American Militarism and White Empire: Thoughts on Peace on the Korean Peninsula

A commemorative coin issued to mark today's summit between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

By Guest Contributor: Ju-Hyun Park (@Hermit_Hwarang)

A month ago, I woke up to news I thought I might never hear in my lifetime: the leaders of North and South Korea had, after meeting at an historic summit in Panmunjom at the DMZ, announced their intention to formally end the Korean War and lay plans for reunification.

I accomplished nothing I’d intended to that morning. I called my mother and sister to talk about the news. I read and reread the declaration and watched whatever clips I could find. I celebrated and speculated over group chat with Korean friends. And, I cried. A lot.

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US Census’ Proposed New Citizenship Question Will Lead to Undercounting of Asian Americans | #CensusNotCensure

People hold flags as they are sworn in as U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony on Tuesday, July 2, 2010 in Phoenix. (Photo credit: AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

For the first time in over fifty years, the US Census is planning to ask respondents about their citizenship status. The move comes after the Department of Justice under the Trump administration requested the addition of the citizenship status citing concerns in enforcing the 1965 Voting Rights Act and preventing illegal voting.

The implication here is obvious: the Trump administration has spent the better part of the last two years touting the absurd myth that millions of undocumented immigrants are committing voter fraud and casting illegal ballots in favour of Democratic candidates. Trump favors this fictional narrative over the truth, because it reinforces his flawed belief that the country is more in support of him and his party than it actually is. Now, despite the fact that even Trump’s own commission has found no evidence of such a phenomenon of illegal voting, the Trump administration is directing the US Census to help support Trump’s dangerous, fear-mongering, anti-immigrant theory.

The consequences of this directive are alarming. The US Census — which is constitutionally-mandated to count all US residents regardless of citizenship status — will be forced to wade into the midst of the nativist hysteria that has gripped the country, and in so doing add a question that is sure to depress Census responses from communities boasting large foreign-born populations, such as Asian Americans.

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#NotYourModelMinority: Asian Americans Are Not Your Proof that Donald Trump Isn’t Racist

Carrie Sheffield (Photo credit: CNN)

Asian Americans are not your model minorities. We are not your wedges. We are not your license for guilt-free anti-blackness. We are not your proof that President Donald Trump isn’t racist.

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(Re)Constructing Asian Masculinity: Trump and the “Racial Castration” of Kim Jong Un

Donald Trump (left) and Kim Jong Un (right). (Photo credit: Counter Currents)

The specter of war between North and South Korea has dominated headlines, particularly as President Donald Trump increasingly matches the bellicose posturing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un word-for-word (and tweet-for-tweet). Under the best of circumstances, the precarious relationship between North and South Korea requires precise and thoughtful diplomatic handling; that is no more true now that North Korea approaches the threshold of achieving nuclear weapons.

A better president might develop a program to halt North Korea’s nuclear advancement with a measured balance of diplomacy and international sanction. A better president would understand the devastatingly high price of war, and would seek to avoid that at all costs.

But, America elected Donald Trump, a self-aggrandizing buffoon who sees the rising tensions on the Korean peninsula as just another opportunity to provoke Kim Jong Un with belittling — and highly racially emasculating — language.

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University of Maryland Students Organize Rally for Immigrant Rights as Part of Week of #AAPIAction

Rally attendees at a University of Maryland #AAPIAction event on October 9, 2017. (Photo credit: Conor Huynh)
This past week, Asian American scholars and activists (organized under the group, AAPIVoices) staged a nationwide week of action (#AAPIAction) around topics of immigration justice and the future of Asian American & Pacific Islander political organizing. Compelled by recent assaults on immigrant rights and the Muslim community by the Trump administration, advocacy groups across the country hosted events — including many held on college and university campuses — to promote AAPI political activism around social justice issues.

On event associated with #AAPIAction was hosted at the University of Maryland last Monday. While participants sought to raise the profile of Asian Americans in opposing the rescinding of DACA and anti-immigrant policies, the gathering at UMD was part of a larger effort among coalition partners, including a diverse group of student organizations, staff and faculty to stand up for immigrants, counter xenophobia, and recognize Indigenous People’s Day. At the event, nearly a hundred students gathered around a statue of writer and abolitionist Frederick Douglass — situated outside the campus’ R. Lee Hornbake Library — to protest in support of documented and undocumented immigrants, and against the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to pass a Muslim travel ban. During the event, several students took to the base of the statue to share their perspectives on immigration justice and other social justice issues.

The event was courageously held at a time when the campus is also experiencing several racist on-campus incidents: the University of Maryland’s Diamondback newspaper reports that a former UMD employee was arrested and charged for spraypainting a swastika on-campus, and in a separate incident, a UMD lecturer revealed on Facebook Live that he has been targeted with numerous racist phone calls after an appearance on Fox News.

After the jump, please check out photos from the event.

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