Posts Tagged Asian Americans

Emil Guillermo on Todd Endo, an Asian American activist at Selma, and at the March on Washington.

AALDEF-Podcast-Marching-And-Talking-With-Todd-EndoAsian-American-Activist-50-Years-After-His-First-March-On-Washington-.jpg          I met Todd Endo in 2013 at the 50th anniversary of MLK’s March on Washington. It’s the event which featured King’s “I have a dream” speech. Endo marched in 1963, and he was at King’s other big march, the one two years later in Selma, 1965.

Funny how few people conflate the DC march and Selma. Or how people don’t really understand that Selma was two years after the “Dream” speech, and a year after the Civil Rights Act. Even after that momentous bit of legislation, 1965 required the Voting Rights Act, which Selma helped bring about.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of Selma, we must constantly relearn the history. Or as we’ve found out, society begins to march backwards.

My piece on Todd Endo at Selma is here.

My podcast with Endo at the 1963 March on Washington is here.

 

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“Asian American Hustle”? With California State Senator Leland Yee’s arrest, Asian American political empowerment in the Bay Area takes a huge hit

Here’s when I last saw Sen. Leland Yee. He’s not a particularly warm guy. But maybe I should have sensed, he was just going through the motions, and that at age 65, he was looking for an exit plan.

I was the emcee of a community event in the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco last October, and he was the featured speaker. The event honored the day the  U.S. landed on Leyte during WWII,  whereby General Douglas MacArthur and Filipinos retook the Philippines and changed the course of the war. Yee was there to present a Senate  resolution honoring the day.

I remember Yee to be all business that day, and not any different from normal. He was there for the community, as always.

And yet, after losing the SF’s mayoral race and gaining a new $70,000 debt, and with the pressure of being term limited and being forced to seek a new job (was Secretary of State, the overseer of elections, really all that appealing?), I should have sensed the musical chairs game of politics was beginning to get old.

If I had, then maybe Wednesday’s sordid tale of a bizarre and surreal FBI sting that includes drugs, convicted gang members nicknamed “Shrimp Boy,” and talk of illegal firearms from Muslim groups in the Philippines would not have been such big a surprise.

But with the key figure in all of that being Yee, I have to admit to being flabbergasted.

This is a case that rocks the Bay Area’s Asian American political scene hard…

Continue reading this piece at  http://www.aaldef.org/blog

 

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Politicians bail on effort to revive affirmative action in California; As predicted SCA5 was DOA

There will be no referendum in California this year, after all, as a conservative group of Chinese Americans have scared off legislative support for a move to put race back in public admissions and hiring—at least for now.

Senate Constitution Act 5, or SCA5, was sent back by Democratic leaders to the senate, and a new call was issued to start up a bi-cameral commission to discuss how to solve the state’s diversity issue in college admissions and public hiring.

Starting up a commission to look into a problem is always safer than actually working to solve the problem. Normally it’s a bogus thing. But there needs to be a way to get people out of the polarized debate that usually occurs when the topic of race comes up.

>See my piece: http://diverseeducation.com/article/61218/ <

Last week, an organized group of conservative Chinese Americans gloated that their intimidation tactics had killed SCA5.

Apparently, the heavy handed tactics of targeting Asian American elected and politicians, as well as calling outspoken advocates racists and engaging in nasty name-calling debates, was enough to make some key Asian American politicians withdraw support for the measure as it exists.

Plain and simple, they caved. Not just the Asian Americans, all of the Dems.

Maybe a commission can help build a consensus that can revive the revival effort, and bring a referendum before California voters. 

But it still won’t happen before 2016. 

By then, it should be clear just how far back a generation of Prop.209 has set back this great state’s diversity efforts. And voters should be ready to act. Or not.

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PODCAST: Arthur Chu, “Jeopardy” Champ, On The Racist Twitter Reaction To His Success, And Racism in General, Part 1

Arthur Chu was in Ohio, still working as a compliance analyst for an insurance company, even though he could have many more appearances on “Jeopardy.”

At the time of our conversation he had amassed in excess of $235,000 in just two weeks of shows.

In Part 1 of our conversation, Chu talked frankly about his sudden fame, and how the initial reaction on the internet to his success was extremely racist.

He said the number of angry tweets actually surprised him. But he was most surprised that people tried to deny that race had anything to do with peoples’ response to him.

Play

 

Arthur Chu, "Jeopardy" Champ On The Racist Twitter Reaction To His Success, Part 1

 

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