Patrick Buchanan, who I assume you herald since he wrote the speeches of your icon Ronald Reagan and espouses similar messages to your own, wrote a New York Times bestseller entitled, The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization. He warns that the decline of white births and increased migration of Asian, Latin American, and African people into the US will lead to the twilight of the West. Socialism in Europe and feminism in the US has discentivized white families from having more children and immigrants come in to make up for this loss of labor. Pat writes, “…no nation in history has gone through a demographic change of this magnitude in so short a time, and remained the same nation…Well, those students are going to find out, for they will spend their golden years in a Third World America.” He further cautions, “Not since the Black Death carried off a third of Europe in the fourteenth century has there been a graver threat to the survival of Western civilization.”

Arizona governor Jan Brewer cited crime and the protection of her people in Arizona as the main reason to sign SB1070. In the 1990s, the proponents of anti-immigrant measure Proposition 187 in California relayed the same argument when the mother of deceased Steve Woods declared that her son would be alive today if it wasn’t for “illegal immigrants.” They used his image in a number of their literature (They conveniently left out that her son and his friends attempted to run over a few Latino youth with a car and he died when one Latino youth threw an object in self-defense at the speeding impending vehicle). Regardless of your personal view of immigration, your lack of public rebuke of SB1070 reinforces the narrative weaved by Pat, Jan, and the leading proponents of proposition 187 in the 1990s—”non-white immigrants have come to threaten the security and sanctity of our civilization.”

Lets be honest about your vision of society and admit that you are more comfortable with a white nation so that we can have a real discussion. Just keep in mind these US Census Bureau projections: In 20 years, we will witness the last largest population of white people to retire in the nation and white deaths will outpace white births. In one generation, the nation will be majority people of color. In other words, it will be largely communities of color who will make decisions about your retirement security.

After anti-immigrant proposition 187 passed in California in the 1990s, Latinos later emerged as a huge voting force and wiped out from office those who supported this initiative.

Tea Partiers, the anti-racist choice is before you.

In Unity (if you want it),
John Delloro
US Born citizen who is still trying to find his birth certificate