1.17.2021

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Kamala Harris has elevated the Blindian community: ‘It’s a validation of the identity I’ve had to fight for’ With a Black father and an Indian mother, Harris is part of a group that has struggled for acceptance.

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A senator's experiences as a soldier and wheelchair user shaped her response to the Capitol riots
Senator Tammy Duckworth recounts what went through her mind as white supremacists stormed the Capitol.

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There’s a reason the South Vietnamese flag flew during the Capitol riot
In America, white nationalists and Vietnamese nationalists share a common condition: nostalgia for a lost cause.

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‘It’s Starting Again’: Why Filipino Nurses Dread the Second Wave
Indispensable to New York City hospitals, health care workers from the Philippines died in shocking numbers last spring. Will things be different this winter?

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Shake Shack catches flak for 'lazy' take on Korean fried chicken
Shake Shack is catching flak for a limited-edition menu of "Korean-style" offerings that critics say is a "lazy" interpretation of Korean fried chicken.

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What the outcry from Kumail Nanjiani's sculpted body tells us about racism, masculinity standards
On race and body shaming in celebrity culture.

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'Minari' CD Julia Kim Went to Extreme Lengths to Find the Perfect Cast
Casting director Julia Kim was tasked with assembling the Korean American immigrant family in Minari.

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Ang Lee reflects on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 20 years later: 'I was upgrading a B-movie'
Oscar-winning director Ang Lee spoke to EW about pulling off his blockbuster wuxia epic Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon to mark its 20th anniversary.

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You Know Awkwafina, But Have You Met Nora Lum?
This year, Awkafina will star in a Marvel movie, a Disney movie, and her own Netflix show. Over a virtual slime-making session, Nora Lum opens up about family, depression, and the highs and lows of fame.

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'Bling Empire' & 'House of Ho': The Reality-Show Descendants of 'Crazy Rich Asians'
"There's the sort of wealth that buys designer clothes. Then there's the sort of wealth that shuts down Rodeo Drive for a private Lunar New Year party, has a nine-piece band and a Gucci claw machine for a 1-year-old's birthday, and takes a friend to their favorite restaurant -- in Paris -- as a treat."

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Bling Empire star Kevin Kreider can't wait to prove people wrong for calling the show 'tone deaf'
The star of Netflix's Bling Empire dishes to EW about how he met his rich friends, the castmate he "hated," and the most extravagant thing that didn't make the show.

1.10.2021

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Ted Lieu: Why we will impeach Trump a second time
"The president incited an attempted violent overthrow of Congress in broad daylight. Several people died. This was a frontal assault not only on Congress, but on our Constitution and our democracy. If the impeachment provision of the Constitution is not invoked for this situation, then what the hell is it for?"

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'It Was No Accident': Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal on surviving the siege.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who was in the Capitol Building during the siege, talks about the particular vulnerability of Black and brown women to violent incursion, and about how her party must now move forward, both in response to the attack and as the governing party moving into a new administration.

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Meena Harris, Building That Brand
Kamala Harris's niece is building her own empire with statement T-shirts. Just don't define her by her family.

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The Mahjong Line debacle is the latest in a long history of Asian erasure
The Mahjong Line’s "refresh" is a classic case of cultural appropriation that strips away the cultural, personal, and emotional significance of the game's roots.

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At Netflix, 'Cobra Kai' broke out. Now its whiteness is under a new spotlight
Cobra Kai comes to Netflix thirty years and several reprises after The Karate Kid, and many have been pushing for more diversity in its characters and stories.

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Seattle restaurateur Yuji Okumoto reprises a role — and a life — he thought he'd left behind
When Yuji Okumoto got the call to reprise the role of Chozen for Netflix's Cobra Kai, he was excited -- and had some things to say.

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The Partnership: Steven Yeun & Lee Isaac Chung Chart Their Own Course With 'Minari,' Examining Korean Immigrant Family's Pursuit Of The American Dream
Writer/director Lee Isaac Chung wrote his film, Minari, based on his own childhood.

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Harry Shum Jr. on 'All My Life' and Its "Big Step Forward" for Asian Americans On-Screen
"Before this, how many Asian Americans could you name in a leading romantic role?"

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Dante Basco talks Avatar reunion, Netflix live-action, and how Zuko would handle a pandemic
Dante Basco, the voice of Prince Zuko, talks about organization a Avatar: The Last Airbender cast reunion.


1.07.2021

"What else could I do?"



New Jersey Congressman Andy Kim Helps Clean Up Capitol. Literally.
Late at night, after a pro-Trump mob stormed and ransacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim was photographed in the rotunda, crouching on his hands and knees over the debris the crowd had left behind. He was picking up the trash. "When you see something you love that's broken you want to fix it," Kim told the Associated Press. "I love the Capitol. I'm honored to be there. This building is extraordinary and the rotunda in particular is just awe-inspiring. How many countless generations have been inspired in that room? It really broke my heart and I just felt compelled to do something. What else could I do?"

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Elaine Chao Announces Resignation Over Trump's Response to Riot
File under: too little too late. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has announced her resignation over the riot Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol. Time to jump ship, apparently. In a statement addressed to the Department of Transportation, Chao wrote that she will resign effective Monday and was "deeply troubled" by the "entirely avoidable" events at the Capitol building. What a crock of cowardly shit. The time to jump ship was to never get on board. But Chao and her ilk have propped up Trump and this garbage fire of an administration for four years. You don't get to walk away with clean hands after being complicit in ugly shit that absolutely everybody saw coming. Get the fuck out of here yesterday.

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Rep. Michelle Steel, who questioned mask mandate, tests positive for coronavirus
Rep. Michelle Steel, who previously expressed skepticism about the need for a mask mandate in Orange County, tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday. Steel learned that morning that she had been in contact with someone who tested positive. She sought a test in the afternoon "out of an abundance of caution," and it came back positive, according to a statement released by her office. In the spring, Steel repeatedly questioned the Orange County health office's decision to mandate face coverings countywide, but later called on residents and visitors to wear face coverings in public, when COVID cases surged. And now ya got the COVID.

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Jeremy Lin signs to play with Warriors G-League team
Before the season started, Jeremy Lin reached a deal with the Golden State Warriors that would have had him playing for its G-League team, a first step in working his way back to an NBA roster. But that fell apart because paperwork from his former Chinese team the Beijing Ducks (where he played last season) through FIBA (basketball's international governing body) did not get to the NBA in time. Lin has now signed outright to play for the Warriors' G-League team -- the Santa Cruz Warriors -- in that league's restart bubble starting next month. The dream is still alive and kicking!

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Raya and the Last Dragon Raya Pop! Vinyl Figure
In case you're a collector like me: Funko Pop! figures based on the upcoming Disney animated feature Raya and the Last Dragon are now available for pre-order. The Southeast Asian-inspired fantasy adventure, starring the voice of Kelly Marie Tran, will premiere in theaters and on Disney Plus on March 5.


1.06.2021

"What we saw... was not a protest, it was an attempted coup"

And Other Things to Know From Angry Asian America



U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth Speaks Out Against Trump Demonstrators
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth spoke out against President Donald Trump and the demonstrators that forced their way into the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday: "What we saw today was not a protest, it was an attempted coup. I refuse to let anyone intent on instigating chaos or inciting violence deter me from carrying out my Constitutional duties. Congress must continue its work certifying the results of the election and turn the page on this shameful chapter in our history. It is the only way to inch closer to healing our nation."

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Rep. Grace Meng Shows Where She Hid Amid Violent US Capitol Protests
As the U.S. Capitol was stormed by a mob of pro-Trump protesters, New York congresswoman Grace Meng took cover for hours in a room that was barricaded shut with office chairs while rioters stormed outside. "After 5 hours I've been rescued from my hiding place. Now i can show you my DIY barricade and gas masks," wrote Rep. Meng. "Protestors were right outside the door chanting 'USA USA' it was scary but i am ok! Thanks all for your prayers."

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'I was closing my eyes and praying'
As pro-Trump mobs stormed the United States Capitol on Wednesday, forcing the building into a lockdown, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal crouched behind a railing in the House gallery, seeking shelter from a scene that more closely resembled a terrorist attack than a peaceful transfer of power.

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Rep. Ted Lieu calls for Trump's immediate removal from office
When Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, California Rep. Ted Lieu tweeted that he was evacuated from the building, and called the events a coup attempt. He is calling for the immediate removal of the president. "This assault on our nation's Capitol is a coup attempt and all those involved should be prosecuted as such," he wrote. "Also, for those Dems saying we shouldn't impeach @realDonaldTrump again? You are wrong."

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Rising number of Democrats call for Trump impeachment
Rep. Judy Chu joined calls for impeachment, telling Politico that Trump's "actions qualify for treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. I really question, actually, President Trump's mental state," Chu said. "If I were a member of the Cabinet, I would invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him."


1.05.2021

Three White Women Made a Mahjong Line Nobody Asked For



Dallas company apologizes after criticism for redesigning mahjong tiles
It seems that white people, not content with bottling bad kimchee and crappy pad thai, are exploring new dimensions in cultural appropriation. The latest Asian shit stolen and made "new": mahjong, courtesy of three white ladies, who have given the game a "respectful refresh" that absolutely nobody was asking for.

The Mahjong Line, based in Dallas, was the brainchild of Kate LaGere after she "discovered" that traditional mahjong tiles had the same designs and "did not reflect the fun" she had while playing the game, according to the company’s website. Perhaps worst of all: the damn thing costs $425. I had no idea that mahjong could be gentrified. But they've done it. And the internet of Asian America has let them know accordingly. Do not mess with our shit, because we will let you know.

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Brooklyn Democratic Party Leader Resigns Over Racist Tweet
A Brooklyn Democratic District Leader has resigned her post after triggering a firestorm of criticism over a racist rant she posted against Chinese people over the weekend, including the bizarre slight: "I can't even look at Chinese food." Lori Maslow posted the comments on Twitter with a link to a news item on Chinese tariffs. It has since been deleted. On Monday, Maslow issued a statement apologizing and resigning from her position in the party: "I hereby resign from my position as 6th vice chair of the Kings County Democratic County Committee effective immediately. I sincerely apologize for the poor choice of words I used in a social media posts over the weekend, which were hurtful to members of the Chinese American Community."

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Rose Ochi, Japanese American trailblazer for civil rights, dies at 81
Rose Matsui Ochi, a trailblazing Los Angeles attorney who tapped far-flung political networks from City Hall to Congress in her fierce advocacy of civil rights, criminal justice reform and Japanese American causes, has died at 81. Ochi broke barriers as the first Asian American woman to serve as a Los Angeles Police Commission member and as an assistant U.S. attorney general. She advised L.A. Mayors Tom Bradley and James Hahn on criminal justice, served on President Carter’s Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy and worked with President Clinton on drug policy and race relations. Ochi died December 13 after being diagnosed with a second bout of COVID-19, which exacerbated existing health problems.

1.04.2021

Congresswoman Wears Hanbok at Swearing-In Ceremony



Marilyn Strickland Makes History
Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland made history on Sunday, becoming the first Korean American woman elected to congress and the first African-American woman to represent Washington State at a federal level. Strickland was elected to represent Washington's 10th congressional district. Strickland also was the first woman to wear a Hanbok during the ceremony.

“Today, I was honored to be sworn into one of the most historically diverse Congresses in history, joining a record number of women, and women of color, serving in our Democratic Majority. As a woman of both Korean-American and African-American descent, it was deeply personal to wear my Hanbok, which not only symbolizes my heritage and honors my mother, but also serves as a larger testament to the crucial importance of diversity in our nation, state, and the People’s House," Strickland said in a press release after the ceremony.


1.03.2021

Read These Blogs



Asian-American Voters Can Help Decide Elections. But for Which Party?
"For many Democrats who still hope that greater Asian-American political involvement will benefit them, the election illustrated that the party must go after nonwhite voters with the same nuanced approach and level of urgency that has generally been reserved for white voters in swing states."

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Asian American voters could decide the Georgia Senate runoffs
Asian American voter mobilization in Georgia made a significant difference in November's general election -- and could be decisive again in the state's Senate runoffs.

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Some Asian Americans and immigrants wore masks readily; it made them heroes, targets, prophets
The impact of the coronavirus, and mask-wearing, has had on Asian Americans.

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How Georgia's 1st Vietnamese American state rep is continuing Stacey Abrams' fight
Bee Nguyen took over Abrams' seat in the state House in 2017. Now she's also battling voter suppression and galvanizing Asian Americans.

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Before They Closed, Restaurants Opened Doors for Us
Ligaya Mishan counts the many ways she misses eating out, and the lessons it taught her about the world and its possibilities.

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Truth, Reconciliation, and Korematsu v. United States
A lesson from history in finding the truth when the Justice Department has been complicit in the cover-up.

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Watching “Minari,” I Saw My Immigrant Experience On The Screen For The First Time
The struggles of growing up Korean American in Annandale, Virginia, came flooding back to Esther Yoon-Ji Kang while watching Lee Isaac Chung’s new film Minari.

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To reprise her 'Karate Kid' role in 'Cobra Kai,' Tamlyn Tomita had some ground rules
Actress Tamlyn Tomita reprises her role as Kumiko from The Karate Kid Part II in the Netflix series Cobra Kai.

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'Shadow in the Cloud' Filmmaker Roseanne Liang Sets the Record Straight on Her Film's Writing Credits
After sexual abuse accustations against screenwriter Max Landis were made public, writer/director Roseanne Liang clarifies that his involvement in her new feature film Shadow in the Cloud was distant and minimal.


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