USC To Apologize For WWII-Era Actions That Derailed Japanese American Students’ Educations

The University of Southern California is apologizing to former Japanese American students whose educations were interfered with by the school during World War II.

USC President Carol Folt will issue a formal apology to the former students and award them honorary degrees posthumously, according to the Los Angeles Times. The school is also asking the public for assistance in locating the families of around 120 students who went to USC from 1941-42. 

“This is a stained part of our history,” USC Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations Patrick Auerbach told the Times. “While we can’t change what happened in the past … the university can certainly still do right by their families and let them know that we are posthumously awarding them honorary degrees so that they can occupy that place in the Trojan family, which they deserve.” 

An executive order issued by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 forced the removal of people of Japanese descent from the West Coast, placing tens of thousands of people in detention camps.

USC refused to release the transcripts of Japanese American students so they could attend another university, the Los Angeles Times reported. When some students attempted to return to USC after the war, the school would not recognize their previously completed courses and told them they would have to start over, their surviving family members noted. 

USC alumni have been pushing for the school to apologize for their actions toward Japanese American students during World War II for years, but the issue gained new momentum after George Floyd’s murder last year, which prompted many institutions to examine their roles in acts of racism.

USC law students last year publicized their research project centering on the issue, titled “Forgotten Trojans,” and an Academic Senate committee also pushed for the school to formally recognize the issue, the Times reported. 

Folt will officially make the apology and award the degrees next spring at an Asian Pacific Alumni Association gala and will also recognize the former students at the school’s commencement in May, according to the Times.

Source: The Hill

After 105 Years, Cleveland Changing Name From Indians To Guardians After 2021 Season

Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will next be called the Guardians.

The ballclub announced the name change Friday with a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks, ending months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist.

The name change is effective at the end of the 2021 season.

Cleveland’s new name was inspired by the large landmark stone edifices — referred to as traffic guardians — that flank both ends of the Hope Memorial Bridge, which connects downtown to Ohio City. As the team moved closer to making a final decision on the name, team owner Paul Dolan said he found himself looking closely at the huge art deco sculptures.

“Frankly, I hadn’t studied them that closely until we started talking about them and I should emphasize, we’re not named after the bridge, but there’s no question that it’s a strong nod to those and what they mean to the community,” he said following a news conference at the ballpark.

The organization spent most of the past year whittling down a list of potential names that was at nearly 1,200 just over a month ago. But the process, which the team said included 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders, front-office personnel and a survey of 40,000 fans, quickly accelerated, and the club landed on Guardians.

Dolan has said last summer’s social unrest, touched off by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, spurred his intention to change the club’s name.

“We do feel like we’re doing the right thing and that’s what’s driving this,” Dolan said. “I know some people disagree, but if anything I’ve gotten more and more comfortable that we’re headed in the right direction.

“And actually, the selection of the name solidifies that feeling because of the values that the name represents.”

The team’s colors will remain the same, and the new Guardians logos will incorporate some of the architectural features of the bridge.

In 2018, the Indians stopped wearing the contentious Chief Wahoo logo on their jerseys and caps. However, the team continues to sell merchandise bearing the smiling, red-faced caricature that has drawn protests from Native American groups for decades.

Cleveland’s change comes as the Washington Football Team continues to work toward a similar makeover. Washington recently said it will reveal a new name and logo in 2022.

Source: ESPN

Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans Are at an ‘Alarming Level’, UN Says

Experts from the United Nations (UN) formally expressed concerns about the growing number of attacks against Asian Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the alleged lack of measures from authorities to combat them.

The experts, appointed by the Human Rights Council (HRC), serve as rapporteurs on (1) contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; (2) human rights of migrants; and (3) discrimination against women and girls.

“Racially motivated violence and other incidents against Asian-Americans have reached an alarming level across the United States since the outbreak of COVID19,” experts continued.

These included vandalism, verbal harassment, physical attacks, and refusal of service and access.

Verbal harassment comprised the majority of the incidents. Victims reportedly heard profanities such as “f**ing Chinese,” “die ch*nk die,” “yellow n*****” and “go back to China, b**ch!”

The group also cited the alleged link between President Donald Trump’s anti-China rhetoric and the surge in hate incidents. They noted that his actions have been “seemingly legitimizing” the phenomenon.

Trump has used controversial terms to refer to COVID-19, including “Chinese Virus,” “China Virus,” “China Plague,” “Wuhan Virus,” “Kung Flu.” The World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized agency of the UN, has long opposed the use of such terms.

“Don’t attach locations or ethnicity to the disease, this is not a ‘Wuhan Virus,’ ‘Chinese Virus’ or ‘Asian Virus.’ The official name for the disease [COVID-19] was deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatization,” the agency said in March.

Congress has since introduced bills (House of RepresentativesSenate) condemning all forms of anti-Asian sentiment. The House passed its version by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) last month, which led to attacks against the official herself.

President Donald Trump’s Lawyer and Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani Accidentally Uploads Video of Himself Mocking Asian Accents

Rudy Giuliani accidentally uploaded a video of himself to YouTube on Wednesday night, in which President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer is seen to mock Asians in a racist manner.

The former mayor of New York City and President Donald Trump’s current personal lawyer put on a stereotypical Asian accent while bowing with his hands clasped together and talking about ordering Chinese food in the video.

An extended version of the video was set to private but not before clips made rounds on social media.

Source: NextShark

Americans Who Trust President Donald Trump are More Likely to Discriminate Asian Americans Over COVID-19, Study Shows

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Amid the COVID-19 crisis, U.S. adults who have greater trust in President Donald Trump are more likely to engage in discriminatory behavior against Asian Americans, a new study revealed.

Trump, who has referred to SARS-CoV-2 as the “Chinese virus” and “Kung Flu,” routinely defends his use of the terms, saying that they were meant to indict China rather than Asian Americans.

However, his followers appear to miss the difference, as the study published in the International Journal of Public Health suggests that they would express more bias against the group than those who trust in science.

“We found over 40% of our sample reported they would engage in at least one discriminatory behavior toward people of Asian descent. Respondents who were fearful of COVID-19 (b = .09, p < 0.001) and had less accurate knowledge about the virus (b = − .07, p < 0.001) reported more negative attitudes toward Asians as did respondents with less trust in science (b = − .06, p < 0.001) and more trust in President Trump (b = .04, p < 0.001).”

Based on surveys of 1,141 U.S. residents in March 2020, the study found that more than 40% were willing to engage in at least one biased and discriminatory behavior toward people of Asian descent, such as refusing to sit next to one.

Researchers found that men, Republicans and non-white individuals reported greater bias toward Asians compared to the rest of the respondents.

Additionally, those who had worse fears of contracting COVID-19, those who knew less about the disease and those who had greater trust in Trump were also linked to having higher levels of bias towards Asian Americans.

Source: NextShark

Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss Shares Racist Letter from Fan; ‘We All Must Do Better’

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Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss shared a racist letter sent to her by a fan in an Instagram post Friday.

The letter said: “Dear w—e, After 60 years as a huge Lakers fan, I now say to hell with the overpaid n—-r traitors and the NBA. Go to hell and join [redacted] Kobe Bryant.”

Buss explained she felt it was important to share the letter: “I have received letters like this over the years. The advice I always got? ‘Ignore it.’ I did. But not anymore. On this day, Juneteenth, I ask my white friends to join together, acknowledge the racism that exists in our country and around the world, and pledge to stop ignoring it. We all must do better.”

Source: Bleacher Report