Man arrested, charged with hate crime in anti-Muslim and anti-Sikh hit-and-run

August 19, 2014
Surveillance camera footage showing Sandeep Singh moments before he is struck and dragged by a white pick-up truck in Queens. Moments earlier, the driver of the truck had hurled a racial slur at Singh and his friend as they stood in the street.
Surveillance camera footage showing Sandeep Singh moments before he is struck and dragged by a white pick-up truck in Queens. Moments earlier, the driver of the truck had hurled a racial slur at Singh and his friend as they stood in the street.

Earlier this month, I posted about the Queens-area hit-and-run of Sandeep Singh, a South Asian American man who was run over by the driver of the white pickup truck pictured above after a series of racial slurs were hurled in Singh’s direction.

On July 30th, 29-year-old Sandeep Singh was standing on the street when the driver of the white pickup called Singh and a friend racist slurs, yelling out “terrorist” and “go back to your own country, Bin Laden!”. Singh, who is Sikh American, hit the side of the truck as it drove past. The driver stopped the truck and got out, and Singh’s friend says the driver was threatening them both and was holding something in his hand. Following a brief altercation, the driver got back into his truck, which is when Singh stood in front of the truck to try and get him to stay so they could call the police.

On surveillance camera footage, the driver can then be seeing accelerating his car and running Singh over, dragging him 30 ft down the street before Singh came loose from the truck’s undercarriage. The truck did not slow down or stop; Singh was taken to hospital in critical condition.

Now, local news are reporting that an arrest has been made.

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Opera Providence mocks, threatens peaceful protest against RI yellowface production of #Mikado

August 18, 2014
Providence, Rhode Island residents protest Opera Providence's recent yellowface staging of "The Mikado". (Photo credit: James McShane)
Providence, Rhode Island residents protest Opera Providence’s recent yellowface staging of “The Mikado”. (Photo credit: Peter Glantz)

Last month, a yellowface production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta “The Mikado” — put on by local Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society — sparked national controversy and a number of outraged articlesMultiple Asian American writers and advocates spoke out against the use of yellowface in “The Mikado” (including Sean Miura, who published a compelling guest post on this site) and several Asian American organizations issued statements in protest of the Seattle-based production, including the OCA and JACL.

This national conversation on yellowface may have its focal point in Seattle, but the issue extends far beyond that city. For, as defenders of Seattle’s yellowface production of this operetta have pointed out, “The Mikado” is one of the most popular and widely performed productions out of the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire.

Today, hundreds of productions of “The Mikado” are performed annually in the United States; many recreate the same yellowface that characterized the operetta’s original 1885 run at the Savoy Theatre in London. But the show’s enduring popularity as contemporary  and unchallenged yellowface does not negate its racism.

Thankfully, the debate first sparked by Seattle’s yellowface production Mikado have inspired others to speak out against yellowface racism elsewhere in the country. Last month, Opera Providence (located in Providence, Rhode Island) opened a three-night production of “The Mikado” that ran from August 8 – 10, and which also featured actors in yellowface.

Several Rhode Island residents courageously organized a street protest and a petition against Opera Providence’s yellowface staging, even though they faced threats and retribution from Opera Providence for exercising their First Amendment rights including an alleged death threat against protesters uttered by an actor during the on-stage production. I had a chance to interview two of the protest organizers, James McShane (@james_mcshane) and Sakiko Mori (@mrsoioi), about what inspired them to take a stand; the full interview appears after the jump.

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Lives Unlived & Dreams Undone: America’s Siege on Blackness | #Ferguson

August 15, 2014
Students at Howard University protest the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Mike Brown by Ferguson PD.
Students at Howard University protest the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Mike Brown by Ferguson PD.

An unarmed teenager raises his hands above his head and pleads for his life. He is fatally gunned down by Ferguson police officers. He was 18.

An unarmed man is detained at San Francisco’s Fruitvale Station on New Year’s Eve. He is fatally shot in the back by San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit train police while lying face down on the ground and hands cuffed behind his back. He was 23.

An unarmed teenager walks home through an unfamiliar neighbourhood, an iced tea and a pack of Skittles in his pocket. He is fatally shot by a self-appointed vigilante. He was 17.

An unarmed teenager knocks on the door of a house, seeking help after a car accident. She is fatally shot in the face with a shotgun. She was 19.

An unarmed man reaches for his wallet. He is fatally shot 41 times by New York City police. He was 23.

These are only a handful of the lives cut far too short — the victims of American Blackness under siege.

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Awesome new header art for Reappropriate!

August 13, 2014

No, thine eyes do not deceive! Thanks to the incredibly talented Alison Roberts (who also happens to be my cousin), Reappropriate now has awesome new header art featuring vampire Jubilee!

If you are as much in love with this Jubilee art as I am, you should definitely contact Alison for your own commission work! You can reach her at apal.roberts [at] gmail [dot] com!

12 life lessons I learned from the incredible Robin Williams

August 12, 2014

robin-williams

By now, you’ve heard the news: yesterday, Robin Williams died of apparent suicide at the age of 63. Depression has claimed yet another beautiful soul, and left the world a little bit emptier of laughter.

For myself as for many children of the 1980′s, Robin Williams — with his cheeky grin and seemingly boundless energy — shaped our childhood. After the jump, here are 12 life lesson I learned from the incredible Robin Williams.

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