On Our Radar
We’re all thrilled (see: fucking thrilled) that Cece McDonald got released from prison, and y’all should check out #becauseofcece started by the wonderful Janet Mock. But as Mariame Kaba (@prisonculture) notes, “Let’s not forget the injustice that she was ever incarcerated in the first place. Let’s also remember that she is still dogged by the ‘invisible shackles of the carceral state’ so it behooves us to reframe the idea of ‘freedom.'”
Korean American Day celebrates first Korean pioneers in US although we should remember that such Asian American settler colonization comes at the expense of Native Hawaiians.
On David Byunghyun Lee’s much circulated Transformed Into White Gods: What Happens In America Without Love” — we’re gonna give his Universal Voice For All Asian Americans Ever as well as his non-critique of systems of oppression the side eye. Nevertheless, we think his story is heartfelt, naked, and in many ways all so familiar for transnational Asian Americans: white supremacy as assimilation and internalized racism. This shit is so real.
Amy Chua works the PR machine to sell her and her husband’s latest book, The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America. As the Asian American blogosphere’s response ranged from outrage to derision, we especially appreciate A Word on Amy Chua by Soya Jung of ChangeLab and #NotYourAsianTigerMom: The Backstory by Professor Ellen D. Wu, which take the time to explain what is problematic about claiming that some ethnicities are just more superior than others. [Editor’s note: We’re not gonna forget she’s co-authoring this with her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, and that they (and all the other misguided fools working on this book) all need to take responsibility for distributing these ideas.]
Asian American men dominate online Asian America. At Reappropriate, Jenn Fang gives the exploratory numbers to back up what we already intuited: “Underrepresentation of Asian women in a semi-scientific survey of the #AAPI blogosphere.” We’d be interested in seeing further, more rigorous research that breaks down participation by ethnicity, as well as a breakdown of blog content. (Our guess is that it’s East Asian, class privileged, and cishetero dominated as well.)
L.A. woman says she was assaulted by LAPD officer. As Angry Asian Man says, “This is fucked up.”
Philip Guo reflects on his Asian male privilege within the computer science and programming world. We’re happy this article is making the rounds and hope that this means we’ll start to center our focus on marginalized groups within tech. Kronda Adair’s “Dear Marginalized People Coming Into Tech” is a good place to start.
Arts & Literature
This cute comic on The Toast called “Yellow Ranger” has been making the rounds.
Bambu released a music video for “Crosshairs.” Check out Sun of a Gun available for free digital download on Bandcamp.
David Henry Hwang is blogging his experience producing Kung Fu.
Chang-rae Lee, the greatest novelist ever? Porochista Khakpour sings his praises for his latest novel, On Such a Full Sea.
- #NotYourAsianSidekick started by @suey_park (and an interview with Bustle and the Hangout that followed)
- #NewYearsRevolution started by @DarkMatterRage
- #wholenothalf started by @doloresonthedot
- #lifeofamuslimfeminist started by @YxxngHippie
- #notyourrescueproject started by @BlaysianBytch
- #NotYourAsianTigerMom and #NotYourAsianTigerDad started by @suey_park
- #BlackPowerYellowPeril started by @suey_park (#BlackPowerLiberAsian by @nonamekyla) (An important reflection on the hashtag discussion’s anti-Blackness “Three Notes on Solidarity” was written by @writedarkmatter, and Suey and others have written a response “Can Afro-Asian Solidarity Exist? Interrogating AAPI Racism and Debunking ‘Asian Privilege.’“)
- #NotYourNarrative by @RaniaKhalek
- #HowIMetYourRacism started by @suey_park (who appeared in a problematic CNN segment with Don Lemon and Dat Phan after HIMYM creators gave a #nopolegetics response)
- #ExploitedVoices started by @suey_park (with a follow-up on Citizen Radio)
- #WeAreEuropeanAsians started by @AniqahC and @doloresonthedot
New York City Serve the People: The Asian American Movement in New York is exhibiting the “activism, organizing, and cultural production” of Asian Americans in the 1970’s. Esther Wang of Open City covers what it was like on opening night with OGs like Lisa Yee and Corky Lee.
Call to Action
Boston Chinatown is the only neighborhood in the city without a public library although it used to have one until a major highway displaced it and a thousand-plus residents 57 years ago. In the midst of gentrification, Chinatown needs a library more than ever. Sign the petition!
Online On January 23, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will host a Google Hangout in Mandarin Chinese to discuss the health insurance marketplace. Read more at Angry Asian Man.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @ProjectAsIAm!