On Solidarity, “Centering Anti-Blackness,” and Asian Americans

As a long-time racial justice worker – a grey head in a movement mainly made up of young people – earnest young Asian Americans, anxious to acknowledge the pivotal role anti-Black racism plays in the perpetuation of white supremacy, often ask me how to “center anti-Blackness” in Asian American racial justice activism. I am as often asked that […]


Part I: #ChinkHumor and Sweden’s Race Problem

(Check out Part II: An Interview with Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom) “Racial biology taught the general population to differentiate between the superior Aryan race and undesirable others, communication to the public at large through literature, films and cartoons directly.” -Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom, Illustrator & Cartoonist Last month, I found this article on the Internets that talked about […]

Part II: An Interview with Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom

Part II: An Interview with Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom

(Check out Part I: #ChinkHumor and Sweden’s Race Problem) “[A] strong tradition of “gook humor” [is] alive and well to this day, where comedy is based around ridiculing and degrading East Asian bodies, supports the notion that somehow the Asian body is less than human.” — Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom, Illustrater and Comic Artist I had […]


In Mexico with Frida Kahlo

Today is the birthday of the great Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. To honor the occasion, I’ve reposted this article, written while in Mexico in 2010.  Here in Mexico, images of Frida Kahlo are everywhere.  She peers from the shelves and walls of tourist shops where her image is emblazoned on handbags, t-shirts, masks, and children’s […]

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No, Dylann Roof, Asians Aren’t “So” Racist

The racist manifesto attributed to vigilante racist, Dylann Roof, is troubling for a lot of reasons, not least of which is that Roof’s diatribe reflects certain broadly held and increasingly mainstream beliefs among whites, like, for instance, that Blacks are the true racists and whites are under attack. And this plum, “black on White crime” is the […]


The Twisted History of Jerry Hough

It’s been a while since Duke University Political Science Professor, Jerry Hough, kicked off a sh*t storm of commentary by offering a bluntly racist critique of the New York Times article, How Racism Doomed Baltimore. The Times piece is an excellent take down of entrenched poverty among Blacks in Baltimore, describing the collapse of Baltimore’s inner-city as […]


The Neoliberal Mani-Pedi: Wage Theft is not an Interethnic Issue

“Look at where you be in hair weaves like Europeans/ Fake nails done by Koreans.”—Lauryn Hill, “Doo Wop (That Thing)” “[W]e need to show how capitalism operates in the United States to occlude the racism of its practices by creating social structures that pit people against one another.”—Vijay Prashad, “The Merchant is Always a Stranger,” […]


Racial Tension in the City

Yesterday I had a conversation about race and gentrification in a cab. I ride in a lot of cabs, and this was the third conversation I’ve had on this topic with drivers. But this time was different. Normally, the conversation starts with some version of “there goes the city…” This time, the conversation began with […]

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The Slants’ Battle Over Their Name Wages On

Loyal readers may remember back in October of 2013 we ran a post from Simon Tam of the band The Slants. They have been engaged in a long battle with the US Trademark Office to trademark the name of their band. But the US government, always sensitive as it is to perceived racial injustice, believes […]