Why It Matters That Both Civilian Victims of the Planned Parenthood Shooting were People of Colour

November 29, 2015
One of the three victims killed in the shooting Friday at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado is from the islands, her family has confirmed. Family members identified the woman as Jennifer Markovsky, a 1997 Waianae High School graduate. (Photo credit: handout, via Denver Post)
Jennifer Markovsky, one of the three victims killed in the shooting Friday at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. (Photo credit: handout, via Denver Post)

On Friday, 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear entered a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood and opened fire with a long gun. For hours, Dear exchanged gunfire with police officials, killing two civilians and one police officer. Dear was taken into custody after the day-long standoff, and is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow. Dear’s motive remains unclear, but news media are reporting an unnamed police official source who claims that Dear made remarks about “baby parts” upon his arrest suggesting that the crime might have something to do with the unfounded accusation by anti-abortionists earlier this year that Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue for profit (they don’t).

News coverage over the weekend has focused on the identity of the police officer — Officer Garrett Swasey — who was killed by Dear during the shoot-out. As of today, however, the identities of the two civilians killed by Dear has also now been released, and it should not go unnoticed that both victims were people of colour.

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LifeHack.org Publishes Racist and Sexist Article About Dating Chinese Women

November 22, 2015
Screen capture of “9 Reasons Why You Should Date a Chinese Girl”, published at LifeHack.org

LifeHack.org is one of the web’s largest, and one of its more shameless, generator of those shitty clickbait listicles that periodically pollute your personal Facebook feed. Like most such sites, it is the digital equivalent of a pitcher plant: it entices readers to make an impulsive click on a curiousity-inducing headline atop some meaningless drivel of an article. But once sucked into the site, you’re trapped in an endless scroll of similarly fluffy listicles that slowly turn your brain to sludge while embedded webads turn your wild flailings for escape into money for the site.

So, I was torn about writing about one of LifeHack.org’s most recent articles (“9 Reasons Why You Should Date a Chinese Girl“), which appears designed to maximize clickbait appeal by attracting Asiaphiles and enraging Asian Americans. Written by self-described “Media Stragetist/Resultist/Content Writer/Blogger/Entrepreneur” Casey Imafidon, whose other work at LifeHack.org and similar sites are of equally low quality, this listicle is a transparent attempt to draw in readers with racist and sexist stereotype.

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Finally! A Simple Solution to Help Deal With Microaggressions: The My Oppression Card Project

November 21, 2015
The Oppression Card Project, by Sarah Doherty and Lauren Simkin Berke
The My Oppression Card Project, by Sarah Doherty and Lauren Simkin Berke

This is easily one of my favourite crowd-funded projects I’ve ever had the privilege of being able to support.

Have you ever been accused of playing your [race/gender/other form of oppression] card? Now, the next time someone treats you to some unrelentingly microaggressive behaviour, you can whip out your real life, actual oppression card and use it to help communicate your feelings about your most aggravating -isms!

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Roanoke Mayor Apologizes for Comments Justifying Japanese American Incarceration

November 20, 2015
Mayor David Bowers of Roanoke, VA. (Photo credit: Ryan Stone / Washington Post)
Mayor David Bowers of Roanoke, VA. (Photo credit: Ryan Stone / Washington Post)

Just two days after his absurd statement — wherein he justified turning away of Syrian refugees with the reasoning that the US federal government was correct in treating Japanese American citizens and nationals with similar racial suspicion and hostility — went viral, Mayor David Bowers has reportedly apologized.

Bowers’ three-paragraph press statement from earlier this week  buzzed through social media, with angry constituents and Asian Americans calling for the mayor to apologize and/or resign. Several officials of the state of Virginia — including Roanoke City Council members and Bowers’ own Vice Mayor — joined in that outcry, and condemnation of Bowers’ statement showered down upon the Mayor’s office from both sides of the aisle.

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Shame on Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Ami Bera for Voting to Block Syrian Refugees

November 19, 2015
Representative Ami Bera of California
Representative Ami Bera of California

The headline says it all: shame on Asian American House Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Ami Bera (D-CA) for casting votes earlier this evening to essentially block 10,000 Syrian refugees from resettling in the United States.

Earlier tonight, the House passed the sweeping bill (HR.4038, or euphemistically, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act) which would have placed such severe restrictions on the process of admitting refugees from Syria or Iraq as to essentially block their entry. The bill’s author claimed that the legislation was designed to protect America from national security threats posed by incoming refugees, yet refugees are already subject to the most stringent, and one of the lengthiest, vetting process of any incoming immigrant group. Since 2001, 750,000 refugees have been admitted and resettled in the United States, and none have gone on to commit an act of domestic terrorism.

Nonetheless, House Republicans authored and passed a bill that blocks entry of refugees from Syria and Iraq — refugees who desperately need our help — and they did it with legislative language crafted to explicitly target a specific group of people for exclusion based on their ethnic origin.

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