Episode 4 of Reappropriate: The Podcast is now live! In this episode, I invite guest Snoopy Jenkins (@SnoopyJenkins) to parse some of the issues surrounding unarmed teenager Mike Brown’s shooting death by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, the myth of Black criminality, the First Amendment issues associated with excessive police militancy, and questions regarding the project of solidarity.
You can view and listen to the podcast using the Youtube video above, stream or download just the audio version using the mp3 player at the bottom of the post, or subscribe to the podcast through the iTunes store.
Next episode: Please join me next Wednesday, August 27th, 7pm EST for a conversation on What is AAPI feminism? For that podcast, I invite on fellow AAPI feminist blogger Juliet Shen of Fascinasians. Please submit your questions and comments now regarding AAPI feminism by tweeting to @Reappropriate, and check out this link to RSVP for information on how to livestream the podcast while it is recording!
Audio only version of Episode 4:
With the political turmoil of Ferguson engulfing the national conversation right now, it would be a missed opportunity to not have a conversation on Reappropriate: The Podcast.
So, please join me Tonight (August 20th) at 11:00PM EST for a special recording of Reappropriate: The Podcast, where my guest SnoopyJenkins (@SnoopyJenkins) and I unpack many of the issues surrounding the shooting death of unarmed Black teenager Mike Brown by a local Ferguson, Missouri police officer, and the aftermath of the shooting that sparked a national protest movement. The podcast will record live at this link: submit your questions regarding Ferguson, Mike Brown, police brutality and other thoughts before or during recording by tweeting to @Reappropriate or watch us record and use the Q&A app.
Next week’s episode featuring guest Juliet Shen of Fascinasians on Asian American feminism will continue as scheduled on August 27th, 7:00pm EST through, although it will be episode #5.
In the wake of the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson ten days ago, in addition to what many contend is a lack of transparency in the official investigation of the killing as well as an excessively violent and militaristic law enforcement response to peaceful protesters, Yale students organized a solidarity march to express unity with the residents in Ferguson. Although classes have not yet begun for the fall semester and most students are off-campus, nearly 200 Yale students and New Haven residents congregated on Beinecke Plaza at noon yesterday to march to nearby New Haven Green, and then engage in a collective moment of silence.
Those I interviewed said they found out about the rally primarily through word-of-mouth and social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.
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.
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 articles. Multiple 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.