It’s Not Just For Fun: My Reaction to Kurt Suzuki’s MAGA Hat Photo Op

The author's family, the Shojis, who were forcibly held at Minidoka during World War II. (Photo Credit: Joseph Lachman)

By Guest Contributor: Joseph Shoji Lachman

Kurt Suzuki, who is a yonsei (or, 4th generation Japanese American), wore a “Make America Great Again” hat — a disgusting white supremacist symbol — when visiting the White House last week. It was horrifying, and symbolic of larger issues of Asian American adjacency to white privilege.

The question I always want to pose to these Trump-supporting Japanese Americans is: How can you support a guy whose campaign and supporters have voiced support for the incarceration of Japanese Americans, and who have used that history as a justification for oppressing other minority groups? 

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Trump’s Asian American Judges Are No Friends to AAPI Community

Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao testifies before the Senate at her confirmation hearing last month. (Photo credit: Zach Gibson / Getty)

By Guest Contributors: Sung Yeon Choimorrow (NAPAWF), Quyen Dinh (SEARAC), and Alvina Yeh (APALA)

Last month, the Senate voted to confirm D.C. Circuit Court nominee Neomi Rao, who will now be the first Indian American woman to sit on a federal appeals court.

Critics have repeatedly shed light on the dearth of people of color among Trump’s judicial nominees, especially when compared to those of President Obama. Trump has nominated not a single African American or Latino to federal appeals courts amongst a sea of white men. Despite this, two other conservative Asian American federal appeals court nominees in addition to Rao face imminent confirmations–and lifetime appointments–to the U.S. judiciary: Michael Park and Kenneth Lee, to the Second and Ninth Circuits, respectively, have also received hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Don’t be fooled: these appeals court nominees are a danger to civil rights and justice for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community; they are pawns in Trump’s larger scheme to uphold white supremacy under the guise of promoting racial diversity in the top ranks of government.

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Trump Makes Racially-Charged Remarks Towards Japanese Reporter in Controversial Press Conference

A Japanese reporter questions President Trump. (Photo credit: Screen capture from NBC News video)

In a press conference marked by erratic and un-presidential behaviour, President Trump made racially charged remarks against a Japanese reporter, telling him to “say hello to Shinzo” — the prime minister of Japan — before complaining that he couldn’t understand the reporter’s accent.

The unnamed reporter, who was clearly fluent in English, asked the president about reports that Trump was considering placing punitive tariffs on Japanese auto imports. That’s when Trump made the quip about Prime Minister Abe and the complaint about the reporter’s accent. Trump then defended the idea of US-imposed tariffs on Japan — one of America’s closest allies in the Pacific rim — by complaining of a trade deficit between the two countries.

“Japan does not treat the United States fairly on trade,” said Trump. “They send in millions of cars at a very low tax… They don’t take our cars.”
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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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