HELLO MY BEAUTIFUL CONSTITUENTS!!
Welcome to the ~first political newsletter~ of the year. Thankfully, this newsletter will lack the explosion of colors, gifs, and nonsensical stories *cough* *Tiff* that can often confuse you. Just kidding, I'll do my best to make this as fun as possible and continue to work out the kinks of this email format, and when we officially transition to the blog on the APSC website, I will do the same on there. Thanks for your patience!
Without further ado...
The headline is a lot, but here's the general gist of it: Carrie Sheffield, political analyst and founder of a media startup called Bold, defended Trump's comments about Haiti and African nations being "shithole countries" by saying that the president would "welcome immigrants from Asia so he is open to accepting people from other countries." Keith Boykin, a liberal commentator, fired back and argued that Sheffield was perpetuating the model minority myth, the harmful idea that Asians are "good immigrants" (wealthier and higher educated/skilled) to pit them against other minority groups and ignoring internal problems within the group. The model minority myth has serious consequences that affect the Asian American community. For example, in New York City, Asian Americans have the highest poverty rate, yet only a small percentage receive any sort of government help.
Here's the story: A cool lady named Holly Ham is the new Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPIs). She's conducting a national meet-and-greet with local AAPI organizations to truly understand unique issues among different Asian subgroups. The main focus of her tour will be on higher education and tax reform, as well as expelling the model minority myth. She has spoken on the importance of disaggregating data to represent Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander issues, especially regarding dropout rates in education. Yay for more API political participation!!
What went down: Recently, an anonymous woman "Grace" stepped forward and recounted a terrible date with actor Aziz Ansari, accusing the Indian American comedian of sexual misconduct. (Read the Babe article here). Though this opened up a whole discussion of the blurred lines of miscommunication and sexual assault, as well as a deeper look into the #MeToo movement, many Asian American fans opened up with their shock and disappointment in Aziz Ansari. For many South Asians, this was even more of a blow — with such little API exposure in the media already, many viewed Ansari as a beacon of representation.
I think the title says it all?: Donnie Yen, actor known best for playing a warrior-monk in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, wants more three-dimensional Asian characters in Hollywood. Even after trying to make his own character in Rogue One, he still felt the product was a stereotypical "Chinese Martial-Arts man." Now, more than ever, Hollywood needs more Asian representation: according to a 2017 USC Annenberg study, Asians made up less than 6 percent of speaking characters in Hollywood films from 2007-2016.
In other news...
What happened: The family of Vietnamese American student Tommy Le, fatally shot by a King's County sheriff in June 2017 claiming that he had a knife and lunged at deputies, has filed a federal lawsuit. They claimed that this was an example of "racially selective police practices," and is seeking justice for Tommy's death. Though the discussion of police brutality still continues, the problems are far from over, as this problem continues to disrupt and victimize minority groups and families.
Let's end on a good note: Abhishek Chandra, April Koh, and Adam Chekroud are the three founders of Spring Health, a startup that operates as an online mental health clinic for employers, using machine-learning technology to provide personalized treatment recommendations to be more effective for patients. Their goal is to decrease the immediate/generalized medication of patients and make it more specialized, while opening up the conversation about mental health in Asian communities especially. Definitely read more about this!
So for the sake of keeping this at a reasonable length, I'm going to stop here — but I hope you enjoyed this first political newsletter!!! I sincerely hope you learned something new about what's going on in the Asian American sphere, and I hope to make this a more ~interactive~ thing, with more categories/topics, once the blog is up. I want more feedback from YOU and what YOU want to hear, see, and learn about, so please don't be afraid to reach out!!
HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND YALL AND KEEP READING/STAY WOKE/ETC
Much Political Love,