Tag Archives: Asian Americans

Barack Obama on the “Asian American” umbrella term

Umbrellas are for Mai-Tais, generally.

But politically, it’s all about creating a catch-all  phrase that would encompass all of Asian America.

It’s not easy. At last night’s APAICS dinner in Washington,the president helped the most political Asian Americans on the planet figure out what we need to do to make sure the umbrella still works 

for all of us.

Check out my blog post on the Asian American Legal Defense and

Education Fund blog.

Linsanity’s chill: ESPN fires, suspends employees for Lin headline

After hearing from Asian Americans around the country, ESPN took action and fired the writer responsible for the “chink in the armor’ headline. And it suspended an anchor for using the same tired cliche.
That’s both good and bad.
Good, in that it punishes the perps. Bad, in that it should send a chill through the ranks of wordsmiths in journalism.
I take no joy in seeing someone lose their job. Indeed, I think a public apology on all ESPN shows would have been sufficient.
The problem with firing is that the mesage to ESPN workers sounds more like censorship than a corrective action.
We’re fighting racism, not free speech.
And yet, what happened when we were free to talk about Lin?
People started ching-chonging and using racist language because they don’t really know how to be clever or smart about Lin without resorting to race.
It shows how ignorant and how limited people are about Asian Americans.
When Lebron or Kobe have a great game, no one breaks out the fried chicken and watermelon jokes. Everyone knows that’s racist. For Asian Americans, no one seems to care. Maybe now they will.
I’m sure ESPN didn’t want to be a buzzkill and spoil the party. But by taking an extreme zero tolerance stand against slurs, it shows it means business.
Lin’s performance today helping the Knicks beat the defending champion Dallas Mavericks means Linsanity has legs.
Maybe now we can all celebrate it without a lapse into racism.

I’m no “Lin-fidel,” just a realist on Jeremy Lin. Still, he’s just what we need as more people keep blurring the difference between Asian and Asian American

I’ve got good reason to love Jeremy Lin. I’m an Asian American who went to Harvard. I didn’t play basketball, but I did play white guys in black theatre productions. (You take your extra-curriculars where you can). So my love for Lin is real. I’m just realistic. I root for the Golden State Warriors and we had a mild case of Lin-phomania last year. 

Lin-sanity is a New York phenomenon.   I’m not sure it can be sustained.

I wish Jeremy nothing but the best. No Schadenfreude from me.  He’s a Norcal homey. He worked hard and when he had his chance this time around he delivered. But I’m not sure if last week was one of those special weeks you remember forever because you just don’t replicate it that easily.  I ran for 187 yards on 7 carries as a Pop Warner half-back. I still talk about that. OK, yeah, Jeremy’s doing it in the NBA. Big diff.   I hope he has a long run and can play at the level he’s shown, but I remember last year in Oakland when he couldn’t get off the bench. 

Still, we can thank Jeremy for reinforcing the point to all of America–there’s a difference between Asian and Asian Americans.

It’s more than a technicality. It’s a point worth stating over and over.

We forgot the distinction in WWII and opened up internment camps—for Americans.

As China shows its economic might, some in this country are trying to blur distinctions again.

Maybe Jeremy Lin will help remind people during this critical time in world history, there are Asians, and then there are Asian Americans.

For more,check out my post on the Asian American Legal Defense Fund blog:


Was yesterday the Last BBQ? To prevent heart disease, eat to live

Well, did you eat to live? Or did you live to eat?

Since Labor Day is usually cook-out time,for most that meant skewering up some pork or beef over the grill.

Hope you remembered that the No.1 killer in America is heart disease.

According to the U.S. government, there’s more death related to cardiovascular disease than the combined rates of all other causes of death. That’s more than cancer, suicide, accidents, pneumonia/flu, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.

Of course, that’s never stopped anyone, especially my particular subgroup of Asian America–Filipino Americans–from devouring their BBQ and lechon.

Sound like you?  Then I suggest you watch the recent CNN special , “The Last Heart Attack,” with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  

See it via this link:

The Last Heart Attack– Sanjay Gupta\’s CNN special

The special will give you everything you need to know to save your life, including giving up meat and moving toward a plant-based diet.

The program illustrates the difference between the good (HDL) and the lousy (LDL) cholesterol , and how the lousy cholesterol gets trapped in your arteries as plaque.

Turns out it matters how big the cholesterol chunks are. Bigger ones tend to flow through. Smaller ones tend to get stuck, solidify with other small chunks and cause blockages that result in heart attacks.

To find out whether you have big or small cholesterol coursing through your arteries requires a heart scan.

In the program, Gupta ups the ante by featuring the progress of former President Bill Clinton.  Check out how he went from chili dog chomper to veganism. And he did it all to save his heart.

You can too.

Don’t be fooled by stats released last year. The U.S. Office for Minority Health actually said Asian Americans were doing pretty well with a lower percentage of us with high cholesterol  and high blood pressure vs. the general population.

But that’s no reason to celebrate with some crispy pata.

Break down the numbers ethnically and Filipinos were exposed as among the worse for cholesterol, high blood pressure and hypertension. That’s not a winning trifecta.

Joining us were Native Hawaiians and Japanese.

But ahead of all of us are Asian Indians.  The Asian Indian men were found to have the highest prevalence of heart attacks compared to all, with a heart disease rate three times higher than the U.S. rate. Some doctors say it could mean that the spread of heart disease among Asian Indians is genetic.

In that sense, Gupta’s report is a tad self-serving.  But he does talk to experts who say heart disease doesn’t have to be a fait accompli.  The effects of all that bad eating can actually be reversed—by some timely and healthy eating.

The recommendation: Don’t eat anything that has a face or comes from a mother.

Cow, pig, chicken, fish, aso. OUT.  Whole grains, vegetables, fruits , beans, IN. 

Change your life? Change your food. Heart disease is a preventable, food-born illness.  

You just have to dare not to eat Filipino.

Since 1989, despite a few lapses, I’ve been pretty much vegetarian for selfish reasons. I want to live.

Last week, my sister had this revelation for me.

“I’m taking the same pills as mama,” she said.

I was shocked. She’s just a year older than me, and apparently is on course to mirror my mother and father, health-wise. Both died of heart disease.

My sister, like you, need to watch the aforementioned CNN special.

By eating to live, you can save your life.

Tiger Mom? Hu? What? Have you been living under a gigantic potsticker?

Maybe Tiger Mother Amy Chua is going to the state dinner tonight with President Hu? 

Don’t know if she’s on the list, but the way her PR has been handling it wouldn’t suprise me if she shows up. We know Speaker Boehner’s not showing up. Chua can get his spot. Or she can follow the Salahis. They’ll probably be there, naturally.

If Chua does meet Hu, that would make for an interesting Tiger Summit (Tiger Mom and Tiger Dad).

They can talk about human rights and parenting.

For more, go to http://www.aaldef.org/blog

Emil Guillermo: Check out my new blog on the AALDEF site…

It’s my privilege to associate with the  Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, in starting a new blog on Asian American issues and concerns. 


I’ll still go “Amok” here, of course, but check out the blog and see what AALDEF is doing for the broader Asian American community.

This is the first time I’ve written under the masthead of a non-profit not focused strictly on journalism.  But just as I did on op-ed pages for other publications, AALDEF has given me the independence to post my opinions on the news as I see it. 

I hope you enjoy the posts there as much as you like the assorted posts here at Amok.com.