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On MLK Day, A Question: Are We Moving Forward?

January 17th, 2011 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

American schools today are more segregated than when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, 43 years ago. [WaPo]

Some public schools in Georgia and the Carolinas are sending kids to school today to make up for snow days. [ABC]

Chicago’s all-black Providence St. Mel High School, which has graduated 100 percent of its students for the last 30 years, has kept its doors open every year since January 17, MLK’s birthday, became a national holiday. Renowned educator, Paul J. Adams III, the school’s founder and president, says, “I find it the most ridiculous thing in the world that schools are closed to commemorate his birthday. To me, it’s disrespectful, especially in the black community, when our children are behind.” [HuffPo]

Will race matter less to our children? And how do parents teach them about it? By our friend Oliver Wang, guest-blogging for Ta-Nehisi Coates. [The Atlantic]

Then and Now: caption this photo over at The Root

After declining an invitation to an MLK Day event–telling critics to “kiss my butt”–and dubbing the NAACP a “special interest group,” newly sworn-in Tea Party governor of Maine, Paul LePage, backtracks…a little. [Reuters]

Contemporaries of Dr. King discuss how the hateful political rhetoric of today echoes that of the civil rights movement’s dark days. [CNN]

How the right-wing co-opted Dr. King’s legacy in 2010. [Colorlines]

Source

Thanks, John Minh, N’jaila, Marc, Josh, Joseph!

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! The Sherrod Charade

July 24th, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

Shirley Sherrod

Back in March, Andrew Breitbart wrote a post called “2010: A Race Odyssey — Disproving a Negative for Cash Prizes or, How the Civil Rights Movement Jumped the Shark” for Big Journalism, one of his five websites, in which he claimed that accusations of racism are merely a “trick” of the Left:

As I have said over and over and over, the left has one trick that it will use again and again when its back is in the corner: shout ‘racist’ in a crowded country.

Which is funny, given how Breitbart was the first to post that heavily-edited and manipulated video of USDA employee Shirley Sherrod giving a speech at an NAACP event, and the first to call Sherrod’s speech racist:

“In this piece you will see video evidence of racism coming from a federal appointee and NAACP award recipient and in another clip from the same event a perfect rationalization for why the Tea Party needs to exist.”

That video, which appeared on July 19, touched off a two day-orgy on the part of the right wing-media, in which not only Sherrod, but the NAACP, civil rights activists, the so-called mainstream media, the Obama administration, and pretty much anyone who’s ever been engaged or concerned with race issues was labeled racist. Media Matters For America has a full timeline, but here are a few highlights:

“The—this woman on tape saying these racially charged things that she didn’t want to help farmers, in particular white farmer. That she said she wanted him to go out and deal with one of his own and she put him in touch with a white lawyer. Just the latest in a series of racial incidents.”–Sean Hannity, Hannity, July 19

“The former civil rights group known as the NAACP does not just invite anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan and radical America-hating Marxist Jeremiah Wright to speak at their events…They also invite government officials who hate whitey Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! The Sherrod Charade

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Apple Guilty Of Racial Profiling?

June 7th, 2010 | 1 comment | Posted by Jen

Politico’s Ben Smith reports NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is looking into claims that two Apple stores in New York refused to sell the iPad to customers of Chinese descent because of smuggling fears. Because the iPad, though produced in China, is unavailable there. (Chinese gadget-freaks will have to settle for the knockoff iPed, for now.) Cuomo’s office was alerted after NY Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) publicly complained last month that several of her Chinese American constituents were asked to show their passports or asked inappropriate questions while shopping for iPads.

Which means…APPLE IS THE NEW ARIZONA???

Not cool, Apple. Not. Cool.

[Politico: Cuomo looks into iPad sales over discrimination claim]

Thanks, Jasmine!

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! The Asian Pacific American Legal Center And The Asian American Justice Center

May 17th, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

Name: The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) and the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC)

Location: Los Angeles and D.C., respectively

Purpose: Civil rights groups

Known for: Joining the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in filing a lawsuit against Arizona’s SB 1070 Monday. The suit contends that the law will lead to racial profiling and is in violation of the 1st, 4th, and 14th Amendments. One of the plaintiffs this coalition is representing is 70 year-old Jim Shee, a U.S.-born citizen of Spanish and Chinese descent, who has already been stopped twice by Arizona law enforcement officials and asked to produce his papers, even before the law’s taken effect.

In light of AZ Governor Brewer accusing President Obama of “(dividing) people along racial lines for his personal political convenience” by opposing SB 1070, it’s telling that the exact opposite is happening. Because this law isn’t just a threat to a certain race, it’s a threat to the Constitution, our civil liberties, and the things that actually hold our society together. ACLU attorney Lucas Guttentag put it best when he described SB 1070 this way:

“This is the most extreme and dangerous of all the state and local laws purporting to deal with immigration issues. This law is shameful, un-American.

[LA Times: Civil rights groups sue to stop Arizona's immigration law]
[The Asian Pacific American Legal Center]
[The Asian American Justice Center]

Source

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BABEWATCH: Jane Kim

April 13th, 2010 | 6 comments | Posted by Diana

Name: Jane Kim

Occupation: President of the San Francisco Board of Education, civil rights attorney

Hails from: Ess Eff (via Enn Why)

Why She’s A Babe: Jane Kim is one of those people who has apparently spent their lives entirely devoted to doing cool shit for other people. She’s a community organizer, tenant advocate, civil rights attorney, and elected official with a CV that seems to go on for days. Her colorful career choices alone give us due cause to crush on her (Oh man, nothing says, “I’ll show YOU law school, Mom and Dad” better than becoming a civil rights attorney that supports the art community in her spare time), but let’s be real here. Chica is sa-mokin’ hot.

Kim has the flawless skin, dancing eyes, prominent cheekbones, shiny hair and pretty lips of a person that could get by despite the fact that they, y’know, kick small children and don’t recycle. But we’re pretty sure she doesn’t do that. In fact, she seems quite fond of all kinds of children. We found this description of her work with the Board of Education on her site:

Jane Kim has advocated for expanded access for immigrant families, more equitable distribution of district resources, and greater accountability by the administration to the community whom they serve. Jane has provided leadership on a number of important educational reforms including closing the achievement/opportunity gap, redesigning the student assignment process, and promoting policies that have decreased the suspension and expulsion rates at SFUSD.

Though she was just elected by her colleagues to President of the Board in January of this year, it appears she now has her eyes on another prize in November: The SF Board of Supervisors. Oh good. Yet another thing to add to that CV!

Alrighty. So she’s practically perfect. But does she RECYCLE?

[Fog City Journal: Jane Kim Announces D6 Candidacy]
[Jane Kim - Official Site]
[Become a fan of Jane on Facebook]

Source
Thanks, Cate!

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F*ck Yeah, D.C.!

March 4th, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

This hot Asian girl-on-girl action…

[photo by Bill O'Leary-The Washington Post]

Continue reading F*ck Yeah, D.C.!

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All Is Quiet On A Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 18th, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

Without question, MLK Day should be observed as day of remembrance and celebration–Dr. King’s peaceful, powerful activism for civil liberties and justice during the 1960s is one of the proudest memories in this country’s history.

Remembering Dr. King, it is hard to forget the pained words of friend Bobby Kennedy as he delivered the April 4, 1968 statement on King’s death to a crowd of confused, angry, hurt, lost Americans.


Continue reading All Is Quiet On A Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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AMAZIANS OF THE WEEK! Assemblymen Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles)

July 27th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


Names: Paul Fong and Kevin De Leon

Occupation: California State Assemblymen

Known for: Co-authoring a historic piece of legislation that resulted on Friday in the state of California recognizing the role Chinese immigrants and Chinese-Americans had in building the Golden State and apologizing for denying them the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to intermarry, the right to testify in court, and the right to attend public schools at one time. While California today is seen as a haven for Asians, where we account for 12% of the total population, it was hard out here for a pimp for about 100 years, from the mid-19th century, when the Chinese arrived for the Gold Rush and were forced to pay racist taxes, to the mid-20th century, when the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was repealed in 1943. The bill passed by the State Legislature doesn’t seek financial compensation, although Fong and De Leon intend to ask Congress to pass a similar piece of legislation.

All we can say is it’s about damn time, California.

A Chinese miner in California, 1850

[via LA Times]

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Prop 8, The Musical!

December 3rd, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Ladies and gents, allow us to present…”Prop 8 – The Musical“!

I’m glad they mentioned the book of Leviticus, which is always the book I think of when fundamentalist Christians talk about every single word in the Bible being “God-breathed” (an idea from the second book of Timothy in the New Testament). It’s like, have you read Leviticus lately? Yeah, it might speak against homosexuality, but it also says that wearing two different kinds of fiber woven together–like wool mixed with linen–is wrong, so you’re gonna have to burn almost everything in your closet, along with the gays, if you believe it. Also, I’ve only ever known Orthodox Jews to follow Leviticus religiously, i.e. to the letter, unless the subject of homosexuality comes up, and then suddenly, conservative Christians are ALL UP IN that Old Testament book, even while they’re snacking on cloven-hoofed animals and wearing their cotton/cashmere sweaters.

I have a personal bone to pick with the pick-and-choose interpretation of Leviticus as well. As some of you know, I grew up in a conservative, religious town in Texas, and I went to five years of Southern Baptist church camp, because, like, that’s what the cool kids did, not to mention my very best friends. One summer at camp, when I was 15, my friends and I were up late talking, when somehow the conversation took a wrong turn–as late-night teenage girl-talk always seems to do–and suddenly we were talking about dating, and the “rules” of dating, and the book of Leviticus. And how in Leviticus, it said you couldn’t mate a cow with a sheep (“Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind,” Leviticus 19:19). At which point they all turned to look at me, the only non-white person in the room. We cow, you sheep, they were saying, guiltily fluttering their clumpy, mascaraed eyelashes.

It wasn’t the first or last time I’d been told explicitly that I was not One of Them, but it was certainly one of the most memorable. Only later did I realize that they were right. They were cows alright, and I, I was definitely not one of them.

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Californiasians Say ‘I Do’ to Gay Marriage

October 15th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Good news: the majority of Asian-Americans in California support gay marriage, and will vote “no” in November on Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban. A recent poll conducted by researchers at Cal, UC Riverside, USC, and Rutgers shows 57% of Asian-American voters voting against Prop 8, with only 32% for and 11% undecided.

Well done, people. And I say this for your sake. Because I know that Diana was not kidding around the other day when she said, “Prop 8 is a disgusting, insecure, unfair resolution to the problems held deep by an ignorant sub-population crippled by fear,” and threatened to drunk-dial the bigots who support it. I like to think of her as the warmer and fuzzier half of DISGRASIAN, but that’s only if you’re on her good side (plying her with gifts of Marni, cool cigarette lighters, anything related to owls, single malt scotch, and coasters–girlfriend loves a coaster–does help).

As for the 32% voting for Proposition 8, I strongly recommend that you unplug your phones starting now.

Source
Thanks, Margie!

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