Category Archives: Local

Appeals Court Dismisses NAACP & NAPAWF Lawsuit Challenging Arizona’s Racist Anti-Abortion Ban

December 16, 2015


Earlier this year, I named the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) one of my Giving Tuesday Top 5 organizations for their tireless advocacy around racial justice and women’s rights. NAPAWF has been at the forefront of many key issues relevant to the the AANHPI community, chief among them reproductive rights. For years, NAPAWF has engaged in a state-by-state fight to protect our reprodictive rights (which is of particular importance for the AANHPI community) in part by challenging conservative efforts to rollback abortion access with overtly race-baiting bans on abortions if doctors find that the procedure is sought for reasons such as fetal sex. Despite the lack of any evidence that women are seeking such abortions in any significant numbers, these restrictions are passed on the basis of stereotyping of Black, Asian and immigrant parents as immoral and sexist. Further, these racist laws have received scant commentary or criticism from mainstream media or center-aisle Democrats.

Two years ago, NAPAWF joined forces with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to file a lawsuit challenging one particularly vile and racist abortion ban in Arizona, which is noteworthy for its unusually explicit fear-mongering of Black and Asian women during debate that preceded passage of this as the first bill to ban race-selective abortion in addition to sex-selective abortion.

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Mayor Justifies Turning Away Syrian Refugees By Citing Japanese American Incarceration

November 18, 2015
Mayor David Bowers of Roanoke, VA. (Photo credit: Ryan Stone / Washington Post)
Mayor David Bowers of Roanoke, VA. (Photo credit: Ryan Stone / Washington Post)

(H/T: Snoopy)

Roanoke mayor David A. Bowers, a Democrat who is now in his fourth term in office,  joined the growing chorus of (mostly Republican) American politicians vocally trying to turn away Syrian refugees; but Bowers has taken a unique angle on his reasons why.

In an entirely unsolicited press statement, Bowers’ office  announced it would be asking Roanoke Valley government and non-government officials to halt aid to Syrian refugees. He justified the stance by suggesting that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was right to treat Japanese American civilians with similar suspicion during World War II.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to #RecallMcCulloch | #Ferguson #BlackLivesMatter

November 26, 2014


By now, it’s probably unnecessary for me to explain who Robert P. McCulloch is, but I will do it anyways. McCulloch is the Prosecuting Attorney for St. Louis County. It was McCulloch’s job to bring an indictment against Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown earlier this year; and, if an indictment was passed down by the grand jury, it was McCulloch’s job to prosecute Wilson. It was Robert P. McCulloch’s job to advocate for Michael Brown, and to seek justice in his death.

It’s also unnecessary for me to explain how Robert P. McCulloch utterly failed in this task. It’s unnecessary for me to discuss how McCulloch sabotaged the grand jury proceedings; how he never met with the Brown family; how he sought to confuse the jury with an excess of data and a lack of narrative; how, in the end, he was simply disinterested in building a legitimate criminal case against Wilson. It’s unnecessary for me to talk about what Arthur Chu describes as his confoundingly “tone deaf” announcement of the grand jury’s findings Monday night, where he blamed protesters, mainstream media, social media, and Michael Brown, hismself — everyone but Darren Wilson — in Brown’s death and its aftermath.  It’s unnecessary for me to point out that while McCulloch’s office was ostensibly building a case against Wilson, his organization “BackStoppers” helped raise nearly half a million dollars to benefit Wilson’s legal fund.

Put more plainly, it’s completely unnecessary for me to tell you that Robert P. McCulloch is a man who has no business continuing to draw a $160,000 per year paycheck  as St. Louis County’s prosecuting attorney.

This post will explain how we can change that, in three easy steps.

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The Wu/Liu Divide: NY Asian American politicians caught in the crossfire of a Dem upheaval

September 8, 2014
John Liu during his term as City Comptroller. (Photo credit: Jonathan Fickies / Bloomberg)
John Liu during his term as City Comptroller. (Photo credit: Jonathan Fickies / Bloomberg)

Late last week, I wrote about New York Lt. Governor candidate Tim Wu’s endorsement of State Senator hopeful John Liu’s campaign. Both men are Taiwanese American politicians; in his endorsement, Wu called Liu and another Asian American State Senate candidate, SJ Jung, Asian American “underdogs” and a “band of brothers”. Wu cited the persistent underrepresentation of Asian Americans in New York’s political leadership in saying, “We could use a stronger Asian-American voice in the legislature.”

Liu responded with a scathing and abrupt rejection of Wu’s endorsement, saying,

“Just to be clear: I do not know this person, I have not met this person and I’m not interested in accepting endorsements from people I have never heard of before.”

This story had me equal parts baffled and titillated: one Asian American politician publicly slapping away the hand of another?

What could possibly cause John Liu, a man who at one time championed stronger Asian American voices within elected office, to eschew the support of a fellow Asian American “brother”? Why haven’t Asian American political representatives come out in support (even begrudging support) for Tim Wu, a man with a legitimate shot at being New York’s first Asian American elected to statewide office?

What the heck?!?

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NY State Senate candidate John Liu rejects Lt. Gov candidate Tim Wu’s endorsement

September 5, 2014
John Liu in Manhattan in 2012. ( Photo credit: Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
John Liu in Manhattan in 2012. ( Photo credit: Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

This is virtually unheard of in political campaigns. This is a big frickin’ deal.

Former NYC Comptroller and City Councilman, and current candidate for NY State Senate John Liu, has openly rejected an endorsement from fellow Taiwanese American New York political hopeful Tim Wu, who is a rising rock star in the state’s Lt. Governor’s race. Democratic voters will be choosing between Wu and  establishment candidate Kathy Hochul on September 9th in the Democratic primary for the Lt. Governor’s race.

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