By Guest Contributor: Sudip Bhattacharya (@ResistRun)
Chris Phan used to believe that they were an anomaly. After all, Phan and those around them in their community were working class Asian Americans; this didn’t match the mainstream perception of Asian Americans as economically and educationally privileged.
Eventually, Phan realized that what they and others experience on the economic margins is actually the norm for many.
“The reality is I know folks who are super poor and Asian American who have to rely on the informal economy to survive. And now, with my education, I know that’s not isolated to my family or experiences,” Phan explained.
On November 23rd, 67-year-old Tai Lam — who was homeless — was sleeping in an alley near Crocker Galleria in San Francisco when surveillance video shows an unknown suspect running up to him and kicking him repeatedly while he lies in his sleeping bag on the ground.
That video was released today by SFPD (after the jump), who are seeking the public’s help in identifying the unknown assailant, and two other attackers who returned moments later to resume the fatal beating.
Last week, nearly 300 dim sum workers won a landmark $4 million dollar settlement from major San Francisco-area restaurant chain, Yank Sing. The workers, who did not have the benefits of a union, were forced to endure multiple labour violations, including retaliatory action and wage theft.
Jessica Kwong (@JessicaGKwong) of the San Francisco Examiner summarizes a recent report issued by the Asian Pacific Islander Council titled “Asian and Pacific Islander Health and Wellbeing: A San Francisco Neighborhood Analysis”. The report published several findings regarding the city’s Asian American population that challenge the Model Minority Myth, which asserts that Asian Americans are by and large “doing fine”.
The over-crowding of poor Asian Americans in Chinatown has become a subsequent strain on local social services, and has also contributed to high rates of mental illness and other chronic diseases. Yet these social problems are rarely addressed in the larger discourse on the city’s Asian American population; instead, most residents assume that San Francisco’s Asian American population are comprised predominantly of the city’s wealthy elite.