Write us!

What would you like to see on The Blaaag? Tell us at theblaaag@gmail.com.

Found this article in the midst of the research for my thesis, from the Chinese-American Times in 1969. What I do know--the Asian American Political Alliance was founded in early 1969 by the Asian American members of the predominantly-white Students for a Democratic Society, which played a formative role in the 1968 campus takeover. Its most prominent member was Chris Iijima, the subject of this documentary. It adapted its namesake from the UC Berkeley and San Francisco State chapters, which were involved in the Third World Liberation Front to achieve ethnic studies on their respective campuses. The Berkeley branch also holds the distinction of being the first-ever documented use of the term "Asian American," and having Richard Aoki (RIP) as one of its founding members.


New York - A new group, the Asian American Political Alliance, is seeking to expand its membership and activities in the Eastern US.

With a roster of 30 members of Japanese, Chinese and Korean ancestry, the AAPA invites interested persons to contact them at: Haskell Hall (Columbia University), 605 W. 115th St., NYC.

Among its purposes:
  • The establishment of an Asian-American studies program.
  • The establishment of a college preparatory program for Asians in secondary schools.
  • To give on-campus Asians a political voice.
  • To unite with Black and Latin-American students to form a Third World Alliance.
  • To Cooperate with community groups in solving problems common to Asian-Americans.
An AAPA spokesman points out that this group is not affiliated with the Students for Democratic Action.
Wonder if AAA knew about this group when they came up with their name--it's awfully similar.

UC Santa Barbara's Iota Kappa Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha

Although there has been no official report yet, on March 2nd, a Vietnamese-American student at UCSB was allegedly harassed by four members of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, who--without provocation--attacked Thanh and his friend while using various racial epithets such as "chink," "chinaman," and "gook." There is an ongoing investigation currently being conducted by the University of California Police Department and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. Below is the article that has been circulating Facebook.

Early in the morning of March 2, 2009, Thanh Hong, a Vietnamese American student at the University of California at Santa Barbara , and his Asian American friend walked home through Isla Vista – the college town adjacent tothe UCSB campus. On their way home, Thanh and his friend passed in front of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house. Four men emerged from inside the fraternityhouse, approached Thanh and his friend, and began yelling racial epithets atthem including: “Chink,” “Chinamen,” and “Gook.”

THANH AND HIS FRIEND TRIED TO WALK AWAY. Before they could, however, one of the men -- without provocation -- punched Thanh’s friend in the face, and then attacked Thanh. The man from the fraternity house continued using racial slurs during the attack. Eventually, he stopped his attack and started laughing, providing Thanh and his friend an opportunity to escape. Thanh suffered a facial laceration requiring several stitches and his friend suffered a concussion resulting in partial memory loss.

The University of California Police Department and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office were called and opened an investigation into the case. The police questioned members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity who all denied any involvement. The fraternity also denied that any attack had taken place, even though the sidewalk in front of their house was stained with Thanh’s fresh blood. I still haven’t been able to ascertain where Thanh is originally from.

There doesn't seem to be much other info on the web, but if this is true, it is absolutely outrageous and these guys need to prosecuted! Will post with more information as it becomes available...

Holy crap! According to NYTimes' blog City Room, Tsue Yue Wang (owner of eight restaurants) has been ordered to pay $8.3 million to workers due to labor and wages mistreatment:

The owner, Tsu Yue Wang, also agreed to allow the Labor Department’s staff to conduct seminars at the restaurants to educate the workers, who are mostly Chinese, about their rights under state labor law. The settlement is the culmination an investigation that began in 2006.

The settlement covered three restaurants named Ollie’s Noodle Shop and Grill, and five others: Ollie’s, Ollie’s Brasserie/Mainland, Japanese Restaurant, Chao Zhou Restaurant and Central Kitchen. (A ninth restaurant in the investigation, Ollie’s Noodle Shop at 200 West 44th Street, near Broadway, has since closed.)

During the investigation, the Labor Department found that one additional restaurant, Tomo, owed 100 workers about $1 million. Mr. Wang claimed he had no affiliation with Tomo, which has since closed, but corporate documents suggested otherwise, and the Labor Department is continuing to try to recoup those wages.
Just because this is amazing, I'm going to bring back that picture of students occupying and protesting Saigon Grill:

It's amazing how far this has come... from protests to settlements. Yeah!

It looks like Joe Jonas of the pop-rocky boy band, Jonas Brothers, is following in the footsteps of another Disney star, Miley Cyrus. A photo of the 19-year-old middle brother doing the dreaded chink-eye recently surfaced on the internet. Disney is just great at picking the winners, huh? Not that they have a great track record...

But wait, there's more! Joe's younger brother, Nick, is Miley's ex-boyfriend. How cute: racism runs in the family! Guess the Jonas Brothers' wholesome, "family-friendly" image isn't all it's made out to be...

Seriously, though, this is not okay. Why do these young stars insist on using such blatantly racist behaviors? Yeah, but it's not like they're out to get the Asians, so why should we care? Right? WRONG. These are the people that every prepubescent girl idolizes. It doesn't matter if it's just a "goofy face." In the name of changing the racist landscape for future generations, such behavior is inacceptable!

A great man once said, "With great power comes great responsibility. Mr. Jonas and Miss Cyrus need to take a little more responsibility for their actions. Regardless of their "harmless" intentions, they are sending out a message of racism to young and impressionable tweens, millions of them to be exact.

So please, take your squeaky-clean, bubblegum-punk anthems elsewhere, Mr. Jonas. Because you sure aren't welcome here.

Yay! Congrats, Corinne Manabat!

... Since December. How behind are we?

Anyway, woot! This is long overdue.

Christopher Wong is a California-based filmmaker who established himself by working on projects that range from independents, to shorts, to commercials. But it wasn't until Whatever It Takes that he hit it big.

Whatever It Takes follows Principal Edward Tom, who abandoned the steel and concrete of Fifth Avenue to instead monitor the hallways of the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics. The school, which boasts only 107 students, is a place that Tom considers to be "a safe haven, amidst the violence and poverty of the south Bronx, where children can focus on a rigorous and meaningful education."

The film is co-produced by Renee Tajima-Pena (of Who Killed Vincent Chin? directing fame), and has received major funding from the Center for Asian American Media as well as the Sundance Institute. This is serious business for an Asian American film, centered around an Asian American man and the tumultuous environment in which he lives. Justin Lin's Better Luck Tomorrow, in comparison, didn't make big waves. I spoke to Chris just after the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, and he said that the reception was amazing.

During the Women Who Work It! panel, Fay Ann Lee said that the biggest problem with "Asian American" films is that it doesn't garner an audience (not in the way that Tyler Perry garners an African American audience, anyway). This makes me critique the way that I've been categorizing Chris's film since I first heard about it. Unlike Falling For Grace or Better Luck Tomorrow, Whatever It Takes is not just a chick flick, or a teenage angst film, that happens to feature Asian American players. It is a documentary that details something which looks to us like a more believable slice of reality, one which lays out issues of race, class and education, and asks the audience to piece something out of it. The film presents race as a mere node in a web of problems that have led to society's twisted failings.

Anyway, I haven't even seen the film yet, and this leaves out a lot of other AsAm documentaries that have a lot to offer to the so-called Asian American genre. I'll wait for it to hit the East Coast for Asian Cinevision's Asian American International Film Festival; until then, someone who has actually seen it (and therefore has a cohesive idea), please enlighten.

For more on Whatever It Takes, visit the film website.

They did all the crazy formatting so that we didn't have to:


performers competing for CASH PRIZES.
AUDIENCE FREESTYLE dance/vocal competition.
800-SEAT venue.
"The nation's premiere Asian American talent show."

06.27.09 / 8PM
566 laguardia place at washington sq



from web masters to street team members, we want you all.
>>> inquire at jinny@kollaboration.org <<< ...COMPETITORS UNTIL 4/4 !
are you a dancer, comedian, singer/songwriter, or... ?
>>> inquire at kym@kollaboration.org <<< size="6">---


facebook / blogspot / twitter

General Info: newyork@kollaboration.org

Columbia's AAA was recently contacted by an organization also called "Asian American Alliance." We checked out their website, and they seem pretty legit. Click on the link above to check it out for yourself!

The site provides some helpful information and links about various APA issues. Take a look, in particular, at the articles in the column to the left. Although articles contain a lot of fluff, they include some hard facts too.

Their mission statement is: "Asian American Alliance is an organization dedicated to informing and advising Asian Americans on their way to American Dream. We provide news and helpful information on business issues, politics, government immigration laws, social security laws, real estate, education and scholarship information. We inform Asian Americans about the community issues, health insurances and organizations that assist in resolving them."

So, in short, give it a look-see!

It's that time of the year again: APAAM!

For more information, visit the Facebook event.

Claire Light from Hyphen Blog wrote an excellent piece on Yuri Kochiyama and her problematic legacy of being the woman whose arms Malcolm X died in:

She is the activists' activist; she is the Asian American North Star, she is our godmother, our justification, our revered elder and sacred crone, she's the one everyone points to when we think of Asian American women role models. She is our Malcolm X: beyond doubt, or corruption, or naysaying. And, whereas Malcolm was placed beyond doubt, corruption or naysaying by death, Yuri is there by the grace of her association with the sainted Malcolm.

This constant association, though it honors her, causes me discomfort; because the first thing anyone mentions about Yuri, and the top priority, is her relationship with Malcolm. It's true that this relationship was very important to her, but ... Malcom X died in Yuri Kochiyama's arms, they always say, and in just that tone of hushed reverence. It makes a Mary of her, the woman who washed Jesus' dead body, or the one who first saw Jesus alive when he came out of his tomb; her significance is that of witness to the transcendent sacrifice of a man. (Or two men: in this Democracy Now! interview, they have her tell at length of her father's death and then Malcolm's, but nothing about her own life.)
Read more at Hyphen Blog.

Real billboard

Fake billboard

My new favorite Photoshop hoax (seen on Disgrasian). Remember that episode of South Park when Butters got sent to Christian camp for "confused" children? I imagine that's what Truth Ministry is like.

In December of 2007 we wrote about Richard Aoki - radical activist and Black Panther Field Marshal. This weekend, he passed away at 70 due to complications from medical conditions.

From the documentary of Aoki by Ben Wang and Mike Cheng, Aoki was said to have had an "I don't give a fuck" type of attitude (in addition to supplying arms for the Panthers.) Really, those shades didn't give that away?

Via Angry Asian Man


Copyright 2006| Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly modified and converted to Blogger Beta by Blogcrowds.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.