Conversations In Context: Organizing – Hosted By Yoonj Kim

Faced with historic injustices that often spilled into violence, Asian-American students at UC Berkeley–buoyed by the support of other student groups–went on strike in May 1968, demanding more diverse curricular representation. Later, leaders like Grace Lee Boggs and Larry Itliong would force a greater reckoning with the country’s past in order to extract social, economic, and legal change for their communities. Join MTV News correspondent Yoonj Kim and National Museum of American History Curator Theodore S. Gonzalves as they pick out lessons for the equally fraught landscape we face today.

Serbian Volleyball Player Sanja Djurdjevic Suspended After Making Anti-Asian Racist Gesture During Match Against Thailand

A Serbian volleyball player has been suspended for two matches after she was caught on camera stretching her eyelids — a racist gesture used to mock people with Asian heritage — during an international competition between Serbia and Thailand.

Sanja Djurdjevic violated the sport’s disciplinary rules on June 1 while competing in the match in Italy, according to a statement given Tuesday from the FIVB Disciplinary Panel Sub-Committee.

In addition to the suspension, the independent body, which is responsible for imposing disciplinary sanctions within FIVB competitions, fined Serbia’s volleyball federation the equivalent of $22,000. According to the panel, the FIVB will donate the money to a cause dedicated to tackling discriminatory behavior and/or to fund educational programs on cultural sensitivity.

Greater accountability

Posting on her since deactivated account, Djurdjevic apologized for her actions. “I am aware of my mistake and I immediately after the match apologized to the whole Thailand team.”

“I only wanted to address my teammates with the message: ‘Now, we will start playing defense like them,’ I didn’t mean to disrespect anyone,” she added.

The Volleyball Federation of Serbia also posted a conciliatory message on Facebook saying they “apologize sincerely” to the Thailand team, but asked people, “don’t blow this out of proportion! Sanja is aware of her mistake and she immediately apologized to the whole Thailand team.”

“She didn’t mean any disrespect. Of course, it was unfortunate. It all ended up as a simple misunderstanding, in a friendly atmosphere between the players of the two teams,” continued the team statement.

Attached to the written apology was a video shared by one of the Thai players, and an image of teammates from both sides standing together.As screenshots of the incident were widely shared on social media, thousands signed a petition calling for greater accountability.

“An apology is the bare minimum as a human being. But Djurdjevic and the National Volleyball Team represent their country in an official sport with official FIVB rules and those rules need to be upheld to maintain credibility and set the standard for the world,” the petition said.

A global reckoning

Djurdjevic’s actions come as the world reckons with a global spike in anti-Asian racism. From the UK to Australia, reports of anti-East and anti-Southeast Asian hate crimes have increased in Western countries as the pandemic took hold over the last year.

Athletes continue to speak out about violence towards Asian people, highlighting the role that social media plays in illuminating these incidents. Earlier this year, former NBA star Jeremy Lin encouraged spectators to “watch these videos to see this is actually happening.”

The FIVB confirmed that Djurdjevic’s sanction is “final,” adding that they are “committed to fostering understanding, solidarity and unity against all forms of discriminatory behavior.”

“The FIVB will continue to work tirelessly with all of its National Federations to ensure that these values are reflected across the whole community,” they added.

Source: CNN

Adam22 On White People Pushing Back At Black Lives Matter And Stop Asian Hate

In the latest clip, Adam22 reacted to Michael Jai White calling out the lack of rejection the “Stop Asian Hate” movement received in comparison to “Black Lives Matter.” The No Jumper host said he understood where people were coming from when they said “All Lives Matter” before pointing out the ways people of color are praised based on their “victim class.” He expressed his belief that the rise in White nationalism is tied to the praise people of color receive in popular media. Adam also wondered if “sloganeering” racial injustice is the best long-term solution for all races to interact harmoniously. To hear the discussion, check out the above clip.

GoFundMe For Shane Nguyen (Missing Indiana Man Found Dismembered In His Own Van) Gains $90K In Less Than 24 Hours

A fundraiser created for Shane Nguyen, a 55-year-old Indiana man who was found brutally murdered on Sunday, has raised more than $90,000 in less than 24 hours.

Nguyen’s body was found dismembered in the back of his own van in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on April 25, two days after he was reported missing by family and friends. According to a police affidavit, Nguyen died of blunt force to the head. His body was then dismembered and placed in plastic trash bags, as suspects involved in his murder attempted to hide the evidence and flee in his vehicle, the Associated Press reported.

Fort Wayne Police have since identified three suspects as 21-year-old Matthew Cramer, 20-year-old Jacob D. Carreon-Hamilton, and 20-year-old Cody Clements, who are each in custody.

On Tuesday, Nguyen’s cousin, Tran Hoang, created a GoFundMe page to support his wife and two children.

“Shane was a loving father, husband, and a beloved member of every community he touched. His work days were spent serving food to the public, working long hours out of a roaming food truck while waving and smiling to those he passed on the road. His spare time was dedicated to his family and to volunteering activities, where he was an active member of the local church, choir, and Bishop Dwenger band. He’ll always be remembered for being kind, welcoming, and available to help anyone in need,” Hoang wrote on the page.

“Shane was a small business owner and the primary source of income for his family. His family is devastated by this tragedy and are struggling to piece their lives together amidst the investigations and preparations for the funeral.”

By Wednesday afternoon, the page had raised $90,907 in just 20 hours.

Nguyen’s body was discovered on Sunday inside of a crashed vehicle, after police issued a missing persons report for him on Friday. Cramer told police that he encountered Nguyen when he asked him for a ride from Elkhart, Indiana, back to Fort Wayne, according to the police affidavit, the Associated Press reported.

Cramer said he had planned to kill Nguyen before they reached Fort Wayne, and told investigators that they went to a storage unit where he choked Nguyen until he fell unconscious. Cramer said he then slammed Nguyen’s head on the pavement, left his body in the storage unit, and drove to nearby stores to purchase items with Carreon-Hamilton and Clements.

Receipts showed that the men purchased tarps, a hacksaw, and a large knife. Cramer and Carreon-Hamilton then dropped off Clements before returning to Fort Wayne, where Cramer told police he used a knife to cut Nguyen’s body while Carreon-Hamilton held him down.

The two men then then loaded Nguyen’s body into the back of the van to dispose of it when they were discovered by police, the affidavit said.

Cramer has since been charged with murder, resisting law enforcement, and abuse of a corpse. Carreon-Hamilton is charged with assisting a criminal, resisting law enforcement, and abuse of a corpse, the Associated Press reported. No charges have yet been announced for Clements.

Source: Newsweek

KKK Flyers Found Prior To ‘White Lives Matter’ Rally In Huntington Beach California

Huntington Beach police are preparing for a rally Sunday, April 11, that’s among others promoted on social media across the nation to “unify White people against white hate.”

Things could get heated, however. The local Black Lives Matter chapter has announced on social media that it will hold a counterprotest at 11 a.m. Sunday at the pier. The “white lives matter” rally is advertised for 1 p.m. Sunday at the pier.

In a statement, the BLM chapter’s leader, Tory Johnson, said the counterprotest will be a demonstration against racism and hate.

“White supremacy is not welcome here and we will do everything possible to prevent this rally and defend our community from racist terrorism,” he said.

Troubling history

Huntington Beach has a history of attracting those who promote white supremacy. The city also has a history of rallies turning violent. In March 2017, a rally in support of then-President Trump turned into a brawl between supporters of the president and counterprotestors.

More recently, neighborhoods in Southern California cities including Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Villa Park and Long Beach have been hit with flyers mentioning the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacist ideology as well as Sunday’s rally, and extensively using the phrase “white lives matter.”

Meanwhile, the Huntington Beach City Council voted this week to condemn violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans and to condemn white supremacy. Another action called for city-sponsored events to counter the planned “white lives matter” rally on Sunday. Those events are scheduled to be held April 18 at Central Park.

OC Human Relations will hold a virtual event at the same time as the “white lives matter” rally to give community members a space and opportunity to discuss issues around race, hate and bigotry, said Alison Edwards, the organization’s CEO.

“The idea that working toward equality means that someone else needs to be disadvantaged is just a way of spreading fear,” she added. “This is not a time to be divisive. We all need to work in solidarity.”

Is ‘white lives matter’ a group?

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the phrase “white lives matter” originated in early 2015 as a racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement, which emerged in response to police brutality against Black people.

“White lives matter” appears to be a phrase rather than the name of a specific group, said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino.

“That’s not to say there is no cell of individuals or a small group that decided to form a little group by that name,” he said. “We just don’t know. These types of catch phrases and bumper sticker slogans are typically used by a broader sub-culture rather than an organized group.”

Harbinger of things to come?

Levin said his center is closely monitoring the rallies promoted for Sunday in six or seven major cities in the United States, including Huntington Beach.

“If there is a city this Sunday for law enforcement to be ready in Southern California, Huntington Beach would be the place,” he said. He noted Sunday’s rallies appear to be the first time far-right groups or individuals have attempted to organize in this manner since the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

Around the country, there have been reports of other cities gearing up for rallies on Sunday as well. According to the Statehouse News Bureau, an Ohio news outlet, law enforcement agencies in Columbus, Ohio, are preparing for a planned and publicized “white lives matter” rally at the Ohio Statehouse. Other rallies are being promoted in cities in the Carolinas as well, according to posts on Telegram.

Levin said he expects to see more activity among far-right groups as COVID-19 protocols ease. But, he said, they’ll likely stay local or regional and tend to operate as loners or small cells.

“They are moving into more encrypted platforms,” he said of far-right groups. “We see more regional activity as we see groups of people who feel politically disenfranchised. Organized groups are continuing to exist and exert influence even though the leadership is tumbling. In the far-right, white-supremacist world, leaderless resistance and regional action is the fallback.”

So, could Sunday’s event be a forerunner of things to come or might it fizzle out at a national level?

“I think there is going to be some fizzle, drizzle and thunder,” Levin said, “but mostly fizzle and drizzle.”

Source: OC Register

NBA Veteran Jeremy Lin On Being Called ‘Coronavirus’ On The Court; Talks How Everyone Is So Quick Compare Struggles Between Different Minority Groups

In the wake of the mass shootings in Atlanta that killed eight people – including six Asian women – basketball pro Jeremy Lin tweeted “to my Asian American family” about his heartbreak and deep concern. While the shooting suspect’s motive has not been made public, Lin is no stranger to the anti-Asian sentiment that has been on the rise since the pandemic began. Lin is best known for generating “Linsanity” when he led a winning turnaround with the New York Knicks in 2012. Just before the deadly attack in Atlanta, he spoke with Michel Martin about racism in sports as part of Exploring Hate – our ongoing series on antisemitism, racism, and extremism.