Tyson Beckford came through for his first-ever VladTV interview, and he and Vlad started off reminiscing about their time living in New Jersey, where they were neighbors. From there, Tyson spoke about growing up in Jamaica until he was 7, and then his family moved back to the Bronx. He explained that he was teased for his Jamaican accent when he first moved back, and Tyson added that kids would call him “Mr. Chin” because of his eyes. To hear more, including how the teasing made him tougher, hit the above clip.
John Oliver discusses the large and diverse group of people who fall under the term “Asian American”, the history of the model minority stereotype, and why our conversations on the subject need to be better-informed.
Mexico’s president made a public apology on Monday for the killing of over 300 Chinese people by the revolutionary forces of Francisco I. Madero in the city of Torreón over a century ago.
Gruesome history: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he wants to ensure the 1911 massacre, in which Chinese nationals were mutilated or hung from telegraph poles, “never, ever happens again,” reported the Associated Press.
- Obrador said the discrimination was based on the “most vile and offensive stereotypes,” adding “these stupid ideas were transferred to Mexico, where extermination was added to exclusion and mistreatment.”
- His apology was part of Obrador’s efforts to atone for the past mistreatment of Indigenous and minority people in Mexico.
- “We will never forget the brotherhood of the Chinese during the bitter and anguishing months of the pandemic,” he added.
- Chinese Ambassador Zhu Qingqiao was present during Obrador’s apology ceremony.
- The victims were descendants of Chinese laborers who migrated to Mexico in the 1800s to work on the expansion of the nation’s rail network, setting up businesses, farms and other establishments.
- During this period, some Mexican people reportedly grew envious of the success of some Chinese immigrants, with others blaming them for taking jobs or depressing wage rates in Torreón.
- When revolutionary troops took over the city from May 13-15 in 1911, they killed many of the Chinese people living there. Some managed to survive by hiding or were rescued by local residents.
- Following the massacre, the Chinese government demanded an apology and indemnity of 12 million pesos ($605,000) from Mexico.
- Reparations for the killings were promised for the massacre following the success of the revolutionary government but no payment was ever made.
“Smart.” “Hard-working.” “Nice.” Those were among the adjectives that respondents offered up in a recent poll when asked to describe Asian Americans.
The poll, conducted by the nonprofit Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change (LAAUNCH), was another all-too-familiar reminder that Asian Americans are still perceived as the “model minority.”
Since the end of World War II, this myth about Asian Americans and their perceived collective success has been used as a racial wedge — to minimize the role racism plays in the struggles of other minority groups, such as Black Americans.
Characterizing Asian Americans as a model minority flattens the diverse experiences of Asian Americans into a singular, narrow narrative. And it paints a misleading picture about the community that doesn’t align with current statistics.
Here’s a look at some common misconceptions driven by the model minority myth.
Myth: Asian Americans are a single monolithic group
Currently, more than 22 million people of Asian descent live in the U.S., making up approximately 7% of the nation’s population. They trace their heritage to different regions around the world, with people of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent making up the largest shares, though no group makes up a majority. More than 1.5 million Pacific Islanders, who descend from Micronesia, Melanesia or Polynesia, live in the U.S. as well.
Academics and activists trace the term “Asian American” to 1968, when students at the University of California, Berkeley, founded the Asian American Political Alliance. At the time, the group sought to unite students of Japanese, Chinese and Filipino descent to fight for political and social recognition.
“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” (AAPI) is a term that has its roots in the 1980s and ’90s, when the U.S. Census Bureau used the “Asian Pacific American” classification to group Asians, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders together. In 1997, the bureau disaggregated the categories into “Asian” and “Pacific Islander.”
Myth: Asian Americans are high earning and well educated
Asian Americans have a median household income of around $78,000 a year, which is higher than the national median of about $66,000. However, that overall statistic obscures large differences among different Asian-origin groups.
These economic disparities are partially driven by similar disparities in education levels among Asian Americans. The highest-earning groups — Indian American and Taiwanese American households — also have the highest levels of education, while the lowest-earning groups have comparatively lower levels of education.
In fact, a 2018 Pew Research Center study found that Asian Americans were the most economically divided racial or ethnic group in the U.S., with Asian Americans in the top 10th of the income distribution making 10.7 times more than those in the bottom 10th.
Myth: Asian Americans immigrate to the U.S. in the “right” way
The Asian American community has the highest proportion of immigrants of any ethnic or racial group in the United States. Yet, Asian Americans are often overlooked in debates about immigration reform.
Asians have a wide range of reasons for immigrating to the U.S., including those coming as refugees or asylum-seekers. Out of the almost 11 million estimated undocumented immigrants in the U.S., around 1.5 million (14%) are from Asia, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
Heightened immigration enforcement has also impacted Asian Americans. From 2015 to 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested about 15,000 immigrants from Asia, according to a report by the nonprofit Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
The report also found that Southeast Asian immigrants were three to four times more likely to be deported for old criminal convictions compared with other immigrant groups. Out of the approximately 16,000 Southeast Asians with final removal orders in that period, more than 13,000 had removal orders that were based on old criminal convictions.
Myth: Asian Americans face less systemic racism and discrimination
Since the coronavirus pandemic started, hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans have increased. In an April survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 32% of Asian American adults — a greater percentage than any other racial or ethnic group — said that they feared someone might threaten or physically attack them.
But anti-Asian bias and discrimination are not new to the pandemic. To understand the current climate, it’s important to look at historical context. In past periods of national tension, especially during times when the U.S. has been at war with Asian countries, anti-Asian racism has similarly risen.
Myth: Asian Americans are fairly represented in leadership positions
Asian Americans are underrepresented in these positions of power, holding about 3% of these positions in comparison with composing 7% of the U.S. population, a report from The New York Times found last year.
More specifically, Asian Americans have the lowest degree of representation in political office compared with any other racial or ethnic group.
Asian Americans are even underrepresented in states with a high concentration of Asian American residents, like New York and California, according to a report by the Reflective Democracy Campaign.
Especially since the start of collective activism among Asian Americans in the 1960s, Asian Americans have had a rich history of political activism and involvement. But that history has not always translated to greater representation in political leadership.
In the latest clip, BG Knocc Out offered his thoughts on the multiple incidents of anti-Asian violence occurring in the United States. He started by remembering the death of Latasha Harlins, whose death at the hands of a Korean store owner sparked the anger that eventually led to the Rodney King riots. BG Knocc Out spoke out against today’s anti-Asian violence and talked about a time where he defended two Asian kids in juvenile hall. To hear more, check out the above clip.
Throwback to when Ronny Chieng went to Chinatown in response to Jesse Watters’s racist segment about Chinese-Americans.
The Los Angeles of 1871 was a violent, lawless place.
Historians have described it as one of the last cities to establish civil law enforcement institutions, relying instead on vigilante justice and mob rule.
It also was a place notorious for its mistreatment and exploitation of Black, Asian, Latino and Native Californians at the hands of white settlers. But the venom against Chinese Americans was particularly poisonous, fueled by editorials in the Los Angeles News that attacked them as “barbarians taking jobs away from whites.”
“Los Angeles in 1871 was a dirty, violent city of nearly 6,000 people. Though the city had a higher homicide rate than New York or Chicago, it employed only six police officers to maintain law and order. Lynchings and mob justice were commonplace,” the Los Angeles Public Library wrote.
It was this world 150 years ago that spawned the Chinese Massacre, a bloody siege that brought shame to Los Angeles and widespread changes in the way the city operated. But it did little to alter the core racism that Asians and other groups would continue to endure.
Oct. 24, 1871
The violence of this day was on a scale that even a city known for its brutality and racial attacks had never seen. In 1999, Cecila Rasmussen of The Times provided this narrative of the chain of events:
Gunfire erupted at 4 p.m., just as former city assessor-turned-patrolman Jesus Bilderrain was polishing off a whiskey at Higby’s saloon. Most of the barroom patrons shrugged off the commotion, but Bilderrain — pistol in hand — dutifully went out the swinging doors into the street. A short distance away, he found a man named Ah Choy shot through the neck (it was later determined this shooting was related to a feud between two Chinese gangs). As Bilderrain blew his whistle to summon help, bullets struck him in the shoulder and wrist.
Running to his rescue, saloon-owner-turned-rancher Robert Thompson was killed, shot through the heart by the same unseen gunmen, who also wounded some of the bystanders.
The rioters, meanwhile, rampaged on. Some climbed to the rooftops and used pickaxes to chop holes, firing through them at the immigrants inside. Two men who ran out into the street were cut down by gunmen on the roofs.
One by one, more victims were hauled from their hiding places, kicked, beaten, stabbed, shot and tortured by their captors. Some were dragged through the streets with ropes around their necks and hanged from a wooden awning over a sidewalk, a covered wagon or the crossbeam of a corral gate. Finally, 15 corpses — including those of a 14-year-old boy and the Chinese community’s only physician, Chee Long Tong — dangled in the City of the Angels. Four others died from gunshot wounds, bringing the death toll at the hands of the mob to 19 — 10% of the city’s tiny Chinese population.
Then, every rickety shanty in Chinatown was looted. “Boys, help yourselves,” was the cry. One lynching victim’s finger was cut off for the diamond ring he wore.
The leaders of the massacre paraded through the streets, displaying their booty, to the laughter and praise of the mob. An estimated $40,000 in cash, gold and jewels was stolen.
The next day’s local newspapers called the riot a “victory of the patriots over the heathens.”
In the end, 19 people died in the attacks.
“Ten percent of the Chinese population had been killed. One of the Chinese caught up in the mob violence was the respected Dr. Gene Tong. In fact, of the killed, only one is thought to have participated in the original gunfight,” the library wrote in its history of the massacre.
Bringing justice for the massacre was going to be a tall order for a city with such weak government institutions and little inclination to hold those who killed accountable. As Rasmussen wrote:
During the subsequent coroner’s inquest and grand jury hearings, police and other city officials — fearful of being labeled “Chinese lovers” — shielded the guilty. “I didn’t recognize anyone” was the recurring statement.
There were no other witnesses, since discriminatory state legislation then prohibited Chinese from testifying in California courts. Still, 37 rioters were indicted, 15 tried and eight convicted of manslaughter. A little more than a year later, however, the California Supreme Court reversed the convictions on the grounds that the original indictment had failed to establish that the Chinese physician had been murdered.
An embarrassed U.S. government subsequently paid imperial China an indemnity to settle the whole affair.
The massacre was a black mark for Los Angeles, and city leaders responded by building up the Police Department and criminal justice system. Vigilante rule began to fade. But the racism endured by Chinese and other minority groups actually worsened.
“The massacre did not result in racial tolerance, in fact, anti-Chinese sentiment increased in the following years. The Anti-Coolie club was formed in 1876, counting many prominent citizens among its members, and the newspapers resumed their editorial attacks against the Chinese,” the library said in its account.
The massacre was largely forgotten for generations. But the history was revived in recent decades, in part by Chinese American activists. It was the subject of two history books: “Eternity Street” by John Mack Faragher and “The Chinatown War” by Scott Zesch.
Michael Woo, the first Chinese American councilman in Los Angeles, ended his review of “The Chinatown War” this way:
“Zesch asks whether the right lessons have been learned. He argues that the 1871 massacre may have marked the end of mob justice in Los Angeles. But Zesch attributes this milestone primarily to improved law enforcement, not to the better angels of our nature taming our impulse to scapegoat, pander and pick up a gun.”
Source: LA Times
After the passing of many of her colleagues from coronavirus (COVID-19), a doctor in Wuhan is now openly criticizing Chinese health authorities for keeping the early warnings of the outbreak from the public.
Wuhan Central hospital emergency department head Ai Fen spoke out about state censors have reportedly been trying to scrub the internet.
Speaking with Chinese magazine Renwu, Ai Fen revealed that she was reprimanded December for trying to alert her superiors of a “SARS-like virus” seen in patients.
The novel coronavirus has since killed over 3,000 people in China, including four of her colleagues at her hospital.
At the risk of losing her job and landing in jail, Ai has joined other critics in putting the Chinese government to task for its handling of the outbreak.
“If I had known what was to happen, I would not have cared about the reprimand. I would have fucking talked about it to whoever, where ever I could,” she said in the interview released on Tuesday.
Immediately after Ai’s interview was posted and shared online, it was removed from Chinese social media sites. Even the online magazine that hosted the interview has removed the article.
But as the censors worked to do the cleanup, some Chinese social media users were able to save the article, and now screenshots of the article are being shared in creative ways.
In their bid to evade censors, some users posted versions written in emojis and even Morse codes. There’s also a version done in pinyin, the Romanization system for Mandarin.
Based on the article, Ai received the lab results of a case containing the word “SARS coronavirus” on December 30. She felt nervous after reviewing the report as she has previously seen several patients with flu-like symptoms and resistant to usual treatment methods.
She took a photo of the report with the word “SARS” circled and sent it to a doctor at another hospital in Wuhan.
The image immediately spread within the medical community in Wuhan overnight. Among those who saw it was Li Wenliang, the doctor who eventually became a whistleblower when his warnings were later shared publicly on WeChat.
According to Ai, she received a message from her hospital that night warning her against sharing information about the disease to the public as it would cause panic.
She was then summoned and reprimanded for “spreading rumors” and “harming stability” by the head of the hospital’s disciplinary inspection committee two days later.
As even the hospital staff were prohibited from discussing anything related to the virus, Ai asked her staff to wear protective clothing and masks despite hospital authorities telling them not to. She also instructed staff in her department to wear protective jackets under their doctor coats.
“We watched more and more patients come in as the radius of the spread of infection became larger,” she was quoted as saying.
They soon noticed the influx of patients without any connection to the seafood market, which was thought to be the source of the original cases.
While Ai already observed at the time that there must be human to human transmission, Chinese authorities maintain that there was no reason to believe the virus was being passed between people.
It was not until January 21 when the Chinese officials finally confirmed that there was human to human transmission of the virus. The number of patients coming to the emergency room was already over 1,500 per day, which was three times the normal number of cases.
Ai said that over the last few months, she saw many of her colleagues fall sick and four die from the virus, including Li Wenliang.
Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada is raising funds on GoFundMe to defend itself against a defamation lawsuit from Dolce & Gabbana.
The legal battle stems from a series of ads released by the fashion house in 2018, which featured an Asian model “struggling” to eat Italian food with chopsticks.
The ads were part of Dolce & Gabbana’s China campaign. Soon after their launch, Diet Prada criticized the brand for “painting their target demographic as a tired and false stereotype of a people lacking refinement or culture.”
“#DGlovesChina? More like #DGdesperateforthatChineseRMB lol,” the Instagram watchdog wrote at the time.
Aside from the questionable ads, Diet Prada also exposed a disturbing conversation between founder Stefano Gabbana and an Instagram user. In it, Gabbana called China “the country of sh*t.”
Dolce & Gabbana immediately faced a heavy backlash. Chinese celebrities began dropping out of an upcoming show in Shanghai, resulting in its cancellation.
In the wake of Diet Prada’s exposé, Dolce & Gabbana released a statement announcing that its Instagram page — as well as Gabbana’s — had been hacked. An internal investigation was reportedly conducted.
“We are very sorry for any distress caused by these unauthorized posts. We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China,” the label said.
However, many refused to believe the company’s claims. The outrage took a turn for the worse, involving industry professionals and other Chinese personalities.
But the situation seemed far from over. In early 2019, Dolce & Gabbana reportedly filed a defamation lawsuit against Diet Prada, seeking 4 million euros ($4.7 million) in damages (3 million euros for the brand and 1 million euro for Gabbana).
“With so much anti-Asian hate spreading in the U.S., it feels wrong to continue to remain silent about a lawsuit that threatens our freedom of speech. We are a small company co-founded by a person of color, trying to speak out against racism in our own community,” Diet Prada wrote in a new post.
Fashion Law Institute, a nonprofit based at Fordham Law School, is reportedly coordinating Diet Prada’s defense through its pro bono clinic. It is also collaborating with Italian law firm AMSL Avvocati, which “graciously agreed” to represent the defendant at a reduced rate.
Diet Prada filed its defense on Monday. The watchdog is now asking the public for financial help through a GoFundMe page.
“We need your help more than ever to raise funds to cover law firm costs, filing fees, and other legal expenses,” Diet Prada wrote. “Going up against a large luxury brand is daunting, but your contribution means we can continue protecting our fundamental rights, but also preserve what is so special about the Diet Prada community.”
A former employee of a Panda Express in Santa Clarita alleges she was required to strip down to her underwear and hug a partially clad co-worker during a “cult-like ritual” at a 2019 training seminar sponsored by the company as a prerequisite to promotion.
The 23-year-old woman is suing Panda Restaurant Group, headquartered in Rosemead, and Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy in Pico Rivera for sexual battery, a hostile work environment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
She is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit filed last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Although the woman is named in court documents, the Southern California News Group does not identify suspected victims of sexual assault.
‘Horrific psychological abuse’
“We are looking forward to presenting this case to a jury so that a clear message can be sent to Panda Express — which owns and operates over 2,000 restaurants — that it must put to an end to its practice of requiring its employees to undergo horrific psychological abuse and harassment to be promoted,” Oscar Ramirez, the woman’s attorney, said in an email Monday.
Officials with Panda Restaurant Group said the company takes the woman’s allegations seriously and has conducted an investigation.
“Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy is a third-party organization in which Panda has no ownership interest and over which it exercises no control,” says a statement from the company. “While we always encourage personal growth and development, Panda Restaurant Group has not and does not mandate that any associate participate in Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy nor is it a requirement to earn promotions.
“We are committed to providing a safe environment for all associates and stand behind our core values to treat each person with respect,” the company said. “We do not condone the kind of behavior (the plaintiff) has alleged took place at Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy, and we would not intentionally allow it to occur within or on behalf of our organization.”
In an emailed statement, Alive Seminars said its training sessions are presented with respect and dignity.
The victim says she began working for Panda Express in 2016 and was told in July 2019 by then store manager Matthiu Simuda she needed to complete a self-improvement seminar conducted by Alive Seminars.
“Eager to improve her skills and advance within the company, plaintiff signed up and paid out of pocket to attend a four-day program,” the lawsuit says. “Panda Express pushed its employees in the Los Angeles region to complete Alive Seminars training. In many cases, it was a prerequisite to promotion.”
The seminar was held in a warehouse in East Los Angeles and attended by 20 to 50 Panda Express employees from throughout Southern California, Ramirez said. Those who attended the seminar were required to provide their employee identification numbers and received intake materials with the Panda logo.
“Alive Seminars served — in essence — as an extension of Panda Express’ own Human Resources department,” says the lawsuit.
Participants isolated, treated as ‘terrorists’
The complaint alleges the seminar was bizarre and quickly devolved into psychological abuse.
At the start, attendees were told to sit down and not talk, and were left in isolation for a full hour before a man stormed in, yelling in Spanish and berating them for sitting there and doing nothing, when that is exactly what they had been instructed to do, says the complaint.
The man, an Alive Seminars employee, loudly proclaimed that the attendees were “nothing” and “don’t matter,” and berated them individually, the suit says. “The overall effect was that of a particularly nasty drill sergeant.”
Seminar participants were prohibited from using their cellphones, there was no clock in the room and the doors and windows were all covered with black cloth.
“The atmosphere resembled less a self-improvement seminar than a site for off the-books interrogation of terrorist suspects,” the complaint alleges. “The sensory isolation and intimidation was reinforced by constant yelling and verbal abuse by seminar staff, creating an atmosphere of fear in the room. Nevertheless, most attendees, including plaintiff, felt that they had no choice but to remain because they were sent to the seminar by Panda Express and told that their opportunity for promotion would depend on completion of the seminar.”
Participants required to strip
When the seminar continued on July 13, 2019, the woman allegedly was forced to strip down to her underwear under the guise of trust building.
“Plaintiff — stripped almost naked in front of strangers and co-workers — was extremely uncomfortable but pressed on because she knew it was her only chance at a promotion,” says the lawsuit. “Meanwhile, Alive Seminars staff were openly ogling the women in their state of undress, smiling, and laughing.”
The exercise culminated when the victims and other participants had to stand up to yell about their inner struggles until everyone else in the group believed them.
“The last male participant had some difficulty ‘convincing’ the others and, as a result, broke down in tears,” the suit says. “Plaintiff was told to stand up and go to the middle of the room with the male participant, where they were forced to ‘hug it out,’ wearing nothing but their underwear. Plaintiff was humiliated but did as she was told.”
Seminar resembled cult ritual
As time went on, the seminar more and more resembled a cult ritual, the complaint alleges.
“Alive Seminars staff proceeded to dim the lights,” says the suit. “Plaintiff and the other attendees were instructed to stand up and close their eyes, pretending that a light from above would come down and take all the ‘negative energy’ out of them, then pretend that a hole opened up in the ground and swallowed the ‘negative energy.’ While this was happening, one of the Alive Seminars staff had a cell phone with the light on, recording plaintiff in her state of undress.”
Attendees, the lawsuit alleges, were confined in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
“If plaintiff wanted to use the restroom, someone from the Alive Seminars staff would stand outside the restroom door,” says the suit. “When another participant ran into the restroom to throw up, Alive Seminars staff ran after her. Another male participant was only given a small trash can to throw up in and was forced to do it in front of all the other attendees.”
During the July 13 session, the victim made an excuse of a family emergency and left the seminar.
The victim went to the seminar hopeful and optimistic about her future with Panda Express but left three days later “scarred and downtrodden.” Soon after, she quit her job because of emotional distress.
The suit alleges Panda Express “did not care about plaintiff’s experience at Alive Seminars or that she had been humiliated in front of her co-workers. Her chances of promotion were destroyed. plaintiff’s working conditions had become intolerable and Panda Express had no interest in addressing the situation.”
Source: OC Register