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My thoughts exactly, Secret Asian Man.


The Asian American Alliance will be filming a short documentary regarding Asian Americans and Sexual Education. We are currently looking for Asian American students on campus to give their testimonials on camera!

Bring your funny, awkward, serious, and/or interesting stories and opinions to the table!

We will be filming student testimonials after Spring Break:

Date, time, and location to be announced.

For more information, please email Annie Tan at at2452@columbia.edu.

Or: Come to our Mochi Study Break after Spring Break to learn more!

March 10, 2009

Earlier this week, Dr. Jim Yong Kim was announced the 17th president of Dartmouth College by its Board of Trustees, making him the first Asian American individual to hold the presidency of an Ivy League institution. This momentous occasion is a cause for celebration in not only the circles of American higher education but in the Asian American community as well. Dr. Kim’s distinguished professional history in the non-profit health sector, his leadership in the World Heath Organization’s fight against HIV/AIDS, and his experience as a researcher and educator make him an ideal role model for young Asian Americans. The board of the New York City Asian American Student Conference (NYCAASC) would like to extend its sincerest congratulations to Dr. Kim.

It is unfortunate that an event that should invoke pride in America’s diversity was immediately greeted with ignorant and hateful commentary. Generic Good Morning Message (GGMM), the daily Dartmouth email update, was intrinsically tasteless, socially and culturally insensitive, and harmfully racist. Under the flimsy guise of satire, the author attempted to pass off statements that ridiculed immigrants by likening the accomplished humanitarian to a democracy-hating "Chinaman" and mocking his ethnic heritage through hate speech that has permeated our history. Particularly disturbing was the underlying assumption that all people of Asian ethnicity, regardless of their upbringing or accomplishments, should be viewed as outsiders and a threat to a fictional racially-homogeneous United States.

While we applaud GGMM’s timely apology and willingness to attend diversity training seminars, this incident is an indication of a deeper, more troubling issue. In recent years, there have been similar incidents across college campuses (such as the University of Colorado’s 2008 press article, “If it’s war the Asians want”, written by Max Karson) – and the problem is not being addressed. This disturbing trend becomes increasingly clear as Asian American attendance in higher education institutions continues to grow. The alarming reality is that while the immediate controversy is generally resolved by getting the offending party to apologize and/or attend educational workshops, racial stereotyping of Asian Americans is still often condoned without questioning. Most derogatory comments made about people of Asian descent are often considered to be relatively humorous and are not condemned as gravely racist— we must ask ourselves, why is this so?

We must spread awareness about issues in order to combat bigotry within our community. It is not enough to acknowledge that this is an issue, have it be swept under the rug, and watch it recur. NYCAASC calls on all individuals to take a more proactive stance by empowering themselves through education and by challenging assumptions so that these incidents will no longer persist.

What is going on? I just walked down Broadway and saw a few workers (presumably delivery guys) holding signs that said things like "Workers Demand Justice" and "Shame on Yue Wang".

Update: According to Bwog:

A small cadre of protesters amassed outside Vine Sushi this afternoon, holding up signs and offering handouts to passerby.

When asked why they were protesting, they explained that they were former Tomo employees. Their claim is that, after trying to unionize, Tsu Yue Wang, who owns Ollie's, Tomo and Vine, shut down Tomo in retaliation.

The protesters wanted their jobs back and the right to unionize, as well as an increase in their pay, which they claim was under two dollars an hour. When called, a Vine representative said they could not comment since the manager was not in.


Lori Phanachone is a member of the National Honor Society, has a 3.9 grade point average and ranks seventh in the senior class of about 119 at Storm Lake High School.

But school officials have told her she is considered to be illiterate based on her refusal to satisfactorily complete the English Language Development Assessment, a test she says is demeaning and racist.

On Wednesday, Phanachone finished serving three days of in-school suspension for what school administrators say is insubordination. She faces another three days for continuing her silent protest with a second refusal to take the test. According to a written statement presented to her Wednesday, Phanachone said, she could be suspended again and then expelled for a fourth refusal.

"Mr. Ruleaux (assistant principal Beau Ruleaux) told me I was 'no Rosa Parks' -- that I should give up because I would not succeed in my protest," Phanachone said.

Phanachone's scholarships are in danger due to this suspension. The whole thing arose because she did not mark English as her first language out of respect for her family and her culture, which seems like such a petty thing to many, but this speaks millions to the power of the statistics box to reduce an individual to a category and a set of legal rules to which s/he does not really fit in. Also, what's this bullshit about Mr. Ruleaux saying that Phanachone is "no Rosa Parks"? What is he saying, that people of this generation no longer deserve to be proactive protesters? That we have it "easier"?

Update: Check out our new writer Kevin Zhai's post about this very same issue.


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