Saturday Jun 29

Wendy Davis filibuster helps Democrats kill Texas abortion bill (by NMAWorldEdition)

Check out this hilarious animation by the famous Taiwanese animators!

Monday May 13

Marine Corps Campaign Targets APAs, Ignores Incidents of Racially-Motivated Abuse in Armed Forces


The Marine Corps have unveiled a new recruitment campaign targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The campaign, “A Warrior’s Education,” will run from May 8 through June 7 and was designed to bolster the presence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Corps, who make up only 2.41% and .65% of the military division, respectively. It features an assortment of social media content spotlighting the “authentic stories” of two Asian American Marine officers, while invoking values of education, discipline, and family honor. 


Read More

Thursday Apr 18

Being Brown After The Boston Bomb Blast

Deepak Sarma, Professor of South Asian Religions and Philosophy at Case Western Reserve University, writing here for the Huffington Post on the burden of racial profiling in this age of terror and paranoia:

And then 9/11 happened. It complicated things and colored people’s already tarnished perspectives. I again have had to bear the burden, forced (chained) upon me, of being complicit, of posing a potential threat, of collusion and conspiracy merely because of my brown body, my skin color. I must endure and embrace being imprisoned in a panopticon.

What a relief it would be if the vile perpetrator(s) were “white.” What a burden it will be if she/he/they are brown-skinned.

But you may say, “Deepak, this is not about you.”


It is not about me.

For more context, read over this piece from the New Yorker on “The Saudi Marathon man”, a victim of the Boston attacks who was mistaken for a suspect. Meanwhile, recent (and still tentative) reports indicate that a Bangladeshi man was beaten in the Bronx for being “Arab”, in an apparent retaliation for Monday’s events. 

Friday Apr 12

Hearing the Voices of Undocumented AAPIs

"…Asian Americans are neither newcomers nor bystanders in the struggle for equality of immigrants in the United States." - Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together Deepa Lyer on her participation in the immigrant rights rally in D.C. on April 10th.

With over 10 percent of the country’s 11 million undocumented hailing from Asian Pacific Islander (API) nations, the media can no longer present immigration reform as a solely Latino issue. Here, Lyer remarks on the little-heard stories of the AAPI undocumented and hints to the potential and power that can come through multiracial coalition building.

Thursday Mar 28

Google Street View Captures Ghost Town in Fukushima’s Evacuation Zone

“But in Namie­machi, time stands still.” -Mayor Tamotsu Baba 

New York Times’ Hiroko Tabuchi reports on Google Street View’s capturing of the damage left behind by the Japanese nuclear power plant explosion in March of 2011. Though it has been two years since the incident, the damages left behind are still very much present, and has been captured with permission by Google’s street car.

Zoom through Street View yourself to see the wreckage.

Saturday Mar 9

Want to sell your home in China? Get a Divorce first.

The crowd at one of Shanghai’s real estate centers after the news of the property tax.

Recent news of a national 20% tax on the profit of a sold home has driven thousands to property bureaus to put up their homes for sale before the tax goes into effect. The State Council, fearing that rising housing prices will cause inequality and a housing bubble, has ordered a property tax for all secondary homeowners.

Some couples are even filing divorces to avoid the tax by claiming one home each. By selling them independently, they are able to bypass the capital gains tax for selling second homes. Divorcing would not only give couples a pass on the 20% tax, but a lower interest rate and down payment for purchasing a new home afterwards. (Re)Marriage will have to wait.

Read the New York Times’ full report.

Wednesday Mar 6

ChinaSmack - the Hottest Web Stories, Unfiltered

Sometimes when I miss the unorthodox ways of the Chinese that made living in Shanghai unpredictable, I get on ChinaSmack and indulge in the site’s mix of official news stories, gossip and cheap scandal. With titles like “Chinese Man Rents Girlfriend for Holiday, Gets Her Pregnant”, you definitely won’t be bored. Besides, the site is a great way to familiarize yourself with local Chinese opinion and media if you don’t want to, or can’t, read Chinese. It’s worth a read, and maybe you’ll be back for more.

Sunday Feb 24

Ed Wang: First Fully Ethnic Chinese Player in the NFL

In 2010, Ed Wang became the first fully ethnic Chinese player ever drafted into the NFL. The offensive tackler signed with the Buffalo Bills, however, never started. He did not make it to the 2011 season, but then signed with the Oakland Raiders in 2012. However, now he has been presented with an exciting, new opportunity with the Philadelphia Eagles. Wang signed a two-year contract with the Philly team, hoping to make the starting roster. Although chances are slim, he does have the athletic genes of his parents on his side. The couple met when they competed to make the Chinese Olympic Team for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Saturday Feb 23

Self-Immolations Continue in Tibet

Following the recent 100th self-immolation reported in Tibet, there continue to be reports of death from the area. Last Tuesday, two teenagers committed a rare act of joint self-immolation. Rinchen, just 17, and Sonam Dargye, only 18, had been friends since elementary school in Sichuan Province of Western China. They killed themselves in Ngaba, an area known for its self-immolation protests and also the epicenter of the deadly 2008 Sichuan earthquake that devastated the area, killing over 20,000 residents. 

The two brought the number of people to set themselves on fire to 104 since 2009 when the acts began. People ranging from monks to women to nomads have shown their clear dislike for Chinese rule in the Tibetan region. However, China has only come out blaming the Dalai Lama. 

Thursday Feb 7

Rent A Boyfriend

The New Year is supposed to bring celebration, joy, and excitement for the upcoming year. However, for single Chinese women, Chinese New Year only brings anxiety and pressure.

Chinese culture regards single women that are older than 27 as "leftover women". This stems from a society that looks down upon older women who are unmarried and without a boyfriend. Because of this, there are men who offer to pose as a significant other. The business for these men is booming around Chinese New Year, when women go home and want to avoid endless questioning from family and friends about why they are still single. 

However, this is far from a free service. According to a New York Times article, men place themselves on TaoBao, China’s eBay equivalent. Here, they list their rates and services. According to the article, this man is going at 800 renminbi a day, or about $128. He goes much further into detail, for example, watching a movie is 10 renminbi an hour and then double that if the movie is horror. He even has various prices based on the alcoholic drinks consumed, based on the spirit content of each drink. 

Nothing says Happy New Year like bringing a rented boyfriend home!

Monday Oct 15

NPR: More Asian-Americans seeking higher political office

According to this report by the National Public Radio, more Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are running for higher elected office such as Congress. NPR goes on to examine this new phenomena. 

Monday Apr 9

Barry: Asians And “Dirty Shops”


You may or may not have heard of D.C. council member Marion Barry’s racist comments last Tuesday. He targeted the Asian American by criticizing their small businesses and urging them to close their “dirty shops.”  This man had just celebrated his third consecutive win in the Democratic primary. 

The exact quote goes: 

“We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up businesses, those dirty shops,” he said in the course of laying out his vision for the ward. “They ought to go. I’ll just say that right now, you know. But we need African American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.”

These sentiments are reminiscent of those back during the '92 riots in Los Angeles, which was prompted by the beating of Rodney King. Tensions sparked even more when a Korean woman named Soon Ja-Doo shot a young black girl named Latasha Harlins, who was trying to steal a bottle of orange juice, and Soon Ja-Doo, though convicted guilty of voluntary manslaughter, got a relatively light sentence of a few hundred dollars and hours of community service. Racial tension spurred and the media gave lots of attention to the black-Asian tension that formed during this time. You might even recall rapper Ice Cube’s song, "Black Korea." The fact that many liquor stores and other small businesses of the sort in primarily black communities were being bought up and owned by Koreans added to the tension and frustration among both communities. 

Certainly, we look back on these incidents and the riots that destroyed many, many businesses and was even responsible for a few deaths. With this, it’s hard to believe that similar sentiments are being brought up again by a council member who has been sweeping up victories as of late. Barry was even brought up during the civil rights movement era, which caused more shock to his rather blatant racial comments.

By late last Thursday, Barry apologized via Twitter that he was “very sorry for offending the Asian American community” and that his comments were “admittedly [a] bad choice of words.” He did, however, stick with the concerns that many of the businesses in Ward 8 were owned by Asians. 

By this, he brings back a history of tensions as mentioned with the riots in Los Angeles: his district’s poor neighborhood that largely consists of black residents had and has many Asian-owned eateries and liquor stores. He claims that these very businesses are unclean and hostile, citing the thick, bulletproof plexiglass between the customer and cashiers in many stores. Barry further argues that some of the common take-out stores serve unhealthy, high-calorie foods. Moreover, his argued that the store-owners do not engage with the community. Barry claimed he was blind to race in making this statement: “I don’t care who it is.”

Yet he went back to stating that “90 percent of all small restaurants” were owned by Asians, a figure that’s pretty difficult to claim. He further stated, “We’re spending our money there, and we demand respect. We demand they participate in community affairs. We demand they give jobs to Ward 8 people regardless of their cultural situation. That’s as American as apple pie.”

Barry can make as many nonsensical analogies to what it means to be American, but his comments remain absolutely unacceptable. It simply does not matter who these offensive words were directed towards, but he can’t claim that he was blind to race. Whatever the situation may be in down in D8, Barry did no good in directly pointing out Asians. His ripe age of 76, the decade-old tensions, the high he was feeling during his hoppin’ primary victory party (well-deserved?) nor the actual circumstances of the area are no excuses for his disrespect and ignorance.