Saturday, May 24, 2014

Who says there are no AAPI civil rights heroes? 16-part video series profiles AAPI civil rights icons for Heritage Month

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Abstract:
Some history for your Heritage Month... In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus is releasing a 16-part series of short videos profiling AAPI civil rights heroes, from Wong Kim Ark to Larry Itliong to Japanese American internment dissenters.

Not Just A 'Black Thing': An Asian-American's Bond With Malcolm X

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Not Just A 'Black Thing': An Asian-American's Bond With Malcolm X, by Hansi Lo Wang (NPR Morning Edition, 19 August 2013)

Excerpt:
The brief friendship of Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama began close to 50 years ago with a handshake. Diane Fujino, chairwoman of the Asian-American studies department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, details the moment in her biography Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama. Kochiyama and her eldest son, 16-year-old Billy, were arrested along with hundreds of other people, mainly African-Americans, during a protest in Brooklyn, N.Y., in October 1963. "[They were] in this packed courthouse," Fujino says. "[There were] a lot of activists who [were] waiting their hearing on the civil disobedience charges."

Friday, May 23, 2014

Slate, you are doing it wrong

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Slate, you are doing it wrong, by by Karthick Ramakrishnan (AAPI Voices, 15 May 2014)

Excerpt:
There’s a map that Slate made recently that’s been getting a lot of shares. The map is part of a post on language diversity, and it shows the top language in each state other than English or Spanish. We dug a little deeper, and found a few problems. First, looking at the most recent American Community Survey data,* we find more Asian languages in the top spot than Slate found. Like Chinese in New Jersey and North Carolina. And Hmong in Wisconsin. And Vietnamese in Mississippi.
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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Descendants Of Chinese Laborers Reclaim Railroad's History

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Descendants Of Chinese Laborers Reclaim Railroad's History (NPR All Things Considered, 10 May 2014)

Excerpts:
East finally met West 145 years ago on America's first transcontinental railroad. The symbolic hammering of a golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah, completed the connection between the country's two coasts and shortened a cross-country trip of more than six months down to a week. Much of the building was done by thousands of laborers brought in from China, but their faces were left out of photographs taken on that momentous day.

Over the years, one photograph in particular from May 10, 1869, has taken root in U.S. history. "It's a black-and-white, very historic-looking photo," says Connie Young Yu, the great-granddaughter of a Chinese laborer on the railroad. The iconic image shows a crowd of men swarmed around two locomotives. "In the middle are the two engineers shaking hands," Yu says. "And above them are workers hoisting champagne bottles." The bubbly marked the long-awaited completion of the Gateway to the American West, nearly 2,000 miles of iron rail that crossed the Rockies and Sierra Nevada.

But the portrait wasn't perfect. "History — at least photographically — says that the Chinese were not present," says photographer Corky Lee.

Related Link: A ‘photographic act of justice’ for Chinese laborers at Golden Spike (The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2014)

The Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University

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Abstract:
Between 1865 and 1869, thousands of Chinese migrants toiled at a grueling pace and in perilous working conditions to help construct America’s First Transcontinental Railroad. The Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project seeks to give a voice to the Chinese migrants whose labor on the Transcontinental Railroad helped to shape the physical and social landscape of the American West. The Project coordinates research in the United States and Asia in order to create an on-line digital archive available to all. The Project is also organizing major conferences and public events at Stanford and in China in 2015 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of large numbers of Chinese to work on the railroad.

Our Complicity with Excess

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Our Complicity With Excess, by Vijay Iyer (Asian American Writers' Workshop, 7 May 2014)

Abstract:
To succeed in America means that at some level you’ve made peace with its rather ugly past. Vijay Iyer’s speech to Yale’s Asian American alumni.

On Diversity, Institutional Whiteness and Its Will for Change

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On Diversity, Institutional Whiteness and Its Will for Change, by W. Anne Joh (Religious Studies News, May 2014)

Excerpt:
Ask doctoral students from underrepresented communities of color how well they are being prepared for becoming theological educators in a rapidly changing climate and most will say “not well at all.” My reflections here revolve around a few questions that seem to emerge quite frequently in doctoral studies, especially from students of racial/ethnic minority communities and what institutional racism does to them during the process of going through a doctoral program. How are the needs of these students met or not met within the predominantly white institutions and programs whose curricula often reflect absence and foreclosure of the historical legacy of systemic racism? How can institutions committed to cultivating institutional diversity transform so that all students might thrive during their studies, become well prepared to enter their profession as educators, and be equipped to integrate into their teaching the quotidian issues that our societies face?

The life of white racism has neither been transformed nor dismantled even as university demographics change. If there has been any transformation of racialized dynamics and institutional racism, one could argue that race has become “a way of organizing and managing populations in order to attain certain societal goals such as . . . social unity.” Race as a technology of management conceals more than it reveals structures of inequality. Commitments to so-called institutional diversity can easily slide to the use of that term, diversity, solely as a form of institutional public relations. This form of diversity “work” changes perceptions of whiteness but does nothing to transform whiteness of institutions. As Sara Ahmed observes, “changing perceptions of whiteness can be how an institution can reproduce whiteness,” rather than dismantle it.

MFA vs. POC

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MFA vs. POC, by Junot Diaz (The New Yorker, 30 April 2014)

Abstract:
This is a condensed version of the introduction to "Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop."

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh

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Excerpts:
Through work to bring materials from women's studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men's unwillingness to grant that they are overprivileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to women's statues, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can't or won't support the idea of lessening men's. Denials that amount to taboos surround the subject of advantages that men gain from women's disadvantages. These denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened, or ended.

Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that, since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there was most likely a phenomenon of while privilege that was similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.

I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was "meant" to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools , and blank checks.

The Origins of "Privilege"

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The Origins of "Privilege," by Joshua Rothman (The New Yorker, 13 May 2014)

Excerpt:
The idea of “privilege”—that some people benefit from unearned, and largely unacknowledged, advantages, even when those advantages aren’t discriminatory —has a pretty long history. In the nineteen-thirties, W. E. B. Du Bois wrote about the “psychological wage” that enabled poor whites to feel superior to poor blacks; during the civil-rights era, activists talked about “white-skin privilege.” But the concept really came into its own in the late eighties, when Peggy McIntosh, a women’s-studies scholar at Wellesley, started writing about it. In 1988, McIntosh wrote a paper called “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies,” which contained forty-six examples of white privilege. (No. 21: “I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.” No. 24: “I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the ‘person in charge,’ I will be facing a person of my race.”) Those examples have since been read by countless schoolkids and college students—including, perhaps, Tal Fortgang, the Princeton freshman whose recent article, “Checking My Privilege,” has been widely debated.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Wharton Study Shows the Shocking Result When Women and Minorities Email Their Professors

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Excerpts:
If you're a woman or minority student looking for a mentor, don't hold your breath. New research has found that university professors exhibit a bias in favor of their white male students, information that, while perhaps not unexpected, is seriously bad news for the nation's aspiring academics.

According to a segment produced by NPR, researchers led by the Wharton School's Katherine Milkman emailed 6,500 professors from 89 disciplines at the top 259 schools, pretending to be students. These emails replicated the same message; the only variable was the sender's name — for example, "Brad Anderson, Meredith Roberts, Lamar Washington, LaToya Brown, Juanita Martinez, Deepak Patel, Sonali Desai, Chang Wong, Mei Chen" — deliberately crafted in order to test the racial and gender bias in professor response. The type of student who garnered the most responses? The white male. As Milkman told NPR, professors "ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from white males. ... We see a 25-percentage-point gap in the response rate to Caucasian males versus women and minorities."



Friday, May 9, 2014

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2014 (US Census Bureau)

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Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2014 (US Census Bureau Facts for Features)

Abstract:
In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration. Per a 1997 U.S. Office of Management and Budget directive, the Asian or Pacific Islander racial category was separated into two categories: one being Asian and the other Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. Thus, this Facts for Features contains a section for each.

Revisiting the Vincent Chin Case: Confronting the Asian American Race Relations Issue

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Neal Rubin's controversial revisionist op-ed that caused a stir: What we all assume about the Vincent Chin case probably isn't so (Detroit News, 29 April 2014).

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) weighed in: AAJA seeks retraction from The Detroit News for Neal Rubin’s column revisiting the Vincent Chin murder case (29 April 2014)

Professor Frank H. Wu wrote two rebuttals:

The Shifting Religious Identities of Latinos in the United States (Pew)

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The Shifting Religious Identity of Latinos in the United States (Pew Research Religion & Public Life, 7 May 2014)

Abstract:
The Pew Research Center’s 2013 National Survey of Latinos and Religion finds that a majority (55%) of the nation’s estimated 35.4 million Latino adults – or about 19.6 million Latinos – identify as Catholic today. 1 About 22% are Protestant (including 16% who describe themselves as born-again or evangelical) and 18% are religiously unaffiliated.
Links to the Report:
Related Links:

Hispanic Nativity Shift: U.S. births drive population growth as immigration stalls (Pew)

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Excerpts:
After four decades of rapid growth (Brown, 2014), the number of Latino immigrants in the U.S. reached a record 18.8 million in 2010, but has since stalled, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.1 Since 2000, the U.S.-born Latino population continued to grow at a faster rate than the immigrant population. As a result, the foreign-born share of Latinos is now in decline. Among Hispanic adults in 2012, 49.8% were born in another country, down from a peak of 55% in 2007. Among all Hispanics, the share foreign-born was 35.5% in 2012, down from about 40% earlier in the 2000s.
Links:

Saturday, May 3, 2014

LA Riots, In Our Own Words

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LA Riots, In Our Own Words, by Eugene Yi (KoreanAm, 29 April 2012)

Excerpts
The events of April 29, 1992, have been referred to as a riot, a rebellion, an uprising, a civil unrest. For many Koreans, it’s always been 4.29, following the standard cultural shorthand for the dates of historic tragedies. Yet over the past 20 years, the primary narrative of 4.29 has rarely included Korean American perspectives beyond stereotyped notions of victims or vigilantes. This oral history seeks to rectify that in some small measure, and to give those who didn’t witness the traumatic days and nights of fires, chaos and violence a sense of what Korean Americans went through. The events, after all, have been referred to by some as the birth of Korean America, a characterization that isn’t far off.

In the period leading up to 4.29, the mainstream media had fed the public a series of stories on the rising tensions in South Central Los Angeles between African American residents and the Korean merchant class that had become a fixture there. Then, in March 1991, Soon Ja Du, a Korean immigrant storeowner, shot and killed Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old African American customer, following a violent scuffle between the two at Du’s South Central liquor store, worsening an already strained situation. Just 13 days earlier, the brutal beating of African American motorist Rodney King by four white Los Angeles Police Department officers vividly demonstrated the iron-fisted tactics under then-Chief Daryl Gates. The social, economic and political structures seemed aligned to oppress, and the city waited uneasily on April 29, 1992, for the verdict in the excessive force case against the police officers who beat King.

Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States, 2012 (Pew)

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Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States, 2012 (Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, 29 April 2014)

Abstract:
This statistical profile of the Latino population is based on Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). Users should exercise caution when comparing the 2012 estimates with estimates for previous years. Population estimates in the 2012 ACS are based on the latest information from the 2010 Decennial Census; the 2005 to 2009 ACS estimates are based on the latest information available for those surveys—updates of the 2000 Decennial Census. The impact of this discontinuity on comparisons between the 2010 and later ACS and earlier years is discussed in a Hispanic Trends Project 2012 report.

Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States, 2012 (Pew)

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Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States, 2012 (Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, 29 April 2014)

Abstract:
This statistical profile of the foreign-born population is based on Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). Users should exercise caution when comparing the 2012 estimates with estimates for previous years. Population estimates in the 2012 ACS are based on the latest information from the 2010 Decennial Census; the 2005 to 2009 ACS estimates are based on the latest information available for those surveys—updates of the 2000 Decennial Census. The impact of this discontinuity on comparisons between the 2010 and later ACS and earlier years is discussed in a Hispanic Trends Project 2012 report.