Category Archives: race

Emil Guillermo: Nevada is the next big campaign stop for Asian Americans, and some thoughts on Bernie and Hillary.

See my piece at Asian America… to get my take on Nevada, the real battleground for the Asian American voter.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are battling to see what it means to be a Democrat in 2016.

Bernie’s main points are strong: Government for all of us, not just the 1 percent;  A track record for peace (A no vote on Iraq); A man against Wall Street and big money interests.

Hillary is the experienced pol, who was first to address healthcare reform before Obama; She knows how to compromise and get things done; But she likes Wall Street money and is no Elizabeth Warren on finance issues. She’s experienced, presidential, establishment.

At some point, electability will be the big issue. In side by side comparisons during debates, viewers will get to decide for themselves which person represents them.

But surprisingly, young woman aren’t going for Hillary. Not even young Asian American voters, based on a conversation I had with Rozita Lee who is based in Nevada.

When Sanders mentioned Henry Kissinger last night, it did bring to mind that Sanders was a latter day George McGovern. Sanders backers don’t like that comparison because McGovern lost to Nixon in a landslide in 1972. But the Bernie excitement is similar to the excitement McGovern had around the single issue of the war in Vietnam.

Bernie’s 1percent vs. the 99 percent message  is a little broader.

It’s us vs. the billionaires and the Hillionaires.

But Sanders has to convince us that he can deliver on his idealism.

In that sense, he’s just another pol. A survivor to be the only socialist in the room, for sure. But he’s got to let us know how he’s going to get things done.

Hillary offers a more realistic view of what can be.

In the Wisconsin debate, I noted that Sanders was first to get in the diversity litany rhetoric, where a candidate mentions the list of all people, (African American, Latinos, Asian Americans, LGBTQ , etc).

It’s a sign of inclusive ness. He did it In the New Hampshire debate, where Sanders also talked about coming together and unifying in the end.

Whatever happens, we will have vigorous but civil debate. And that should be much different from what the Republicans have shown us so far.


Emil Guillermo: Iowa? Asian American’s knew how to caucus; Why I think Donald Trump lost; And the sign to look for when Bernie Sanders has really broken through.


Cruz’s edging Trump, or Sanders in a dead-heat with Clinton, will be the main  headlines in the mainstream.

Where will you read about how Asian Americans weren’t totally invisible on Monday night?

I talked to three Asian Americans who were all engaged and energized by the grassroots process on display in Iowa.

See my piece here at

Now as for Trump

There was a sense that something wasn’t quite right with the Donald when I saw him on a Sunday morning show and he was saying: “I have heart. If people have no money, we have to help people.”

What happened to America’s wall candidate?

He was talking about how government should help poor people who can’t afford health care. And it was a sign that the businessman who has been  callous, bombastic and vulgar on the campaign trail was starting to soften up.

Too little, too late.

Trump  needs to soften up even more.



When Trump attacked Cruz in Iowa, Cruz deflected the ad hominem approach. He should thank Trump, because it gave  nasty, bad guy Cruz appear nicer and more above the fray than he normally does.

It made him electable. Look what happened on Monday.

Trump’s blunder wasn’t missing the final Iowa debate. It was giving the otherwise nasty pit bull Cruz the opportunity to look sympathetic.

That could be an unpardonable sin.

Going forward, I’d bet Trump learns from this, and  turns his approach to the nice Donald–if he really wants the job.

As for Clinton/Sanders, I found Asian Americans, primarily for women. But Sanders’ emergence from a year ago has been impressive. And heading into New Hampshire, the key for him will be making the case to people of color who have been presumed to be in Hillary’s camp. That will be the sign that Sanders has broken through.

See my other pieces on Iowa here at

and at




Emil Guillermo: Snowed in? This is why God created binge-watching. Opportunity to be snowbound with Rachel Bloom in hot pursuit of Vincent Rodriguez III in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Really, when was the last time you saw a Filipino American male treated like an object of desire on TV?

Not since my perm days as a local TV guy in San Francisco, right?

But Vincent Rodriguez III, born in San Francisco and raised in the Filipino enclave of Daly City, California, wouldn’t have his chance on network TV without Rachel Bloom.

Bloom is seen her taking  stage as her name is called for the Critics Choice Award for best  actress in a comedy series, CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

But I’d name her best executive producer for insertion of a Filipino American story line in a network series.


Read my Column about the show and Vincet Rodriquez III and you’ll see why I have this obsession about this show (at least this season).

Then go to my Q and A with Vincent (edited transcript) on

And you get to see the great performance of Amy Hill, who plays the Filipino mom. One of the original cast members from Margaret Cho’s “All American Girl,” Hill has endured the scene with her comic genius intact.



To watch “Crazy Ex-Girl Friend” for free (at least until Monday): You can start from the beginning, but my favorite is the Thanksgiving show.

If you’re still snowbound, there’s one good reason to move from east to west—to  Daly City, California, West Covina North.


Emil Guillermo: Obama’s final State of the Union could have been great had the nation been ready for Obama

I kept shaking my head.  That’s SMH, for those into social media.

President Obama did some great things during his first seven years, but they will always be shortchanged as long as the politics in this country stays as it is.

The president, you’ll recall,  was the nation’s first African American president, and has the middle name Hussein.

And that’s why he had to remind the country about the fear of change and the fear of foreigners this week.

It was an appeal to diversity in our democracy before it’s too late.

Read my whole column on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog.