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Jenn Reappropriate
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Wasting time, one blog post at a time.
Wasting time, one blog post at a time.

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Absent any action by President Trump, all three Initiatives will cease to exist at the end of next week, in accordance with an Executive Order signed by President Obama to grant each the authority to continue operations through Trump’s transition period. Trump could easily sign an Executive Order — something the president appears to enjoy doing — that would renew each of the Initiatives and the related Presidential Advisory Commissions. However, Trump has appeared to vacate all interest in or responsibility for the three Initiatives — despite their missions of addressing educational outcomes in the Black, Hispanic, and Asian American & Pacific Islander communities — leaving the fate of these programs in serious doubt.

...Yet again, the White House signals that serving America’s people of colour is not among this administration’s priorities. Instead — through either incompetence or deliberate malice — President Trump is at the cusp of allowing three Initiatives that have withstood the transition of power between four presidents including two from each of America’s major political parties to languish into irrelevance; and, possibly fade away into non-existence altogether. President Trump is the sitting American president, but he signals no interest in being a president to America’s people of colour.
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Dumala was an H-4 visa holder at the time of her husband’s murder, and the couple had a pending application for permanent residency status (colloquially known as a “green card”). With Kuchibhotla’s death, Dumala’s visa — which was valid only as a dependent spouse of her husband — was revoked, and she was forced to scramble to obtain visa status of her own in order to remain in the country. Her and her husband’s application for a green card — a process that can take nearly a decade for immigrants from China and India due to annual green card caps — was nullified leaving her back at square one. Furthermore, without a valid visa, if Dumala returned to Hyderabad, India — the place of her husband’s birth — to attend his funeral, she would likely be unable to return to the United States at all. Without intervention, it was unlikely Dumala would be able to obtain legal status of her own: the grace period grated to her upon her H-4 visa’s revocation did not permit her sufficient time to apply for an H-1B visa of her own, and she would most likely have been forced to leave or become a visa “overstay”.

This is the reality of how US immigration policy heartlessly treats immigrants every single day.

There is a further irony: under the RAISE Act immigration reform proposal backed by several Republicans and the Trump administration, Dumala would likely not ever have qualified for an immigrant visa on her own. Furthermore, had Dumala’s husband lived, Dumala would still have faced the possible loss of her work authorization under Trump.
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Since the shooting death of Michael Brown in 2014, the nation has been forced to contend with this nation’s long-running epidemic of excessive violence disproportionately committed by law enforcement against people of colour — and in particular Black people. The Guardian reported that in 2016 Black people were more than twice as likely to be killed by police than Whites or Asians; Hispanic and Latinx people, as well as Native people, were also significantly more likely to be killed. Ethnic disaggregation of the data published by The Guardian further show that of Asian Americans who are killed by police, victims are disproportionately South and Southeast Asian Americans, like both Fong Lee (who was Hmong American) and Tommy Le (who was Vietnamese American). Indeed, Middle Eastern and South Asian Americans are 3.5 times more likely — and, Southeast Asian Americans are nearly six times more likely — to be killed by police compared to East Asian Americans.

...We can only hope that in the more than ten years since Fong Lee’s murder, and in the three years since Michael Brown’s and Akai Gurley’s killing, that the moral arc of the universe has managed to bend just enough to make justice possible for Tommy Le; because, when faced with system stacked so highly against people of colour when it comes to state-sanctioned violence, sometimes all we have left is hope, and the will to keep fighting the good fight.

Link to fundraiser for Tommy Le (organized by family to help cover legal expenses):
https://www.youcaring.com/tommyle-874946

#JusticeforTommyLe
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Studies have long confirmed an epidemic of on-campus sexual assault and harassment -- one that has been largely overlooked by school administration. An on-campus study conducted by Duke University revealed that an alarming 40% of female undergraduates had experienced sexual assault, as had 10% of male undergraduates. Similarly high rates of sexual assault were found at Yale (38.8% of female undergraduates) as well as in a combined study of 27 universities (23% of female undergraduates). At Cornell, 13% of female undergraduates reported experiencing nonconsensual sexual penetration, one of many forms of sexual assault. These data are highly disturbing: they suggest that a female undergraduate student is 5.5 times more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than the average resident of most major US cities. Furthermore, sexual assault is a highly gendered crime: on-average, female undergraduate students are four to five times more likely to be sexually assaulted than male students.

The issue of on-campus sexual assault is of particular relevance to Asian American women and other women of colour. At Duke, white female undergraduates are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted compared to white male undergraduates; but for Asian American female undergraduate students, the gender disparity in sexual assault rises to more than six times more likely to be assaulted, and Black or Hispanic female undergraduates are at even greater risk of sexual assault. In the larger study of 27 universities, Asian American female students were 4.5 times more likely to have experienced nonconsensual sexual penetration compared to Asian American male students. For Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students, female students were 5.5 times more likely to be assaulted than male students. These gender disparities were higher for Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students than for Black or White undergraduates.
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GUEST POST: Martin Tsai

"We learn from watching. If dramas are developmental exercises in identification and empathy in our formative years, one can easily surmise why many white men — such as those who take part in the alt-right movement — believe the world should revolve around only them, and women and minorities should be relegated to supporting roles or disappear entirely.

Triumph over adversity is a common narrative trope, which, when combined with the disproportionate number of white male protagonists, overemphasizes the plight — and ultimately the fortitude and courage — of white men while it trivializes that of women and minorities. Straight white males, whose ancestors were never enslaved; who have never been racially profiled or shot by the police while unarmed; and, who have never been denied the right to marry are nevertheless conditioned by popular culture to believe they have it rough. Is it any wonder why some of them view women and minorities as antagonists, imagine affirmative action to be oppression, and conjure up such false equivalence as “reverse racism?”"
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Hey pick-up artists, you hear that sound? Yes, that sound. That’s the sound of millions of Asian American women laughing their asses off at you.
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"Angry moms” — particularly “angry” Asian American moms — have served as the backbone of the Asian American political community for as long as we can remember. Lily Chin was an “angry” Asian American mom who led the fight for justice after her son, Vincent, was brutally murdered in 1982. Yuri Kochiyama was an “angry” Asian American mom who fought for racial justice, feminism, and an end to state violence against political prisoners. Patsy Mink was an “angry” Asian American mom who revolutionized women’s rights in this country, and also became the first Asian American women to be elected to Congress or to run for the White House. Linda Sarsour is an “angry” Asian American mom who is currently one of the most prominent and recognizable leaders of the contemporary women’s movement and the fight to end Islamophobia in this country. It was thousands of “angry” women — many mothers — who were behind the largest labour rights demonstration in New York Chinatown history; the sitting representative of one of New York City’s largest Chinese American neighbourhoods should know that.

Asian American history is replete with “angry” Asian American women, feminists, and mothers who have accomplished so much, not just with regard to racial justice but also in the fight for gender rights. Beyond the examples listed above, most of us would be nowhere without the driven and steadfast Asian American women and mothers in our lives. When Koo retorts that “an angry mom can’t accomplish much,” he dismisses the (physical, emotional, economic) labour of all women and mothers, and he lobs a senseless attack on all of us as well as against the fundamental existence of the (Asian American) feminist movement.

...Is this the kind of sexism that voters believe deserves to sit on the New York City Council? Is this the kind of sexist anti-feminism that Asian Americans want representing us and our interests?
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The issue raises the question of how the casting process in Hollywood, in general, plays into stereotypes of people of colour, rather than serving as part of a search for racial or cultural authenticity in the resulting art. Some actors who are deemed “too ethnic” in appearance find themselves typecast; others who are deemed by look or background to be “ethnically ambiguous” find themselves cast in many different roles, including some that only dubiously reflect their racial or ethnic backgrounds.

One must wonder what effect this casting process — which seems to treat non-white identity as a sort of generic “Brown-ness” that can be satisfied with mere “close enough” casting — has on popular constructions of race and racial identity? Why is it that when it comes to white leading actors, the casting process touts itself as rewarding the best actor to play the part? But, when it comes to non-white characters, why does a significant part of the casting process seems to hinge solely upon whether or not the chosen actor fits preconceived (and often inauthentic) notions of what that particular non-white character should look like? And above all, does such a system end up limiting the possibilities for actors of color; and are we not, therefore, fated to end up fighting one another for the scraps at the bottom of White Hollywood’s barrel?
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In an ideal future, characters would not be carelessly whitewashed by filmmakers. In an ideal future, it would not fall upon internet netizens to call out seriously problematic casting decisions made by major Hollywood studios – which have to go through several rounds of approval before they are announced. In an ideal future, the casting of actors of colour to play character of colour would not be an anathema, and it would not be the responsibility of communities of colour to point that out. But until then, Skrein’s withdrawal from “Hellboy” is a positive step in the right direction.

... Skrein should be commended for doing the right thing and for stepping down from the "Hellboy" project. He should further be commended for doing so publicly, and in a way that will hold "Hellboy" producers accountable for the steps they take going forward.

I for one will be more interested in supporting Skrein as an actor in his future projects in the wake of this decision, and I look forward with interest to see how "Hellboy" producers recast the role of Major Ben Daimio.
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When I reached out to Tan for a comment on the sexist timbre of the attacks being lodged against her, she described them as “jarring”, but also an “all too familiar” attempt to discredit a female politician by “undermining the validity of my voice and my seat at the debate.”

“As Asian American women, we experience this crushing weight of the glass ceiling in all professions. In politics, where attacks are accepted by profession, the ceiling feels more like concrete than glass. When the very characteristics that would make anyone successful in public office – being assertive, loud and clear, bold, brave, outspoken - are the same ones used to criticize women, we clearly see why so few women are in politics at all.”
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