JACL mourns the passing of Congressman Mark Takai. We are grateful for Rep. Takai's support for issues affecting the Asian American Pacific Islander communities.
In 2015, during the 50th anniversary commemoration of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, a group of JACL youth gathered in Selma to be part of the re-enactment of the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. During the ceremonies, Rep. Takai took the time to meet with the JACL youth delegation to relate the story of how Dr. Martin Luther King and others came to wear leis during the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. The presence of the leis affirmed the participation of Asian Americans in this important civil rights milestone, and it conveyed the message of peace and brotherhood during those tumultuous times.
We are grateful for the way Rep. Takai inspired our youth and provided reflection for imagining a brighter future.
More on Takai:
Takai was first elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives in 1994, representing the 34th house district of Pearl City, near Pearl Harbor. He won re-election eight more times before shifting to represent the 33rd house district of Aiea in 2012. Takai was Chairman of the House Committee on Culture and the Arts between 1997 and 2000. He also served as Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education (1995–2002) and as Chairman in 2003–2004. Additionally, he was the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans, Military, & International Affairs, & Culture and the Arts. During the 2005 and 2006 sessions, Takai served as Vice Speaker of the House. Takai left his 20-year tenure as a state representative to become the Democratic nominee for the United States House of Representatives for Hawaii's 1st congressional district in the 2014 elections, following incumbent Colleen Hanabusa's decision to run for the United States Senate. He won the election with 51.2% of the vote, defeating Republican former Congressman Charles Djou. In November 2015, he introduced the Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act, extending federal compensation to those made sick by involvement in cleanup operations after bomb tests on Pacific islands.
Producer, writer, and director Ming Lai (Art Recession, Wall of Nanking, Journey of a Paper So) is coming out with a new film called Visions of Warriors:
As war and conflicts continue, many veterans are coming back and suffering from mental illness. In fact, 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Despite these shocking statistics, not enough people are aware of the rise of mental illness in veterans or the existence of alternative therapies. In “Visions of Warriors,” four veterans from the Vietnam War era to the Iraq War participate in the groundbreaking Veteran Photo Recovery Project at the VA Menlo Park and use innovative photography therapy to treat their mental illness. Photography therapy allowed the veterans to view life from a different perspective, appreciate beauty, be more present, and connect with others.
Because of the high costs of post-production, they're launching a fundraising campaign, with the help of their fiscal sponsor which is the respected International Documentary Association. Their goal is to raise $37,000, which will help pay for editing, color grading, music composition, sound design, sound mixing, mastering, and more.
So if you can help them out (and a little something can go a long way) go to: http://www.visionsofwarriors.com/donate
A BRILLIANT AND UTTERLY ENGAGING NOVEL EMMA SET IN MODERN ASIA ABOUT A YOUNG WOMAN’S RISE IN THE GLITZY, MONEYED CITY OF SINGAPORE, WHERE OLD TRADITIONS CLASH WITH HEADY MODERN MATERIALISM.
On the edge of twenty-seven, Jazzy hatches a plan for her and her best girlfriends: Sher, Imo, and Fann. Before the year is out, these Sarong Party Girls will all have spectacular weddings to rich ang moh Western expat husbands, with Chanel babies (the cutest status symbols of all) quickly to follow. Razor-sharp, spunky, and vulgarly brand-obsessed, Jazzy is a determined woman who doesn’t lose.
As she fervently pursues her quest to find a white husband, this bombastic yet tenderly vulnerable gold-digger reveals the contentious gender politics and class tensions thrumming beneath the shiny exterior of Singapore s glamorous nightclubs and busy streets, its grubby wet markets and seedy hawker centers. Moving through her colorful, stratified world, she realizes she cannot ignore the troubling incongruity of new money and old-world attitudes which threaten to crush her dreams. Desperate to move up in Asia s financial and international capital, will Jazzy and her friends succeed?
Vividly told in Singlish colorful Singaporean English with its distinctive cadence and slang Sarong Party Girls brilliantly captures the unique voice of this young, striving woman caught between worlds. With remarkable vibrancy and empathy, Cheryl Tan brings not only Jazzy, but her city of Singapore, to dazzling, dizzying life.”
All you have to say is wow to hearing the story of the Chinese Nanny who was beaten by her Chinese American boss (AKA Lili Huang).
The woman told police that she had been beaten, starved and threatened with death by her employer, for whom she worked as a nanny. The nanny had also been forced to walk on all fours for hours “like a dog” and fed her own hair, she said [...] Instead of a fair wage, she received frequent beatings, she told police [...] The nanny was also starved by the family, she told police. She was fed nothing but “scraps” and crackers, causing her to drop from 120 pounds to just 88 pounds in barely four months, according to authorities. The nanny felt trapped because she had no passport or money and did not speak English.
Among the items seized inside the spacious home was a bag that had been hidden under the nanny’s mattress. It was full of human hair.
Work your people hard.
But they aint slaves.
And they sure as hell aren't dogs to be treated without humanity.
Here's to hoping Lili Huang gets a taste of her own medicine and coughs up her own hairball.
Check out Part 2 and 3 of my newest short story: Goofy. I originally wrote this story 2013 for a children’s book about the Japanese American World War II experience. I published it on 8Asians in 2014. However, with the recent events and rhetoric surrounding our presidential election, I started becoming worried that the events of this short story could happen again—not to Japanese American but to Muslim and Arab Americans.
I wanted to reimagine these events if they happened today to help make sure it doesn’t happen again. As I tell my four-year-old every day, we as decedents of people who were wrongly incarcerated in camps have a moral responsibility to make sure it never happens again. Here is my way of reminding us of our past so we don’t repeat it again.
According to Forbes, she's worth $1.9 billion dollars as of 2016 by way of co-founding Forever 21.
Dig the data:
After moving to the states from South Korea in 1981, Jin Sook Chang and her husband Don worked odd jobs to make ends meet. Three years later, the pair opened up their first clothing store, Fashion 21, a 900-square-foot shop in Los Angeles. The Changs expanded upon first year sales of $700,000 by opening new stores every six months, eventually changing the teen-focused retailer's name to Forever 21. Today their fast-fashion clothing chain, which has been sued more than 50 times for copyright infringement, has $4.4 billion in sales, flat from year ago. It has closed some stores and was late to pay some vendors. But the company denies any financial difficulties, saying its business is solid and noting the planned opening of 67 more stores this year. Jin Sook serves as chief merchandising officer while her husband, Don, is CEO. Daughters Esther and Linda work in merchandising.@ 53 she has a few years on Peggy Cherng of Panda Express, but not quite as many on Thai Lee who apparently runs the largest woman-owned business in the U.S (by sales).
I'd be fine with just $100 million?
I'm guessing if you haven't even started the film probably isn't going to get made.
But if it has been made and you're "working" on it.
You only have two more days.
Two. More. Days.
Get it done!
I think this may be the start of a new series - no views but got talent.
Maybe I'll call it Under 100...
P.S. It's a little funny I was thinking about apostrophe's for this post title.
After Minnesota Lynx players wore t-shirts that said "Change Starts With Us — Justice and Accountability" with Philando Castile and Alton Sterling names on the back as well as "Black Lives Matter" and the shield of the Dallas PD - and the off duty officers who were working the game walked out - Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation said the following:
"I commend them for it...They only have four officers working the event because the Lynx have such a pathetic draw."
Kroll has already been on the radar as - well - a police officer who could use some...ummm - brains? You can check out some info here @ https://www.scribd.com/doc/290107485/Robert-Kroll-Not-A-Credible-Source.
And yes - people like the Mayor of Minneapolis did push back and say: "Bob Kroll’s remarks about the Lynx are jackass remarks. Let me be clear: labor leadership inherently does not speak on behalf of management. Bob Kroll sure as hell doesn’t speak for me about the Lynx or about anything else."
New 7 inch record coming soon.
I was thinking about this the other day as a good friend of mine related to me that their partner was a Trump supporter. My good friend lives out of state, is Asian American, and their new partner is White.
Should I have condemned them for being with a Trump supporter? Should I stop being friends with someone because their partner has different political views than I do?
To me this is an interesting example into the mindset of relationships with friends and family.
While there are Trump supporters who are absolutely racist, there are/were Sanders' supporters who feel similar to Trump supporters in regard to the economy and the top 1% - they just want solutions in a different way (at least from what we're told). And while I can pontificate on why they would be tone deaf to his racist rhetoric, I can't always say that they would necessarily be racist (versus privileged with a myopic outlook). Does it mean they understand race and racism and White privilege? Probably not. Does it mean class and status has something to do with being tone deaf to his racist rhetoric? Probably.
Does it mean I feel that they have room to grow and can be better people and someday understand why so many people of color do not stand with Trump?
Sometimes - but not always.
Not all interactions and people are cut from the same cloth and I do feel like I can't always just point and say "You're a Trump supporter therefore you're a horrible person who should be shunned forever", and sure, many of my friends would say that it is true, but not always either. I think everyone has at least one person in their life who either holds some different views, or has people in their families or circles that have different views. I really do feel, you have to gauge some things before making final decisions. Before coming to conclusions in the same way that White People can about us.
For now, my friend is out of state, and I haven't met their partner and I can only assume they would be nice to me. Like they wouldn't be a blowhard racist. Would I discuss politics with them, of would I disagree with something they might say - sure. But at the same time, I have to - sometimes - give people some leeway to grow, or to have differing views.
Sometimes a nudge is better than a push.
Not always easy - but something I feel like I should do - at least at times.
If you're not familiar with 55-year-old Rinzin Dorjee who was Tibetan and worked at the U of M - he was reported missing by a co-worker Thursday night with blood found at his workplace and CCTV footage showing him leaving by himself. Authorities found his car but all reports at this time show he did not seek medical help. This Saturday evening, a man's body was pulled from the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, however up to this point, the body has not been identified as Rinzin Dorjee, but it's likely it could be him (and at least one other news source is reporting that it was him, however not confirmed by other sources).
Local Tibetan community members have not felt like the U of M police though responded quickly enough. From Phayul.com:
The incident has since led to local Tibetan community expressing outrage with more than 80 Tibetans gathering at the UoMN police station demanding answers as to why such laxity in action took place. Boat sweep of the river and K-9 sniffer dogs were only made available after repeated pleas by the Tibetan community there.
The Tibetans had performed a search by themselves earlier for almost 12 hours and found belongings of the deceased by the river according to a local Tibetan Jigme Ugen who spoke with the local police on the community’s behalf.
Expressing dismay over the role of the authorities, he wrote, “The police, a local politician, the employer and the facility security failed this missing person. I know for sure that these figures of authority would have handled the entire situation differently if those affected weren’t people of color immigrants with English as second language. I'm appalled, angry and we won’t back down,” on his face book page.
More info has it comes.