Tag Archives: Asian Americans

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 NBCNews.com.

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 www.aaldef.org/blog

and at NBCNews.com




Emil Guillermo: Obama says regulating guns is our “shared responsibility.” So why don’t we see more Asian American voices included in the gun debate? That CNN Town Hall was like a Lions Club meeting in a white suburb. Asian Americans are 5% of the nation, and 20% of the most noted mass killings since 1984.

Really. What does it take for a little more inclusion.

See my piece on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog

I saw just one Asian American.

It was like watching a network cop drama or legal drama and seeing a juror. Or person walking by.

But we know Asian Americans are not immune to gun violence in America.

(Oh, there’s one! An Asian American in the back? Next to the bald guy….).

See my piece at http://www.aaldef.org/blog


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.