4.29.2016

Meet the White House Champions of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling

The White House will recognize ten AAPI artists and advocates in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.



On Wednesday, the White House will recognize ten individuals from across the country as "White House Champions of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling."

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To celebrate, the White House and White House Initiative on AAPIs are honoring artists and advocates who have used unique channels and diverse platforms to tell powerful stories, increase awareness around key AAPI issues, and encourage diversity and inclusion in all sectors of society. These ten individuals were selected for their leadership and tireless work to raise the visibility of diverse AAPI experiences and create dialogue around issues the community faces.

The Champions of Change event will feature remarks by Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady Tina Tchen, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu, and White House Initiative on AAPIs Executive Director Doua Thor. There will also be panel discussions with the awardees, moderated by myself and Jeanny Kim, Acting Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

The event will be live streamed on the White House website at www.whitehouse.gov/live on Wednesday, May 4, at 2:00 PM ET. Follow the conversation at #WHChamps.

The White House Champions of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling are:

Angry Reader of the Week: Will Choi

"Now living the dream being broke in Los Angeles."



What's up, good people of the internet? It is time, once again, to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Will Choi.

Forrest Wheeler describing a pager will make you feel old

'Fresh Off The Boat' star says it's "like an iPhone." But without a screen or apps.


Photo Credit: Jenny Yang

As fans of Fresh Off The Boat are aware, much of the show's humor is derived from some good old-fashioned '90s nostalgia. But we sometimes forget that the show's young stars weren't even alive yet during the nineties.

On Tuesday at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, comedian Jenny Yang and I hosted a live screening of Fresh Off the Boat, featuring members of the show's cast and crew, including stars Forrest Wheeler, Ian Chen and Lucille Soong, writers Ali Wong and Sanjay Shah, and executive producer Melvin Mar.

During the Q&A, an audience member asked Forrest and Ian, who play brothers Emery and Evan Huang, what Fresh Off The Boat had taught them about 1990s pop culture. Forrest proceeded to describe what he had learned about pagers... and made us all feel some kind of way.

Check it out:

4.27.2016

Beyond Orientalism: The Forum

Monday, May 2 at Pope Auditorium, Fordham University



How can the creative community advance race equity in the theatre? How do artists and producers agree to work together to eradicate yellowface and brownface? What are lessons learned that can be shared? If you're in New York, you're invited to Beyond Orientalism: The Forum, an interactive public event featuring panel conversations, a breakout session and multimedia components to explore these questions.

Beyond Orientalism: The Forum is presented by the Asian American Arts Alliance, Asian American Performers' Action Coalition, Theatre Communications Group and Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, with the Fordham University Theatre Program. It's happening Monday, May 2 at Pope Auditorium at Fordham University.

Here are some more details about the event:

Are you a turbaned Sikh American who is ready to shine?

Photographers Amit and Naroop and The Sikh Coalition are looking for turbaned Sikhs for The Singh Project.



The Sikh Coalition is looking for camera-ready Sikh Americans of all ages for the U.S. edition of The Singh Project, a groundbreaking upcoming photography exhibition with UK-based photographers Amit and Naroop.

The Singh Project explores the style and symbolism of the Sikh articles of faith -- in particular, the turban and beard. The original Singh Project featured 36 portraits of British Sikhs and demonstrated the diversity and beauty of the Sikh turban. The new American portraits will feature a combination of iconic Sikh Americans that have previously made an impression on the American psyche, along with untold stories that illustrate the complex Sikh American experience.

Amit and Naroop, in partnership with the Sikh Coalition, are currently casting for the Singh Project -- U.S. edition! Turbaned Sikh Americans of all ages and genders are invited to take part.

Sikh man falsely accused of terrorism on Greyhound bus

Daljeet Singh is demanding accountability after being falsely accused and imprisoned by fellow passengers.


In Texas, a Sikh man has filed an official complaint demanding that criminal charges be brought against individuals who falsely accused him of making a bomb threat and unlawfully restrained him on a bus.

Daljeet Singh, who wears a turban and beard in observance of his Sikh faith, was a passenger on a Greyhound bus traveling through Amarillo on February 21, 2016 when he was falsely accused by a fellow passenger of making a terroristic threat.

"The only crime I committed was wearing a turban, having a beard, and speaking in a different language to another brown man on a bus," said Mr. Singh. "I still cannot believe that this happened to me in America."

During the bus trip from Phoenix to Indianapolis, Mr. Singh met another Punjabi-speaking man, Mohammad Chotri from Pakistan, who invited Singh to sit with him. The two men were strangers and had never met before, but shared a dialect of Punjabi. Neither man could speak or understand English fluently.

Shortly after departing from Amarillo, the bus stopped on the side of the road. According to Mr. Singh, two passengers restrained him and prevented him moving or using his phone to call an English-speaking family remember. When authorities arrived, Mr. Singh was arrested, searched, made to remove his religious turban, handcuffed and detained.

Later, Mr. Singh found out that another passenger had complained to the bus driver and to the police that he and Mr. Chotri had made a terroristic threat and that they were "acting suspicious."

"Actually, she called it 'acting weird.'" Singh says.

4.26.2016

Air passenger busted with 38 pounds of drugs

Khoua Vang landed at O'Hare International Airport with opium and methamphetamine pills in her luggage.



Asians behaving badly... drug smuggling air passenger edition! A Minnesota woman was arrested after more than 38 pounds of drugs were discovered in her luggage at O'Hare International Airport.

Woman arrested at O'Hare with 38 pounds of drugs had traveled to Laos

On Saturday morning, 49-year-old Khoua Vang landed in Chicago, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found more than 3,500 methamphetamine pills and about 37 1/2 pounds of opium in her luggage.

Jeremy Lin drops 21 points to help Hornets tie playoff series

Charlotte nabs their second straight playoff victory over the Miami Heat.



No big deal. Just Jeremy Lin being hella Jeremy Lin when the Hornets need it the most. The guard from Harvard has been on fire, dropping 21 points off the bench Monday night and helping Charlotte nab their second straight playoff victory over the Miami Heat, tying the Eastern Converence series 2-2.

Relentlessness of Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lin help Hornets tie series

Lin was the second-leading scorer behind Kemba Walker in the Hornets' 89-85 victory over the Heat. The guy has been relentless, not just in Game 4, but this entire series. In four playoff games, he's averaging 19.1 points per 36 minutes and shooting 50 percent inside the three-point line.

As usual, here's a conveniently compiled video of Jeremy's game highlights from Monday night:

"It's just not an option for us to throw another community under the bus."

The Daily's Show's Hasan Minhaj talks to Sikhs about how Islamophobia is affecting their community.



Since 9/11, the rise of Islamophobia has targeted groups indiscriminately with hate speech and violence. Sikhs, who wear a turban as an article of faith, have often been mistaken for Muslims. But as this Daily Show segment demonstrates, you won't find the Sikh community throwing Muslims under the bus.

Hasan Minhaj -- aka "Brown Ryan Seacrest" -- recently sat down with designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia and other Sikhs to find out how Islamophobia is affecting their community. Despite Hasan's urging to Sikhs to attempt to blend in, deflect and declare "We're not Muslim!" the group of individuals gathered here says they won't compromise their values -- as Sikhs and as Americans.

Racist messages emerge in SFPD texting scandal

Former San Francisco Police Officer Jason Lai allegedly sent racist and homophobic text messages.



The San Francisco Police Department has been embroiled in an ongoing scandal involving more than a dozen officers who allegedly wrote and sent racist and homophobic text messages. This week, new disturbing messages emerged from a former officer at the center of the scandal.

New Racist, Homophobic Texts Emerge In Ongoing SFPD Scandal

CNN has obtained a list of dozens of offensive texts sent to and from Officer Jason Lai, who used slurs that included a derogatory term for Hispanics, a shortened version of the n-word, and a message calling Indian people "disgusting," as well as homophobic language to refer to gay officers.

Lai's texts also made several references to "hak gwai," a derogatory Cantonese phrase for African Americans:

4.25.2016

How Oklahoma cops took $53,000 from a Burmese Christian rock band

Muskogee County Sheriff's Office seized $53,234 intended for an orphanage and a religious college.



In Oklahoma, authorities announced that they would be returning over $53,000 in seized assets that it took from Eh Wah, a man who was pulled over in February while carrying the cash for a Burmese Christian rock band that had been raising funds for an orphanage in Thailand. They've also dropped a felony criminal charge against Eh Wah, who had been falsely accused of "acquiring proceeds from drug activity."

How police took $53,000 from a Christian band, an orphanage and a church

Not-so-coincidentally, the announcement came shortly after The Washington Post published a report about Eh Wah's plight. On February 27, a sheriff's deputy seized $53,234 in cash from Eh Wah, the volunteer tour manager for Klo & Kweh Music Team, a Burmese Christian music group on a tour of the United States.

Eh Wah had been driving with a broken tail light, and the deputy who pulled him over suspected that he was carrying drug money, despite having found no drugs or paraphernalia in his car. The cash was from concert ticket and merchandise sales and donations, much of it earmarked for an orphanage in Thailand, and some for a religious college back in Burma. Absolutely none of the money was derived from drug sales.

Again: no drugs, paraphernalia or weapons in the car. Eh Wah tried to explain where the cash came from -- it was difficult because English isn't his first language -- but officers weren't satisfied. He was taken to the police station for more questioning, and after six hours, eventually let go without any charges.

But the officers kept the money.

Steven Yeun joins the cast of Netflix sci-fi feature 'Okja'

'The Walking Dead' star rounds out Bong Joon Ho's anticipated follow-up to 'Snowpiercer.'



Steven Yeun, who may or may not or may or may not be back on the next season of The Walking Dead, has joined the cast of the sci-fi feature film Okja, director Bong Joon Ho's anticipated follow-up to Snowpiercer.

'Okja': 'Walking Dead's Steven Yeun, Lily Collins & More Round Out Cast Of 'Snowpiercer' Follow

Written by Bong and Jon Ronson, Okja centers on Mija, a young girl who befriends a genetically manufactured pig named Okja. When the pig grows up to gigantic proportions, the corporation that created him takes him, thrusting the girl, now a teen, into a mission to take it back.

No word on Yeun's role in the movie, but Tilda Swinton is playing The Ancient One the head of the corporation (and her twin sister), while Jake Gyllenhaal is a zoologist, and Paul Dano is an animal activist looking to expose the corporation's dastardly dealings.

Jeremy Lin leads Hornets to first playoff win in 14 years

Lin scored 18 points to lead Charlotte to a 96-80 rout over the Miami Heat.



Boom. In case you missed it.. Over the weekend, Jeremy Lin stepped up with 18 points to lead the Hornets to a 96-80 rout over the Miami Heat and helping Charlotte nab their first playoff win in fourteen years.

Lin Leads Hornets in Playoff Win

Miami took the first two games over Charlotte in the opening series of the Eastern Conference playoffs. But in game three, the Hornets stung back. The win is the Hornets' first in the playoffs since 2002, and snapped a 12-game playoff losing streak that would have tied the NBA's longest with another defeat.

Charlotte' bench outscored Miami's 34-13 on Saturday night, led by Jeremy's team-high 18 points off the bench. He also added four rebounds, four assists and a steal in 26 minutes.

And, of course, here's a video of Jeremy's highlights from Saturday night:

Teen charged in hate crime attack on Sikh man commits suicide

17-year-old Alexis Mendoza was accused of beating and running over Amrik Singh Bal.



In Fresno, a teen charged in the hate crime assault of an elderly Sikh man has committed suicide. The Fresno County Coroner's Office confirmed that 17-year-old Alexis Mendoza killed himself last week.

Teen Charged With Attacking Sikh Man Commits Suicide

Mendoza and another man, 22-year-old Daniel Coronel Wilson, were accused of beating and running over 68-year-old Amrik Singh Bal in vicious hate crime attack on the morning of December 26.

During the attack, one of the assailants reportedly asked him, "Why are you here?"

According to Fresno police, Mendoza and Wilson were driving when they spotted Bal, who was wearing a turban and traditional Sikh robes. Both men got out of the car and beat Bal with their fists, then got back into the car and intentionally ran him over. He suffered a broken collar bone and abrasions to his nose and right hand.

A security camera at a nearby home captured the suspects running over Bal.

4.24.2016

Read These Blogs


Why Won't Hollywood Cast Asian Actors? Our friend Keith Chow drops truth in this New York Times op-ed about racist casting practices, the realities of the box office and the ongoing erasure of Asians in Hollywood.

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The trial of Peter Liang and confronting the reality of Asian American privilege: Peter Liang's light sentence for the killing of Akai Gurley highlights the reality of Asian American privilege.

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No, Pro-Liang Protests Were Not the Largest or Most Impactful Asian American Protest Movements Ever: Let's be clear. This year's pro-Liang protests marches are neither the first, nor the largest, nor the most impactful protest movements organized by the Asian American community.

* * *

Why does Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt keep choosing race as a hill to die on? This season of Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt tries to take on outrage culture. It never makes a clear point.

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'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,' Outrage Culture, And The Fight To Save Racism In Hollywood: "The constant cycle of outrage? Maybe that's because Hollywood keeps casting white actors as Asian characters. And making jokes at Asian-American people's expense. And if we would listen, instead of opting out, that outrage cycle wouldn't have to continue like this forever."

* * *


Little Tokyo looks to basketball to revive a community - with help from the Lakers: As the Japanese American community in L.A.'s Little Tokyo has dwindled over the years due to gentrification, stakeholders look to decades-old Japanese American basketball leagues for revival.

* * *

How Social Media Smeared A Missing Student As A Terrorism Suspect: Weeks before the Boston Marathon bombing, Sunil Tripathi went missing. How the tragedy of Tripathi's death got overshadowed by social media, where many named him as a terrorism suspect.

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Moving Beyond "Crazy Rich Asians" In The Stories We Tell About China: In a time of rising Yellow Peril, it's never been more urgent for us to move away from stereotypes about China and its people in our literature.

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Building a Better 'Mikado,' Minus the Yellowface: With the help of Asian American advisors, San Francisco's Lamplighters Music Theatre is radically recovering the Gilbert & Sullivan classic.

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Weirdo like me: Prince and David Bowie helped me find my place in America: What wonderful and uncategorizable weirdos like Prince and Bowie meant for a Vietnamese refugee child.

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Essay: The First Asian American Woman to Win the Pulitzer Prize in Drama Was Not Me: Kristina Wong on being a contender -- let's be clear: not a nominee -- for the Pulitzer Prize for drama this year.

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Sikh Teen Who Wrote Anti-Bullying Book Forced to Remove Turban at Airport: Karanveer Singh Pannu, a Sikh-American high-school student who wrote a book about Sikh youth who get bullied in school, recently confronted discrimination first-hand during an airport security screening.

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Schools target Asian parental expectations: In response to suicides in Palo Alto, a group of Asian American mental health professionals staged skits to help Asian-American parents communicate with their teenager on issues such as school, dating, abusive behavior and health.

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Doctors' message to Asian Americans: Watch out for diabetes even if you're young and thin: Asians, in part for genetic reasons, are disproportionately likely to develop diabetes. They get the disease at younger ages and lower weights than others, experts say.

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John Chiang is calm, cool and collected. So why's he 'leaning toward' running for governor?: California Treasurer John Chiang is "leaning toward" running for governor in 2018.

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In Its First Season, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Greatest Legacy Is (Finally) Bringing the Asian Bro to Television: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Josh Chan is a "ripped and wonderfully chill Filipino skater dude" and love interest, played by Vincent Rodriguez III.

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At Last, Jeremy Lin Settles Into Identity of His Own Making: "Over the past five years, Jeremy Lin has felt multiple disparate identities foisted upon him: undrafted underdog, franchise savior, overpaid mercenary. None quite fit. But over these past six months, a fresh calibration seems to have occurred."

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Pharrell Protege Yuna Talks Being Muslim in Music: 'It's My Choice to Cover Up My Body. I'm Not Oppressed -- I'm Free': A profile of musician Yuna, who talks about her new album and being Muslim in music.

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How BuzzFeed Motion Pictures Is Retaining Its Top Talent: BuzzFeed's Hollywood arm has inked two-year exclusive deals with online stars including Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys.

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Roy Choi Made the Time 100 List: Los Angeles chef/restaurateur/culinary icon Roy Choi can now add being named one of Time's "100 Most Influential People" to his impressive resume.


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4.22.2016

Family Reunion: A Storytelling Show

"Sound Mind" - Thursday, April 28 at the Lyric Hyperion Theatre



Hey, Los Angeles! It's story time! Disoriented Comedy invites you to the latest edition of Family Reunion, a monthly live storytelling show co-presented by Angry Asian Man Angry Asian Man, Tuesday Night Project, Mishthi Music and KAYA Press, featuring regular everyday folks talking story. No notes.

This month's Family Reunion theme is "Sound Mind." The evening's featured lineup of storytellers includes Shondalia White, Beau Sia, Neha Talreja, Brandie Posey, Benjamin To, Alfa Garcia, Paola Mardo and Anjali Alimchandani, with the proceedings hosted by Atsuko Okatsuka.

It's happening Thursday, April 28 at Family Reunion's new temporary venue, the Lyric Hyperion Theatre in Silverlake. Here are some more details about the show:

Angry Reader of the Week: William Lu

"I'm the son of a Taiwanese organic chemist and a Shanghainese physicist. I inherited none of their science genes."



Hello, internet friends. It's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is William Lu.

4.20.2016

#MyAAPIStory: Sharing the Stories of the AAPI Community

The White House is working with StoryCorps to document and share AAPI stories.



As part of its upcoming Heritage Month celebration, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is teaming up with StoryCorps to document and share the stories of the AAPI community.

#MyAAPIStory: Sharing the Diverse Stories of the AAPI Community

You are encouraged to share your story and those of others within the AAPI community. Highlight issues you care about, share about what your identity means to you, or interview others -- friends, family members, community leaders -- that are making a difference for the AAPI community.

You can share a story about any topic you wish, and the recording can be as short or as long as you'd like. Themes could include:

• Being the first in your family to go to college
• Your immigration story
• Defying the model minority myth
• Preserving culture and identity
• Overcoming odds

You can use the StoryCorps app to record your story or interview, and then post it on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #MyAAPIStory. Select stories may be highlighted throughout the month of May in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

For further information on #MyAAPIStory, visit the White House Blog.

The Daily Show's Tips for Flying While Muslim

Hasan Minhaj demonstrates how Muslims can fly without terrifying their fellow travelers.



Ah, Flying While Brown. After a college student was recently kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight simply for speaking Arabic -- shout out to all you racist, idiotic air passengers who get freaked by the sight of a brown face and the sound of a "foreign" tongue -- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah's Hasan Minhaj made a handy pre-flight video demonstrating how Muslims can fly without terrifying their fellow travelers.

"If you speak Arabic, don't. It's a scary language." Hasan advises. "But don't not speak either, because that's also super suspicious."

UCLA graduate student missing for 10 days

Alison Wu was last seen by her roommate on April 10.



In Los Angeles, a search is underway for a UCLA student who has been missing for the past ten days. Alison Wu, a graduate student in the Fielding School of Public Health, was last seen by her roommate on April 10.

Information on student sought

Wu is believed to be with a known male friend, identified Scott Helton. While family members say it appears as though she left on her own, they are concerned because they have not heard from her.

A UC San Diego student who identified herself as Wu's friend posted on Facebook that the couple was spotted at a coffee shop on April 13. The sighting was not confirmed by UCLA officials.

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