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6.30.2002

Archived Posts - June 2002



06.29.02

Saw Minority Report. Not a whole lot of minorities in it... But with a little help from the cast listing at IMDB, here are a few of the Asians that do pop up: Radmar Agana Jao as a "Technician," Tom Choi as "Paymen - Agent #2," Kimiko Gelman as "Mother on Metro," Caitlin Mao as "Girl on Metro," and Jarah as "Amex Polynesian Woman." Altogether, this amounts to about 5 spoken words. Oh, and let's not forget the eyes of "Mr. Yakamoto."

06.29.02

Notorious C.H.O.Margaret Cho's second stand-up performance film is being released in various U.S. cities this week: New York (7/3), Los Angeles (6/28) and San Francisco (7/3), followed by a wider national release. For all the info, check out Margaret Cho's official site or www.notoriouschomovie.com.


06.28.02

Lucy Liu as Agent SeverPoster image of Lucy Liu as Agent Sever in Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. Just click on the pic. Speaking of Ms. Liu, word has it that she's in talks to star in a John Woo-produced update of the Charlie Chan detective series... She would play Chan's crime-solving granddaughter. Don't know if this will fly, but actually, I've always been interested in seeing a modern-day remake of the Charlie Chan series. The old movies were terribly racist, starring Warner Oland or Sidney Toler in ridiculous yellowface. But I thought it might be cool to see a hip, modern take on the Charlie Chan character, played by an Asian actor. Solving crimes and kicking ass like an Asian Shaft. Maybe Lucy Liu can pull it off, but I'd prefer an Asian male lead. It could be so cool...

06.27.02

I believe this was published before the South Korea/German World Cup match: Germans' Racist Attack on Cup Rivals. That's racist!

06.26.02

Saw Lilo & Stitch... the story is set in Hawaii, and features one ugly blue alien and a cast of Pacific Islander characters. It features the voice talents of Tia Carrere as Nani, Jason Scott Lee as David, and Amy Hill (the grandma from All American Girl) as Mrs. Hasagawa. In some ways the setting fits the stereotypical trappings of Hawaii, but there are few jokes that poke fun at the islands' status as a western tourist attraction. It even comes through with a pretty strong Elvis connection (remember Blue Hawaii and Paradise, Hawaiian Style?). I can dig it.

06.26.02

Comedienne Margaret Cho will be on ABC's Politically Incorrect tonight.

06.26.02

This article is a level-headed look at the practice of eating dog meat: The Politics of Dog. It is the absolute opposite of the Mark Brown's prejudiced, ethnocentric, judgmental Sun Times column. (Thanks to Linus and dks)

06.26.02

There is a petition online to pardon Wen Ho Lee: Presidential Pardon for Wen Ho Lee Petition. Go sign it.

06.26.02

Okay. Here is the absolute final word on the Ming Tan class. An article by Eric Levy of the NY Press: Yellow Fever Outbreak Averted

I am actually quoted in the article. I didn't actually say that, but it gets the general drift. Now I sort of wish I hadn't talked to the writer, because the article is pretty terrible, painting a slightly condescending, unintelligent picture of those who objected to the class. Ah well. I'm sick of talking about it.

06.25.02

Team Korea had a World Cup run, something for Koreans worldwide to be proud of. The red-clad South Korean fans really put their best foot forward... Unfortunately in the eyes of many, Korea is still only seen in the context of injustice towards animals: the practice of dog eating. I still get quite a few comments about this... Check out this column by Mark Brown from the Chicago Sun Times: Nation of dog-eaters turns us off to World Cup

The article is frustrating, simply because it's inaccurate and unfair. The media would love for you to believe that EVERYONE in Korea eats dogs, that they sell it at KFC and they snatch pups off the Seoul streets for meat. When in fact, it's only a small minority who eat dogs -- it's frowned upon by the general populace. I've been to Korea, and I've never eaten dogs, and I don't know anyone who has.

But for that matter, who the hell cares? Simply put, Koreans have a right to eat whatever they want. If eating dogs is somehow unethical, so is eating chicken, fish, cows, etc. The media onslaught and protests by animal rights groups are ethnocentric and xenophobic at best. It is unfair to single out Korea, especially with accusations that are grossly inaccurate and unbalanced. It's racist.

Check out this ad put out in the Hollywood Reporter by PETA: Welcome to South Korea. It angers me that this ad chooses to condemn this practice at the expense of the entire nation of South Korea, as though it is a national pastime, or an inherent trait of all who hail from the region.

Anita's perspective puts it well:


Is PETA attacking the mere fact that dogs and cats are eaten in Korea? Or is their concern over the way the animals are butchered? Because some people in America practice eating animals that many people would never dare touch. It's obvious they are singling out S. Korea because of the World Cup. PETA's ad really doesn't separate the cultural practice from the process, and ends up being very ethnocentric/racist. What concerns me is that the ad is patriarchal in its judgemental message - using the word "barbaric". Like many others, I'm also concerned over the possible backlash against Korean Americans... and everyone else who remotely looks East Asian.

PETA is known to take issue over the butchering of any animal - cow, pig, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, etc. It's obvious that the intent in the Hollywood Reporter is to rile up mainstream American audiences... probably to draw attention to what PETA defines as animal cruelty in general. However, the main problem here is that the ad ends up being racist in the end,
whipping up xenophobic assumptions and contempt against Korean Americans and anyone who looks Korean within our American socio-political context.


Right on, sista. I'm inclined to agree. That's racist!

06.24.02

Interesting article on racial slurs: Slurring Their Words

06.24.02

Here is a question that was posed to me last week (thanks, Matt). I am still formulating a response.


A question. Do you think any Asians would be offended by a non-Asian wearing one of those "peasant hats" (is there another name)? They sell them all over in Chinatown NYC, but i think most people just leave them at home. I saw one guy wearing one on the subway, but he was asian. Thanks!

Interesting. Not entirely sure, but I think he means one of these. It's a good question. I'd like to know how others feel on the matter...

06.22.02

Got sent a few interesting links:

  • Adoptive Parents Aren't Laughing - Some stupid cheap shot joke that ran on a show that got cancelled anyway.(Thanks, Nancy)

  • Is Boston A Racist City??? - And it includes documentation. (Thanks, Linus)

  • Tajiri and Funaki - Asian wrestlers in the WWF with some really problematic stereotypical characterizations... (Thanks, Tim)

    That's racist!

    06.21.02

    Forgot to mention, Disney's latest animated feature, Lilo & Stitch, features a Pacific Islander family. Character voices include Jason Scott Lee and Tia Carerre -both from Hawaii. Now has anyone seen the movie? Any good?

    06.20.02

    Here's something interesting. An Andrew Lloyd Webber Bollywood musical love story, Bombay Dreams... hadn't heard about this 'til today: Critics Applaud Lloyd Webber's 'Bombay Dreams' (Thanks Katie)

    06.20.02

    This message is being sent by the New Hampshire Attorney General's office, in response to all inquiries and comments they've received in regards to the Thung Phetakoune case:



    The following statement was given to Foster's Daily Democrat, a Dover,
    New Hampshire newspaper.††It addresses some of the issues which may
    be of concern to you.††Also attached is a letter addressed to the Asian American Resource Workshop††which also responds to issues raised in this matter.

    June 18, 2002

    To Foster's Daily Democrat

    Gentlemen:

    This letter is written in response to your anticipated request for
    comment regarding the June 17 letter from the Asian American Resource Workshop.

    The Asian American advocacy group's letter of June 17, 2002 is
    apparently based upon incomplete information.††The State of New Hampshire
    was able to plead the Labbe case to 15-30 years in the New Hampshire State
    Prison precisely because of the racial aspect of Thung Phetakoune's death.

    Had the racial element not existed, the result very likely would have been a prison term of five to ten years or less.††The two most recent cases where the
    physical act was similar to this case - one push or one punch - the dispositions
    were significantly less harsh.††Earlier this year, the case of State v. Joseph Fogg resulted in a negligent homicide plea where the defendant is eligible for parole after serving five years in prison.††In State v. Casey Gokey, the defendant also pled guilty to negligent homicide and was sentenced to three and a half to seven years in prison.††Both cases involved physical acts similar to Mr. Labbe.

    In New Hampshire, contrary to Asian American's understanding, hate findings
    are not statutory elements of sentencing discretion in the event of a manslaughter conviction, and the hate element does not increase the sentencing discretion of a judge in the event of a murder conviction.

    The group's assertions that the plea was "last minute" is likewise unfounded.††To the contrary, the plea agreement was the culmination of a thoughtful, planned and deliberate process which I supported along with the chief of the Newmarket Police Department and, most importantly, the family of
    Mr. Phetakoune.

    I would not dispute the group's conclusion that the New Hampshire State
    Legislature should consider tightening the "hate" elements of crimes of violence.

    Sincerely,

    Philip T. McLaughlin
    Attorney General


    ___________________________________________________________

    June 19, 2002



    Ms. Susan Chinsen, President

    Board Of Directors

    Asian American Resource Workshop

    44 Harrison Avenue

    Boston, MA 02111-2008

    Re: State of New Hampshire v. Richard Labbe

    Dear Ms. Chinsen

    I welcome the opportunity to respond to your letter dated June 17, 2002, regarding the negotiated plea reached in the case of State v. Richard Labbe.†† This case resulted in an unprecedented plea of 15 - 30 years' incarceration to a charge of manslaughter, the maximum sentence for manslaughter available under New Hampshire law.††For the first time in the history of the State of New Hampshire, a defendant in a homicide case has plead guilty to a homicide charge in which he has admitted to engaging in a course of conduct during which he made a series of racially-disparaging comments that culminated in the death of Thung Phetakoune.

    You began your letter with an assumption that this negotiated disposition was a last minute deal.††To the contrary, the plea offer was extended to the defendant long before trial and after careful and thoughtful deliberation. Before the offer was made, the State met with Mr. Phetakoune's widow, his son and his two grandchildren, with the assistance of an interpreter.††The victim's family was fully consulted before the negotiated disposition was presented to the defendant, and they fully supported the State's decision to make such an offer.††Initially, the defendant rejected this offer, and the State declined to entertain any other proposed dispositions.††Four days before trial, the defendant changed his mind and decided to accept the State's final offer.††After doing so, two Assistant Attorneys General, the Chief of Police of Newmarket and the lead detective on the case met with the Phetakoune family.††The State reviewed the terms of the plea agreement with family members, who again voiced their support for the proposed resolution.††Your characterization of a last minute deal is inaccurate.

    With respect to the State's decision to recommend a plea of Manslaughter, please consider the fact that, historically in New Hampshire, cases involving similar physical acts are frequently resolved as lesser offenses of negligent homicide. Phetakoune's death was an inexcusable tragedy.††At the same time, the physical conduct that led to his death was a push by a highly intoxicated individual. Such physical conduct rarely, if ever, results in a murder conviction.††Standing alone, this conduct customarily results in a sentence of incarceration within the range of 5-10 years.††Nevertheless, under his plea, Mr. Labbe will receive the maximum sentence of 15-30 years for manslaughter, with no parole eligibility for 15 years.††Mr. Labbe will receive this sentence precisely because of the racial hostility exhibited by his crime.††It was the racial motivation factor that caused me to reject defense proposals for a plea to substantially less time.

    You also expressed concerns that this case was not resolved as a "hate crime."††For clarification, in New Hampshire, as in many other states, the law does not contain a substantive "hate crime" provision which makes racially motivated conduct a separate punishable offense.††Rather, New Hampshire law provides the sentencing judge with discretion to extend normal sentencing ranges in cases where a jury unanimously agrees that a defendant was substantially motivated to commit a crime based on hostility towards a victim's race or national origin.††However, New Hampshire law does not provide the sentencing judge with discretion to increase the maximum penalties for either manslaughter or murder.††In this sense, the extended term of imprisonment statute had application in the Labbe case only if the jury returned a verdict of guilty to a lesser crime, in this case, negligent homicide.††Under that scenario, even with an extended term, the maximum penalty for imposition would have been 10-30 years.††In this regard, I agree with your assessment that the New Hampshire legislature should review this law as it applies to violent crimes.††This is precisely why we insisted on the maximum possible sentence in connection with Labbe's manslaughter charge.

    In addition, the State refused to accept any plea in this case unless the defendant admitted to engaging in a course of conduct in which he made racially hostile statements that culminated in the death of Mr. Phetakoune.††The defendant pled guilty to such a course of conduct on June 14th.††He accepted responsibility for his statements and rendered an apology to both the Phetakoune family and the Newmarket community for his egregious behavior.††We view these admissions before the court as a great deal more than "mere language" incorporated into a charge.

    In closing, I agree with your assessment that this violent crime was more than just another assault or bar fight that ended unfortunately.††If the State had viewed this case in such a way, the outcome would have been significantly different.††For example, the two most recent cases where the physical act - one push or one punch - was similar to the Phetakoune case, the dispositions were significantly less harsh.††Earlier this year, the case of State v. Joseph Fogg resulted in a negligent homicide plea where the defendant is eligible for parole after serving five years in prison.††In State v. Casey Gokey, the defendant also pled guilty to negligent homicide and was sentenced to three and a half to seven years in prison.††Both cases involved physical acts similar to Mr. Labbe.

    Please also consider that as soon as I learned of Mr. Phetakoune's death, I drove to Newmarket, personally reviewed the case and spoke personally with Mr. Phetakoune's family.††As I said to the family that day, I met with them to assure them that the State of New Hampshire would do everything possible to assure that Mr. Labbe would receive the longest possible prison term.††I have kept my promise to the family, and your suggestion of racial insensitivity in dealing with this matter could not be further from the truth.

    After sentencing, we will be in a position to discuss the facts of this case in greater detail.††Please contact me if you have further questions or concerns.

    Sincerely,


    Philip T. McLaughlin

    Attorney General

    State of New Hampshire


    The whole situation is rather aggravating. I find it disturbing that 20 years after Vincent Chin's death, we're still talking about the same issues and having to deal with hate crimes.

    06.20.02

    Props to my man Min, who created his own Vincent Chin awareness campaign... He just printed up a bunch of informational flyers and distributed them on his campus. That's initiative. Solid!

    06.20.02

    Here's the final word on the cancelled "Asian Women" Learning Annex class: The Learning Annex's Fetish Problem (scroll down to the second article). Thanks to all who wrote in with their comments/info...

    06.19.02

    Ben informed me of this video on sale: Major League Baseball - Rising Sons. All about the recent influx of ball players from Japan. Interesting...

    06.19.02

    Today is the twentieth anniversary of the death of Vincent Chin. For those unfamiliar with the case, which sparked the modern Asian American activist movement, here's a summary (taken from www.vincentchin.net):


    On June 19, 1982, Vincent Chin a 27 year-old Chinese American went to a Detroit bar with three friends to celebrate his upcoming wedding. There, two white auto worker, Ronald Ebens and his step-son, Michael Nitz taunted him, reportedly calling him, a "Jap". Ebens complained: "It's because of you, motherfuckers, that we're out of work!" When the fist fight broke out, the manager evicted all of the.

    Once outside, Ebens and Nitz went to their car, took out a baseball bat from the trunk, and approached Chin and his companions, who were waiting in the parking lot to be picked up by another friend. Chin and his friends started running. They were chased and hunted by Ebens and Nitz. They finally trapped Chin in front of a McDonald's restaurant where Nitz held their prey while Ebens bludgeoned him with a baseball bat.

    Before he lost consciousness, Chin said to a friend: "It isn't fair." Four day later he died from severe head injuries. Several hundred people, originally invited to Chin's wedding, attended instead his funeral.

    Ebens was a foreman at an automobile plant. Nitz who had been laid off, was going to school part-time. Soon after the incident, Ebens also lost his job. At that time, the American automobile industry was in a depression, facing stiff competition from cars imported from Japan. Apparently, Ebens mistook Vincent Chin for a Japanese.

    Charged with second-degree murder, Ebens and Nitz were allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter. On March 16, 1983, Wayne County Circuit Judge, Charles S. Kaufman, after hearing arguments only from the defense attorneys and not from the prosecuting attorney, sentenced the two men to three years probation and fined each of them $3,000 plus $780 in fees.

    Both of the criminals were permitted to "repay their debt" to society in monthly payment of $125. "These weren't the kind of men you send to jail," commented Judge Kaufman. "We're talking here about a man (Ebens) who's held down a responsible job with the same company for seventeen or eighteen years and his son (Nitz) who is employed and is a part-time student....These men are not going to go out and harm somebody else. I just didn1t' think that putting them in prison would do any good for them or for society....You don't make the punishment fit the crime; you make the punishment fit the criminal."

    "What kind of law is this? What kind of justice?" Vincent Chin's mother, Lily Chin, angrily asked. "This happened because my son is Chinese. If two Chinese killed a white person, they must go to jail, maybe for their whole lives... Some thing is wrong with this country." Across America, news, of Judge Kaufman's sentences had been met with similar disbelief and outrage.

    Asian American in Detroit immediately organized the American Citizens for Justice and demanded a review of the light sentences. They also urged the United State Department of Justice to investigate the violation of Chin's federal civil rights by Ebens and Nitz. In the view of Asian Americans, what Judge Kaufman did was to grant a $3,000 license to kill Asians. "Three thousand dollars can't even buy a good used car these days, " one of them remarked. "And this was the price of a life."

    In addition, several California congressmen wrote the US attorney general requesting an investigation of the crime a s well as the manner in which Wayne County officials had handled it. The Justice Department asked the FBI to carry out the investigation. Sufficient evidence of violation was found and a federal grand jury was convened in September 1983.

    Two months later the grand jury indicted Ebens and Nitz and two counts. The following year they were in a U.S. district court, whose jury convicted Ebens of violating Chin's civil rights but acquitted him of conspiracy, while acquitting Nitz of both charges. Ebens was sentenced to 25 years in jail and was told to undergo treatment for alcoholism, but he was freed after posting a $20,00 bond.

    Ebens' attorney appealed the conviction and federal appeals court overturned it in September 1986 on a technicality: one of the attorneys for Americans Citizens for justice, who had interviewed several of the prosecution's witnesses, was said to have "improperly coached" them. The Justice Department ordered a retrial, which took place not in Detroit but in Cincinnati, a city whose residents not only had little exposure to Asian Americans in general but also were unfamiliar with the hostility that people in Detroit harbored against Japanese cars and Japanese-looking people. Much to the dismay of Asian Americans across the country, the Cincinnati jury acquitted Ebens of all charges. Neither he nor his stepson ever spent a day in jail. Lily Chin, Vincent's mother, was so upset by the final outcome that she left the United States-a country where, she felt, no justice existed-to live in China.


    Lily Chin died earlier this month at the age of 82. If you haven't already seen it, I recommend watching Renee Tajima and Christine Choy's award-winning documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin?, which covers the case. Also, check the Vincent Chin website for info on commemorative events going on around the country.

    NO JUSTICE NO PEACE!

    06.19.02

    Got this info from Brian about an up and coming boxer, Brian Viloria, aka "Hawaiian Punch":


    I just wanted to mention that you should keep an eye out for flyweight
    boxer Brian Viloria, a.k.a. "Hawaiian Punch." I don't follow boxing,
    so seeing him tonight on ESPN2's "Tuesday Night Fights" was my first
    glimpse of the up and coming fighter. I was struck at how the
    commentators praised every aspect of Viloria's game, and I was excited
    when I saw his face and knew he was Filipino! I watched Brian defeat
    Mexican boxer Frankie Soto in the 5th round which was, apparently, new
    territory for Viloria who had defeated his previous 7 opponents in 4
    rounds or less! He finished 24-5 as an amateur and as of tonight is
    now 8-0 as a pro. Go Brian!

    I found this article on him at maxboxing.com:
    http://www.maxboxing.com/Gerbasi/gerbasi050702.asp


    This guy supposedly has some crazy jumprope exercises...

    06.18.02

    Here's another article on the Richard Labbe/Thung Phetakoune case: Plea nets Labbe 15-30 years in prison

    06.16.02

    Got this over email the other day:


    We are asking all concerned Asian Pacific Americans to contact the New
    Hampshire Attorney General's Office to express their outrage at a plea
    bargain struck in the murder of a Laotian American man, Thung
    Phetakoune. Phetakoune, an elderly man, was brutally killed by Richard Labbe in a
    clear and shocking case of hate crime. After attacking Phetakoune,
    Labbe stated to a police officer investigating the crime, "[Referring
    to the Vietnam War] What's going on is that those Asians killed
    Americans and you won't do anything about it so I will."

    The NH AG's office had initially charged Labbe with both second degree
    murder and a hate crime. In a last minute deal struck yesterday (the
    case was supposed to go to trial on Monday), the NH AG's office
    agreed to a plea bargain of manslaughter. What is most outrageous,
    however, is that the NH AG's Office has dropped the hate crime
    charge, despite unmistakable evidence that this brutal murder was
    racially motivated.

    The Asian Pacific American community cannot let this go by silently.
    We must make our voices heard. Please call or email the NH AG's
    office to express your outrage at this plea bargain, which is a slap
    in the face of our community and sends a horrible signal about how
    law enforcement treats hate crimes against Asians. Note that this is
    happening 20 years, almost to the date, after Vincent Chin's murder.


    To contact the New Hampshire Department of Justice:

    33 Capitol Street

    Concord, NH 03301

    (603) 271-3658

    webmaster@doj.state.nh.us

    I hate hate crimes. I hate racist thugs like Richard Labbe who think they are entitled to violence against Asians and other unlike themselves. That's racist!

    06.14.02

    Barbie is so wrong in the first place, but it's also racist: Eastern Exposure? Asian American Barbie Is a No-Show (Thanks Travis)

    06.13.02

    Interesting article on the prospect of an Asian American TV network: Many tongues, one goal: Asian TV power . Sounds pretty challenging. Thanks, HV.

    06.13.02

    AsianWeek does a pretty comprehensive job of scoping out Asian Americans (and the gaping lack thereof) in this summer's movie schedule, as usual: Block Busted. I like these quotes:


    THE BOURNE IDENTITY - "You1d think in a movie about spies, there1d be APAs all over the place. But no."

    MINORITY REPORT - "An ironic title for a movie that casts no minorities in lead roles..."

    EIGHT-LEGGED FREAKS - "Maybe the spiders eat all the APAs before they come on screen, because you certainly don1t see any."

    FULL FRONTAL - "A movie about Hollywood, chock-full of celebrity cameos, of course it doesn1t have APAs..."



    Couldn't have said it better myself... Well, I guess I would've added that's racist!

    The issue also includes a feature on the plight of Asian American men in Hollywood: Lunch With the Stars

    06.12.02

    For me, the 2001 World Series will be one of the most exciting baseball memories of all time. And in my mind, a large part of this series will be remembered as The One Where Byung-Hyun Kim Almost Lost It For the Diamondbacks. Well, it doesn't seem as though Byung Hyun Kim remembers it that way... Today he pitched at Yankee Stadium for the first time since those two fateful series games -- and he tore it up. Chiggity check it: Diamondbacks 9, Yankees 5

    06.12.02

    Sad news... Lily Chin, mother of Vincent Chin, passed away this past weekend. She was 82. This month marks the twentieth anniversary of Vincent Chin's tragic death at the hands two autoworkers in 1982. Check out: www.vincentchin.net

    06.12.02

    Check out these two images from an episode of The Simpsons, graciously provided by Ben Kim:





    Cracks me up. Thanks, Ben.

    06.11.02

    Corky Romano, starring Chris Kattan, is out on video/DVD now... I wrote about this in the angry media watch (10.15.01) last year: the film features Roger Fan (Daric on Better Luck Tomorrow) as FBI agent "Bob Cox." This ain't no minor walk-on part either -- Roger has a part in some major scenes, and he plays a pretty cool, non-stereotypical role. That's refreshing. Granted, it's friggin' goofy Corky Romano.

    06.11.02

    Movie news. So it looks like Kelly Hu will actually be playing Lady Deathstrike in X-Men 2. In the comics, she's Wolverine's razor-clawed enemy. Dude, "Lady Deathstrike" is such a stoopid name. However, I envision that Kelly Hu as Lady Deathstrike will be very cool. I'm thinking leather. I'm thinking ass-kicking. Yeah, should be good.

    Then again, do we really need another Asian assassin person? I'm sure it will involve martial arts. Argh.

    Tomb Raider 2 is currently in development. I never even saw the first one, because it just looked stupid, and I'm not all that into Angelina Jolie. But it's reported that the main villain in the sequel is someone named "Chen Lo," the head of a Chinese crime syndicate. Great.

    Because I just can't get enough of those evil Chinese crime bosses.

    That's racist!

    06.10.02

    So I've been doing a little research, and informally polling people here and there... do people find Apu on The Simpsons offensive? I've been asking a few South Asian friends and associates on the matter. I can't really get a definitive yes or no answer. It's more like yes and no, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, Apu's exaggerated accent is seriously problematic, especially because he's voiced by Hank Azaria. Also, he fits the common stereotype of owning a 7-11-type store... On the other hand, it's a little difficult to criticize, because it's on a show like The Simpsons, where the humor is very subversive in the first place --and everyone is a comic target. And despite those stereotypical shortcomings, Apu is a pretty likeable character. I'm also told, he's smarter than everyone around him. This is true. So yeah, I've been thinking about Apu. Anybody got any thoughts?

    06.06.02

    The official site for Ecks vs. Sever, starring Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu, is now online.

    06.06.02

    Not sure, but it seems they pulled the "How to Attract & Date Asian Women" class at the Learning Annex. They've stopped accepting enrollment and apparently will not be offering the class again. Your phone calls worked, people. Stay Angry.

    06.05.02

    Hey, thanks to all like, 67 people who emailed me about "Kate's Chink-O-Rama," which began its run in San Francisco tonight. Don't worry, I was getting around to mentioning it... It's basically Kate Rigg's big ol' Asian American stereotype super duper subversive satire show. Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to make it to any of the shows. But it sounds pretty interesting. Here's an article for ya: 'Chink-O-Rama' exposes stereotypes openly, seeks closure

    06.05.02

    Yesterday Kansas repealed a law that banned Asians from inheriting property.
    Interestingly enough, Florida and New Mexico still have these laws. That's racist!

    06.05.02

    Just got this email from Rob D, which I'm still sort of struggling to understand:


    Just wanted to share something with someone who might
    care:

    If Condoleezza Rice (present National Security Advisor
    of the US) is Michael Jordan, then Sarah Silverman is
    the towelboy.* Ha ha!

    * - I know the "chink" comment on that show stirred up
    a lot of controversy and I just wanted to put in my 2
    cents to put that amateur comedian in her place.

    Email me if you have any comments!


    Thanks for your concern, Rob D.

    06.05.02

    Kelly Hu will have a villain role in X-Men 2, as Anne Reynolds, a mutant with the ability to control human emotions. Kelly Hu is pretty.

    06.04.02

    Ming Tan's class just baffles me. I can't get over it. It just seems like some sick kind of joke. I'm not sure what bothers me most... the fact that this class, which sooooooo caters to creepy men with an Asian fetish, actually exists, or the fact that's it's being taught by an Asian woman who claims to be an authority on the matter. Could it be that she genuinely believes she is offering the public, Asian-seekers and Asian women alike, some kind of progressive, benevolent service? Then she is seriously misguided. The class and everything behind her teaching promotes the stereotypes and the exoticization of Asian women.

    It's also been suggested to me that she's just trying to cash in on the Asian fetish... since right now most of the money made from such exploitation usually goes to white males. In that case, it seems Ming Tan is just turning it around, reaping some of the benefits as an Asian woman herself. That may be true, but it doesn't help anyone. Doesn't matter where the money's going --it still exploits the ugly, ugly nature of the Asian fetish. Ming Tan may be cashing in, but all of the other Asian ladies have to suffer the consequences of her "teachings," and fend off all her FREAK "students."

    Read some excerpts from her book here: How to Attract Asian Women. What a freakin' load of garbage.

    Actually, I think what bothers me most about all this is the fact that there are probably people out there who will think this class is actually a good idea. These "testimonies" on the site make me angry:


    "You gave me advice on getting my Chinese friend to be my girlfriend. Well..........it worked!!! I told her exactly what you told me to tell her. She was quite impressed. Then she said yes when I asked her to be my girlfriend. Thank you for all your help. It really means a lot to me." John

    "I am an Asian man and I just want to say that Ming gave me excellent advice on how to approach Asian women."

    "Thank you, Ming, it is so difficult to find sites where Caucasians can find Asian women...you changed all that with your site!"


    Sickening. Actually, I am sort of curious about this class. I think I'd like to take it and check it out, Undercover Brother, sabotage style. Does anyone out there in the New York area want to take this class? Take it, and tell us what it's all about. Do a little undercover reporting and disruption... Man, that sounds like such a good idea.

    Alright, I'm tired. Enough of this crap.


    06.04.02

    WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?

    I don't have a lot of time, but I had to put this up. I'll write more on this tonight when I get the chance. This is an actual class being offered by the Learning Annex in New York: How to Attract & Date Asian Women

    This is simply wrong and disgusting. Not only is this misogynistic and degrading to women, this is an ugly, offensive affront to Asians everywhere, men and women alike. And it makes me angry.

    I first learned of this from Victor. (Thanks) I was like, what the hell is this? I did a little more research on the class instructor, Ming Tan, and came across this site: www.attractasianmomen.com. This is simply JACKED UP. Who is this Ming Tan woman?


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ming Tan, a Chinese-American writer who grew up in New York City, felt the need to write this book after lots of men tried to pick her up with what she felt were inappropriate lines targeting her Asian ethnicity.

    She asked other Asian females (over 100 of them) if men had approached them the same way, and it turned out that most of them had the same experience.† Ming decided that she would write this book to help men understand and attract Asian women.

    Ming is the Asian Relationship Expert of www.AttractAsianWomen.com, a Website to help men understand and attract Asian women. She also runs† www.AsianSocials.com, the Asian & American Professionals Network, which holds social events in New York City.

    This person actually thinks she is helping Asian women. I can't believe this! All she has done is increased every Asian woman's chances of being approached by some FREAK. Someone needs to shake some sense in to her. Maybe it should be you!

    So are you angry? Yes, you are. Let the Learning Annex know how you feel about this stupid, racist, offensive class:

    The Learning Annex

    291 Geary Street, #510

    San Francisco, CA 94102

    Phone: (415) 788-5500

    Fax: (415) 788-5574

    feedback@learningannex.com

    Or contact disturbingly misguided instructor/author Ming Tan:

    P.O. Box 130115

    New York, NY 10013

    Phone: 212 696-7954

    Fax: 212 591-6059

    Ming@AsianSocials.com

    I've gotta run, but I'll wrote more about this later. Stay Angry

    06.04.02

    Ming Na may not be leaving ER after all... It seems that plans for the interracial romance sitcom fell through. Just read that ABC scrapped it. Don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

    06.03.02

    Check out my article, "G.I. Joe: A real (Asian) American hero?" in the latest edition of Pectus Excavatus. (lower right corner)

    06.01.02

    Check out this article on Asian Americans in baseball... specifically Wendell Kim, coach for the Montreal Expos. He's the first Korean American to wear a major league uniform and the only Asian American coach in the majors. Pretty cool. I remember when Wendell Kim used to be a coach for San Francisco... So is baseball ready for an Asian American manager? Check it out: History in the Waiting