Tag Archives: Asian American

Asian Americans won’t soon forget how the GOP shot down Goodwin Liu

Goodwin Liu’s withdrawal as a nominee to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was maybe a “good win” for GOP partisans.

But it’s  a bad loss for Asian Americans, and all Americans who believe in diversity, justice and merit.

There is no doubt that such a gifted legal mind as Liu would have served the country with distinction. 

Too bad the nomination was poisoned by those on the right  intent on designing the face of the federal judiciary instead of leaving it to what has been routinely a sitting president’s prerogative. 

(For more on why Liu would have been a great choice, see my blog posts at www.aaldef.org/blog)

Liu’s letter to President Obama on Wednesday was to the point. As quoted in Politico:  “In light of last week’s unsuccessful cloture vote … I respectfully ask that you withdraw my nomination from further consideration by the United States Senate…With no possibility of an up-or-down vote on the horizon, my family and I have decided that it is time for us to regain the ability to make plans for the future.”

“In addition, the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit has noted the ‘desperate need for judges’ to fill current vacancies, and it is now clear that continuing my nomination will not address that need any time soon.”

The Ninth Circuit’s need for judges is great. But Liu underplayed the need for Asian American judges in the most Asian American region in the U.S.  The under-representation of the group on the federal bench  is practically a crime.

When someone as qualified as Liu doesn’t get past go in the nomination process, it’s  a sad message to Asian Americans, and anyone who believes in the values of diversity and merit.

Were it  not for the nastiness of modern politics, Liu could have been a contender. He is probably the best Asian American Supreme Court Justice who never was. 

Liu never got the chance he deserved. 

How he was shot down by the GOP is something Asian Americans will not soon forget.

I had hoped that Liu would fight on for his right to serve. Certainly, the president could have pressed on and continued the fight through October.   We won’t know if Liu’s letter pre-empted that.  It certainly lifted the pressure on Obama to do anything further.

But we do know that the GOP will come courting in 2012 and beyond.

The memory of Goodwin Liu should still be very fresh. 

SNL/Hader’s Hu? Not sure about it, then watch it again. I thought we were done with Charlie Chan’s Showbiz?

Get past the ad and go to the open.  It’s about 8 minutes long.

Non-traditional casting aside, don’t you think there are enough unemployed Asian American actors out there to add to the realism of a comedy sketch?


Note from Emil Guillermo: Help,I’m a pioneer!

AAJA, the Asian American Journalists Association has figured out the best way to get back at me after all my years of being a bickering member.

It’s honoring me.

On Wed., Aug. 4, I’m being honored among 150 others as an Asian American pioneer in  U.S. journalism. (Yes, Tritia Toyota and Connie Chung are on the list too. But so ae lots of others who were founders and original members of AAJA).

How’d that happen?

It’s just a citation for being old and one of the first Asian Americans to consider journalism instead of medicine, the law, restaurant ownership, or investment banking  for a career. 

At this point in time, I’d have to say, choosing journalism may not have been the best choice.

 But it was my choice. And I’m gratified that someone noticed that I was the first Asian American male and first Filipino American to host a national news program when I was senior host of “All Things Considered” in 1989.

I hope that doesn’t become the headline in my obituary someday.  It’s not over yet. (I can’t even withdraw from my IRA without a 10 percent penalty).

I’m still a pioneer who hasn’t quite reached the promised land.

Tiger,the sexy Buddhist, has his Asian American moment; Mother Tida’s embrace is Woods’ public display of his “Asian-ness” and the start of the golfer’s personal and spiritual comeback

In the Year of the Tiger, a Tiger apology seemed a good reason for me to come out to play.
I admit after trying to watch some fat middle aged guys on TV trying to hit a white ball into a small hole , I am especially ready for Tiger to come back.
But now after seeing his controlled media statement, I’m convinced of his contrition.
I never bought a TW hat, a watch, or a product he pimped. But I bought his statement.
I’m responding to his plea. I have room in my heart to believe in him again.
Mostly what did it was his mother.
I can’t recall seeing Tida, Tiger’s Thai mom, ever being featured in any of the coverage since that fateful Thanksgiving night.
We needed to see her.
Perhaps there was a breakdown in the cameras that gave us that cutaway shot from the back for the latter part of his statement. But it was great because it made us see Tida.
In my published columns, I’ve said Tiger coming clean would have to be a toal spiritual reawakening.
I’ve said he should bypass the Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons and embrace someone like Thich Nhat Hanh.
Maybe after Obama, maybe it’s Tiger who should check in with the Dalai Lama.
So it was heartening to see him acknowledge his Buddhism. During Tiger’s media void, Fox’s Brit Hume said Tiger should embrace Christ and essentially be born again. How missionary like of Hume. But Tiger did need to do something to recognize the source of his core values.
And now we’ve seen Tiger publicly declare how he was raised a Buddhist as a young boy by his mom and drifted away in recent years.
“I lost track of what I was taught,” Tiger said.
Tiger has rediscovered his roots.
That’s why the most important person in the room was his mother Tida, and her long loving embrace.
Whatever Tiger’s transgressions, it will be his Asian American side that will redeem him. 

And for those who consistently see him as black and black only (how many people like to refer to him as the first black this or that, while not recognizing he’s also the first Asian American in many cases?), perhaps now this public display of “Asian-ness” will show how Woods truly reflects a different, modern multicultural world.