Categories
Blog

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 …

Categories
Blog

About This Twitter Thingamajig… #NotYourAsianSidekick

The recent explosion of online conversation addressing Asian American feminism has been at turns exhilarating, frustrating, challenging, and affirming. #NotYourAsianSidekick went globally viral at lightning speed, shining a bright light on the stunning lack of space for Asian American feminist public discourse challenging all aspects of white supremacy, and the intense hunger for it.

Many things were spinning in my head as I stared at my phone late last night desperately trying to catch up with what had happened, what was happening. My head itself was spinning at the speed at which the conversation had expanded. Dang, how do people

Categories
Blog

So, I Ask You, What If Trayvon Martin Was Asian?

Last year, I asked the question, What If Trayvon Martin was Asian? The post, included below, is timely now in light of all of the warnings against rioting in reaction to the verdict in the George Zimmerman case that all seem to target African Americans. The sentiment seems to be that when African Americans don’t get their way, violence is likely to follow.

But the reality is that the most damaging race riots in U.S. history have been led by whites against people of color. In 1923, in Levy County, Florida, a white woman accused a black man of sexually …

Categories
Blog

Challenging Asian Privilege

Remember the Asian F episode of the TV series Glee? Given it’s name, I definitely caught it. In it, the character of Mike Chang (Harry Shum, Jr.) get’s a A- on a chemistry test and his father loses it, demanding that he quit his girlfriend and the glee club. Apparently, A- is an Asian F. Mike’s girlfriend is also an Asian American burdened with Tiger parents demanding nothing less than perfect grades and money machine career aspirations.

The Glee writers deserve a little grief for this episode, but I’d go easy on them. They are, after all, no …

Categories
Blog

Asians are the Wedge

On Sunday before Memorial Day, I tuned in to MSNBC to watch Melissa Harris-Perry lead a discussion about Asian American voters. The show started out with some promise. But as it progressed, I found myself descending into a rant. By the end, I was full-on pissed. For all of the good intentions, one subtle but unbroken thread ran through the discussion – Asian Americans are the model minority.

In response to the relative absence of Asian American stars in Democratic Party politics, panelist William Schneider said, “…they have not relied on politics to get ahead as many other disadvantaged groups …

Categories
Blog

The Privilege Game

In the classic book, Faces At The Bottom Of The Well:  The Permanence of Racism, legal scholar Derrick Bell put forth this proposition: “Black people will never gain full equality in this country. Even those herculean efforts we hail as successful will produce no more than temporary ‘peaks of progress,’ short-lived victories that slide into irrelevance as racial patterns adapt in ways that maintain white dominance. This is a hard-to-accept fact that all history verifies. We must acknowledge it, not as a sign of submission, but as an act of ultimate defiance.”

I consider Derrick Bell a racial justice …

Categories
Blog

What If Trayvon Martin Was Asian?

In a Daily Kos article, Laurence Lewis asks the provocative question, “What if Trayvon Martin had been white and George Zimmerman were Black?” I’m guessing you get the point. Clearly, if the races were reversed, things would be very, very different.

But this got me to thinking, what if Trayvon Martin had been Asian, say Japanese American for example? Would he have been profiled as a potential menace? Would he have provoked George Zimmerman to say, as revealed on the 911 recording, “These a**holes always get away”?

I’m guessing, no. Moreover, a Japanese American Trayvon would be exempt from …