Yup - It's our month. Time to get naked and run around the block again

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Yeah - same thing. Over and over. Do whatever you want to do.

Get naked, eat what you want, and pretty much do anything to anyone simply because it's our month and we deserve it.

And while normally I might have something to say about still being the chinky and oppressed MFs - I will say that I am happy that it sheds some light on us because hasn't everyone already forgotten about the robberies, assaults, and deaths happening in the AAPI community?

Isn't our 15 minutes of fame over?

At least this month gives us some talking points before we fade out of existence again....


Photos and History 4/172021 + 4/18/2021: Local API Protesters at the Brooklyn Center Police + Black and Yellow Rally in Minneapolis at George Floyd Square

Thursday, April 22, 2021

 

Pictures of the local MN AAPI community coming out in support of Black+Asian Unity, as well as Asian American protesters at the Brooklyn Center Police department. Click on an image to view the photo in full. Images are from April 17 and 18th 2021.








































THE HOTEL LOBBY - Tonight #StopAsianHate With Lisa Ling, Simu Liu, Dante Basco, Kelly Hu + More

Wednesday, April 07, 2021


From the YouTube video:

Ban together in solidarity and show them our community regardless of race. Official Links: https://linktr.ee/thehotellobby/ Directed & Edited by Johnny Lee Produced by Jessica del Mundo, Gilbert Le, David Christopher Lee Featuring Lisa Ling, Simu Liu, Dante Basco, Kelly Hu, Hayden Szeto, Michael Campion, Christian Isaiah, Cade Michael, Henry Fong, KLAXX, Kaleena Zanders, Mighty Shock LA, Kevin Krieder, Kelly Mi Li & Kane Lin 

In response to the staggering increase of anti-Asian sentiment and violence in the last year, Lee hopes all people will speak out. The music video shares community resources and ends with a call-to-action to report all hate crimes or incidents. 

Tai from THE HOTEL LOBBY says "We didn't meet this moment, this moment hit us dead on. We were JUST protesting for ME and my family to be recognized as a human...less than a year later, we gotta remind people HE and his family are humans too." “What began as an anthem to support #BlackLivesMatter has evolved into uplifting the AAPI community and the LGBTQIA+ community – really, empowerment for all people,” said Lee, who wrote, recorded, and performed “Tonight” as one half of the DJ/EDM duo THE HOTEL LOBBY. In the last year, the discrimination, oppression, and violence against minorities in this country have been magnified and brought to light on a scale never before seen. While these reprehensible acts of racism have been on display worldwide, it is still not over. We must do our part to unite all people and end racism once and for all. 

The song "Tonight" was not only a way for us to express our anger and anguish during this time of crisis, but we wanted to show our support for all our brothers and sisters of every ethnicity, race and sexual orientation. We must do our part. We must speak out. We must unite. Join us in spreading a message of love and solidarity to all those still fighting for their equality and humanity. Music Written and Performed by THE HOTEL LOBBY Director of Photography: Matthew Hunt Additional Footage: Andy Vu Publicity & Marketing: 10storyhouse 

Special Thanks to: Dante Basco, Michael Campion, Elijah Estrella, Sydney Mae Estrella, Henry Fong, Jaxon Fournier, Noah Fournier, William Lex Ham, Christian Isaiah, Cade Michael Izuno, KLAXX, Kevin Kreider, Kelly Mi Li, Kane Lim, Lisa Ling, Simu Liu, Stella Martinez, Hayden Szeto, and Kaleena Zanders. #StopAsianHate #StopAsianHateRally #LisaLing #SimuLiu #DanteBasco #KellyHu #HaydenSzeto #MichaelCampion #ChristianIsaiah #CadeMichael #HenryFong #KLAXX #KaleenaZanders #MightyShockLA #KevinKrieder #KellyMiLi #KaneLin #BlingEmpire #AsianHateCrimes #StopAsianHateCrimes

From Atlanta: Voices From The Community

Wednesday, April 07, 2021


Here's an excerpt from a story I did for AsAmNews while down in Atlanta.

The next day I travel up north towards Acworth, where Young’s Asian Massage is located. 

I get this feeling in my stomach the farther we drive out of the city. 

Even though I understand where I am on the map, how many miles away it is from Atlanta, it feels so far away and I can’t help but think to myself that there was so much time to turn around.

There was time to re-think. 

To not take more lives. 

While I try to re-route that feeling, talking with the driver, a young White man about our shared experience from the Midwest–him originally from Chicago, myself originally from Milwaukee–I still have this sinking feeling. 

We talk about the shootings. He tells me how sad he is about them and that it’s good people are coming down here to report on it. 

I ask him if he thinks it should be classified as a hate crime.

He says yes without hesitation.

Reaching Young’s Asian Massage, my stomach sinks even more, and even though I’ve asked the driver if it’s easy to get a ride back at least two or three times and he’s said yes, I don’t want to be here without a known way back. We talk and I make a change on the destination to head back into Atlanta, and he agrees to wait for me.

The story has a documentation of photographs from each of the 3 memorials as well as 4 interviews with different people I interviewed while down there. I have a lot more thoughts on Atlanta and everything else going on. 

Here's the link: https://asamnews.com/2021/04/01/a-community-pauses-and-reflects-after-the-atlanta-spa-shooting/



On Map Kong, Christian Hall, And Do We Really Need Our Hands Up To Stay Alive?

Friday, March 19, 2021

I wrote this article for AsAmnews where I've been doing some more writing. Here's an Excerpt from the article. 

March 17th was 5 years to the day of map kong being killed.

Around 6:15 AM on March 17, 2016 in Burnsville, MN, the police were called on a report of a suspicious man sitting in a car in the parking lot yelling and jumping up and down in his seat waving a knife. As police officers tried to calm him down from outside, trying to get a better look at what was inside the car, they decided to break the window and tase him.

The man in the car, Map Kong, a Cambodian American, tried to flee with his back turned to police running away.

23 bullets were fired in the span of 3 seconds from three officers—with 15 of those bullets hitting Map Kong, killing him instantly.

https://asamnews.com/2021/03/05/from-map-kong-to-christian-hall-what-is-the-worth-of-an-asian-americans-life-and-are-we-telling-ourselves-lies/



#FightItWithData #NoGasLighting

Friday, March 19, 2021

Those are all the listings of Strip Clubs that come up in Atlanta in Google. Platinum Gentleman's Club is literally a couple minutes away along with the others pulled up in the search. Young's Asian Massage Parlor was 30 MINUTES AWAY. The shooter traveled far and wide to kill Asian women.



Honestly - Why Now? Why The Uptick In Asian American Hate Because Of COVID-19

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

It truly doesn't make sense to me. We are on the verge - the world is on the verge - of having some sense of normalcy again - sure it'll be a bit - but my god - why now?

Is the hate that deep for us that even though we should be trying to look at COVID-19 in our rearview mirror (well you know what I mean) they still hate us?

Guess so.

Post Archives: And The College Sport With The Most APIAs Is...

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

 


This article was originally written for the YOMYOMF blog which was closed approximately two years ago and is being re-posted here for archival purposes.

10/12/2018

I was reading this article at the Guardian a few days ago and while interesting, I wanted to check out some of the stats myself at the NCAA site in part because it seemed like women were excluded from the stats and I wanted to see those numbers, and I was also curious what the other other sports looked like.

Here’s a screenshot of two grids, for total numbers and percentages, from the NCAA database for all sports for 2016-2017:

Total Numbers


Percentages


*Depending on how we qualify the word “most”, in this case a few items standout (according to the way I am ranking them):

1. By percentage, apparently APIA college kids are making their impact felt in the world of fencing at 19% for men and about 17% for women. This is followed by squash with 9.2% for men and 10.6% for women, gymnastics with 10% for men and 5.4% for women, and tennis with 6.1% for men and 5.9% for women.

2. By sheer numbers including male and female students (even if there is not a program for women) Tennis (997) wins out, followed closely by Swimming (995), and then Outdoor Track (988), Football (967) and Soccer (962) respectively.

3. While squash is fairly high in percentages for the Asian American in APIA, apparently the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander portion of APIA would rather play rugby (with percentages of 3.2% and 2.3%).

4. Who knew bowling was making a comeback? Although maybe I just haven’t been paying attention…

It is fairly easy to see why you don’t see as many Asian Americans in professional sports like football or basketball if you look at percentages alone– but it’s also legitimate to ask the question of if stereotypes and internalization of those stereotypes, and the racism that typically comes along with them, play a part in what specific sports young APIAs become engaged in.

*Note that percentages and totals are added from the “Asian” and “Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander” columns.

Post Archives: From Rep. Ted Lieu With Love (Well...Not Really)

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

 


This article was originally written for the YOMYOMF blog which was closed approximately two years ago and is being re-posted here for archival purposes.

09/27/2018

In the bid to represent New York’s 27th Congressional District, off-again/on-again candidate Representative Chris Collins (who also just got indicted on insider trading charges this summer) decided to up the ante with his ad against Democratic challenger  Nate McMurray.

McMurray called the ad misleading and “xenophobic”, but Representative Ted Lieu (D) from California didn’t mince any words in his description from his tweet on Tuesday:

Dear @RepChrisCollins: Take your racist ad and shove it. You are an embarrassment to the House of Representatives.

For folks who get angry after watching the racist ad, go to @Nate_McMurray website at http://votemcmurray.com and help Nate.

And in a NY Times article on Wednesday Lieu had this to say:

This is an issue that has affected the Asian-American community, and for Chris Collins to do this is wholly unacceptable […] He is playing to racial stereotypes that have been particularly hurtful to Americans who happen to be of Asian descent […] I would call him a racist to his face the next time I see him and ask him to take the ad down.

Sometimes we do have to “wordsmith” to get our point across depending on the situation and the audience, but in some cases it just needs to be called out for what it is–because we also can’t be afraid to call out racism when it is in fact racist–and I’m glad to see Representative Ted Lieu call it out for what it truly was in this case.

Follow Representative Ted Lieu on Twitter and @ http://www.tedlieu.com.

Post Archives: Jay Park Slays The Freestyle, The 'Soju' Isn't Great, But I'm Still Going To Ride The Yacht

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

 


This article was originally written for the YOMYOMF blog which was closed approximately two years ago and is being re-posted here for archival purposes.

07/30/2018

I thought the title of this post was fairly representative of everything that’s going right, as well as completely and utterly wrong with Jay Park and his ROC nation debut–which begs the question of if ROC Nation really knows what to do with him, as well as if ANY major label here in the U.S. can truly represent an Asian American or Asian music act.

If you don’t know who Jay Park is, you may not follow or listen to K-POP, or you haven’t been a fan of R&B/Hip-Hop/Rap in South Korea, as if you were, you’d probably know who Jay Park is–and that’s not a condemnation on your musical tastes (because I was never a 2PM fan)–that’s just saying (so don’t feel bad).

But you really should know him.

So if he’s new to you here’s the quick breakdown:

He left for South Korea when he was 18, went to the group 2PM, had some things go on (a little controversy), left the band, came back to the states where he grew up in Seattle, did some YouTube, blew up again in the second act (because he still had a fan base), did a movie, went back to South Korea, and the rest is history. He owns two labels, puts fans in a frenzy, and gets millions of views on his videos. He’s an artist, business man, and overall–makes some great music.

And then here’s a sampling of Jay Park (and don’t worry-there’s a reason for all of this, but homework is okay people).

#1 “All I Wanna Do”–Good beat, partners with the 1Million dance crew, it’s a great song and showcases the strengths of Jay Park. I like to call it pop r&b.

#2 A little more risque..more dance r&b. You may not like the video per se, but you can’t deny the dance moves and the smoothness of the Jay Park It Right Here.

#3 And here’s two of the hits that got him his 2018 Korean Hip-hop Artist of the year award, “Most Hated”, And “Yacht”.

#4 I’ll also throw in “Drive”.

But then you have “Soju” – the first single off his ROC Nation EP “Ask About Me”, featuring 2 Chainz.

Let’s just say it.

It’s not great–it feels too “Well this is what ROC Nation wants” versus “This is who Jay Park is”. I’m not saying it’s completely in-authentic, but you don’t get the feeling that it’s really Jay Park either, and if you’re going to rap with 2 Chains (for better or for worse), I just don’t think you can bring that song.

Nothing kills an artist debut like something that doesn’t feel authentic, or that feels too forced.

As a debut, I just expected a lot more because it’s Jay Park–but I’ve always been disappointed when the U.S. debuts come out for practically everyone.

Compare that though with his freestyle on Sway In The Morning which he completely kills, and he also steps up to the challenge of talking about style and appropriation and how he got to where he was (it’s really a great interview).

Or take his freestyle on L.A. Leakers.

How do you spit that but still come out with “Soju”?

Who green lit that song?

I am glad though to see that people are viewing his freestyles more and he’s getting out there and making the most of the rounds (which gives them a better taste in their mouth than “Soju” did).

At the same time I’m glad to see that on his new EP he’s done an English remake of last year’s hit “Yacht”, except featuring Vic Mensa.

And that the next video is one for “Sexy 4 Eva” (audio track below).

I just feel like those are more in line with the Jay Park we know.

So while I didn’t like “Soju” or think that was a great debut, I do think the direction is quickly getting changed, and hope they’ll find the right mix of what he’s famous for, but for a U.S. audience (and all audiences here) versus making him into something he’s not (and he and his label AOMG, has to take responsibility for that too from an artist and business sense).

At the end of the day, let the Asian American man shine doing what he’s supposed to do versus making him into something he’s not.

But Even If He Kills It–Does It Matter If People Still Troll With Comments Like Asian Men Still Have Small Penises?

Yes. You did read that right, because as I was reading the comments on one of the freestyle videos, I read comments like:

You could say it doesn’t matter because there will always be trolls and people that look down on Asian men and Asian America in general (and we can talk about other things from that comment too)–but I still can’t help but wonder if that type of stereotypical thinking will have an effect.

I hope not.

But I don’t know if we can guarantee it either.

Here’s to hoping the world is a better place than I sometimes give it credit for, and that the next few videos from Jay Park are something special.

Post Archives: Steven Yeun, Sorry To Bother You, And Being Hot. Kiss Me Cause I'm Steven Yeun Hot.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

 


This article was originally written for the YOMYOMF blog which was closed approximately two years ago and is being re-posted here for archival purposes.

07/29/2018

This weekend I chucked the baby in the corner with some chả giò and a box of Jarts, took K-Wife by the hand, and went to see the Boots Riley movie Sorry To Bother You starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Danny Glover, Terry Crews, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, and Steven Yeun (among others).

Honestly–while I feel bad about the Jarts “incident”, I wouldn’t take those stitches back for anything, because this was one of the best movies I’ve seen all year.

Subversive, smart, shot in a such a trippy beautiful way, social commentary galore (but with a realistic POV as well), and just an amazing cast, I truly didn’t know what I was about to see.

While you don’t see a lot of Steven Yeun in the trailer, he plays a fairly large part in the film as one of the telemarketers who is leading a revolt. And while I don’t want to give too much of the plot away–there is some Steven Yeun Kiss-Me-Because-Well-I’m-Steven-Yeun-Hot which did get me a little sweaty (and who he kisses you’ll have to wait and see–albeit I kind of saw that coming early, unlike another person, who apparently also ate a lot of the large popcorn).

And I think that’s pretty damn cool (the kiss, not the popcorn).

Anyway…I hate to cut this short…because apparently I have a CPS meeting I have to go to…so I’ll just leave you with a dreamy Steven Yeun from Sorry To Bother You.

Post Archives: When White People Go Bad: The Sandra Bullock 'Adopted Child' Edition

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

 


This article was originally written for the YOMYOMF blog which was closed approximately two years ago and is being re-posted here for archival purposes.

05/10/2018

Dear B.S.,

I get it.

You’re a movie star, a producer, a Hollywood elite.

You won an Academy Award for Best Actress.

You’re coming out with a new film Ocean’s 8–which btw does have some great people in it and I feel is at least more diverse than other movies (albeit I’ll hold final judgment until I see it, and I’m still wondering why you couldn’t get Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Queen Latifah, or Sanaa Lathan on board–but to be fair maybe you asked and they turned you down).

By all definitions of the word “success” you’ve made it in your chosen profession and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that you get what you want.

In fact, I think you’re probably used to getting what you want–and kudos to you for that because I’m not saying you didn’t work for it or you didn’t have your own struggles as a woman in a male dominated industry (however let’s also be real and say that the struggles of White Women aren’t always the same as Women Of Color and Immigrant Women and that White Women have at times, left out Women of Color and Immigrant Women, in the fight for women’s rights).

But even with all of that success, you’re still a White Woman who adopted two children of color, and whether you want to believe it or not, you come with a lot of baggage in that relationship because of White Privilege and colonialism.

The amount of money you make, the places that your kids have access to because of your status, class, and your Whiteness–they don’t allow you to recuse yourself from having to think critically, and fully immerse yourself in the questions of what you need to change about yourself as an Adoptive Parent.

You may not like that term, Adoptive Parent, that qualification, but that is what you are, in addition to being a Parent, and in addition to being an Adoptive Parent of Transracially Adopted Children.

It’s not even close to being binary.

So your calls to abolish the term “Adopted Child” in many ways doesn’t come as a surprise because it’s in line with entitled thinking.

GC: You’re active in promoting adoption, especially for kids in foster care. There are hundreds of thousands of foster kids who need homes at the moment. Is the situation getting better?

SB: Not quickly enough. Look: I’m all for Republican, Democrat, whatever, but don’t talk to me about what I can or can’t do with my body until you’ve taken care of every child who doesn’t have a home or is neglected or abused. It makes me teary-eyed [wells up]. Let’s all just refer to these kids as “our kids.” Don’t say “my adopted child.” No one calls their kid their “IVF child” or their “oh, shit, I went to a bar and got knocked-up child.” Let just say, “our children.”

I’m not saying your intent was bad, don’t get me wrong, but intent, like being colorblind, doesn’t really get you that far on the progression scale–and you can’t lump all of those situations together because they’re not the same.

Adoption is not the same thing as being in foster care. Being adopted, is not the same as having two parents who made you, using IVF or otherwise, and didn’t give you up for adoption. Transracial adoption is not the same as adoptions between members of the same race, and international transracial adoptions aren’t the same as domestic transracial adoptions.

It’s complex.

When you say that people should call Adopted Children just children, you’re erasing their history, because their life didn’t start with you. They have birth mothers and birth fathers and a history they want to know about for a variety of reasons.

When you say that people should call Adopted Children just children, you’re saying to Korean Americans who were adopted that they should forget about the fact that South Korea for a time was essentially the largest assembly line for the packaging and distribution of their own children in partnership with the U.S., making a profit.

When you say that people should call Adopted Children just children, you’re telling the Native American and Indigenous community to forget about the forced adoptions in order to assimilate them into White Culture so they could have “happier” lives.

When you say that people should call Adopted Children just children, you’re telling Vietnamese War Orphans, like myself, that we have no agency in our own history, in a country who simultaneously looked down on us as the enemy and as a people who didn’t belong, but who also thought we looked cute in those Adoption Propaganda pictures.

When you say that people should call Adopted Children just children–it’s just offensive.

This isn’t The Blind Side.

Someone doesn’t say “Wrap!” and you’re done.

This is for life (unless you’re talking about rehoming, abandonment, or abuse in the adoption system).

Taking the word “adopted” out of the lexicon of Adoption won’t make your kids any less adopted than they already are, just like it won’t take any of the insecurity you feel as an Adoptive Parent away, just like it won’t erase the fact that you’re White and they’re Black and this will have effects for everyone.

Call your kids whatever you want to, because they’re your kids.

But also remember that they aren’t just yours, and that this is the reality and complexity of adoption.

Sincerely (kind of),
Adam

P.S.

Just in case you were wondering, I’ve been active in the TRA community for about 15 years serving on multiple boards and committees, learning from those that came before me and who continue to do amazing work, engaging in dialogue and discussion, and helping to push the voices and resources of adopted adults–international, transracial, and domestic. In that vein, I hope you decide to listen and at least think about some of the things I’ve said–because I don’t think you’ve gone completely bad–you’re just past your expiration date on this one.

P.S.S.

Btw, when I addressed as you as “B.S.” I’m just giving you a little Viet style putting your surname first. I didn’t feel comfortable using your name though so I abbreviated it…can’t really help it turned out like that…sorry?

Post Archives: An Open Letter To 'Atlanta' On That Nail Salon Scene

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

 


This article was originally written for the YOMYOMF blog which was closed approximately two years ago and is being re-posted here for archival purposes.

04/25/2018

Dear ‘Atlanta’,

First let me say that I’ve only watched 4-5 episodes of you, but I like what I’ve watched (and honestly that probably doesn’t mean much as you’re already one of hottest shows being watched these days not really due in part to me). I also know, just like with Issa Rae’s show, it’s a Black POV–it doesn’t have to cater to, nor should it, to the Asian American population and diaspora here in the land of MAGA, where we’re all trying to get somewhere without displacing anyone else.

As others have told me when they’ve said that I needed to watch you–you are poetic. I have been engaged by the storytelling and the characters. I like the direction from Hiro Murai.

There’s been a lot to love because it really is different.

I just gotta ask though about that nail salon scene in Season 2’s ‘Woods’ episode and what was behind it, because honestly my stomach sank a little when that scene came on because I wondered how much of the same thing I was going to get.

I mean it was a nail salon with Asian American people in it and the character Ciara was just rude to everyone already…

So I naturally braced myself.

And once the scene got going, Ciara went off on one of the Asian American women because they were too hard on her Instagram toes, which in a way was the same as when she went off in the other store barking at another person who worked there (who was White).

It was within her character.

And I’m not saying she didn’t have some good lines in that whole scene either (because she did).

But then she went off completely when they started talking in Korean and about how they needed to use English, and making assumptions that if someone was talking in another language they were talking about her–and from what I was told via K-Town–it was some regular day talk.

And sure, you can say it was within her character, because she’s rude AF.

And Paper Boi didn’t say anything that time (like she did when she barked at the White guy), and maybe that was a tipping point in helping him to leave–but I think he would have stayed if Ciara didn’t take his picture and they got into the argument.

So I guess I’m just wondering why you felt the need to add that last scene in where she goes on a tirade?

Wasn’t it already enough that we knew Ciara was rude and that she was rude to multiple people? What purpose did it serve to have Ciara go off on Asian American women who she already saw as below her (and physically were) from a “server” standpoint?

There was no comeuppance.

There wasn’t a twist, even in a small way.

It wasn’t even true to form and in a lot of ways it kept the stereotypes alive of the meek Asian American woman who just complies, because in a lot of places, if you’re disrespectful like that, you’re out the door.

Nothing meek about it.

So, I’m just asking the question.

Why?

Am I missing something?

And if I’m not, and it was just you know, the way it was, can I just ask not to have any Asian American people on versus ones that are like that?

Okay.

Just let me know,
Adam

P.S.

Just in case you were wondering too, it’s not just me talking about this scene (and I’m not trying to get into nail salon politics either per se), and I did think it was funny how the majority of outlets didn’t pick up on this scene in their recaps.