From Self-Interest to Collective Morality: How We Must Reframe the Discussion on Affirmative Action in the Asian American Community

San Gabriel Councilman Chin Ho Liao speaks against SCA?5 at a protest. (Photo credit: Pasadena Star-News)
San Gabriel Councilman Chin Ho Liao discusses SCA5, a California bill that would have reinstituted race-conscious affirmative action in the state, at an anti-affirmative action protest. (Photo credit: Pasadena Star-News)

By Guest Contributor: Felix Huang (@Brkn_Yllw_Lns)

When the matter comes under contest, affirmative action’s Asian American advocates readily point to disparities in higher education access for particular Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. According to a 2015 report on AANHPI higher education in California:

  • Filipinx, Thai, Laotian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander students are admitted into the University of California (UC) system at rates significantly lower than the general admit rate.
  • Filipinxs, Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Guamanians/Chamorros, and Fijians are, relative to their overall population, underrepresented in the UC system.
  • Vietnamese, Cambodian, Hmong, Guamanian/Chamorro, Samoan, and Laotian adult individuals (25 years and older) possess bachelor degrees (or higher) at rates lower than the overall state average of 31%.

The importance of noting these disparities cannot be overstated. However, to one particular Asian American audience, this may be thoroughly unconvincing. Persuasive as they might be to a broader audience, the typical pro-affirmative action argument from AANHPI advocacy groups fails to persuade some Asian Americans who oppose affirmative action because they leave an elephant in the room unaddressed.

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Tired of Ryan Lochte? Let’s Celebrate Olympian Amini Fonua Instead!

Amini
Tongan swimmer Amini Fonua

By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)

If you’re like most people, you are probably fed up by increasingly ridiculous and infuriating Ryan Lochte story. To that end, let’s take a moment to spotlight an Olympic swimmer who is far more deserving of our attention instead.

Most American Twitter users were first introduced Tongan swimmer Amini Fonua in the aftermath of that absolutely horrifying Daily Beast piece in which a reporter doxxed several closeted Olympians.

The openly gay Fonua’s ensuing tweetstorm about the lives of gay athletes was both eloquent and enlightening.

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In memory of Ashdeep Kaur, age 9

Ashdeep Kaur (Photo Credit:
Ashdeep Kaur (Photo Credit: NBC)

By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)

Sometimes a story appears on the local news that’s so sad, tragic, and infuriating that it completely takes your breath away. That’s how I felt when the news broke that a nine-year-old Queens girl named Ashdeep Kaur was strangled on Friday, allegedly at the hands of her stepmother.

NY1 reports Shamdai Arjun, 55 was charged murder by strangulation after the child’s body was found inside a bathtub at her home.

Ashdeep’s short life was apparently filled with turmoil and violence, with many neighbors and family members wondering if she was being abused. Ashdeep was said to even have told a relative that she was afraid to return home with her stepmother.

The response she received is extremely troubling. “That is how we grew up in Punjab. I was thinking, ‘It’s normal, it’s OK. It’s family,’?” said Ashdeep’s uncle Manjinder Singh told the New York Post.

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In Our Own Backyard: What You Need to Know About Human And Sex Trafficking in the U.S.

Map of inter-regional human trafficking flows, worldwide. (Photo Credit: United Nations Office of Drug and Crime)
Map of inter-regional human trafficking flows, worldwide. (Photo Credit: United Nations Office of Drug and Crime)

By Guest Contributor: Brian Kent

Most readers are likely aware that human and sex trafficking is a serious problem in countries such as Thailand and India. In fact, Asian women are the most trafficked group worldwide. But, readers may not know that human and sex trafficking of Asian women is a large problem here in the United States, as well. While abuse lawyers like those at AbuseGuardian.com can help victims of human and sex trafficking take legal action against their captors, trafficking is an issue that has sadly gone widely unnoticed in America.

70% of human trafficking victims worldwide are girls or adult women. Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) are disproportionately trafficked into sex work in America. Although APIs represent roughly 6% of Americans, nearly half of trafficked people into America are API, making APIs the second largest group of human trafficking victims in the Americas, and the largest group of people trafficked into the region. According to a 2004 U.S. Department of Justice report, 7,800 Asians and Pacific Islanders were trafficked into America out of an estimated 14,500-17,500 trafficked people. More recent reports from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime show that more than 1 in 3 human trafficking victims in Northern and Central America originated from East Asia, South Asia or the Pacific Islands, and most of them are trafficked to the United States or Canada.

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Why This Election Matters

ItTakesRoots

By Guest Contributor: Timmy Lu (@timmyhlu)

I’ve been voting and tracking national electoral politics since I was nine, when I voted twice for Bill Clinton in 1992.

Like a lot of immigrant and refugee kids, my parents relied on me to interpret American society for them, and politics — including filling out mail-in ballots — was one part of that responsibility. I was raised under the requirement that I know — and be able to talk about — American politics.

I’ve noticed something really different about this year’s election.

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