Tag Archives: Asian Americans

Emil Guillermo: “Immigration Interruptus” kept Asian American numbers artificially low for 50 years–and then the racist quotas ended and we all came in.

I often wondered why I was one of the few Asian Americans in my elementary school pre-1965.
There weren’t that many of us due to racist immigration quotas.
The flow of immigration was stopped cold.
The few of us Asian Americans in  school were really the lucky ones.  Our parents got through the political-socio-biological constraints and were able to start families.
But when that dammed up process finally changed, we now have places like my alma mater, Lowell High in San Francisco.
Whole lots of Asian Americans.
And Daly City.
Whole lot of Filipinos.
Asian Americans will be the No. 1 immigrant group by 2065, and we have  the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act to thank for that.
It was signed into law Oct. 3, 1965.
No more  “Immigration Interruptus.”
Happy 50th Anniversary. Let’s party like it isn’t 1964.

Emil Guillermo: Viola Davis, Andy Samberg, and the most Asian Face time at the Emmys—from Veep star Anna Chlumsky’s husband?


Viola Davis’ speech becomes the new cry of all actors of color.

Even Asian Americans.


Indeed the only thing that separates us all  from crossing the line is opportunity.

Then we break  out the ” success perms.”

Davis  said, “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that simply aren’t there.”

But even when there are a few  roles for us,  you can’t win.

Or you can win what I call the “Invisible Emmy.”

I would have given an “Invisible Emmy”  to Randall Park and Constance Chu of “Fresh off the Boat,” this year.

I wrote about it in an AALDEF piece earlier this year.

(You can also read about the incredible Asian American who has won so many Emmys —for his off-camera work).

For this year’s broadcast, Davis was the highlight for me, but props to Berkeley’s Andy Samberg too. He  had a nice soft edge in his opening monologue.   Good enough to be invited back, I’m sure,  but edgy enough to sting. “Most diverse Emmys” joke, so “racism over,” was funny and stinging enough for the bosses in the crowd. So ABC hires more Asians this year and Fox dumps Mindy. Hollywood logic.

Maybe next year with season two of “Fresh Off the Boat, ” and the premier of “Dr.Ken,” we’ll  see some Asian Americanwinners?

I hope. But I doubt it.  Cable and the web give the latitude to explore real themes that make for award-winning shows.  The broadcast networks would never run more than watered down versions of the winners. But maybe Asian Americans will be flavor of the month next year?

On the Emmy broadcast, the most face time for an Asian American was likely Shaun So’s celebratory reaction to “Veep” winning for best comedy.  So is married to Veep co-star Anna Chlumsky and the camera caught them both at length  because they were sitting behind Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her husband Brad Hall.

That’s our diversity moment! #Typical.

The story of the invisible. But not for long.





Emil Guillermo: Estate for Vincent Chin could use help tracking Chin’s killer

Helen Zia, the executor of the estate for Vincent Chin, said it can use some help keeping tabs on Ronald Ebens in Nevada.

Ebens, now 75, is the man who killed Chin in1982 in a disputed hate crime in Michigan.  Ebens plead guilty to a lesser charge and escaped jail time. A civil rights trail convicted Ebens in a subsequent trial in federal court. But that was reversed in appeal. (Read more about the case on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog).

Still, there was  a civil judgment of $1.5 million against Ebens that was won in Michigan. And that had grown to $8 million in 2012.

Zia told me opportunities to collect money are  often missed. Recently,  Ebens was the executor of the estate of a friend, who had just received a portion of a $4 million personal injury settlement.

In general, Zia  fears that too much time has passed to expect much of a recovery of the funds owed.  Time has also meant the Chin case has faded from the public’s memory. (See more of her comments on NBCnews.com). 




Emil Guillermo: An update on Ronald Ebens, Vincent Chin’s killer–Why is he not paying up?

Ebens recently came into some money–at least $120,000–for being an executor to a friend’s will.

But not even a token sum to the Vincent Chin estate to which Ebens owes nearly $10 million.

Click here to read my column on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog.