As[I]Am is a really phenomenal digital magazine focused on representation of Asian Americans in art and social justice. They are planning an upcoming issue titled “Resistant Bodies” which will focus “on how our bodies are read and interpreted, and how they can be a site for struggle, reflection, and/or transformation.” This issue will include a broad array of relevant topics including “burlesque and body image, environmental sustainability and food justice, presentation of queer femme identity, and the ownership of body and portrayal.”
But, As[I]Am needs your help to make “Resistant Bodies” a reality. They have 5 days left to raise $500, and still have $250 to go. If you have a few dollars lying around, please consider donating to this campaign!
A Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 scheduled for a red-eye flight between Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Beijing, China has disappeared over Southeast Asia. Air traffic controllers lost communication with the airplane soon after its departure from Kuala Lumpur, and reportedly somewhere over Vietnamese airspace. Prior to its disappearance, the flight did not signal any distress or signs of bad weather.
Officials are now scouring area over which Flight MH370 was scheduled to travel, but most reports say they are not optimistic. Reports have come in that search crews have spotted some “rubbish” and liquid in the ocean in the search area, and are investigating to see if this is related to the missing airplane.
CNN reports that if Flight MH370 crashed while claiming all lives on-board, it would be the deadliest airplane accident since November 2001.
Flight MH370 was carrying 227 passengers, reportedly spanning 14 nationalities. 154 of the missing passengers are Chinese or Taiwanese nationals, and 3 Americans were also reportedly on-board. Although passenger manifests also list an Italian and an Austrian passenger, governments of both countries report that the listed passenger is safe and that their passports had been stolen.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all the missing passengers and crew. Please stay tuned to this post for updates. Family seeking more information are being asked to call +603 7884 1234.
(This post is being continuously updated with further developments.)
Nearly twenty years ago, California voters passed Proposition 209, a ballot measure that effectively outlawed affirmative action in state-run institutions. Among other effects of Prop 209 was the loss of affirmative action policies — the ability for college admissions officers from being able to consider race among other application criteria — in the state-wide UC college system.
Prop 209 has had a devastating effect on UC schools: Black, Latino, Native American, Southeast Asian American and Pacific Islander admission rates have dropped precipitously relative to the pace of their population growth over the last twenty years, resulting in a public, taxpayer-funded university system that has effectively excluded many of the state’s underrepresented minority community — roughly 45% of the state’s total population — from access to quality secondary education.
Currently, the California House and Senate are considering Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 (SCA5), a bill that would create an exemption for public education from Prop 209, re-empowering the UC system to once again employ reasonable affirmative action policies in their admissions process. Should SCA5 pass the California Senate later this year, it will be put on the November ballot for public consideration. Passage of SCA5 is a necessary first step to restore access and equality for California’s underrepresented minorities to a college education.
Unfortunately, although 61% of Asian American voters in California voted against Proposition 209 in 1996 to protect affirmative action, recent efforts by conservative Asian Americans — predominantly Chinese American non-profits and news outlets — have resulted in a widespread campaign of misinformation and outright fear over SCA5 in many Asian American voters.
To set the record straight, here are the top 5 myths — and facts — about SCA5, and why you should support it.
Despite the precepts of the Model Minority Myth, not all Asian American & Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States arrived as wealthy, middle-class East Asian entrepreneurs to pursue graduate degrees or to start small businesses. According to statistics published yesterday by the Center for American Progress, one-fifth of AAPI who received permanent resident status in 2012 did so as refugees or asylees; yet this population — many of whom can trace their ethnic heritage to Southeast Asia — struggles for visibility against the backdrop of the larger AAPI community. This invisibility is exacerbated by the absence of disaggregated data for the AAPI community along ethnic lines, which can reveal the unique sociopolitical iniquities that plague Southeast Asian Americans.
According to the United Nations, America is home to approximately 70,000 Bhutanese Americans, representing less than 0.5% of the AAPI population. Bhutanese Americans are ethnically derived from the small land-locked country of Bhutan, a small country in the Himalayas bordered by the two much larger nations of China and India. In the 1980′s, thousands of Bhutanese were forced out of Bhutan during a period of countrywide political turmoil (many expelled Bhutanese were targeted due to their non-Tibetan origins), and were forced to relocate to temporary refugee camps in the neighbouring country of Nepal; some subsequently accepted permanent relocation to the United States as political refugees starting in 2008.
Currently, the Bhutanese American population is concentrated in several states including Texas, Arizona, and New York. In New Hampshire, the state’s population of 2000 Bhutanese Americans represent 65% of the state’s total refugee population.
And shockingly, our country’s small, young, and underserved population of Bhutanese American refugees suffer among the country’s highest rates of PTSD, depression, and suicide — the latter of which is nearly twice that of national suicide rates — indicating a clear failure of America’s existing healthcare and social services programs to adequately address and support Bhutanese Americans.
Okay, before I start this post, let me first ask one thing: what the heck is a Valleywag? Apparently, it’s some Gawker-esque site for Silicon Valley. I know now, because Google told me so.
Anyways, earlier today, Valleywag writer Nitasha Tiku decided to report on a matchmaking start-up called “The Dating Ring”, where the basic business plan is to match single women from NYC with single men from San Francisco, in some sort of unholy love-child born of the sweaty caresses between OKCupid and a frequent flyer program.
I guess this is what ValleyWag considers news. Personally, I don’t really think this is news-worthy; but, I also think this is a relatively harmless start-up, that should in theory facilitate romance between consenting (if kind of insipid, if one bases one’s opinion on those interviewed for the campaign video) adults while also helping to buoy sales for the nation’s flagging airlines. So, if that’s what floats the boats of Valleywag readers, and apparently is something that Tiku finds disturbing in some way, then by all means — write away.
But, nothing about The Dating Ring — in any way — resembles the Comfort Women who were brutalized and victimized during World War II. And yet, writes Tiku for Valleywag (emphasis mine):
(This post was updated on March 5, 2014 with an email chain containing Valleywag’s refusal to apologize for this incident. It was updated again on March 6, 2014 with an email chain between Valleywag writer Nitasha Tiku and a reader, and again later that day with further developments.)
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