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5.31.2004

Archived Posts - May 2004



05.31.04

Here's a look at the official "Gay or Asian?" apology treatment from Details Editor-In-Chief Daniel Peres, obtained courtesy of the hard-working folks at Asian Media Watchdog.


I LOVE A GOOD FIGHT

By Daniel Peres

While those who know me might argue that I have a fierce temper, I tend to disagree. Like I said, I love a fight.

I've been known to get fired up just to kill time. It's an entertainment thing, you see -- not a temper thing.

For the record, I've never been in a real fight -- the kind with fists and black eyes. I'd get my ass handed to me. If anyone throws a punch my way, I'll bleed and sue. Like a small group of proud and honorable men [read: "pussies"], I'm a litigator, not a fighter.

No, fighting for me is a battle of wits -- a good old-fashioned argument. I'll take on just about anyone for any reason, even if I know I'm wrong... though I rarely am, of course. If you disagree, bring it on.

Some may call it a short fuse; others will say it's deep-rooted insecurity. To most, it's plain old cockiness. It's probably a healthy mix of the three. Still, there are few things more entertaining than fending off a call from an angry publicist who insists his A-list client was portrayed in this magazine as an A-list asshole.

So when letters started pouring in criticizing a piece in the April issue of Details entitled, "Gay or Asian?," a piece that -- let's set the record straight here -- was my idea, I was ready to dig in and fight the good fight. There was only one problem: I agreed with every word in those letters.

The story in question, which is part of an ongoing "Anthropology" series devoted to challenging male cultural stereotypes, is, in fact, indefensible. Even by a trigger-happy fighter like me.

Sometimes you set out to be funny and simply blow it. There's a line that should never be crossed in any satire, and Details stepped over the line. I'm embarrassed that it took thousands of people -- including members of my own staff -- to point out the hurtful and tasteless nature of the "Gay or Asian?" piece. I regret not recognizing this prior to publication. I made a mistake and I apologize, on behalf of the magazine, to anyone who was offended.

I have since met with many of the people whose letters brought this matter to my attention. Their determination and passion represent a lesson I'll never forget.

Talk about fighting the good fight -- and talk about having your ass handed to you.


This letter is accompanied by a photo of the protest, and protest letters from various groups. Meanwhile, the "Antropology" feature continues... It's all in the June/July issue, which hits stands this week. View full coverage over at Asian Media Watchdog.

05.31.04

Face it, William—this needs to stop: Hung Butchers 'Take Me Out to Ball Game'

05.31.04

This "training video" for the upcoming movie Dodgeball explains the history and rules of the notorious playground game... according to this clip, the sport of dodgeball was invented in the 15th century by "opium-addicted Chinamen." But back then, the Chinamen apparently threw severed heads at each other, instead of the ADAA-approved balls used today. What the hell? That's racist!

05.31.04

This article on comedian Paul Rodriguez says that in Cloud Nine, his latest film role, he plays Mr. Wong, a Mexican man trying to pass as Chinese: Funnyman Rodriguez brings act to Hemmens. What? The movie is about con artists... but man, that's racist!

05.31.04

Check it ouuuut: Exoticize My Fist! — An Online Magazine For Queer APA Women and Allies. LOVE the domain name...

05.31.04

Last week, the Chicago City Council approved an ordinance that would remove Asian Americans from the protected populations in the city's affirmative action contracting program. They were removed from this protected category despite the fact they confront issues similar to African Americans, Latinos, and women (who are all still considered protected groups). In fact, testimony from Asian American organizations and business owners, in addition to other available data, shows that Asian
Americans are discriminated against in the construction industry. Read here: Chicago OKs set-aside changes. That's not right.

05.31.04

Here's something that isn't really Asian American related, but still important to be aware of... A little ironic that I should post this on Memorial Day, I know: Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005. Is this really gonna happen?

05.30.04

This is an interesting article on the rising trend of cheating at a competitive local high school: School takes action, but pressure to excel remains. Fascinating, but then I got to this part in the article:


Many students said parents, especially Asian immigrants for whom academics are paramount, increase the pressure. The cheating scandal put some parents who moved here from Hong Kong, Taiwan and India in an uncomfortable spotlight because the students who were caught were all from Asian backgrounds.


Ack. Kind of reminds you of Better Luck Tomorrow, doesn't it?

05.28.04

Just in time for Memorial Day, here's a story I'd never heard of 'till now: Honoring an Asian American hero—the untold story of Francis Wai. Here's another article, published a few years back: Francis Wai: A Hero Remembered

05.28.04

Think we're all math nerds? We can underachieve just like everybody else: More Asian-Americans dropping out

05.28.04

This study, conducted by the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, attempts to give an overview of the diverse community of Asian Americans in the Boston area: UMass study details Asian-American diversity. We ain't your model minority, and we ain't the yellow peril. Get over it.

And speaking of Asian American diversity, on a related note: åAsianπ too broad a title

05.28.04

Japanese singer/songwriter Utada Hikaru is currently in the studio working on her debut English language record for Island Records. Check out official site here: www.utada.com. She's huge in Japan, and already sort of has a loyal cult following here... So, next big thing?

05.28.04

Inneresting, kinda. Next week, Nielsen Media Research will roll out a new system for calculating local television ratings in and around New York City. They say the new method will improve the representation of cable TV viewers and TiVo users... But some activists say the new system undercounts minority viewers. Listen to the NPR report here: Critics: New Nielsen Meters Undercount Minority Viewers. Oh, us pesky minority viewers.

05.28.04

ERRGH. This was posted on Media Matters earlier this week:



Savage: "the Asians still chew 'em [dogs] up"

On the May 21 Savage Nation, nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage expressed disdain for a newspaper article about "what breeds of dogs came
first" that did not include that "the Asians still chew 'em [dogs] up."

SAVAGE: [apparently reading from an article in USA Today] "Researchers
have surprising news about what breeds of dogs came first and which dogs are
more closely related." What do I give a rat's behind about which dog is
related? Why is this study done? All I know is we treat dogs very well here,
and the great originators of the dog eat them. How come they don't put that
in their story about 'em, the Asians still chew 'em up? In China they're in cages waiting to be cooked. Yeah, I know, you're not supposed to say that.
All the quiet, sacred soy eaters over there.


Look how Savage purposely twists a completely unrelated news item to make racist jabs at Asians. It's ridiculous. I know I shouldn't even bother getting worked up about it. I mean, it's freakin' Mike Savage. This is what he does. This is the kind of crap he gets paid to spew. You can just see the wheels turning in his mind—how can I make this otherwise lame article offensive? Pathetic. That's racist!

05.28.04

Grace Lee, filmmaker behind the very cool Barrier Device, is making a documentary called The Grace Lee Project, a film about
women named Grace Lee—a humorous exploration into Asian
American female identity. She's doing a little investigative research, and is looking for some very specific info:


Hi there,

I'm trying to track down anyone who was attending Raoul Wallenberg High School in San Francisco in 1992. I heard a rumor that a girl who set fire to the school in January 1992 was named Grace Lee. I want to find out if this is true, or just a myth -- was it just a random Asian girl with this very common name?††Or was it indeed Grace? Anybody out there from the Class of '92 or '93?

I'd love to hear from anybody who has any information. Please email me at grace@gracelee.net.

Thanks!

Grace Lee


That cracks me up. To learn more about The Grace Lee Project, visit www.gracelee.net.

05.28.04

The Day After Tomorrow, that big ol' environmental disaster movie, opens in theaters today. It's about massive weather changes causing the world to freeze over, and it snows a lot and people are all running around and stuff. But really, like it matters. It's got Tamilyn Tomita in the cast as Janet Tokada. Whoo! Tamilyn Tomita!

It's been years since Karate Kid pt. II, and I've still got a crush on Kumiko-san.

Oh yeah, Parry Shen has a bit of voice work in the movie too. He explains it over on his blog.

05.28.04

Time for another Robot Stories update... in short, the movie opens this weekend in Houston, continues in Dallas, and comes this June to New York, Cleveland, Seattle, and San Antonio! Can you dig it? Find out everything you need to know at www.robotstories.net/.

05.27.04

Check this out... "Odyssey," an NPR call-in show on Chicago's WBEZ, was having a discussion on the Walt Disney company and its effects on US and world culture. In light of recent controversy surrounding its distribution of Shaolin Soccer and Hero, among others, Dwight called in with his two cents... Check it out here. Go to the archive for May 26, 2004, and click on "Listen to the Entire Program." Dwight's call is at around 35:53 in the show. Great way to get the issue out there!

05.27.04

"Throngs of loyal and happy customers." Kind of funny when the opening of a 99 Ranch Market makes the news: Asian-American market arrives

05.27.04

By the way, I watched Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi last night, and it kicks some serious ass. Highly entertaining. Miramax is scheduled to release the film this summer...

05.27.04

Got this in the mailbag:


Dear Asian American Leaders:

I am a young, passionate Asian American man with an idea. In our campaign against those who belittle, stereotype, and dehumanize Asian Pacific Americans, we must stop asking for mere apologies and start expecting meaningful gestures of support for diversity. When faced with ignorance, we must push offenders to put their money where their mouths are and contribute financially to the causes that advance equality and empowerment for all Asian Americans.

Despite my relatively brief career in Asian American activism, I've come face to face with many of the major challenges that confront our struggle for inclusion, respect, and full citizenship in American society. Many members of our own community as well as the general public are ignorant and apathetic. As an intern with an Asian Pacific American civil rights organization, I saw the practical problems posed by these patterns. In particular, I'm thinking about that element essential to every endeavor: cash.

APA organizations are growing in number and size every day, but our biggest obstacle to greater effectiveness remains a lack of funding. Our voice and our message rarely reach Asian American audiences, much less the general population of the United States. Without good media and public relations, and without the resources to communicate, APA issues often only see the light of public exposure when the news cycle favors us. Recent outrages like the Details magazine article and the Dewey Ballantine e-mail received some cursory treatment in the back pages of a few major dailies, and for us that seemed to be a public relations victory. Yet the culmination of these effortsãthe apology and promises to promote diversity and sensitivityãare only seen by the most active of activists and the perpetrators themselves.

Moreover, these apologies are little more than public relations exercisesãlukewarm expressions of "regret that some people didn't get the joke and that some hypersensitive types were offended by our attempt at satire.≤ Daniel Peres's apology for Details' "series challenging male cultural stereotypes≤ is a case in point. While APA groups have worked hard to expose the insensitivity and racism of the actions of Details and Dewey Ballantine, they often call for an apology and somebody's firing. The former ends up as an empty gesture, while the latter puts both the perpetrator and our community in awkward positions. By responding so drastically to an insensitive act, the responsible organization risks being accused of punishing a colleague for her beliefs and may inadvertently set a precedent for such dismissals when certain groups are offended. The Asian community, meanwhile, appears to be insisting on extreme self-censorship. Though I often believe that there are good arguments for firing the appropriate person, the practical result is that the offending organization simply apologizes and says it is powerless to do more.

But we should demand more. And more should mean putting muscle behind a stated commitment to diversity. The next time a Dewey Ballantine partner says he's already apologized and can't do anything else, we should say, "Why don't you write a $50,000 check to AALDEF or NAPALC, or do some pro bono cases for APA victims of employment discrimination, or donate time to a legal aid clinic for Asian immigrants?≤ If offenders gave meaningful donations to APA organizations, they could declare, "We screwed up because we were ignorant. But we're going to do our part to ensure that others will make the right choices in the future. We'll educate America, and in the process, educate ourselves.≤ It would be unavoidably good PR for the offending firm, which probably also has a philanthropic reputation to maintain. Best of all, it would let both sides take the high road and declare together, "We're all sometimes blind to the racism in our hearts, but we want what's best for all Americans. Our demons sometimes control us, but our better angels are committed to change, and that's demonstrated by our cooperation. Let's push for progress instead of punishment.≤ Such a solution would provide much-needed money to cash-strapped APA organizations.

Ideally, Asian Americans would contribute to their own advancement. But the sad truth is that they don't give generously to the causes that fight on their behalf. If those in our community don't give, then at the very least those who exploit and attack us should. Since cash chases cash, the money provided initially by offenders like Details could lead to the presence and legitimacy that would attract committed donors. More importantly, donations would ensure that every time we confront an incident of hate, we would be able to spread our message more widely and more powerfully than before. Our present strategy has us and our cause retreating into obscurity each time the controversy dies down. Given the funding crises that regularly confront APA organizations, we should put incidents of discrimination to work for us, rather than cry foul and wonder why the latest ignoramus didn't pay attention to the last guy.

Sincerely Yours,

Ramey Ko

VP, Speaker Programs

Asian Pacific American Law Students Association

University of Chicago Law School

ramey_ko@hotmail.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are exclusively those of the author, and in no way represent the opinions, views, or beliefs of the University of Chicago Law School or the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.


Cash rules everything around me. C.R.E.A.M. Get the money. Dollar, dollar bill y'all.

05.27.04

According to an Associated Press poll of the world's leading industrial nations, people were more likely to say they had negative views of the influence of immigrants, while also saying that immigrants mostly take jobs that local citizens don't want: AP: Nations Value, Worry About Immigrants. What's up with that?

05.26.04

Quest USA (Da Tiao Zhan), America's first Chinese reality TV show, begins airing this week on select stations. It's a 12-episode, half-hour show produced in Mandarin Chinese, chronicling the cross-country journey of 12 strangers—four teams, each Chinese team representing a different country or region (Mainland China/USA/Hong Kong/Taiwan). Ooh, like a Chinese Road Rules.

05.26.04

Nifty article on Mike Park's mightly little record label, Asian Man Records: For the love of music

05.26.04

Tonight, we'll find out whether Fantasia or Diana will be crowned the next American Idol... meanwhile, third place Jasmine Trias, eliminated last week, has already been offered a six figure contract from independent Hawaii label Quiet Storm Records. Chiggity-check it: Jasmine Trias Offered $100,000 Contrac. Of course, I'm pretty sure Jasmine's still under some kind of contract with the American Idol money machine for subsequent recording/performances.

05.26.04

Thirty-three years after Ronald Tsukamoto became the first Berkeley police officer gunned down in the line of duty, police have arrested a suspect and may soon round up others in the case. Tsukamoto was a 28-year-old rookie and the first Japanese-American police officer in the city's history when he was fatally shot Aug. 20, 1970, at point-blank range. The case has mystified homicide investigators and city leaders for more than three decades: Arrest comes 33 years after officer's death

05.25.04

A little more on tonight's episode of The Shield:


"Riceburners"

When David assigns Vic and his team to serve a high risk warrant to service his political agenda, they find
themselves embroiled in a hostile struggle with the Korean community.


Great. What we've all been waiting for—it's the Koreatown episode! Expect lots of Asians, good and bad.

05.25.04

Yeah, this site got a mention today in the Chicago Tribune. Weird, because I thought the story already ran in the Tribune on May 12 (under a slightly different headline). This is the same article that originally ran two weeks ago in the LA Times, and subsequently in a couple of other papers. I guess they're getting a lot of mileage out of it.

05.25.04

"I learned one thing... When you bring something forward that is outside the Judeo-Christian tradition, the dominant culture is going to cause you problems." Interesting: Courts asked to consider culture

05.25.04

Article on Park Chan-Wook, director of Cannes fave Old Boy: Korean Cannes Winner Sees Asia Film Wave Growing. I'm dismayed to learn that Old Boy will be yet another Asian film to get the remake treatement in America...

05.25.04

Yo yo yo. Chinese restuarants will save the world! Dig it: Drivers Eye Vegetable Oil As Cheap Fuel

05.24.04

Daniel Dae Kim may not be back on 24 next season as Agent Baker: Time Runs Out for Some '24' Actors. However, he is in the regular cast of ABC's new fall show, Lost. I wonder if he'll still be guest starring as the social worker on ER... I'm told he'll also be showing up on this week's episode of The Shield. Busy man.

05.24.04

An updated casting call for Only the Brave extras:


We still have 1 more week of production, and we still need extras this upcoming week.††Nights that we need German Soldiers†only have 10 spots each night, so spaces are limited - let me know ASAP and we'll try to schedule you in!† Nights we need Asian Soldiers range from 15-25 spots each.

Here are the ramaining†available dates for EXTRAs:

Tuesday 25th - Male Caucasian Extras needed (to Portray German Soldiers)

Wednesday 26th - Male/Female Asian Extras needed (to Portray 442 Soldiers), Male Caucasian Extras needed (to Portray German Soldiers)

Saturday 29th - Male/Female Asian Extras needed (to Portray 442 Soldiers)

Sunday 30th - Male Caucasian Extras needed (to Portray German Soldiers)

All available dates are shot on location @ Universal Studios with tentative call times at 5pm-5am.† Volunteer Extra position - Catered Meals & craft services provided.

Let me know if you can make any of these dates.

Thanks,

Andrew Hwang

Extras Coordinator

(626) 297-6409 mobile


05.24.04

This murder investigation has been dubbed the 'Chinese Laci Peterson' case: Picture-perfect image shattered. Speculation and theories aside, the case brings to light some of the hard issues facing many Asian immgirant marriages in the U.S.

05.24.04

Three random Better Luck Tomorrow-related links... 1) Check out the new restaurant website for Saketini, owned by actor Sung Kang ("Han"). If you're in the Los Angeles area, stop by and enjoy some quality Pan Asian food and drink... 2) Parry Shen ("Ben") has a blog: www.xanga.com/parryshen. He just finished posting a four-part BLT photo series you might enjoy... 3) John Cho ("Steve") stars with Kal Penn in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, opening nationwide July 30.

05.24.04

Check out ESPN.com's Heritage Month feature.

05.24.04

This New York Times article brings up the perplexing subject of race on America's favorite pop star competition: How 'American Idol' Got Hijacked by Its Viewers

05.24.04

Over the weekend, some graduating University of California law students used their commencement to denounce Professor John Yoo, who helped the Bush administration develop a legal framework that critics say led to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners: Berkeley Professor Denounced for POW Memo. Yoo co-wrote the legal memo in 2002 while serving in the U.S. Justic Department's Office of Legal Counsel. It laid out the legal reasons why the United States didn't have to comply with international treaties governing prisoner rights, and argued that the normal laws of armed conflict didn't apply to al-Qaida and Taliban militia prisoners because they didn't belong to a state. Somehow, I don't think the memo really anticipated this kind of abuse. What about basic human decency?

05.24.04

Well, the big news from the Cannes Film Festival is of course Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11: 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Wins Top Prize at Cannes. However, let it be known that Asian films kicked ass. Park Chan-wook's Old Boy won the the grand jury prize, the second highest honor of the festival (incidentally, I watched Old Boy on DVD over the weekend—this is a crazy-ass movie). Apichatpong Weerasethakul won the Jury Prize for Tropical Malady, and the freakin' awesome Maggie Cheung won the best for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clean, about a mother who tries to kick her drug habit and reconcile with her long-lost son. Japanese child actor Yagira Yuuya won the best actor award for Nobody Knows, the story of four children abandoned by their mother who have to fend for themselves. And of course, Zhang Yimou's Shi Mian Mai Fu (House of Flying Daggers) got some crazy audience love. Whoo. Can you dig it?

05.23.04

Speaking of scary, ignorant white folks... should the KKK be allowed at the University of Louisville? Can't say I disagree with this guy: Professor seeks to ban KKK from campus

05.23.04

Want to get angry? Read this commentary: We Don't Expect Americans To Act Like That? This woman is absolutely deluded. Not only does she defend the Japanese American internment, she practically justifies the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners. What a load of mad, ethnocentric garbage. That's racist! I'm sorry, lady. You're insane, and it's scary.

Want to respond? Check out this online effort from Asian Media Watchdog: Don't let Debbie Daniel justify the internment! I wouldn't go so far as demanding that the column be removed from the site. I'm not a proponent of censorship—I think it's a good idea to point out when people are being idiots. People should see that there are such ridiculous, racist viewpoints out there. Leave it up, so the world can see, and we can respond in turn.

05.23.04

Wow, this article actually calls Ha Seung-Jin a "physical freak": Biedrins, Ha have taken different routes


05.21.04

Dear readers, in one swift dumbass move, I erased every email I received in the last 18 hours. If you sent an email to me anytime on Friday, May 21 before 6:52pm PST, I was unable to read it. If you are able, please send it again, because I'd love to read it. Sorry for the inconvenience. Stay Angry.


05.20.04

Came across this casting call... extras are needed for Only the Brave, a movie about the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team:



VOLUNTEER EXTRAS NEEDED for FILM

Job Description: The National Japanese American Historical Society and nationally known playwright and filmmaker, Lane Nishikawa, are launching the first dramatic, feature-length film about the 100th/442nd all-Nisei Regimental Combat Team since GO FOR BROKE was produced in 1951. ONLY THE BRAVE, tells the heroic story of how the 100th/442nd RCT rescued "Lost Battalion" of the Texas 141st Regiment during World War II. Although suffering over 800 casualties fighting through German lines, the Japanese-American soldiers were able to save and rescue over 200 of their fellow American soldiers. The 100th/442nd became the most highly decorated unit in American history.

EXTRAS needed on THURSDAY, MAY 13th and ends SUNDAY, MAY 30TH, 2004. We are currently seeking VOLUNTEER EXTRAS to join our team and be a part in the making of this historic motion picture!

ASIAN AMERICAN EXTRAS (To portray Nisei soldiers) - 18 to 30 years of age - Between the heights of 5-6 feet - Good physical condition

CAUCASIAN EXTRAS (To portray German and Texas soldiers) - 18 to 30 years of age - Between the heights of 5''6 and 6''0 - Good Physical condition

(PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Most of the shooting will be from 6PM to 6AM)

All Extra positions are VOLUNTEER. Costumes and food will be provided. This is a great way to become directly involved with most or all aspects of production on a small crew doing a feature length film. You will gain experience, receive credit and make crucial contacts in the entertainment/film industry. Anyone who is interested please contact Andrew Hwang immediately at andrew_hwang64@yahoo.com or 1(626) 297-6409.

SHOOTING LOCATIONS will be in the LOS ANGELES AREA.

Apply to: Andrew Hwang

Job Location: Los Angeles

Email: andrew_hwang64@yahoo.com


This is pretty exciting stuff... I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

05.20.04

Yes, I've seen the Degree anti-perspirant commercial. It's been running since as early as February, actually. The one with an Asian dude who uses Degree, fights off assailants chop-socky style, then meets up with his lady and her family for dinner—all without breaking a sweat! Yay, all us Oriental folk do kung fu, dontcha know? Can't remember if they throw in the gong sound for good measure... I'd get angry, but it's barely worth the effort. It's just the same old tired crap, isn't it? Cliched, stereotypical and tiresome. That's racist!

05.20.04

South Korea's answer to Yao Ming, apparently. 7-foot-3 center Ha Seung-Jin works out for Portland, and team officials are impressed with what they see: Blazers could dream big with Ha. Seen photos of this guy? The kid's huuuge.

05.20.04

California State Assemblymember Judy Chu has proposed AB 2428—"Kenny's Law"—new legislation protecting hate crime victims.† AB 2428 is named after Kenny Chiu, a 17 year old Taiwanese American boy who was brutally murdered simply because he was Asian.††In July 2001, Christopher Hearn, Kenny's next door neighbor, waited for Kenny to come home and then stabbed him 27 times in the driveway of his own house.††AB 2428 will require the courts issue a protective order for the victim, their known family or known domestic partner, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so that is stated on the record.†††A protective order protects victims from further acts of violence, threats, stalking and harassment by their former perpetrator.††AB 2428 also extends existing law that provide training and sensitivity counseling to hate crime perpetrators who are on parole or in a conditional release program.††This bill is co-sponsored by the
Asian Pacific American Legal Center and Chinese for Affirmative Action.

AB 2428 has passed the Assembly Floor and now awaits the Senate. Twenty-two organizations and legislative entities have already stated their support for AB 2438. Assemblymember Chu is urging more supporters and supporting organizations to write letters in support of AB 2428 and send them to Assemblymember Chu's Capitol office at:

Assemblymember Judy Chu

State Capitol

P.O. Box 942849

Sacramento, CA 94249-0049

Here's a sample letter you can send:


DATE

Honorable Judy Chu

California State Assembly

State Capitol

Room 2114

Sacramento, CA 95814

Fax: (916) 319-2149

Re: Support AB 2428

Dear Assembly Member Chu:

I am writing to express support for AB 2428, which will protect the California public from hate crimes.

Social science research suggests that hate crime perpetrators have the potential to repeatedly victimize in the future if protections are not put in place and the perpetrator is not rehabilitated. AB 2428 seeks to address both problems.

AB 2428 would strengthen protections for victims of hate crimes by requiring courts, absent any compelling reason, to issue a protective order upon the release of a hate crime perpetrator on parole, probation, or through a conditional release program. AB 2428 also enhances California1s ability to rehabilitate people who have committed hate crimes through appropriate sensitivity counseling or training. While the courts currently have the authority to order sensitivity training or counseling in the probation context, AB 2428 extends their authority to the parole and conditional release contexts.

AB 2428, also know as "Kenny1s Law", is named after Kenneth Chiu, a 17 year-old Taiwanese American high school student who was brutally murdered by Christopher Hearn, an avowed white supremacist, on July 30, 2001. After stabbing Chiu over 25 times with a large knife, Hearn demonstrated no remorse for the murder and expressed hatred for Asians and other minorities. Hearn declared, "I just left, you know, proud that I acted like a Marine, like a KKK person." Hearn had previously scrawled "CHINK" on the Chiu family car and was found to have extensive Nazi materials and paraphernalia in his home. The court found Hearn to have committed first-degree murder with the special enhancements for lying in wait and hate animus. However, the court ultimately also found that Hearn was not guilty by reason of insanity. Kenny1s Law was designed to provide more protection to families like the Chius from ever having to suffer from another hate attack.

We urge you to support AB 2428 to increase the protection for hate crime victims and their families.

Sincerely,


If you have any questions regarding the legal aspect of AB 2428, please
contact Daniel Huang of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center at (213)
977-7500 x237 or via email at dhuang@apalc.org.

If you have any questions regarding the legislative deadline or other
legislative inquires, please contact Rosaline Chan of Assemblymember
Judy Chu's Capitol Office at (916) 319-2049 or via email at rosaline.chan@asm.ca.gov.

05.20.04

You think I'm angry? I think I'm pretty civil. THESE guys are angry: the Fighting44s. A new site.

05.19.04

Awww man, Jasmine. We tried so hard to get you to the top, but in the end, it wasn't your game. You made it further than you really should have, and we love you for it. Represent! Alas, Hawaii couldn't save her. Jasmine Trias got eliminated from American Idol. It was a great, beautiful run...

05.19.04

By the way, I have to mention that Warner Brothers' Enter the Dragon 2-Disc Special Edition DVD hit stores yesterday. If you're a Bruce fan (you know I am) and/or a DVD enthusiast, get your hands on a copy. It's a real nice set.

05.19.04

The famed Cannes Film Festival began last week, with an unprecedented schedule of high-profile films from Asia, including Wong Kar-Wai's much anticipated 2046. Park Chan-Wook's Old Boy gets a good write-up at Ain't It Cool News, and Zhang Yimou's epic Shi Mian Mai Fu (House of Flying Daggers) is apparently getting rave reviews: Chinese Director Hailed for Martial Arts Epic. Man, I can't wait to see this stuff. Old Boy is already available on DVD in Korea, while Sony Pictures Classics has picked up Daggers for distribution. They better get a move on, or you know I'll be gettin' my hands on some bootlegs reaaal soon.

05.19.04

HUGE BUFF ASIAN DUDE. I'm talking about Cambodian American bodybuilder Kris Dim, current gracing this month's cover of FLEX magazine. He's up and coming star on the professional bodybuilding circuit—5'5, and 205 pounds of pure muscle, baby.

05.19.04

ABC and NBC announced their fall schedules this week, and both networks will feature shows with with Asians in the lead cast. On ABC, JJ Abrams' Lost will star Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim, among others as plane crash survivors on a desert island. Sounds cool. Over on NBC, they've got Hawaii, a crime drama with lots of Asian good guys and bad guys. Aya Sumika, Cary Tagawa, and Peter Navy Tuiasosopo are in the cast. The Men's Room, a sitcom starring John Cho, will air later on NBC as a midseason pick up. Sounds promising... Stay tuned.

05.19.04

Check out Asian Rock Fest 2004, going on this weekend in NYC. Over 8 hours of music from the East Coast's rockingest rock bands, featuring the likes of Eyes Like Knives, Carol Bui, Kite Operations, Strangeway, the Infirm Glory of the Positive Hour, Johnny Hi-Fi, Bastion, and Serious Weapon. Dig it, Saturday, May 22, Piano's.

05.19.04

Alas, another Asian American publication folds. Goodbye, Noodle. We barely knew ye.

05.19.04

Ya'll know Yao Ming. But do you know Sharavjamts "Shark" Tserenjanhor of the Harlem Globetrotters? The 7'0" center is known as the "Michael Jordan" of Mongolia. Beware the Shark!

05.17.04

Online campaigns protesting the Anna May He decision:

Save Kidnapped Anna Mae He!

Reunite Anna Mae With Her Real Parents

05.17.04

Man, after all is said and done, it's still jacked up. Good, angering article on Capt. James Yee: The ordeal of Chaplain Yee. Make no mistake, this guy got crapped on. That's racist!

05.17.04

The headline says it all: Drunk US Soldier Stabs Korean. Once again, US military personnel making their best effort to make friends in foreign lands. Great timing on this, really. But hey, they said sorry: U.S. Army Expresses Regrets Over Stabbing

05.17.04

New York Times review for Hari Kunzru's new novel, Transmission: Culture Clash on the Messy Trail of Computer Viruses

05.17.04

Why is someone harrassing this man and his tae kwon do studio? Freakin' cowards: Mysterious vandals harass tae kwon do grand master. Grandmaster D.K. Shin is one of the Bay Area's OG tae kwon do pioneers, but someone has been vandalizing and harrassing his Redwood City studio since October 2001. I'd like to see these vandals try to harrass Shin to his face. Police and fire investigators have no clues and haven't been able to identify any suspects, no have they been able to determine a reason for the attack. I'll give you a reason. That's racist!

05.14.04

Tomorrow is Hideki Matsui Notebook Day at Yankee Stadium. They're giving out a Hideki Matsui notebooks to the first 18,000 fans (14 and under). Dude, I want one.

05.14.04

With the Anna Mae He case hitting headlines, the controversial issues surrounding transracial adoption have been brought to the forefront. Here's an opinion piece published last year by two anti-TRA activists, Stephanie Cho and Kim So Yung, co-founders of a group called "Transracial Abductees": Abductees Speak. Their website is www.transracialabductees.org/. I don't think I'm in a place to fully understand where they're coming from, but this is a controversial, relevant issue for the Asian American community, and it's important to be aware of alternate views.

05.14.04

Yo, Jasmine has made it to the top three, with the elmination of Latoya being described by many a suprise upset. Yes, people. I'm talking about American Idol. I gotta admit, I'm surprised too, though I can't but feel elated our girl Jasmine's still in it. Hawaii agrees: Hawaii Helps Local Girl Prevail on 'Idol'.

I know a lot of talk has been going around regarding Latoya London's elimination... I mean, people are pissed: The 'Idol'-breaker. The way it's shaping up, you can't shake the feeling that there is indeed a race dynamic at play. It crept up on us, but actually underlined the entire competition. Elton John himself has called the voting racist. This has become more than just about singing. It'll be interesting to see how the remainder of the competition plays out.

One thing's for sure: Don't mess with Hawaii.

05.14.04

Time for another Robot Stories update. Greg Pak's sci-fi indie hit continues its run in the San Francisco Bay Area, and opens in Dallas and San Diego today. So go catch it. For a full schedule of screenings nationwide, visit the Robot Stories website. If you haven't seen this film, you don't know what's up.

05.14.04

Teen golfer Michelle Wie became the youngest to ever win a Laureus World Sports Academy Award, winning the Newcomer of the Year award earlier this week: Teen golfer is award's youngest winner ever

05.14.04

Further news/links on the Anna Mae He case:

Chinese Parents Not Tricked, Judge Says in Custody Case (NYT)

Is this America? (the movement in support of the Hes)

Jack and Casey He (lots of relevant info/articles)

05.14.04

Nice article on author Chang-Rae Lee: Novelist Lee Pens Highly Praised Novel. I really gotta read Aloft.

05.12.04

All right, everybody. You don't have to send me any more links to the weird-ass McDonald's i am asian website. I think I got like twenty different people writing in to tell me about it this week. Just so we clear, I originally posted about the dang site back in February (02.08.04). But yeah, I've definitely got this newfound disgust/fascination with McDonald's, having recently watched Super Size Me.

05.12.04

Sad, frustrating, heartbreaking news on the Anna Mae He case... A judge declared the Hes unfit to raise their 5-year-old daughter, leaving her in the custody of the American foster family that has raised the child since shortly after her birth. The judge's order terminates the parental rights of Shaoqiang and Qin Luo He, Chinese immigrants who have tried for four years to win back the daughter they put in foster care because of financial hardships. The judge said it was in the child's best interest to stay with Jerry and Louise Baker, the family she has come to regard as her own: Judge Awards Custody To The Bakers. Another article: Judge severs parental rights of Chinese couple in Tenn. custody battle. Read the judge's full opinion here. This case was never going to turn out well. The judge supposedly has Anna Mae's best interests in mind, and I have no doubt the Bakers care for her, but forgive me if I feel absolutely no sympathy whatsoever for them. The Hes were outgunned—they got screwed by a messed up system, and a richer, whiter couple with little regard for cultural sensitivity. Who really wins? And who ultimately suffers? The kid.

05.12.04

The Justice Department announced this week that it was re-opening an investigation into the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American Chicago resident who was kidnapped and murdered in August 1955 while visiting family in Money, Mississippi: Feds to Re-Open Case of 1955 Murder of Emmitt Till. This was/is a significant moment in the civil rights movement, important to us all. Good to know, right? Get conscious, get educated.

05.12.04

Derek Kirk Kim's Same Difference and Other Stories has been nominated for a Harvey Award and two Eisner Awards—the comic book industry's highest honors. As a fan, I am pleased. Here's a recent review from TIME: A Top-Flight Debut. And get yourself the new printing of Same Difference, available this month from Top Shelf Productions. It is good stuff.

05.12.04

As the son of a survivor of a Japanese prison camp whose military service went all but unrecognized for decades, Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba learned early lessons about right and wrong: Head of Inquiry on Iraq Abuses Now in Spotlight

05.12.04

An article on the changing, stereotype-defying image of Asian men, from today's LA Times: Sex and the Asian man

05.11.04

Forgot to mention this... in a twist on the current Survivor, CBS is offering a $1 million Viewer's Choice prize, determined by public voting. Good ol' Shii Ann could nab it, and you can make it happen...

05.11.04

Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba is scheduled to be the first witness to testify before Senate Armed Services Committee regarding the abuse of Iraqi detainees: General to testify on abuse probe

05.10.04

Some big Harry Potter movie news... Unknown actress Katie Leung has been cast as Cho Chang in the fourth film in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. For those unfamiliar with the books, Cho is Harry's love interest at Hogwarts. Scottish-born Leung, 16, was picked from more than 4,000 applicants for the role: Unknown Scot to play Potter's girlfriend

05.10.04

This just sounds crazy and intriguing: A Day Without a Mexican. This is a really movie—one morning California wakes up to find that one third of its population has disappeared. Provacative, right? The movie's billboard in LA has already caused some controversy: ON MAY 14th THERE WILL BE NO MEXICANS IN CALIFORNIA

05.10.04

Here an online petition protesting Victoria's Secret's recent line of graphic swimwear depicting images of Buddha and Bodhisattvas: Victoria Secret's lack of respect for Religion

05.08.04

Airing today on NPR's All Things Considered, a profile on U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who authored the report uncovering abuse of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison.

05.07.04

Aw man, apologies to my people at UC Davis, because should've posted about this days ago. The Asian American Association Film Festival at UCD has been going on all week—six days of films featured around six themes. The festival closes Saturday night with a screening of Darryl Fong's Kung Phooey, preceded by a selection of UC Davis student short films. I've been asked to be a judge, so I'll be there. See ya around. Oh yeah, the event is free!

05.07.04

One guy got voted to the top. The other guy bombed his audition. Somewhere along the way, things got crossed up. Behold, the two very sad singing careers of William Hung and Harlemm Lee: HE BANGS, HE BOMBS: A loser's success and a winner's failure raise cultural questions

05.07.04

Heard about Comedy Central's new show, Shorties Watching Shorties... It's standup routines animated and told through the eyes of two infants. Yeah, weird. Anyway, the premiere episode apparently had some bit about Chinese restaurants, and pretty much just fell back on the old, tired stereotypical jokes... a white comedian putting on a fake Chinese accent, talking about inedible food, with the cheap, unscrupulous owner changing the sign to "laundary" when two fat white guys go to eat at the buffet. You'd people would just get tired of this crap. It's just the same jokes over and over again. Lay off the Chinese restaurants! That's racist!

In a sort of thematically related news item, a Pacific Islander couple was recently kicked out of a buffet by restaurant management for allegedly eating too much. It made national news: Couple question eatery's bias policies. They're charging racism. I don't know what to think... If Chuck-A-Rama's actions were racially motivated, that's not cool. But honestly, perhaps they're just better off, health-wise, not eating so much. I mean, twelve slices of roast beef??

05.07.04

Will Yun Lee will star as the main villain in Elektra: Garner to Face Will Yun Lee in Elektra. Yeah, starring Jennifer Garner—it's a spin-off of that totally brilliant Daredevil movie starring Ben Affleck. Lee will play the head of the Hand, a clan of mystical ninjas. Yay, ninjas.

05.07.04

Take not that Maj. General Antonio Taguba, the US soldier who wrote the report regarding abuse in Abu Ghraib prison, is
Filipino American: Key excerpts from the Taguba report

05.07.04

A.R. Rahman, Asia's most successful composer, wrote the music for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Bombay Dreams: Behind the Music

05.05.04

I write this in support of Sung Kang ("Han" in Better Luck Tomorrow). For those in Los Angeles area, or headed down there any time soon, you should check out his recently opened restaurant, SakeTini Creative Asian Cuisine. It's described as a fresh new twist on Korean based cuisine with†French/Japanese influence.† World renown chef Eun San Yi is considered by food critics as "the innovator of Korean fusion cuisine." That's nifty, ain't it?

Saketini

150 S. Barrington Ave.

Brentwood, CA 90049

310-440-5553

So get over there for some fine food and drink. And, get 10% off your lunch or dinner when you utter this secret password to your server: "Say Mama San A Maku San." Dig it?

Not convinced? Here's a review from LA.com: Top food of the Asian persuasion. Yum.

05.05.04

An Asian sister stands up, and I can dig it:


"I'm tired of hearing people diss on my smart, strong and sexy Asian American brothers out there. And I there are enough people who complain or write about it. There are not enough, however, who pay homage to these extraordinary men. So here I profess my love to them. No Long Duk Donging or Fu Manchuing allowed here!"


Read the rest here: Ode to Smart, Strong and Sexy Asian American Men. I feel the love, MissMel.

05.05.04

Watch it tonight: 'Searching for Asian America' finds leader, artist and dedicated doctor

05.05.04

Forgot to mention Jennifer Rosales kicking some golf ass last weekend: Rosales Gets First LPGA Tour Victory

05.05.04

At long last! The official website for Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, starring John Cho ("that Asian guy from American Pie") and Kal Penn ("that Indian guy from Van Wilder"), directed by Danny Leiner ("that White guy who directed Dude, Where's My Car?). With Neil Patrick Harris, as himself. Yeah, Doogie Howser. Forgive me, but this movie looks damn funny, and I can't wait to see it. View the trailer, and learn all about the movie here. Opens in theaters on July 30.

05.05.04

The May issue of McSweeney's is all comics, and features work from the very cool Adrian Tomine. Who? You need to check out Optic Nerve, son!

05.05.04

Jessica Chen Drammeh, Carmen Van Kerckhove, and Jen Chau are NOT cool with how they were portrayed in yesterday's column by Emil Guillermo. Here's their letter to the editor in response:


Dear Editor,

When the three of us decided to start Mixed Media Watch, a grassroots coalition that works to promote more realistic, three-dimensional portrayals of mixed race people in the media, we were hoping to battle against common stereotypes like the "tragic mulatto" and the "exotic temptress."

How ironic then, that your columnist Emil Guillermo chose to focus exclusively on the tragic/exotic dichotomy in his May 4th column about us, "Have A Swirly Asian Pacific American Heritage Month."

From his description of Jen Chau as "confused" and plagued with 3racial self-hatred,2 to his extraneous comment about Jen getting "hit on a lot," he seemed intent on painting her as a helpless, tragic beauty torn between two worlds.

This is *exactly* the kind of sensational, stereotypical drivel we are trying to challenge.

We're not whiners and we're not victims. We're community organizers actively working for social change. Between the three of us we1ve started a media watchdog organization, a discussion series, a non-profit community organization with twelve chapters nationwide, an online magazine and community with 3,000 registered members, and a documentary film that has
garnered support from the National Asian American Telecommunications Association and New York University's Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program and Institute.

It's unfortunate that Guillermo was so fixated on digging for a sob story that he wound up overlooking our focus on activism and progress.

Sincerely,

Jessica Chen Drammeh, Anomaly
Carmen Van Kerckhove, EurasianNation.com
Jen Chau, Swirl, Inc.

Co-Founders of Mixed Media Watch and The Fusion Series

Visit our organizations here:

www.xanga.com/mixedmediawatch

www.fusionseries.com

www.anomalythefilm.com

www.eurasiannation.com

www.swirlinc.org


Obviously, the column hit a nerve. I thought it was important to hear the other side of it.

05.04.04

There's an Asian dude in the band Yellowcard. No, I don't think the band's name is meant to have racial overtones. Sean Mackin, who is Hapa, plays violin—something you don't normally hear in a rock band. Hey! What's up with the Asian dude who stereotypically plays violin? Kidding, kidding. He rocks it like nobody's bidness. Yellowcard's latest album is Ocean Avenue.

05.04.04

I'm not a follower of professional wrestling, but here's what I hear... Kenzo Suzuki, or "Hirohito" as he will be known in WWE, is apparently set to make his TV debut on the May 10th edition of RAW in San Jose, CA. He'll be accompanied to the ring by a North American 'bodyguard.' Suzuki's character will be playing up to some type of anti-American gimmick as a Japanese guy trying to get revenge for World War II. Just great. Okay, so pro wrestling has never been the best place for fair and balanced ethnic media portrayals, but this pretty much the worst thing ever. That's racist!

05.04.04

You're an Asian American of mixed race descent. What the hell do you call yourself? Emil Guillermo has some suggestions: Have A Swirly Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

05.04.04

Just a reminder, NAATA's Searching For Asian America premieres on PBS tomorrow night. Through intimate profiles and interviews, this program takes a look at what it means to be Asian America. Hosted by Ann Curry, you'll meet Washington governor Gary Locke, doctors Martin Bautista and Jeffrey Lim of Guymon, OK, and Angry Little Asian Girl cartoonist Lela Lee. It's good stuff, put together by good people, so tune in (check local listings for dates and times).

05.04.04

Check out this awesome Heritage Month event going on in New York this weekend: Asian American Tales of Being Urban in New York: Living, Loving and Getting By, May 7-8 at the Asia Society and Museum. Over 30 Asian Americans in film, television, performing arts, literature, music, fashion and visual arts give five-minute personal accounts of their experiences in New York City. Participants include Sawad Brooks, Regie Cabico, Alexander Chee, Aric Chen, Tina Chang, Deborah S. Craig, Ron Domingo, Luis Francia, Kimiko Hahn, Jessica Hagedorn, David Henry Hwang, Jason Hwang, Vijay Iyer, Michael Kang, Eugenia Kim, Ken Leung, Andy Hsiao, Sunita Mukhi, Cobi Narita, N. Rain Noe, Orlando Pabotoy, SuChin Pak, Ralph Pena, Mary Ping, Bushra Rehman, DJ Rekha, Sung Rno, John Son, Sabrina Margarita Alacantara-Tan, Sara Tanaka, Paz Tanjuaquio, Ching Valdes, Zhang Hongtu. It's gonna be shweet. For information about each performer, visit www.asiasociety.org/arts/asianamericanbios.html.

05.03.04

Last weekend, the St. Louis Rams picked UCLA linebacker Brandon Chillar as their fourth round draft choice: UCLA's Chillar First Indian American in Pro Football

05.03.04

Here's a controversy that's been getting a lot of people angry, though I hadn't heard about it until now: 'Buddha Bikini' Sparks International Controversy. In short, Victoria Secret was selling bikinis with little Buddhas printed on them. Buddhists from around the world were not happy, and Victoria Secret subsequently pulled the product from their website, as did the company that actually manufactures the swimsuit. Essentially, we're back in Abercrombie & Fitch territory. Remember the 'Buddha Bash'? What is it about these companies that feel it's completely fine to appropriate these images—Asian, religious, cultural, whatever—and slap them on a ridiculously expensive t-shirt/swimsuit? No respect. That's racist!

05.03.04

Interesting article on the trials and challlenges facing Asian Canadian magazines: Banana Split

05.03.04

If you saw someone on street wearing this t-shirt, what would you do: Asians Shouldn't Drive. Yeah, I'd probably kick them in the nuts too. This site's t-shirts are intended to offend anyone and everyone. It's pretty ugly. That's racist!

In response, I must again refer you all to Blacklava, my favorite kickass t-shirt line.

05.03.04

People Magazine published its annual "Most Beautiful" issue last week—their list of the most beautiful people in America. Arbitrary and superficial, I know. But I always pick up the issue to see if they've allowed any Asians on the list. Sometimes they find room for a token one or two, because hey, we're beautiful too. So, who's beautiful? This year: Lucy Liu, Ken Watanabe and Suchin Pak. And no, William Hung did not make the list.

05.03.04

Jin vs. William Hung. Two very different Asian stars in American popular music. Two very different kinds of fame/infamy: Innocent Or Criminal?. Personally, I'm kinda hoping for a collaboration.

05.03.04

A little late, but check out this review of Kill Bill Vol. 2: 'Kill Bill Vol. 2' sharp, splendid. There's a line at the end of the article that praises the casting of David Carradine for his "Asian flavor." I'm not kidding:


Casting Carradine was also an act of inspiration. Originally Warren Beatty was considered for the role, but quite frankly that would have ruined the movie and turned it into some kind of "Playboy and his bunnies" parody. However, with Carradine's "Kung Fu" background and his innate sense of mystery, his Bill gives this film just the right amount of Asian flavor needed to anchor this story in the Far Eastern sensibilities loved so much by Tarantino.


So what exactly is it about Carradine that gives off the Asian flava? His Kung Fu yellow-face background? Or his "innate sense of mystery"? Because you know us Asians—we're mysterious. Psshh.

05.03.04

Law & Order: SVU casting call posted on Craigslist last week: CHINESE actors wanted for HIT NBC TELEVISION show. Don't know what the episode's about, but if it's anything like last week's Law & Order, I don't think I'm gonna dig it.

05.03.04

Yet ANOTHER future project for Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha: Gurinder Chadha Helming Closet Remake. She's adapting the screenplay with her husband, Paul Mayeda Berges. For those keeping track, Chadha is attached to direct I Dream of Jeannie, Nine Wives, Tucker Ames, My Sassy Girl and now, The Closet. Busy busy.

05.03.04

The trailer for Hero is now available on Yahoo! Movies. "Quentin Tarantino Presents" ? I guess that'll get more people into the theaters... but it's just another instance of Miramax having such little faith in letting good Asian movies sell themselves. At least they're not renaming it "Jet Li's Hero," as previously planned. The movie gets limited release on August 20.

Here's an article on director Zhang Yimou making a rare appearance in Boston this month: Elusive filmmaker earns starring role

05.03.04

A lengthy, interesting profile on San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong: A low-profile chief

05.02.04

Greetings! May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important anniversaries: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (May 10, 1869). In 1992, Congress expanded the 10 days to a month-long celebration. Why? Because we rock. Here is a Fat List of Facts and Figures for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

So, how does one actually celebrate all this heritage madness? Here's a good list of stuff, originally published by the now-defunct website PoliticalCircus.com: Ten Good Things To Do for APA Heritage Month.

Small steps. If you really dig it, why not try doing this stuff year-round? Why box it into one month? Call it awareness, call it passion. But it's about being conscious, and it can be done. You don't have to be some kind of uber-activist. Just make yourself aware of the issues that face Asian America, and have an opinion! Give it a try. You'll like it.

Oh, a quick plug for NAATA and their line up of Heritage Month programming on public television—it's great stuff, so check it out.