On March 27th, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury had indicted a Madison Alabama police officer for using unreasonable force against Sureshbhai Patel, a 57-year-old Indian grandfather. Police had followed upon a 9/11 call that a suspicious-looking “skinny black guy” was walking around a residential neighborhood. Mr. Patel happened to live in that neighborhood with his son. After questioning Mr. Patel, it became clear that he had limited English ability and was from India. Still, Officer Eric Parker assaulted him – video available here. The assault left Mr. Patel partially paralyzed.
A version of this talk was delivered originally at a teach-in on “Ferguson and Beyond: Race, State Violence, and Activist Agendas in the 21st Century” at the University of Washington on January 23, 2015. Video of the teach in can be viewed here.
Let me begin by pointing out some obvious, but oftentimes overlooked, points. We live in a society where we can’t escape the US state and its insistence on allegiance and loyalty. But, for many of us, the US state—and I use that term to refer to all levels of government, be it local, state, or federal—has … Read more “Why We Can’t Trust the US State”
In the wake of the Mike Brown and Eric Garner decisions, of the excessive additional unarmed youth who have been killed in the short weeks following the injustice, and in the face of vast disparities facing our country at every level, I believe that there is an important discussion that we need to be having, but one being generally avoided.
In our society, we’ve demonized the “R Word” so much so, that people pretend it doesn’t exist in our communities, and certainly not in our government, legal system, or other public spaces. That word, and problem, is racism.
With the latest Ebola scare in the U.S. generating news attention and anxiety from coast to coast, a majority of Americans now want to impose a travel ban on the West African countries hardest hit by the virus. Unfortunately, calls for a travel ban draw from America’s long tradition of xenophobia and could be counter-productive to controlling the spread of Ebola in the U.S. and globally. The current fervor for banning travel from African countries such as Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone is based more on fear-mongering than on facts, and is fully in line with this country’s history … Read more “Should the U.S. Institute A Travel Ban to Deal Effectively With Ebola?”
She may be best known in the public eye for the iconic picture that shows her cradling Malcolm X’s head in her lap after he was killed in a Manhattan auditorium, but Yuri Kochiyama’s life and legacy stood for much more, especially to Asian Americans. Many of us learned of Yuri Kochiyama’s recent death, not from mainstream news outlets, which have yet to do her legacy full justice, but from one another. And we have had very similar collective responses: tremendous gratitude for how she influenced us, coupled with a redoubling of our commitment to the principles she lived by.… Read more “Growing Up To Be Like Yuri Kochiyama”
The following originally appeared on Reappropriate (a great site you should check out!)
I recently remarked to a longtime Twitter friend that I feel we live in a magical time, and I always wonder if young movement folks in the past felt that way, too. My friend suggested that not every generation gets to feel that way but there are definitely moments that people live through when they know they are in a magical time. I feel confident saying we live in one such time, but there’s still a question of … Read more “We Are All Cyborgs: Being Asian American and Doing Organizing Online”
When faced with a spectator who threw a banana at him during a football match, Brazillian soccer star, Dani Alves, merely picked up the banana and ate it.
Racism is a pervasive stain in European football. During matches, European football spectators frequently make “monkey noises” against black players on the field, and often throw bananas at them. With little action from their football clubs, players are expected to just deal with it on their own. So when Alves actually ate the banana thrown at him during a match, the world rejoiced.
The Supreme Court of the U.S. delivered a temporary death knell to racial equality in the state of Michigan today by upholding Michigan’s ban on affirmative action policies. In doing so, the Court clarified that the Constitution merely permits, but does not require, the use of the kind of race-conscious programs barred by the Michigan Constitution, and that individual states can choose to ban affirmative action programs. The decision comes on the heels of efforts by the California legislature to revive affirmative action.
I support affirmative action. Contrary to mainstream media claims, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are … Read more “Why We Should Fight Hard to Uphold Affirmative Action”
This week immigrant and LGBT civil rights leaders from the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA) sat down in the Democratic congressional offices of Rep. Xavier Becerra and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, demanding their leadership to stop the deportations. The action was in solidarity with the hunger-strike at the White House to call on the President to stop deportations, which started Tuesday.
Specifically, CIYJA engaged in this civil disobedience tactic with three specific goals:Provide leadership within the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on ending deportations; Publicly call on the President to expand deferred action for all and stop all deportations immediately;… Read more “Obama Sent ICE to Their Doorsteps So They Are Coming To His”
BY ESTHER WANG
If you’ve checked Facebook or Twitter since last Thursday, chances are you’ve seen something about the controversy that erupted over Stephen Colbert’s (neither successful nor funny) satire of Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder, and the rage that was unleashed upon him by online activist Suey Park and her Twitter followers.
For a good description of the #CancelColbert kerfuffle, go here. In short: The Colbert Report account tweeted a decidedly unfunny joke about Asians, smacking of out of context hipster racism. Suey Park leaped into action with the #CancelColbert hashtag. Michelle Malkin jumped on her bandwagon. Chaos ensued.… Read more “Beyond the #Hashtag: Movement Building Lessons from #CancelColbert”