Category Archives: diversity

Note from Emil Guillermo: Help,I’m a pioneer!

AAJA, the Asian American Journalists Association has figured out the best way to get back at me after all my years of being a bickering member.

It’s honoring me.

On Wed., Aug. 4, I’m being honored among 150 others as an Asian American pioneer in  U.S. journalism. (Yes, Tritia Toyota and Connie Chung are on the list too. But so ae lots of others who were founders and original members of AAJA).

How’d that happen?

It’s just a citation for being old and one of the first Asian Americans to consider journalism instead of medicine, the law, restaurant ownership, or investment banking  for a career. 

At this point in time, I’d have to say, choosing journalism may not have been the best choice.

 But it was my choice. And I’m gratified that someone noticed that I was the first Asian American male and first Filipino American to host a national news program when I was senior host of “All Things Considered” in 1989.

I hope that doesn’t become the headline in my obituary someday.  It’s not over yet. (I can’t even withdraw from my IRA without a 10 percent penalty).

I’m still a pioneer who hasn’t quite reached the promised land.

Sherrod story a racial speed bump, but shows Obama’s preferred passive stance on race

The road to freedom will be much tougher if we all get tossed off-kilter by the road bumps put in our way by conservative media.

FoxOpinion (it is more opinion than news, isn’t it?)  and blogger Breitbart should be ashamed of their tactics.

But the Obama adminstration suffered from a little post-racial knee-jerking, too.

First, assume the truth from FoxOpinion  is always dicey. More so from a conservative blogger. So why  couldn’t someone at the FDA verify the facts with Shirley Sherrod?

 Sure,we want to get to racial nirvana, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of the truth?

This embarrassment is more on USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack  than Obama, really. Vilsack should know better, but  so should the pres.

I’ve always called Obama the big “race avoider. He doesn’t want to deal with race as an everyday agenda item unless he’s dragged into it and issues are made of his pastor, Skip Gates, Shirley Sherrod.

Obama wants to take us to the next level by  forgetting about race. His is the passive approach. The less he deals with race minutae, the more people see the big picture:  There’s a black man in the White House. Racism? Get over it.

That’s how he wants to drag us to the promised land. But people on both sides don’t want to budge.

The racists are vested as are the race-based. 

Ann Coulter/Jesse Jackson are self-cancelling.

Post-racial thinking?  Race politics in America won’t change until we’re all on the same page.

A Sunday Fourth: Freedom as religion to all good patriots

I love it when the Fourth of July is on a Sunday.  On a day that is considered by many a holy day, a Sunday Fourth makes it pretty clear to me what this day is about.  It is a religious day, for what is America’s religion but freedom itself?

In America, of course, you can be part of some organized religion, whatever you choose, or not.  You can believe in God, gods, or just in yourself.   


But mostly we believe in your right to say,  “No, thank you.”

You can even drop the “thank you,” and be as vigorous in your dissent, alone or all together, however you wish.

When you’re an American that’s what we understand to be true and what we fight to protect.

We have faith in this freedom. It’s called patriotism. 

Patriotism isn’t a blind allegiance to folks in Washington, and the policies of the elected.  

To be a patriot is to be one who knows that freedom is beyond debate. The Founding Fathers may be dead, but the founding principles are still alive.

A patriot is there to make sure it stays that way. Who are these “patriots”?  They aren’t all from a  particular gender, ethnicity, or income group. Nor are they the rabid folk who call conservative talk shows and waste good tea. Indeed, immigrants tend to be the best patriots, fighters and rebels to the core. Many are here because they believed and fought for the same things we believed in, only in their own homelands. Ask the Southeast Asian who fought with the U.S. in the Vietnam War.  Ask a Filipino veteran of WWII.  They are no less American than the descendents of the Mayflower.

And here we are all together this Sunday,  celebrating our freedoms without question.

That’s what we Americans believe in, religiously.

Emil Guillermo on the GOP’s sex change and California’s Twin Towers of Estrogen: Welcome to Cattyville

The vote in California was a seismic repudiation of conservative Steve Poizner and the male-dominated angry white voter mentality that has given us a stream of hate rhetoric for decades now.

Poizner won zero counties in California with his hard-ass, polarizing  anti-immigrant ads. In a state where the minorities are the majority that takes some real political smarts.

The winning approach is softer and female. But no less vicious and deluded.  It’s the GOP’s sex change, if you will. Why not? Steve Poizner in a dress couldn’t attract a winning margin with the LGBT vote.   

The new archetype is in Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina.  Meg and Carly: The angry white female. It’s the revenge of the dumped CEOs. The GOP’s new look.  An enraged white guy like TomMcClintock is so yesterday, to borrow the phrase “Carly” used to dump on Babs’ retro hair-do the other day. Meanwhile, pull up a chair and hear what “Carly” thinks of your look.

Get used to such exchanges. Welcome to Cattyville 2010.

By the time it’s over, Jerry Brown will seem like the only adult in the room.