From the Dispatches of NBC News: A Positive Outcome of the National Election

From the Dispatches of NBC News: A Positive Outcome of the National Election

From the Dispatches of NBC News: A Positive Outcome of the National Election

  The Next Senate Will Have the Most Asian-American Women Ever by CHARLES LAM When the 115th Congress convenes on Jan. 3, 2017, it will do so with more Asian-American woman senators than ever before. Three members of the Senate are projected to be Asian-American women, a new high just four years after Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii became the first Asian-American woman ever to be elected to the Senate in 2012. Projected to be joining her are Kamala Harris — the current attorney general of California — and Rep. Tammy Duckworth from Illinois, who is projected to defeat incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk. Below are the election results of other […]

Supreme Court rejects effort to grant American Samoans U.S. citizenship at birth

Supreme Court rejects effort to grant American Samoans U.S. citizenship at birth

Supreme Court rejects effort to grant American Samoans U.S. citizenship at birth

This happened a few months back, but it raises questions about sovereignty, the legacy of or existence of modern American imperialism and more. 1899 marked the year that birthright citizenship was formalized for those people born in the United States are automatically citizens. We can thank Wong Kim Ark for that! But what about the American territories around the globe? What rights to citizenship do they receive? “Those born in the other U.S. territories — Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Marianas — all get citizenship at birth, but that was determined by statute in Congress. No such statue exists for American Samoa.”  Technically, what the people of these […]

Memory and Renewal: Tanforan Assembly Center

Memory and Renewal: Tanforan Assembly Center

Memory and Renewal: Tanforan Assembly Center

2017 marks 75 years since the first Japanese Americans we forced into assembly centers and then to concentration camps throughout the United States. Here in Western Washington American citizens and their parents were held at the Puyallup Fairgrounds– renamed Camp Harmony and then most were sent to Minidoka camp in Idaho. “Except in Portland, Pinedale, Sacramento, and Mayer, large fairground or racetracks were selected to minimize the need for building extra housing. At the racetracks, stables were cleaned out for use as living quarters. At the Portland Assembly Center over 3,800 evacuees were housed under one roof in a livestock pavilion subdivided into apartments.” (Densho Project Website) Tanforan was a racetrack. When we […]

“It Was All Good Fun”– Or Was It? How Many Offensive Comments and Stereotypes Can Fit in One News Segment?

“It Was All Good Fun”– Or Was It? How Many Offensive Comments and Stereotypes Can Fit in One News Segment?

“It Was All Good Fun”– Or Was It? How Many Offensive Comments and Stereotypes Can Fit in One News Segment?

There are almost no words to describe this segment from Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor.   [Update– Asian American groups are taking on the news agency to get a formal apology. 10/6]  

Whose Voice Matters?

Whose Voice Matters?

Whose Voice Matters?

In the last post we watched Anh Luu talk about her life as a chef, a Vietnamese American, and her take on blending the many sides of her own cultural identity. Compare the way this story below begins with Anh’s profile video, even though this video describes an Australian perspective, we can examine the stark differences in narrators and the sources of the narrations. How might hearing her story told by someone else change the way we see Anh? Who is the protagonist of Anh’s story? Who is the protagonist in the second film? Why would it matter who the protagonist is when learning about a person, community or nation? This […]

A Season to Vote

A Season to Vote

A Season to Vote

    “The Asian-American voter pool is remarkably diverse, ranging from Pakistanis and Indians to Chinese and Koreans.” That is the ethnic breakdown in the state of Virginia in an article from the Wall Street Journal. In Washington State we would add the populations from the Pacific Islands as well. This means the diversity of the Asian and Pacific American voting public is as varied as any other groups. Outreach by both major political parties will need to contend with this diversity. To the list we can confidently add: Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao, Japanese, Thai, Sri Lankan, Filipino, Hawaiian, Fijian, Maori, Samoan, Tongan and a dozen other ethnicities. The reality for political […]

A Unique Culinary Blend– Only in America

A Unique Culinary Blend– Only in America

A Unique Culinary Blend– Only in America

In 2006, following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, New Orleans was a ghost town. In the 9th Ward, houses stood empty as the families who had lived in them for generations fled, were rescued from, or were lost in the surge of water as it breached the levees. Following the 1975 Fall of Saigon, thousands of Vietnamese refugees settled throughout the United States. Here in the Pacific Northwest it was a tough process to find homes. In New Orleans; the story was no different. In the Parish of Versailles, the Vietnamese took to fishing, shrimping and other industries in the region. The communities they built up relied heavily on community cohesion and […]

Who is American? A National Moment on the Question of Belonging

Who is American? A National Moment on the Question of Belonging

Who is American? A National Moment on the Question of Belonging

Ghazala Khan, mother to Humayun Khan, married to Khizr. Her family emigrated here from Pakistan via the United Arab Emirates. Her words raise the question of sacrifice for, and even the responsibility to, a belief that America is a plural society. In front of the nation she and her husband recounted the painful loss of their son, Army Captain Humayun Khan who died during his military tour in Iraq. Mrs. Khan’s own legitimacy in mourning the loss of her son, and even being “allowed” to express her own opinions was challenged by a major party presidential candidate simply because she is of Muslim faith. Read her response to a major political party […]

What Purpose Do Ads Such as These Serve in Public/Civic Discourse?

What Purpose Do Ads Such as These Serve in Public/Civic Discourse?

What Purpose Do Ads Such as These Serve in Public/Civic Discourse?

  “As an alumnus of University of Missouri and citizen of Missouri for the past 40+ years, I am deeply disappointed with the utilization of anti-Chinese and anti-Muslim rhetoric that portrays Asian Americans in a derisive light…” — Asian American Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis President Al Li Read his full statement here.   The article from NBC News can be found here: Article   [Teachers: We suggest using this lesson plan from our Honoring Our Journey curriculum set to encourage student discussion and dialogue on the issue of reinforced stereotypes in the media.