My very first post on this blog was: “What does it mean to be Asian-American?” Now, almost 18 months later, while some of the ideas in this blog post has stuck with me, others I have discarded. In honor of May, AAPI month, I would like to reflect on my experiences as a second-gen immigrant and how I have begun to form an answer to this question.Continue reading “A Space of Belonging – AAPI month”
“Liberal” American institutions–whether it is schools, fashion, Hollywood, business, etc–love to brag about how “diverse” they are. And we, too, celebrate diversity. After all, being exposed to a variety of perspectives, worldviews, and experiences, is probably net good compared to being stuck in a bubble of regurgitated ideas.Continue reading “Representation, not Diversity”
If you have not already heard, the city of Seattle plans to construct a New Youth Jail. Here is why you should OPPOSE construction and the steps you can take:
- Original plan: $200-210 million will be allocated to funding a new juvenile detention center in Seattle.
- 55% of voters approved it in 2012, as it was described as a “Children and Family Justice Center,” which is misleading and prompted voters to cast an approving ballot.
- Current estimates show that funding the jail will actually cost $225-230+ million, which is significantly more than what was approved.
- A tax levy is actually illegal, but the county still wants to build it
As an extension to the debate around affirmative action and one of my latest posts, a key issue to address is how college admissions choose their minority students. Studies show that some admissions officers cherry pick how diversity is represented in their post-secondary institution. The main conclusion drawn is that admissions officers are more responsive and favor persons of color who are “deracialized and racially apolitical than they are to those who evince a commitment to antiracism and racial justice,” especially in favor of individuals interested in STEM.
While some would argue that favoring STEM is not a practice that is specific to students of color, that does not excuse admissions officers from dictating who is the right type of minority student.
In light of recent lawsuits against Harvard, and the increasing dissent against affirmative action in my own community, I decided to write this very extensive post.
Let’s get a few things straight: I believe affirmative action is a net good system with some current flaws that exist in its current operations. Yes, I am an Asian-American, but my personal identity should not excuse racist or discriminatory beliefs.
Berkeley, California: a historically-known site of leftist thought and youth political engagement.
Yet now, during the information era, as a prestigious university just one hour north of Silicon Valley, revolutionary socialists are replaced by computer science geeks and prospective molecular biology majors. Artificial intelligence prototypes “run” on the streets, as if a glimpse into the dystopia of the future.
Nevertheless, as I roam around the UC Berkeley campus, I still catch traces of radical thought –
If you’re an avid user of social media, you’ve probably seen this tweet pop around:
Yet again, another post of a non-POC wearing ethnically significant clothing. However, while most would agree an action like non-black folk wearing dreads is not acceptable, this issue witnesses a split in Asian-Americans. There is both a large support for Keziah’s actions as cultural appreciation, but also fervent opposition that deems the dress as cultural appropriation.
** note: this was a speech I gave at a debate event so there may be some awkward writing **
When reflecting on the civil rights movement, modern society often praises the non-violent actions of Martin Luther King and fails to do justice on civil rights leaders with different methodologies. America has become obsessed with the notion that movements must be achieved peacefully, through words and not actions, through assimilation and not individuality. Consequently, Malcolm X is often overlooked as an uncivilized radical. And thus, the we must consider if Malcolm X’s violent approach to civil rights was appropriate at the time. The way we must approach the resolution is first to define what “violent” is, how and why Malcolm X advocated for this approach, and finally if it was justified for the time period.
In a nation with several significant minority populations, you would expect these marginalized groups to support each other and unite for their rights. However, America has long witnessed minority groups pitted against each other, division within the same demographic, and ethnic separation that take supreme court rulings to break apart.
A teacher of mine this year once said that each generation battles different social issues, and the prime issues that “Generation Z” faces are immigration policy, and equality for black folks. “Don’t worry,” he immediately addressed our largely-Asian class when he finished. “The day for Asian-American representation will eventually come.”
While I have no doubts that the two issues mentioned above are the most attention-worthy in the status quo, I (as someone very interested in Asian-American identity theory) did quite some thinking about how the model minority myth perpetuates these two issues. It was actually one day when an Asian-American friend of mine approached me and asked “what exactly is so bad about the model minority stereotype?” and I ranted for twenty minutes, that I realized how many underlying dangers the myth perpetrates.