Canada Mourns And Demands Action Following Discovery Of 215 Children’s Remains At Found At Residential School Ran By The Catholic Church

A mass grave containing the remains of 215 children has been found in Canada at a former residential school set up to assimilate indigenous people.

The children were students at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia that closed in 1978.

The discovery was announced on Thursday by the chief of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was a “painful reminder” of a “shameful chapter of our country’s history”.

The First Nation is working with museum specialists and the coroner’s office to establish the causes and timings of the deaths, which are not currently known.

Rosanne Casimir, the chief of the community in British Columbia’s city of Kamloops, said the preliminary finding represented an unthinkable loss that was never documented by the school’s administrators.

Canada’s residential schools were compulsory boarding schools run by the government and religious authorities during the 19th and 20th Centuries with the aim of forcibly assimilating indigenous youth.

Kamloops Indian Residential School was the largest in the residential system. Opened under Roman Catholic administration in 1890, the school had as many as 500 students when enrolment peaked in the 1950s.

The central government took over administration of the school in 1969, operating it as a residence for local students until 1978, when it was closed.

What do we know about the remains?

The Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation said the remains were found with the help of a ground-penetrating radar during a survey of the school.

“To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” Ms Casimir said. “Some were as young as three years old.”

“We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlups te Secwepemc is the final resting place of these children.”

What reaction has there been?

The reaction has been one of shock, grief and contrition.

“The news that remains were found at the former Kamloops residential school breaks my heart,” Mr Trudeau wrote in a tweet.

What were residential schools?

From about 1863 to 1998, more than 150,000 indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in these schools.

The children were often not allowed to speak their language or to practise their culture, and many were mistreated and abused.

A commission launched in 2008 to document the impacts of this system found that large numbers of indigenous children never returned to their home communities.

The landmark Truth and Reconciliation report, released in 2015, said the policy amounted to “cultural genocide”.

Source: BBC

Mexico’s President Apologizes For The 1911 Massacre That Killed Over 300 Chinese People

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.

Hate born of envy: The racial killings of 303 Chinese men, women and children happened after revolutionary troops overran Torreón in 1911, during the early parts of the Mexican Revolution.

  • 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.

Source: NextShark

Charts That Dismantle The Trope Of Asian Americans As The ‘Model Minority’

“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.

Source: NPR

2019 – George Takei On His Memoir, “They Called Us Enemy”

2019 – Veteran actor George Takei may be best known as Sulu from “Star Trek,” but he also has a darker story to tell. During World War II, thousands of Americans of Japanese descent were forced from their homes and sent to internment camps, Takei among them. Now at 82 years old, he says that the Trump administration’s treatment of immigrants motivated him to speak out and revisit this in a new memoir.

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

George Takei: ‘We Were Terrorized. That’s The History Of America As I Know It’

Actor George Takei became a sci-fi legend when he starred as Mr. Sulu in “Star Trek.” But his road to success was not a sure thing in the America he grew up in. As a young Japanese-American boy during World War II, he was imprisoned with his family in the now infamous U.S. internment camps. He tells our Hari Sreenivasan about the history behind today’s anti-Asian attacks as part of “Exploring Hate,” our ongoing series of reports on antisemitism, racism, and extremism.

BG Knocc Out On Anti-Asian Violence, Defending 2 Small Asian Kids When He Was In Juvenile Hall

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.

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