Disrespecting Diwali: A Look at Our Cultural Hypocrisy

A child lights candles during Diwali, or the "Festival of Lights".
A child lights candles during Diwali, or the “Festival of Lights”.

By Guest Contributor: Sridhar Karra

When I was a college student, I attended my university’s annual Diwali program, organized by a Hindu student organization on campus. In a university with a large number of Hindu students, turnout at this yearly event is substantial and attendance stretches far beyond the Hindu population. Students who are not Hindu or Indian enthusiastically attend in droves, with some professors in the Sociology department even urging their students to attend in order to understand and appreciate the Hindu festival.

Continue reading “Disrespecting Diwali: A Look at Our Cultural Hypocrisy”

‘Quantico’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 9, “Guilty”

QUANTICO - "Guilty" (Photo Credit: ABC/Phillippe Bosse)
QUANTICO – “Guilty” (Photo Credit: ABC/Phillippe Bosse)

By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)

Lakshmi’s recaps for “Quantico” episodes 1-7 can be found here and for episode 8 onward here, including her recap of the show’s most recent episode. Her recaps appear on Reappropriate every Monday morning! As with reading any recaps, please be wary of spoilers.

And… we’re back! We don’t know about you, but we were super antsy last Sunday without any ‘Quantico’ to look forward to. Fortunately for fans of television’s most confusing drama, Quantico didn’t lose a beat and dove right back into the action.

Continue reading “‘Quantico’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 9, “Guilty””

‘Quantico’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 8, “Over”

QUANTICO - "Over" (Photo credit: ABC/Phillipe Bosse)
QUANTICO – “Over” (Photo credit: ABC/Phillipe Bosse)

By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)

Lakshmi’s recaps for “Quantico” episodes 1-7 can be found here. Future recaps will appear on Reappropriate every Monday morning! As with reading any recaps, please be wary of spoilers.

“In light of recent world events, the following drama contains particularly impactful subject matter.”

Those words flashed across the screen in the opening moments of this week’s episode of ‘Quantico,’ a show that can be triggering at the best of times and becomes even more so in light of Friday’s horrific terrorist attacks in Paris. After all, it would be hard to fault anyone for skipping a show built around solving the mystery of who decided to blow up New York’s Grand Central Terminal after watching a weekend’s worth of news updates from France.

(It also should be noted that while CBS decided to temporarily pull new episodes of ‘Supergirl’ and ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ because this week’s episodes had themes that closely resembled the events in Paris. Both ‘Quantico’ and ‘Homeland,’ two shows in which terrorism is a central theme, decided to stick with their original broadcast schedules.)

But back to our world of ridiculously attractive fictional FBI recruits. When we last left Quantico-land, Alex was struggling to lead Agent Ryan Booth to safety after he was shot while escaping a Queens row house-turned-terrorist cell. Sunday’s episode begins with a shot of an FBI control center buzzing with activity as they try to track Alex Parrish down.

Continue reading “‘Quantico’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 8, “Over””

Unprotected by Assimilation: Lessons from the Case of Duy Ngo

Police officers arrive to the funeral of New York Police Department Officer Wenjian Liu at Aievoli Funeral Home, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (Photo credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Police officers arrive to the funeral of New York Police Department Officer Wenjian Liu at Aievoli Funeral Home, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (Photo credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo)

By Guest Contributor: Bao Phi

When I began reading that a White House petition had collected 100,000 signatures — many of them reportedly Chinese names — in defense of Peter Liang, a cop who shot and killed an unarmed Black man during a patrol of a housing project in New York, I was perplexed.  At a time when the horrible abuse and killing of nonwhite bodies, predominantly Black, was making the news every week, why were so many Asian people defending an officer who wrongfully killed a Black man?  And where were these 100,000 people during the wrongful death lawsuit by the family of slain Hmong teenager Fong Lee, killed by a white officer (awarded a Medal of Valor for the killing) with a history of abuse against Black and Hmong people?

But I took a step back, and read about some of the Chinese people who were in support of Liang.  Some of them felt he was scapegoated.  Some claimed the Liang case was about political maneuvering.  Some said they were tired of being pushed around.   What was going on here?  How was the information on this case being broadcast in non-English media?  It’s hard to get more than 100,000 Asians in America to sign onto anything — who got them to sign on to support this officer?

To some, it all may seem cut and dried.  Asians are just being selfish and anti-Black again, only coming out of their wannabe white lifestyles to support one of their own.  But then what about the cases where Asians have been the victims of police violence that don’t draw anywhere near the same zeitgeist?  How do those instances of racist violence against Asians, statistically not as frequent but still racist, fit into our understanding of state sanctioned violence against Asian bodies?

Continue reading “Unprotected by Assimilation: Lessons from the Case of Duy Ngo”

The Genocide of Genealogies: For Those Who Refuse To Be Silenced

sunset-cambodia

This post was originally published to Project Ava last year. It appears here today, April 17, 2015, on the 40th anniversary of the fall of Phnom Penh.

By Guest Contributor: Vanessa Teck (@vanessateck)

Many children grow up hearing fantastical tales and listening to nursery rhymes. A magical forest here and furry talking creatures there. I grew up listening to the nightmares of chaos and terror as tragedy consumed Cambodia.

Imagine this.

On April 17th, 1975, Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge. Like many Khmer Americans, my family came to the United States as refugees from Cambodia in 1982. My grandparents reflect back on the day the Khmer Rouge scoured the city and announced over their loud speakers that the Americans were going to begin dropping their bombs. Greeting the citizens with smiles, they expressed that safety was their priority and all those living within the city should evacuate to the countryside. They promised that the invasion would be over and they would be able to return to the city. Yet, it would be four years of terror before any lucky survivors would be able to return to the remains of their homes. My family had no choice but to abandon all of their belongings and at that precise moment, their entire lives.

Continue reading “The Genocide of Genealogies: For Those Who Refuse To Be Silenced”