Monday, April 23, 2007

Featured Job:

This came up on our job bank, from our friends at Some long-time Villagers have seen the excellent, free, nonpartisan contributions they've made to our site in the past, especially around elections seasons. This is a terrifically worthy group that provides (honestly) nonpartisan education and support to Asian American voters, from the early season activities such voter awareness drives, to instructional material translation annd phone help, to monitoring and publishing detailed information about community turnout, and more.

They told us they're looking for top-notch organizer who's deeply knowledgable in diverse Asian American community concerns. If you're that kind of people, take a look:

National Field Organizer and Trainer - Asian Pacific Islander American Vote
Washington, DC

Thursday, April 19, 2007

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Statement on VT

April 18, 2007

Washington D.C. - The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) joins the rest of the nation in sending our heartfelt condolences to the families, and friends of the victims of the tragedy at Virginia Tech and the campus community. We would also like to express our concern for the well being of the entire student body and all those impacted by this senseless loss of life.

NCAPA is a national coalition of organizations that serve Asian Pacific American communities around the country, with expertise on a range of issues - from mental health to inter-ethnic student dialogue and civil rights. We stand ready to commit our resources and support and to work with the administration and student body at Virginia Tech in the days and months to come to begin the healing process and provide a safe atmosphere for the entire Virginia Tech campus community.

Attached is a letter that we are sending to the President of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

NCAPA Member Organizations

National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Asian American Institute
Asian American Justice Center
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Asian Pacific Islander American Vote
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment and Leadership
Chinese American Citizens Alliance
Hmong National Development, Inc.
Indian American Center for Political Awareness
Japanese American Citizen League
Korean American Coalition
Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics
National Alliance of Vietnamese American Service Agencies
National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
National Asian Pacific Center on Aging
National Association for the Education and Advancement of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans
National Federation of Filipino American Association
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
Organization of Chinese Americans
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Sikh Coalition

Additional readings will be posted at Asian-American Village in both its main content departments and its news headlines section

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

On Imus' Heels, OCA Slams Power 105.1 FM Radio Segment as Racist

OCA Condemns Power 105.1 FM Radio Segment as Racist
The ink was barely dry on Imus' pink slip as the latest release to come our way again demanded an apology and meeting station officials for another tired, stereotype-ridden radio "shlock jock" segment.

The release, by the Organization of Chinese Americans, specifically targets the "Are You Smarter than an Asian?" segment on the Ed Lover Show with Egypt and Ashy.

I don't know -- if there's anyone on the program's staff or in its audience who still finds that any humor can still be squeezed out of the same tired old "Hung Lo" jokes and sing-song broken English accent gags, maybe they've answered their own question in abundance. Maybe it's just me, but I am finding it harder and harder to get too bent out of shape about these types of shock jock offenses, because they announce themseleves to be the products of people who are not as smart as Asians -- even dumb Asians.

If I listed all the readings and releases we've run over the past few years on the Rosies and Corollas and Jersey Boys and Sarah Silvermans of America, my wrist would fall off.

There Must Still be Something Out of Kilter
By Lloyd Williams
Commentary: Either it’s ovah for Imus, or, as sister Sojourner Truth said so many years ago, there must still be something out of kilter.
Asian Americans Take Action against Offensive Radio Remarks in Toledo, Ohio
By Theresa J. Mah, Ph.D., Department of Ethnic Studies, Bowling Green State University
Coalition seeks removal of DJ "Lucus" on Tower 98.3 FM for prank call segments ridiculing Asians
N.J. Radio Station Hosts Accused of Hate, Anti-Asian Sentiment
By LYNDA LIN, Assistant Editor, Pacific Citizen
Among other comments, 101.5 FM’s ‘Jersey Boys’ call APAs ‘fringe people’ and stir up debate about free speech and hate media
HOT 97’s Miss Info’s Future Still Unknown
By the Pacific Citizen Staff
March 2005- The Asian American radio host who objected to the tsunami parody song says she will not return to hostile work environment nauseum...

And, before we allow ourselves to get all holier-than-thou, it's worth a reminder that some of these racist shock-commentators are in fact dumb Asians (Kenneth Eng, anyone?), who are and should be targeted for our protests as well.

But, as the editors and many contributors have observed in the past -- and the Imus and Eng firings partially show -- the remedy to these sorts of incidents is to act up. Sure, make noise, protest, meet with stations, demand apologies, but above all flex the muscle of your pocketbook. Using financial pressure to voice your protest and communicating your displeasure to a station's sponsors and advertisers is not censorship, or an infrignement on free-speech. Shock jocks have the right to find humor in cliched racist jokes and get their lame thrills out of feeling they've gotten away with something naughty and so-not-P.C. and express it on the air or in print. The station has a right to employ them. And you have a right to loudly refuse to buy the products and services of anyone associated with them, and to actively discourage everyone else you know from buying them.

But first, in all cases, it's also worth giving a listen to judge for yourself. Here's the link to the online version of the show where you can hear the stream, see who's sponsoring the program, and determine what you might want to do.

U Penn Screening My Life Disoriented, Americanese Preview

A note from Chinese American filmmaker activist and frequent AAV contributor, Eric Byler:

Byler will be appearing this week at a series of talks and screenings in the Philadelphia area, discussing both his works for the silver screen and tube, and his more recent forays into producing guerilla public service and community politics videos.

Public screening tonight gives Philly folk a chance to see a screening of My Life Disoriented, and Asian American family drama he created for PBS' series Independent Lens, and bits of Americanese, a new feature-length film starring Chris Tajima, Allison Sie and Joan Chen, adapted from Shawn Wong's classic American Knees.

Eric Byler Talk, Screening of My Life Disoriented
April 18, 2007
University of Pennsylvania
402 Logan Hall
249 S 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA

Byler will also be appearing on April 19th at nearby Swarthmore College.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dean Frank Wu Resigning 2008

Michigan's Wayne State University Law School Dean and author of Yellow--Race in America Beyond Black and White Frank H. Wu announced his resignation as dean, effective May 2008. Wu, who has been dean of the Law School since 2004, gave family reasons, specifically the health concerns of his wife, as the reason for his resignation and need to return to Washington DC. Wu plans to focus on several initiatives before his departure, in particular the continuing progress on the fundraising for the Damon J. Keith Classroom Building & Center for Civil Rights at the Law School.

Frank Wu has been a friend of Asian American Village for many years, as well as a prolific former columnist. As the first Asian American law school dean, he has been an incredible role model for our community. He has also been at the forefront of our battles for affirmative action and diversity at Michigan.

We at the Village wish you and your wife, Carol Izumi, the best. We know we will still hear from you in Washington DC. But Michigan will miss you! Check out his blog and if you haven't read Yellow--Race in America Beyond Black and White yet, read it now, it's brilliant!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Weekend in Paradise - @ AAV News

Asian American Village News: "Weekend Focus: Hawai'i Culture"

As regular Villagers know, the editors have been spending a lot of time in the islands over the past few years, a series of readings from the AP got us in an island mood this weekend. Many of them are following up on the Merrie Monarch festival, the annual fest for "the perpetuation, preservation, and promotion of the art of hula and the Hawaiian culture through education." But another one got us to thinking -- the good, thorough article by the AP's JAYMES SONG, "Once near extinction, Hawaiian language making strong comeback".

Richly annotated with a historical timeline sidebar and list of "fast facts," the piece gives a good sense of how community, academic and public partnership can work to preserve what would otherwise be lost.

It's an important lesson. Very, very often, preparing the news for our sister site, The Native American Village, we see disheartening reports of indigenous languages fizzling out with the passing of elders -- usually an especially long-lived woman -- known to be the last speaker of various tribal languages. Across the country, dedicated linguists and academics are working at saving such languages, but the efforts are likely doomed without the support and particpation of local families.

As Song observes, for example, the parents of children in an immersion school for Hawaiian language must out of necessity actively participate in their kids' study: "With very few children's books available in Hawaiian, parents paste translations on top of the English text. So, for example, Shel Silverstein's popular book, The Giving Tree, becomes O Kumula'au Aloha."

Of the criticism that such immersion schools will put students at a disadvantage because their focus on an "unviable" language would presumably detract from their learning English, Song cites studies that suggest that "highly bilingual students tend to have higher cognitive abilities."

More at the article here.

More resources elsewhere at:

Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library
Hawaiian Dictionary
'Aha Punana Leo language program
University of Hawai'i at Hilo's College of Hawaiian Language

Friday, April 06, 2007

Asian American Activists Call White House Immigration Paper ‘Anti-Family’

Asian American Activists Call White House Immigration Paper ‘Anti-Family’:

Newly leaked White House immigration draft could be as devastating as the Chinese Exclusion Act, according to Asian American community leaders

New America Media, News Report, Eugenia Chien, Posted: Apr 06, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO -- Asian American community leaders called a newly leaked White House immigration draft “inhumane” and “un-American” because it calls taking away the right of legal immigrants to sponsor their relatives to join them and breaking up families as a result.

The document containing “a set of principles” for immigration reform drafted by key Republican Congressional representatives was circulated in Washington last week. The plan creates temporary visas for undocumented immigrants and new workers, but it also puts more limits on American citizens’ ability to bring their parents, children over age 21 and siblings to the United States.

“This plan attacks families and offers false hope for those seeking to legalize,” says to Karen K. Narasaki, executive director of the Washington-based Asian American Justice Center. "


Thursday, April 05, 2007

ASNE Report Finds Percentage of Minorities in Newsrooms Declining

According to the American Newspaper Editors Association 2007 survey on the representation of minorities in U.S. news media, the percentages of minority and women journalists working in America’s newsrooms both declined in the past year. According to ASNE, it is only the second time since the survey started in 1978 that the percentage of minorities has declined.

In a year marked by news organization layoffs that were headlines in themselves, ASNE’s annual “census” found that the percentage of minorities fell to 13.62 percent, down from 13.87 last year. The percentage of women also dropped from 37.70 to 37.56 percent.

The percentage of minorities in supervisory roles at daily newspapers dropped to 10.9 percent, equal to the percentage from two years ago. The downward trend holds true for student and entry-level employment as well. According to ASNE’s release, the percentage of minority interns stands at nearly 27 percent, “a number that has continued to fall as newspapers cut back” on internships.

The one silver lining in the report seemed to come from online media. ASNE’s census of daily newspapers for the first time counted full-time staffers who work entirely at online publishing activities by their companies. Among online media staffs, the percentage of minorities on staff was an estimated 16 percent, which helped make the drop in overall employment numbers seem less severe than they might have been.

See a fuller report at IMDiversity, ASNE Report Finds Percentage of Minorities in Newsrooms Declining, or view detailed data tables from the census at the ASNE website.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Frances' Japanese Pop Culture Experts on BBC

You can hear Frances Kai-Hwa Wang’s daughters, Margot and Hao Hao, interviewed on the March 27, 2007 “Japanese Culture Report,” on BBC Radio's “The World.” The report is about the increasing influence Japan has on American pop culture. Japanese superheroes are popping up in Super Bowl commercials and manga novels are preferred reading for many young Americans. The BBC was interviewing Roland Kelts, the hapa author of JapanAmerica--How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US, and some other Japanese pop culture experts at a bookstore in Boston, and the girls just happened to be in the bookstore, sitting on the floor, reading a stack of manga as tall as they were.

Margot is the first child's voice listing all her favorite manga. Hao Hao isn't identified by name, only as "Margot's friend" (she's really mad about that), but she's the second child's voice talking about why she likes manga...they're pretty cute...future Asian Pacific American culture critics perhaps?? Here's the link.