‘Designated Survivor’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 9, ‘The Blueprint’

December 8, 2016
Things continue to get complicated inside the Kirkman White House. (Photo Credit: ABC/Ian Watson)
Things continue to get complicated inside the Kirkman White House. (Photo Credit: ABC/Ian Watson)

By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)

Wait, the fictional Congress in Designated Survivor has 162 registered independents?

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900+ Asian American Studies Scholars Issue Collective Statement Decrying Trump’s Proposed Muslim Registry

December 4, 2016

collective-statement-aas-muslim-registry

Over 900 Asian American Studies scholars from across the United States issued a joint statement today decrying President-Elect Donald Trump’s proposal to create a national registry of Muslims and Muslim Americans.

Trump has repeatedly said that as president he would institute aggressive measures to limit immigration of Muslims into the country and to place Muslims currently within the United States’ borders under close scrutiny. He has promised to halt the entry of Syrian refugees and to also ban immigration from a number of countries — including Pakistan and the Philippines — with large Muslim populations. He is quoted as suggesting the creation of a national database of Muslim and Muslim Americans — a proposal that is likely unconstitutional — and he staffed his White House transition team with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of the highly controversial NSEERS registry system which was used to monitor the movement of Muslim immigrants under George W. Bush and the first half of the Obama administration.

Earlier this month, Trump surrogate Carl Higbie went on Fox News to defend Trump’s alarming proposals to register Muslims and Muslims Americans. In an appearance on The Kelly File, Higbie suggested that Trump’s proposal for a national Muslim registry has legal precedent: Japanese American incarceration during World War II (for a note on language, see JACL’s Power of Words handbook).

It should come as no surprise that Asian American Studies scholars have something to say about that dubious line of reasoning.

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Yale University Formally Considers Renaming Calhoun College

December 2, 2016
A doorway at Calhoun College, Yale University.
A doorway at Calhoun College, Yale University.

After more than a year of student protests highlighting racial injustice on the campus, Yale University announced today via a statement by President Peter Salovey that the school will formally consider a proposal to rename Calhoun College. The Residential College was named in 1933 for John C. Calhoun, a Yale alumnus who went on to become the seventh vice president of the United States and one of the most prominent pro-slavery advocates of his time.

The original decision to name Yale’s newest Residential College was met with muted concern in 1933, and the unease has continued in the intervening decades. Beginning last year, that concern erupted into sustained mass protest of Calhoun College’s name, which students say either whitewashes over — or even amounts to a celebration of — Calhoun’s pro-slavery viewpoints. The decision over the years to decorate Calhoun College with art objects that reference slavery — including a stained glass image of shackled slaves at Calhoun’s feet, another of slaves picking cotton, and oil paintings that included images of Calhoun with his slaves — only exacerbated the controversy; none of these art pieces currently remain at Calhoun, but some are still on display elsewhere on campus.

Last November, a multiracial coalition of students issued a list of demands to Yale administrators to address racial injustice on campus; the renaming of Calhoun was included alongside calls to improve administrative support for ethnic studies, cultural community centers, and student mental health. A survey of students conducted in April of this year showed that 55% support renaming the College.

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‘Designated Survivor’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 9, ‘The Results’

December 1, 2016
Maggie Q's Hannah Wells continues to be on the case. (Photo Credit: ABC/Ben Mark Holzberg)
Maggie Q’s Hannah Wells continues to be on the case. (Photo Credit: ABC/Ben Mark Holzberg)

By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)

Is Designated Survivor deliberately trying to taunt us all with its perfect liberal president who always respects our civil liberties?

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Elaine Chao Joins Trump’s Cabinet as Secretary of Transportation

November 29, 2016
Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.
Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, who is the only member of President George W. Bush’s Cabinet to serve the full eight years of his two terms in office, has been selected by President-Elect Donald Trump to head the Department of Transportation in his upcoming administration.

Chao, who was the first Asian American woman to sit on a presidential Cabinet, previously served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Peace Corps under President George H.W. Bush.

Chao’s tenure as Labor Secretary was marked by her decidedly pro-business stance, leaving her frequently at odds with labour unions and workers’ rights groups. The Government Accountability Office reported in 2008 that the Labor Department inadequately investigated tens of thousands of complaints filed by workers alleging labour violations. In addition, the Department of Labor under Chao was repeatedly criticized for failing to conduct proper safety inspections to protect worker health, while redirecting resources towards stricter scrutiny of labour unions’ financial records. Nonetheless, Chao has remained a powerful player within the national Republican party even after leaving the position of Secretary of Labor, particularly as a close strategist and advisor to her husband of over twenty years, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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