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A Reflection on My Non/Asian American Life

“[T]he positioning of Asian Americans as the least oppressed in dominant discourses on race…puts Asian Americans in a position where the only choices we have are to be in collusion with white supremacy against other people of color, or an ally to another community. Whether villains or allies, what both positions have in common is that they are tangential—we are marginalized, we marginalize our own experience and our own communities. It is tremendously important to work in solidarity with other communities. But we are more than allies. More than villains. We need nuanced, even empathetic, critical examination of our people …

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What Asian Americans Are Bringing to Campus Movements for Racial Justice

On November 9, 2015, a tent encampment set up on the University of Missouri Columbia’s campus quad erupted in celebration. President Tim Wolfe, who student protesters charged with failing to address campus racism, had announced his resignation.

Amidst cheers, tears, and a mass rendition of “We Shall Overcome,” a new controversy emerged. A six-minute viral video clip showed a student reporter named Tim Tai, who is Asian American, being physically blocked by a group of protesters demanding the media stay out of the encampment.

“I don’t have to move back. I have a job to do,” the video shows an …

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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 nexus of a history of racial coding and legal restrictions, social exclusion, white flight, inequitable public policy, and straight-up financial chicanery, suggesting that these conditions contributed to the world weariness and anger behind the unrest we were witness to following …

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Bringing the Model Minority Mutiny Home

This fall, in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown, and in the face of the mounting Black body count at the hands of law enforcement, ChangeLab put out a call for a Model Minority Mutiny. We called on Asian Americans to stand up against the model minority myth as an act of self-liberation from a humiliating, trivializing, and dehumanizing stereotype that has, for too long, been used as a justification for labeling Black communities as “problem” minorities, and excluding and criminalizing Black people.

Many Asian Americans were already part of the mobilization. Many more are …

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Why Ferguson Matters to Asian Americans

For weeks I have been in awe of the organizers and writers – Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Jamala Rogers, Malkia Cyril, Ta-Nehesi Coates, john a. powell, Falguni A. Sheth, and so many others – who have placed the situation in Ferguson into critical historical and political context. This despite persistent attempts by police, elected officials, and mainstream media to erase that context with vilifications of black political protest and black life. I write this post to express my solidarity and rage, and to offer a response to the disturbing question that I’ve heard asked, …

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Three Things Asian Americans Owe to the Civil Rights Movement

The 28th of August marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, one of the great turning points of the black Civil Rights Movement. The anniversary got me thinking, what do Asian Americans owe to the black Civil Rights Movement?

I know that probably seems like an odd question. I mean, many of us, not just people of color but LGBT people, people with disabilities, women, religious minorities, and, to boot, people of all creeds and colors who wish to live in a country where there may one day be true, broad based, inclusive democracy …