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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Hines Ward

September 20th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

Name: Hines Ward

Occupation: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and newly-appointed member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Known for: Four Pro Bowl selections; a pair of Super Bowl hardware; being voted Super Bowl XL MVP; Steelers career records for receptions, receiving yards, and receiving TDs; donating $1 million to create the Helping Hands Foundation, which works to improve literacy among children in the U.S. and, in Korea, fights discrimination against biracial youth like Hines, who’s Korean and African-American; being Amazian of the Week twice; making Diana smile every Sunday; reprezenting in the Obama administration.

Also named to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders? The unstoppable Ramey Ko–fellow Texasian, municipal judge, founder of Asian Americans for Obama, and hero of that unfortunate Betty Brown name-changing kerfuffle. Congratulasians, Ramey!

For a complete list of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders appointees, click here.

[USA Today: Barack Obama appoints Steelers' Hines Ward to presidential council]

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Texas Rep. Betty Brown (UPDATE)

April 10th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Dear Betty,

Girl, we gotta hand it to you. You are one badass motherfucker when it comes to bringing people together. We can’t tell you how many people wrote in Thursday all hepped up about you saying before the Texas House of Representatives Election Committee that Asian-Americans should get names that are easier for real-Americans to “deal with” so that we can retain our right to vote. Not only did our Asian readers (or “our citizens,” as you call them) write in to complain, but our white, black, Latino, bi-racial, bi-curious, gay, straight, and every other color of the rainbow-brethren did, too. You could seriously give Barack Obama–who should also get a name that’s easier to deal with, don’t you think?–a run for his money in the “unifying people” category.

But we’re not writing to chasten you today, we’re writing to thank you. Because you’ve actually done us a great service. For one thing, you’ve made the Republican Party look baaaaad. In an age where the GOP is desperately trying to rebrand itself as a more inclusive and, like, fun party, you’re a soft-spoken, gently-coiffed, silvery reminder that it’s not. For another, you’ve driven a whole new group of voters with annoyingly difficult names to the Democrats, people who might have voted for you once upon a time but who have been fleeing your party in droves for the last 20 years because they’ve just found the Democratic party easier to “deal with.” Which is unfortunate for you and yours since Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing minority group in the country (Need a transliteration? We’re taking over everything). Thank you for reminding us, too, that voter rights aren’t something we can take for granted, and that we can’t rely on lawmakers like you to, say, actually make laws that ensure those rights. So we need to make sure our vote counts–first and foremost–by voting people like you, with your easy-to-deal-with-names and your hard-too-fathom-ignorance, right out of office.

with gratitude,

DISGRASIAN

p.s. How awesome is Ramey Ko, the nice, articulate, good English-speaking Asian gentleman who testified before you and the House Elections Committee? Did you learn his difficult name? You should, because you’re going to be working for him someday.

To write Rep. Betty Brown your own thank you-note, click here.

To see the video of Brown’s comments, click here.

[UPDATE: Betty Brown apologizes. Then the incident makes SNL.]

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