From Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii On Al Franken

Thursday, December 07, 2017

We have been in touch with each other. It’s been difficult because I consider Al a friend. I’ve sat with him in two committees, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior. We’re at the point where I think that there can be a cultural change in terms of how women are perceived and treated in this country. This kind of bad behavior has been tolerated and ignored for far too long, but not today.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/us/politics/franken-harrassment-resign.html

#bringbackanncurry

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

That's it.

Pretty Please? Just Bring Han Back For The Rest Of The Fast And The Furious

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Again (as I've posted on this before) just hear me out.

The Fate of the Furious - while a good movie and member of the franchise - and second in worldwide box office receipts only to Beauty And The Beast this year -- it was the first film without Paul Walker (Rest In Peace). It could still only be what it could be - as good as it was.

I'll probably watch it again this month.

But imagine Han coming back - in my favorite scenario just like "Yeah, you know...I had to lay low for a while..." - are you kidding me (and I still like Roman being the only one who didn't know)?

It helps fill a space not necessarily in place of, but more as a piece of something greater.

And it'd be epic. I mean can you just imagine how much people would love this?

They would LOVE THIS.

Hell - I'll even take Han in the above scenario in one clip at the end of 9 after the credits roll.

EPIC SETUP FOR FAST 10.

I Do Give George Takei A Pass On The Howard Stern Show

Friday, November 17, 2017

For me, he is 80, and playing the dirty grandpa can be funny - that time - maybe not so much in light of the subject matter and clipped for sound-bytes. But he was on the Howard Stern Show...it's not like he was at church.

It just isn't that damming to me. It's a not a real part of the overall narrative versus something that's just "come out". In that way I do think it's taken out of context.

Maybe I get proven wrong on this one and a slew of things come out against George Takei where you have to look back on the clip and say, damn...(god I hope not), but for now, nothing new at least...

So How Come We Haven't Heard From More "AAPI Community Leaders" On George Takei? At Least Something?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Seriously...nothing?

Okay - I'll take a stab it....

Let My People Go: Vietnamese Americans Facing Deportation

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The rhetoric from the White House - as we know - spreads to action. Unfortunately this means detainment for around 90-100 Vietnamese American U.S. residents as well as setting a precedent for thousands of others. From the Huffington Post:

Dozens of members of the Vietnamese community, including some who have lived in the U.S. for decades, face an uncertain future in the U.S.

An estimated 95 Vietnamese U.S. residents are expected to be detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and could face deportation, Nancy Nguyen, the executive director of organization Vietlead, told HuffPost. The majority of those are refugees [...]

Yet recent detentions don’t just include those who are eligible for deportation under that memorandum; they also include Vietnamese people who arrived in the U.S. before 1995. More than 8,500 Vietnamese U.S. residents who have orders of removal for various reasons, and experts are concerned these detentions will set a dangerous precedent and put thousands of lives in jeopardy
.

And from the Pacific Standard:

A joint community alert issued Monday by a group of Southeast Asian-American community-rights organizations warned that Vietnamese immigrants with final removal orders are, more than before, "vulnerable to potential arrest, detention, and deportation." Late last month, the notice said, Washington submitted 95 cases to Hanoi to be processed.

The alert, coupled with reports of rampant detentions of Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian-American communities is cause for worry for those who fear seeing their communities become yet another flashpoint in the administration's anti-immigration policy.

"There is urgency now because [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] has ramped up their aggression against immigrant communities," says Dieu Huynh, a community outreach coordinator for San Jose Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco and an organizer with the grassroots group VietUnity-PACT.

Here is the link to the Joint Community Alert from SEARAC @ http://www.searac.org/new/joint-community-alert-vietnamese-vulnerable-deportation (below is a portion of the text):

Joint community alert from:
VietLead, APIROC, Mekong-NYC, VietUnity-East Bay, VietUnity-South Bay, Dorchester Organizing Training-Initiative, SEARAC

Vietnamese Vulnerable to Deportation
At this time, we believe that Vietnamese community members with final removal orders are vulnerable to potential arrest, detention, and deportation. ICE has used more aggressive tactics such as threatening community members with self-deportation and forcing folks to sign Vietnamese citizenship applications. Over last several weeks, ICE has re-arrested individuals with final removal orders that they were unable to deport in the past.

We have learned that on on September 21, 2017, the United States submitted 95 cases to the Government of Vietnam for processing and at the end of October 2017 into November 2017, a Vietnamese delegation will arrive in the United States to conduct interviews in Georgia. We know these cases include both pre-1995 and post-1995 cases.

Please be aware:

If you have a final removal order, do not leave the country. Seek immediate legal help if you have traveled outside of the country in the past (see pro bono legal list below).
If you have loved ones who will soon be released from prison, or are currently in detention, seek legal support.

If you are going for a check in, do not go alone - have family, friends, and local organizations accompany you.

If you have a final order of removal and ICE has notified you of a new check-in date, please contact Asian Law Caucus at (415) 896-1701, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles at (888) 349 9695 or in Vietnamese at (800) 267-7395. They can help you assess the risk that you may be detained and assist you in planning for that possibility.




George Takei, The Asian American Community, Bad Jezebel Headlines, GOP Vs Dems, Am I Just Biased, And Let's Just Call It Like It Is

Sunday, November 12, 2017

I think lot a lot of people, I'm just thinking, pondering, wondering - with a little bit of spinning - about the accusations of sexual assault surrounding George Takei.

I mean George Takei?

Champion of the AAPI, LGBTQ, and Japanese American community?

Star Trek George Takei?

Allegiance George Takei?

This isn't crap ass Harvey Weinstein - who apparently everyone knew about. This isn't USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar - who's now been sued by over 125 women and girls alleging abuse. Or Kevin Spacey - who's pretty much DOA and damn - wow those stories...

It's George Takei.

If you've even done a smidgen of work/volunteering/community organizing - I mean pretty anything in the AAPI community - you have to know someone, or that someone knows someone, or maybe even you yourself is that someone - whose known, worked with, talked with, got advice from - or just casually met George Takei.

He's a part of the community and it's probably even less than six degrees of separation.

Think about all the projects he's been involved with - I mean the Japanese American National Museum just this summer opened New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei which "explores the life and career of the pioneering actor, activist, and social media icon. The exhibition begins with Takei’s incarceration at the Rohwer and Tule Lake concentration camps as a child during World War II and moves through his career as a Japanese American actor in Hollywood, his public service appointments, his coming out as a gay man, his activism on behalf of both the Japanese American and LGBTQ communities, and his wild popularity as a social media figure."

Think about all the people and organizations associated with that project and then who they know or are affiliated with.

What do you do?

What do you say?

And it's not fair that decisions have to be made. Absolutely - and it's not like I'm trying to put anyone or any organizations into guilt by association - but it speaks to the point about how embedded Takei has been in our community.

I mean the first showing of Allegiance was sold out when I had wanted to see it - but I felt lucky - and I still do - that I got to see it the second time around.

I blogged about it.

I would have been happy to interview Takei on Allegiance if I would have had the chance.

What do you say if you've been quick to talk about other people who've been brought up in other sexual assault/harassment news?

Do we give him slack?

Am I already giving him slack?

Some of me thinks I am if only for the fact that when I heard about it, I thought to myself - well - let's take everything on a case by case basis. If there's more to this story, if it's a pattern - we'll hear about it.

And I do believe that - I think if there's a pattern we'll hear about it.

But once is enough too right?

If you drugged someone to get them to pass out so you could get into their pants and they wake up with you in their pants - that's sexual assault.

That's not consensual.

There's not a lot of gray there and that's what was insinuated by Scott Brunton, a former model.

But Do I Believe? And How Come I Don't Question It About Other People?

When I've heard about the other cases - all of the data together - the allegations, the testimony (even if just "in the press" - because that's a part of the job), the sheer numbers (which doesn't mean one isn't true, but you just can't hide from that many accusations because it's just a lot of fire), and their responses or what they did afterwards - they all just make me believe.

But George Takei?

Even after reading different articles and listening to his interview - there's something in me that just asks questions and says to myself - I don't know. I want to hear more, or I want to see how it plays out.

Because people can lie. They do it all the time. It doesn't mean that they are - and that's what makes this all so complicated - but people can in some instances.

While I'm groomed to believe the majority of accusers and know that people usually don't lie about rape and sexual assault - and I understand at least a little how we do live in a world where accusers don't get believed and swept under the rug - I understand that I'm still more on the defensive versus offensive. I'm asking myself questions or making statements to myself as I process it all like:

1. Just because the guy is big doesn't mean he's a drinker. Two drinks could take him out. He specifically noted that though to allege that Takei put something in his drink.

2. Wouldn't Takei have been farther along? I mean if you're drugging someone to take advantage of them, while I'm no expert or even a beginner (aka I've never done that) - I feel like he would have been farther along and maybe more cloudy when he awoke (but who knows what was in the drink if indeed there was something in there).

3. He just wants an apology? Fuck that. I'd want more than an apology.

But guess what?

I didn't do any of that with Weinstein, Nassar, Spacey, Ratner, or Roy Moore.

I didn't have a dialogue.

I didn't question.

Is it because of race and politics?

I think some of that unequivocally plays a part in it and that's something I have to think about.

On That Jezebel Article With The Headline "George Takei Very Recently Described Groping Men Who Are 'Afraid'" And Others Of That Ilk

I listened to the Stern interview and I do think the title of the article makes it seem like Takei groped scared timid guys in a corner who were "afraid" - and I think it's taken out of context. When you listen to the interview - not the words on a white screen with no tone - I didn't take it that way.

Listen - I'm a shy guy (well...sometimes). When I first met my wife and we had our first hookup date - she kinda made the first moves and helped take things to a new level. I hadn't had sex in a while and honestly - I was a little scared (see afraid). Would I do okay? Or would I just be a fumbling idiot. When it comes to sex and dating, someone has to make the first move - and an encouraging touch by my wife - well - that was okay.

And that's how I took his wording (but judge for yourself and listen to the clip from the Howard Stern show).

I think it's irresponsible to have a site like Jezebel taint that headline in that way at this time...to be fair though - I never would have accused K-Wife of drugging and groping me...

But as the dialogue goes in my head - is it because I'm too defensive for George Takei because of the symbol he's represented in the AAPI community?

Would I be okay with it if it was someone else?

But We Have To Call It Out And We Have To Tell It Like It Is. We Have To Take Everything Seriously. Even For George Takei

At the end of the day though - if I step outside of myself - I also have to realize this:

1. Takei was a known and famous man at that time (and still is).

2. Regardless of whether or not at work - being that famous - like others who have been accused - that power can still be used.

3. Typically people DO NOT make accusations like that. There may be room for interpretation and gray areas in some cases (see dating and sex), but typically in those situations no ones making accusations - it's just a bad date ("I had too much to drink and I kissed X but when they kissed me back I was freaked out and decided I didn't want to do it and left. Awkward but we're cool.").

4. People in power do deny. They don't always tell the truth.

So Where Am I On This?

I'm going to think about my own bias. My own perches of power and perception that lead me to wonder.

If I feel like he is guilty, either from this accusation, or any more if they come (and it's not fair to say if more - but we have to) - or anything else that points to him lying - I mean - what else can I do?

Gotta call him out.

Tell it like it is.

Which I hope I've done here btw - telling it like it is - because I think it's important on all levels.

I Will Say This Final Word On AAPI Community Members We Look Up To Or Have Done Great Things

Regardless of guilt or not, it's important to make sure we have AAPI role models and community members we can look up to - and where we foster that across all industries because I think some of us - myself included - are hesitant/will be/could be - to convict Takei - even though we may have been swift with others - simply because of his stature in the AAPI community - and we can't do that.

We can't have that.

We have to truly realize that there are so many great AAPI's in our community that we can't be afraid to hold one person accountable for actions they may have done regardless of who they are. No matter what degree of separation they have from us.

One person doesn't make us as a community.

Watch Your Ass Sacramento

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Damn.

Robberies, carjackings and home invasions with Asian Americans as victims are up 25 percent year-to-date in District 5, home to the Meadowview and Parkway neighborhoods, and 8 percent in District 4 (Fruitridge Manor, the Pocket). They’re down 40 percent in District 6 south of Highway 50 and east of Stockton Boulevard (Elmhurst and Tahoe Park) after a 25 percent rise in violent crime from 2015 to 2016, according to Sacramento police spokesman Eddie Macaulay.

Members of the Asian-American community in south Sacramento periodically have raised alarms over the past year about a sharp surge in armed robberies in the area. In September 2016, community activists delivered a plea for help to the Sacramento City Council that was signed by 2,000 people.

Wait...I Still Blog Here? And I'm Starting Some New Asian American Sites? Just A Gosh Darn Minute...(While I Take A Knee)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It's true. Looking at some general stats of posts, apparently, I'm still blogging...and sure I have to get some posts up at some other places...but you know what - this year has been a bear - and I'm bear - so I'll take what I can get - and who knew that I'd out-blog some other folks too (everyone must just be getting old and tired...or young and hungover...or just hungover).

But if the posts have seemed slim - especially over summer - they have been.

But fear not (unless you were hoping I was going to die soon).

I'm still here and apparently typing....

And some awesome new sites around Asian America are in the works - you know - ones that don't actually go stale...because stale bread is horrible (and stale White Bread is even worse).

But those come later...or sooner...

Whichever ones comes first.

I feel like there's a saying from Confucius to help me on that last one...but Le Thanh Tong isn't around anymore...

P.S. That Slant'd Issue #1 Is Awesome As Fuck

Wednesday, September 27, 2017



Seriously - when they said magazine, I was expecting - well - a magazine - but it's like this beautiful booklet of Asian American love and style and when I flipped through it I was blown away.

It's.so.good.

https://www.slantdmag.com/

Random Sun Mee Chomet (IVEY Award Winner)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017



https://www.facebook.com/IveyAwards/photos/a.1631395366892572.1073741848.132732750092182/1631405003558275/?type=3&theater

Quick Links: Tamlyn Tomita Gets Series Regular On The Good Doctor

Friday, September 22, 2017

Cool.

Read more @ http://deadline.com/2017/09/the-good-doctor-tamlyn-tomita-promoted-series-regular-abc-drama-freddie-highmore-1202174900/

Chamroeun Phan of #ReleaseMN8 Finally Released to His Family

Friday, September 22, 2017

Great news for everyone involved.

After more than 387 days in immigration detention, Chamroeun Phan of Maplewood, MN, came home to his family on Monday. In May, Phan's immigration attorney, Mai Neng Moua, successfully argued that Phan's deportation to Cambodia should be cancelled because of the undue hardship it would cause his family. But the Trump administration appealed the immigration judge's ruling and refused to release him from detention. As part of the #ReleaseMN8 campaign, Phan's release Mondaycame as the result of intense community advocacy and legal challenges.


Montha Chum, Phan's sister and a lead organizer with #ReleaseMN8, stated, "We are so thankful and relieved to have Shorty back home with us." Chum continued, "Chamroeun's release, only by the grace of God, shows the power of community organizing and effective advocacy. The #ReleaseMN8 community, along with our national supporters such as Mijente, Southeast Asian Freedom Network, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, stood by us every step of the way, and refused to let Chamroeun be deported without a fight."

Phan added, "God never gave up on me. My family never gave up on me. I can't even express how grateful I am for the community support, from the Twin Cities to all across the country, thank you so much. God is so good!"

Ivy Lin + Her Films On Tour: Beauty & The Sea + Bitter Harvest + MOCA + Wing Luke Museum

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Definitely hope if you get a chance you can check out Ivy's films when they play in Stockholm, NYC @ MOCA and in Seattle @ the Wing Luke Museum.

Here's a little from Ivy on her films and the tour!

[Stockholm]

"Beauty & the Sea" (2015, 10 min.) has been selected to screen at Västerås Filmfestival on September 21st (at 11:00am at Orzone theater) & September 23rd(time TBD at Culturen). This is not only the first time ever that my film has been selected to screen at an overseas film festival but also a joyful occasion for my film to be in the great company of films from literally all over the world! Västerås is a city located 62 miles west of Stockholm.

http://vasteras-filmfestival.se/program%202017/orzone.html

[New York City]

My most recent work "Bitter Harvest" (2017, 15 min.), a series of three short videos featuring two Chinese hop farmers in the Willamette Valley in the early 1900s, will be screened at Museum of Chinese in America in New York City on September 28th, 6:30pm. This is my third screening at MOCA NYC. For more event info:

http://www.mocanyc.org/mocafilms_bitterharvest

Many thanks for MOCA's effort in promoting this screening, "Bitter Harvest" screening has been included in Grub Street (the food/drinks arm of New York Magazine!!) as one of the 13 Excellent Things to Eat, Drink, and Do in New York City this September (scroll down to #8):

http://www.grubstreet.com/2017/08/what-to-eat-and-drink-in-nyc-this-september.html

"Bitter Harvest" at MOCA NYC trailer: https://vimeo.com/231485670

[Seattle]

"Bitter Harvest" (2017, 15 min.) has been selected to be part of an upcoming exhibit, "What's in Your Cup?", at Wing Luke Museum in Seattle from October 13th, 2017 to September 16th, 2018.

"Bitter Harvest" at Wing Luke Museum trailer: https://vimeo.com/231498192

You can read "Bitter Harvest" essay & view "Bitter Harvest" videos here:
https://oregonhumanities.org/this-land/stories/bitter-harvest/

#televisionstillwhite AKA On Riz Ahmed And Winners: Honestly...I'm Not That Excited By The Emmys...But Good For The Winners Either Way

Monday, September 18, 2017

I get it. A lot of firsts and a lot of good headlines - and if you're in TV (as in it's your business) obviously a huge deal - and again, I'm not saying people shouldn't be writing these articles.

But fuck.

One South Asian guy from the UK?

#televisionstillwhite

How do I know?

Because we get jacked up about one guy from one area (lot's of love for my South Asians).

I don't see any Chinese Americans winning this fucking award.

Some Japanese Americans?

You think you'll ever see a Vietnamese American win that award?

Yeah - let's all clap our hands for at least some diversity - but really - it's kind of a little morsel to get lost in the back of your molars waiting for a toothpick.