News Round Up

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lot of news coming out from blogosphere and around the way.

Major Study of Chinese Americans Debunks ‘Model Minority’ Myth

The returns on Chinese Americans’ investment in education and “sweat equity” are “generally lower than those in the general and non-Hispanic White population,” says the report, “A Chinese American Portrait.” It adds that, on average, Chinese American professionals in the legal and medical fields earn as much as 44 percent less than their White counterparts. Based on extensive U.S. Census data and independent interviews, the study offers the most comprehensive and current portrait of the highly diverse Chinese American population. The research was conducted by the University of Maryland’s Asian American Studies Program with support from OCA, a national community-based organization of Asian Pacific Americans. The data in the report go through 2006, the latest available.

“Contrary to popular beliefs, Chinese Americans often face extra barriers to economic success, despite their educational achievements,” says principal investigator Larry H. Shinagawa, a demographer and Americans Studies professor who directs the University of Maryland Asian American Studies Program.

“Time and hard work simply haven’t been enough for Chinese Americans to fully enter into mainstream social and professional circles,” Shinagawa adds. “I suspect there are many reasons such as language barriers or simply the difficulties that go along with being identified as an ‘outsider.’ In the long run, increasing mentoring efforts and leadership opportunities can enhance the Chinese American community. You need a pipeline, a network to help young professionals rise to their potential, and increase Chinese American participation in top positions. Success begets success.”
A taste of the Chop Suey Circuit

From the 1940s into the 1960s, Asian-American variety performers could make a steady living playing San Francisco and New York theatres and clubs irreverently known as the Chop Suey Circuit. One of its brightest stars was Larry Leung, a handsome, cocky and talented crooner and tap dancer who worked the circuit with his elegant wife, Trudie. He landed a coveted spot on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1950 and performed in an early production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1958 musical Flower Drum Song before giving up his tap shoes and becoming a PGA golf pro.
Asian Americans are woven into fabric of U.S. military

Hoang Nguyen, 37, knew as a kid that he would join the U.S. military. “I wanted to repay back the United States for helping my family after the fall of Saigon,” he says. He remembers the chaos of the end of the Vietnam war in the late ‘70s. “We took a boat from Vietnam to Guam, then flew to the U.S. with the help of American troops,” he says. “The military had a big impact on me at a young age.”

That’s a common feeling among younger Asian Americans, he says, if they came out of the Vietnam War experience.
Asian-Americans are Top Leaders in Obama’s Transition Team

Two Asian Americans were appointed to top leadership positions in President-elect Barack Obama’s 16-member presidential transition team. Another Asian American will serve in the 12-member advisory board to the transition team.

Pete Rouse, whose mother is a Japanese American, will be one of the 3 co-chairs of the transition team. Chris Lu, a Chinese American, will be the team’s executive director.Sonal Shah, an Indian American, is a member of the advisory board.
Heroes of the Korean War: COL Young-oak Kim

The Korean War is full of many combat heroes from many nationalities that fought to protect the freedom of the South Korean people from aggressive communist expansionism. However, there are few American veterans that fought in Korea that the people they fought to protect from aggressive communist expansionism was in fact their own people. In the aftermath of the North Korean attack on South Korea many Korean-Americans signed up to fight in the country that was their historical home land when the US government made the decision to intervene in the Korean War. The US government was eager to attain the services of these Korean-Americans due to the lack of interpreters and cultural expertise in the US military. Out of all these Korean-American servicemembers one rises in prominence above all others, and that man is the incredible Young-oak Kim.
What's yours?

Growing up, I always knew that I was, technically, Filipino American. I wrote it confidently on my college applications, and I represented it as best as I could during the well-intentioned “cultural events” my largely homogenous school district sponsored on a sporadic basis. To my peers, my identity was pretty obvious due to my brown skin, eye shape, and mild obsession with tropical fruit. My accent was perfect enough for the addition of “American” to my original ethnic marker. Both they and I saw a neat package of Filipino American-ness, a foreign-looking American festooned with the trappings of unfamiliar novelties, like lechon (roast suckling pig) and my parents’ amusing inability to pronounce the “ph” sound. I had no qualms with this conception since I grew up isolated from the Filipino American community, so I too shared the two-dimensional view of my ethnic background. Until I arrived at university, I did not understand that I was more than just a demographic and that identity was not a static concept comprised solely of my ethnic heritage.
School District Tries to Lure Asian Parents

For school officials here, the numbers did not add up. Even as enrollment swelled to 3,200, from 2,600 a decade ago, attendance at Parent-Teacher Association meetings shriveled by half. Even as more students got accepted to Ivy League schools, turnout for the guidance department’s information nights was so anemic that counselors cajoled students to come — and bring along their parents.