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.