Tag Archives: Twitter

#NotYourWedge Twitter Townhall Features Asian American Panelists in Support of Affirmative Action

August 9, 2017

Earlier today, Asian American scholars and activists organized a Twitter townhall to discuss affirmative action on the hashtag #NotYourWedge.  The six panelists for the event were (including myself):

  • Jenn Fang, Founder/Editor of Reappropriate (@reappropriate)
  • Jason Fong, Former Intervener in SFFA v. Harvard (@jasonfongwrites)
  • Nancy Leong, Law Professor at the University of Denver (@nancyleong)
  • OiYan Poon, Professor of Higher Education at Colorado State University (@spamfriedrice)
  • Anurima Bhargava, Former Chief of the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division at the US Department of Justice (@anurima)
  • Janelle Wong, Political Science & Asian American Studies Professor at the University of Maryland (@ProfJanelleWong)

The townhall was co-hosted by:

  • Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (@AAAJ_LA)
  • Vanessa Teck, Doctoral Student (@VanessaTeck)
  • Amanda Assalone, co-Chair of the Asian Pacific American Network (@assalone1)
  • Rachel Luna, Higher Education Doctoral Student (@RachelHLuna)

After the jump, you can read the archive of today’s townhall!

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Speaking Truth to Power is not Cyberbullying: On Tone Policing and Respectability Politics

May 15, 2017
Zach McGowan (left), who is not Native Hawaiian, has been cast to play Ben Kanahele (right) in the upcoming “Ni’ihau” film.

Last week, Deadline broke the story that writer/director Gabriel Robertson (EastEnders, Bucket, The Gift) was attached to write and direct a feature film based on the infamous so-called “Ni’ihau Incident”. Deadline further reported that actor Zach McGowan (Dracula UntoldTerminator: Salvation, Black Sails) — who is not Native Hawaiian — had been cast in the leading role of Benehakaka “Ben” Kanahele, a historical figure and Ni’ihauian who was awarded a Purple Heart for his role in the incident.

News of McGowan’s casting triggered immediate backlash from Asian American and Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander activists, who accused the filmmakers of using “Polyface” to whitewash the character of Ben Kanahele. In addition, Asian Americans criticized early buzz surrounding the planned “Ni’ihau” film, which described the incident as a “catalyst” for Japanese American incarceration (Editor’s Note: see JACL’s Power of Words handbook).

In truth, the events of the Ni’ihau Incident was co-opted by hardline conservatives to provide a veil of legitimacy to obscure the racist and anti-Asian motives behind Japanese American incarceration. History has since confirmed that Executive Order 9066 — which led to the forcible removal of over a hundred thousand Japanese and Japanese American civilians — was not based in significant military intelligence showing that Japanese Americans were untrustworthy; rather, Japanese American incarceration emerged as the latest escalation in a decades-long pattern of legalized anti-Asian and anti-Japanese harassment and criminalization.

Online outcry against “Ni’ihau” was fervent, taking the shape of memes, Twitter threads, and long-form thinkpieces. As it turns out, the filmmakers behind the planned “Ni’ihau” film were listening; and, they weren’t very receptive to the criticism.

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“Misogynasian” and Why Gender Discrimination in Tech Must Be an Asian American Issue

March 26, 2015

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Three years ago, Ellen Pao — former junior partner of Silicon Valley venture capital group Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers — filed a lawsuit against her former employers, citing a pattern of bias against female employees; yesterday, lawyers in her suit against Kleiner completed their closing statements with a plea for greater efforts to address gender equality in the tech industry. Pao’s suit alleges that Pao was harassed, and eventually fired, from Kleiner for challenging a culture of sexual harassment within her former company.

Throughout the Pao trial, Pao has courageously endured the usual victim-blaming, character assassination and mudslinging used to dismiss, invalidate, and insubstantiate the experiences of women. She has been tone policed. She has been slut-shamed. She has been labelled a gold digger. She has been accused of being untalented, amateurish, and unprofessional. The message Kleiner’s lawyers are trying to communicate is clear: Ellen Pao is lone voice trying to capitalize off an imagined gender problem in Silicon Valley.

The problem for Silicon Valley is that Ellen Pao is not alone.

Last week, Taiwanese American Chia “Chloe” Hong filed a civil suit against Facebook for gender discrimination. Days later, software engineer Tina Huang filed a civil suit against Twitter, also alleging gender discrimination in the company’s failure to promote women to management positions.

It should escape no one’s notice that all three of these high-profile gender bias lawsuits have been filed by Asian American women.

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Reappropriate: The Podcast – Ep. 6 | Is Digital Activism “Real” Activism?

September 9, 2014

Episode 6 of Reappropriate: The Podcast is now live! This episode features a great conversation between myself and Cayden Mak (@Cayden) of 18MillionRising. We talk identity formation in an increasingly digital age, as well as digital tools as one of several tools in an activist toolbox. We briefly touch on the Stephen Salaita controversy in relation to the perils of when digital activism crosses over into the real-world.

You can stream the video and audio of episode 6 using YouTube above (subscribe to my channel to be notified of new episodes), listen to just the audio using the mp3 player below, or download the podcast for your iPod or iPhone through the iTunes Store.

Next episode: Please join me in two weeks’ time when I hope to have a conversation about the third rail in AAPI politics: interracial dating. Guests are still being scheduled, so episode time and link are TBA.

Audio Only:

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We Are All Cyborgs: Being Asian American and Doing Organizing Online | #APAHM2014

May 5, 2014

ghost-in-the-shell-wallpaper-294

Guest-post by Cayden Mak (@Cayden), 18MillionRising.

I recently remarked to a longtime Twitter friend that I feel we live in a magical time, and I always wonder if young movement folks in the past felt that way, too. My friend suggested that not every generation gets to feel that way but there are definitely moments that people live through when they know they are in a magical time. I feel confident saying we live in one such time, but there’s still a question of what we’re going to do with that magic.

The internet has played no small part in the moment we’re in. More than ever, young people are connected to each other, having conversations about the things that matter to us, from pop music to police violence. We’re realizing there are more of us than there are of them, and that’s an incredibly hopeful thing. We live in a time of rapid reinvention, and at a moment when the conversations we are having online—for better or worse—are catching the attention of the mainstream.

For me, the internet always filled the gap between the community where I live and the one I long for. Growing up, finding my peers in the suburban Michigan town where my mom bought a house after she and my dad divorced was a challenge. I didn’t lack for friends, but there were conversations I wanted that I just couldn’t have with them. I was itching to define my politics, which is something I ultimately found online.

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