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Arts & Culture Guest Bloggers

“Beyond Bollywood” But Perhaps Not Beyond the White Gaze

The majority of American museums are institutions of white male privilege. They usually “contemplate” a history of white male conquest uncritically, without space for alternative narratives. So when I heard of the new “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation” exhibit at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, I warily went to explore it with low expectations.

Among the bright red and orange hues of the exhibit, I found Indian Americans, but I also found whiteness on display as the exhibit struggled to walk the fine line between highlighting successes and mentioning the struggles of this rich and diverse … Read more ““Beyond Bollywood” But Perhaps Not Beyond the White Gaze”

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Killer Coke Uses Color To Rebrand Image

Coca-Cola won over most of the U.S., and my Facebook timeline this past week, on its multi-lingual ad spot, America The Beautiful, for the Superbowl. Watch it here:

Of course, not everyone was happy. The English-only crowd is never happy when they cannot understand any other language besides English. We’ll just mark up all the bigoted comments about the ad spot to a competency problem.

But liberals rejoiced. And therein lays the real problem with the advertisement.

I can’t be the only one who is critical and unhappy about how Coca-Cola, a union-bursting company selling toxic products, is … Read more “Killer Coke Uses Color To Rebrand Image”

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Claudette Hubbard, Detained and Facing Deportation for Being Black in America

Claudette Hubbard, a mother and grandmother to U.S. citizens, should have celebrated the holidays with her family in Compton, California.

Instead, with the coming of the New Year, she is still languishing in an immigration detention facility in Contra Costa, California.

Ms. Hubbard is not new to state-sponsored violence. When she was merely 16 years old in Jamaica, Claudette faced emotional and physical violence due to her sexual orientation. She was seriously beaten and suffered a concussion because her car was driven off the road. The Jamaican government not only acquiesces in the torture of LGBT individuals in Jamaica, but … Read more “Claudette Hubbard, Detained and Facing Deportation for Being Black in America”

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Top 10 Victories for Immigrant Rights in 2013

While Congress struggled in 2013 to enact just and meaningful reform, and the President is close to surpassing 2 million deportations, immigrants won victories in many states and many levels.

In no particular order:

1. The Supreme Court Strikes Down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act

Undoubtedly, the fall of DOMA’s Section 3 has brought much-needed relief among members of the LGBT community. While there is much more left to do in terms of winning rights for all members of the LGBT community, over 36,000 bi-national same-sex couples can finally live together without worrying about imminent family separation … Read more “Top 10 Victories for Immigrant Rights in 2013”

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Guest Bloggers

My Big, Fat White Xmas

 

The holidays are a trying time for my family. As an inter-racial, inter-faith, bi-national, same-sex couple, we have to choose between having a quiet holiday with Chinese food and a Netflix movie, or visiting my in-laws in Michigan for 12 unending days of a truly white Christmas.

My partner and in-laws are your typical well-intentioned white people. I actually love them dearly as my adopted family. It is when I come face to face with their friends or extended family members that the trouble starts. Should I tolerate and keep the peace, or should I speak up for myself?… Read more “My Big, Fat White Xmas”

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Racing the Story

When Renisha McBride’s killer looked on his porch on Nov. 2, he saw a threat, not a victim. The middle aged white man wielding a shotgun looked at the 19-year-old, Black, unarmed McBride and shot and killed her at point-blank range.

Would Theodore Wafer have shot McBride if she had been a 19-year-old white woman seeking help? We may never know. But we do know that Wafer’s perceptions of who and what constitutes danger are informed by a media culture that is increasingly controlled by people who don’t look like Renisha McBride or her community.

According to a 2013 Pew … Read more “Racing the Story”

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India Criminalizes Gay Sex: A Response to Misplaced Outrage

In a shockingly poor decision, the Indian Supreme Court has reversed the July 2009 ruling of the Delhi High Court decriminalizing gay sex between consenting adults. In doing so, India’s Supreme Court has recriminalized gay sex in India, rendering a substantial portion of the global LGBT population illegal.

Overturning a High Court decision, the Indian Supreme Court upheld Indian Penal Code 377, an archaic and barbaric law that criminalizes “homosexual” acts:

377. Unnatural offenses — Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, … Read more “India Criminalizes Gay Sex: A Response to Misplaced Outrage”

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Deportation Nation: Yes, Obama Can Pull the Brakes

Ju Hong was scared, even unsure, as to the consequences to him if he interrupted President Barack Obama during his stump speech on immigration in San Francisco earlier this week.

After all, he was put there by the White House, vetted, to make sure he was merely another prop while the President gave yet another boring speech on immigration.

Hong, an undocumented graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a gutsy record of engaging in immigrant rights activism, has grown weary of speeches on immigration. With the House unlikely to pass comprehensive immigration reform, he represents the many immigrant justice seekers … Read more “Deportation Nation: Yes, Obama Can Pull the Brakes”

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Racism With a Twist: The Trademark Struggle Facing Asian American Band, The Slants

Four years ago, my band’s attorney suggested that we get a trademark on our band’s name. It’s pretty standard for bands to do – trademarks ensure that others don’t use the name, causing confusion in the marketplace. The job of the Trademark Office is to regulate the intellectual properties of businesses and artists. I never imagined that this relatively simple process would become a battle lasting four years and counting.

I started an all-Asian American dance rock band to empower people of color, celebrate our respective heritages, and of course, have an outlet for our artistic expression. Our band name

Read more “Racism With a Twist: The Trademark Struggle Facing Asian American Band, The Slants”
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Blog Columns Guest Bloggers

How Not To Win Immigration Reform

Something rather bizarre has been happening for the past few weeks.
Enthusiasm for comprehensive immigration reform is waning, despite many wonderful and brave political actions to the contrary.
Why is that? I will leave the explanation for some other day. What I find more curious and perplexing is that self-proclaimed advocates for immigration reform are not busy trying to work on saving comprehensive immigration reform. Instead, many of them have turned their attention to attacking undocumented immigrant organizers.
Ever since the path-breaking DREAM 9 action, where several undocumented youth self-deported to Mexico, and brought back six other individuals to
Read more “How Not To Win Immigration Reform”