angry reader of the week: gil asakawa

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

Who are you?
I write the Nikkei View blog at www.nikkeiview.com.

What are you?
I'm a Sansei, or third-generation Japanese American

Where are you?
I'm in Denver, Colorado, in the hinterlands far off from the Coast, where Asian faces are much more common Here, Asians all play an unconscious game of "Asian-spotting": Hey -- there's an Asian over there.... do I know that person?"

Where are you from?
I'm a bit different from most JAs because my Dad was born in Hawai'i and he met my Mom when he was stationed in Japan during the Korean War. My two brothers and I were born in Japan, so I used to joke that I'm second-and-a-half generation. I spoke Japanese and English when I was a kid in Japan but forgot most of my Japanese after my family moved to Stateside when I was 8. I learned every English cuss word in a couple of weeks though, and went around spouting them even though I had no idea what they meant. I just knew they were bad.

What do you do?
My day job is as Manager of Student Media for the University of Colorado's student-run news website. My career has been in journalism, starting as music editor for Denver's alt-weekly newspaper (yes, I was inspired by Ben Fong-Torres, and I thanked him when I got to met him in person, and was honored to follow his footsteps and have some articles in Rolling Stone myself). I've worked at newspapers large and small, and been working online since the mid-1990s at the dawn of the Internet. I've worked for AOL, and for newspaper websites. Once upon a time, way back in the day, I co-authored a fun book called "The Toy Book" about the toys of the baby-boom generation. And I wrote "Being Japanese American" in 2004. It's a perfect "benjo" ("toilet") book because you can ski around and read it in short chunks.

What are you all about?
I'm all about covering Asian America -- pop culture, politics, race and stereotype issues, etc from my perspective. I started writing the Nikkei View in 1998, for Denver's Japanese community newspaper and posting it online on my website. In 2006 I converted the column to a blog format and try to focus as much on Denver's Asian and Asian American communities as well as national issues. I also cross-post local Asian community news on on Huffington Post Denver. I find that I tend to write more about Japan and Japanese American issues than other folks in the AAPI blogosphere, so I guess that's my niche.

What makes you angry?
The incredible fact that racism still lurks just below the surface of our politically-correct, "post-racial" modern society. It doesn't take much of a scratch to find the ugliness oozing out. AAPI bloggers like us will never run out of material, that's for sure! Oh, and also, people who pronounce udon noodles "OO-DAWN" and pho "FOE."

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