9.30.2016

Angry Reader of the Week: Paul Dateh

"I create, perform, and teach music."



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

9.28.2016

New NBC Series Makes Light of Human Trafficking and Asian Stereotypes

By Laura Sirikul. Cross-Posted from The Nerds of Color.



Move over, Fresh Off the Boat! There’s going to be a new show in town that will diminish all the progressive work you've done for Asians.

Deadline announced recently that NBC has picked up a half-hour sitcom called Mail Order Family, a comedy about a widowed single father who orders a mail order bride from the Philippines to help raise his two preteen daughters.

The series is loosely based on comedian Jackie Clarke's life -- which has already been told in an animated webseries and as a story on This American Life. Her father had his children look through a catalog for a potential wife to be mailed over from the Philippines. He bought a wife and both lived unhappily together for several years. Clarke's new stepmother not only rejected her attempts at closeness but also divorced her father after discovering he had a secret family in the Philippines. Eventually, Clarke's father abandoned his kids to be with his new family in the Philippines as well. And now her story is being turned into a comedy. Funny, right?

9.27.2016

California Governor Signs AAPI Data Disaggregation Bill Into Law

By Jenn Fang. Cross-Posted from Reappropriate.



Following years of tireless advocacy work by AAPI advocacy groups, California has signed a critical data disaggregation bill into law.

AB1726 (also called "The AHEAD Act") was introduced before the California Legislature early this year by bill author Assemblyman Rob Bonta. Recognizing that most state and federal data generally lump all members of the nearly 50 ethnic groups that comprise the AAPI community into a single monolithic category or disaggregate by only a handful of ethnic identifiers, the bill called for the expanded disaggregation of state public health and higher education data to include at least ten more ethnic categories for AAPIs. Those new ethnic options -- which include checkboxes for those who identify as Bangladeshi, Hmong, Indonesian, Malaysian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese, Thai, Fijian and Tongan -- were consistent with what is currently available via the National Census.

Meanwhile, the lack of disaggregated data renders invisible several achievement disparities -- including increased incidence of certain treatable diseases and/or reduced education access -- that disproportionately impact certain AAPI ethnic groups over others. Without the capacity to draw awareness to those inequities, no culturally- or linguistically-specific resources are devoted to addressing them.

The AHEAD Act was designed to take the first step towards helping the thousands of Asian American and Pacific Islander Californians who are currently underserved by state and federal services.

9.26.2016

Q & A with SPA NIGHT Director Andrew Ahn

By tk Lê.'


Joe Seo in Spa Night

What comes to mind when you think of the spa? Luxury, relaxation, cleansing, discomfort, family, sex, adventure, the Korean death scrub? And while we're at it, is the spa a gay thing, a Korean thing, or a Korean American thing? For Andrew Ahn, the director of Spa Night, it is all of the things, all at the same time. It's a place where the main character, David Cho, bonds with his family, keeps his parents safe, and explores his sexuality.

I sat with Andrew Ahn to chat about Koreatown, queerness, and the pitfalls of authenticity. The interview has been edited for clarity. [Warning! This interview is full of spoilers.]

9.25.2016

Read These Blogs


His brother was murdered for wearing a turban after 9/11. Last week, he spoke to the killer. Balbir Singh Sodhi was shot in front of his gas station on September 15, 2001 -- a victim of hate violence, four days after the 9/11 attacks. Fifteen years later, Rana Sodhi talked to his brother's killer.

Rose Pak, a Brash Force for San Francisco's Chinatown, Dies at 68: Rose Pak, a combative and influential San Francisco Chinatown community organizer focused on Asian American representation in local politics, passed away last week.

The untold stories of Japanese war brides: Kathryn Tolbert, the co-director of the film Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides, remembers her mother and other Japanese women who married American G.I.s in the aftermath of WWII.

Hollywood Under Pressure to Put More Chinese Actors in the Spotlight: Chinese moviegoers are on to you, Hollywood. China's audiences cheer Chinese performers who secure meaningful roles, but cameos tend to fall flat as "flower vases."

"Flower Drum Song," Whitewashing, and Operation Wetback: A Message from 1961: A big-budget Hollywood film with a nearly all Asian American cast, set in Chinatown? With a plot that contains a veiled critique of racist immigration policies? It seems like a dream. But once there was such a film, a lighthearted, fluffy musical called Flower Drum Song.

Director Wayne Wang On 'Chan Is Missing' And The Lack Of Asian-Americans On Screen: In 1982, just two years before the release of Sixteen Candles, Wayne Wang released his groundbreaking feature Chan Is Missing -- a feature film conceived to shatter stereotypes.

Creating the Chinese Superman Was "Fraught with Landmines": Gene Luen Yang says his ongoing DC superhero comic, New Super-Man is about freedom, religion, and self-control.

Gene Luen Yang wins a MacArthur grant 'out of left field, but in the best way': Gene Luen Yang on his recent MacArthur Fellowship award, and his work as a graphic novelist and cartoonist.



Deportations of Southeast Asian Americans: A Glaring Human Rights Issue in an Unjust Immigration System

Guest Post by Mia-lia Boua Kiernan and Chanida Phaengdara Potter


Organizers in Tacoma. (Photo by Sahra Vang Nguyen)

Last week, war veterans, mothers, fathers, family, friends, and children held signs of pleas to stop deportations of their loved ones. Organized by family members of those detained, and supported by a coalition of API advocacy organizations, people lined the streets of Minneapolis outside Senator Amy Klobuchar's office to demand justice after almost a dozen Cambodian Minnesotans were detained for deportation. This isn't solely in the Cambodian community. Just last year, the story of Lao American DJ Teace aka Thisaphone Sothiphakhak was in the Minneapolis City Pages. "That's the most frustrating feeling. I went through the court system, and literally something 18 years ago came back and made me feel like I was less than human."

9.24.2016

What is American Music?

Guest Post by Andrew Choi



A number of years ago I had a friend inform me that Asian people had no musical history in America, and as such there was nothing particularly Asian about American music culture. This was stated rather matter-of-factly to me, and actually, the sentiment is not uncommon. It gets bandied about in one form or another, either explicitly or by inference, when people talk about American music. American music genres are predominantly characterized by way of musical history, and that musical history is characterized by way of musical icons. Those American musical icons are then neatly segregated by race. Asians are not represented in American musical history by musical icons, ergo, Asians are not a part of distinctively American music culture. Of course, Asian people are welcome to make music in America, but it's not the same thing as being able to "authentically" draw on American historical cultural heritage in the way that others can (or so I am often told). And some version of this story is repeated in casual conversation, by both cultural conservatives and cultural progressives alike.

Of course this makes you wonder. In a society where even cultural progressives are willing to racially segregate musical culture and genres so readily, and where American music is casually defined by way of American history, what room could there be to write authentic American music as an Asian-American, or for that matter as any kind of person who has not yet "earned" their history in America?

9.23.2016

Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: Do You Know Bruce? Part 3

Opens October 1, 2016 at The Wing Luke Museum in Seattle



Bruce fans! Check it. Next week, the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle will open the third year of the Do You Know Bruce? exhibition series -- a unique look at the life, career and philosophy of Bruce Lee. Developed in partnership with Bruce Lee's wife and daughter and the Bruce Lee Foundation, it's the only interactive exhibition, outside of Hong Kong, about the influential martial arts superstar.

Featuring personal family items and memorabilia, Do You Know Bruce? gives both an intimate and wide angle approach to detailing Lee's personal philosophy as well as the external influences and circumstances that helped shaped his journey from a young student in Seattle to a global icon who continues to inspire millions.

Part 3 of the exhibition, opening October 1, is themed "Day in the Life of Bruce Lee" and explores what it took to become "Bruce Lee." You'll get a glimpse of how Bruce Lee approached his every day -- from his personal habits, routines, and work out strategies to his written and visual art, reading, and time with family and friends -- and find your own inspiration and approach to honestly and authentically expressing yourself.

Here are some details on the exhibition's opening day activities:

Angry Reader of the Week: Suzy Nakamura

"Being from Chicago not only defines where I'm from, but who I am as a person and an artist."


Little Suzy and her big bro.

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

An Homage to the Taiwanese Karaoke Songs of Yesteryear

Guest Post by Wendy Wang



Hi, my name is Wendy Wang. I have a music project called The Sweet Hurt. I grew up listening to a variety of music, but one genre that is as strong as a scent to me is Taiwanese pop and folk songs of the 50s and 60s.

The funny thing is, I didn't listen to the original versions, but the karaoke versions that my parents would sing along to. My song "Spooked" from my new album LP2 is an homage to that. I loved those songs and they still take me away whenever I hear them.

I thought it would be fun to do something special for the Angry Asian Man readers and record a Mandarin version of "Spooked." I'd like to thank my cousin, Vickie, and my mom for helping me with the translation.

Welcoming New U.S. Citizens at Angel Island

Cross-Posted from The Beacon


USCIS Chief of Staff Juliet K. Choi administers the Oath of Allegiance

On Sept. 12, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) welcomed 19 new U.S. citizens at the historic Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay. Angel Island is often referred to as the "Ellis Island of the West." It was used as an immigrant processing station from 1910-1940, primarily for immigrants from Asia, including more than 175,000 Chinese immigrants.

Some immigrants literally carved their feelings into the walls while waiting for their interviews -- writing poetry into the wooden walls of the barracks. The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation was created to continue preservation and educational efforts at the site.

USCIS Chief of Staff Juliet K. Choi administered the Oath of Allegiance to the citizenship candidates.

In her remarks, she noted Angel Island’s place in American history:

9.22.2016

We're Asian, Female, Kiwi, and Make Scripted Comedy. Shoulda Stayed in Med School.

Guest Post by Roseanne Liang



Here are the cold hard numbers from Middle Earth:

• Almost 12% of New Zealand's population is Asian.

• Over 25% of Auckland, NZ's most populous city where we live, is Asian.

• Only 1% of our TV producers, 2% of our TV directors and 4% of our TV writers identify as Asian.

• We make decent volumes of local film and TV, but we hardly ever see Asian actors on screen, and when we do, they're young female Asians.

If Alan Yang's Emmy wish comes true, and a couple Kiwi Asian parents hand their kids cameras instead of violins, do we really have to wait a generation to get our Fresh Off the Boat?

9.21.2016

Team, We Have To Give Up On "Ninja"

Guest Post by Andrew Ti



Remember this bullshit?

For anyone who didn't see it, or doesn't feel like clicking, this is an insane video of a lady who was on The Apprentice (great pedigree), singing a bizarre racist song called "I want to be NEENJA." I don't recommend listening to this shit for very long, but thanks to Phil for finding this.

The song kicked off a train of thought for me, that ended at this stop. Asian folks: I think we've lost the word "ninja."

9.20.2016

When Faced With Yellowface, FIGHT

Guest Post by Roger Tang



There's no doubt there's been a flood of whitewashing and yellowface on film, TV and stage recently. From a Tilda Swinton impersonating a Tibetan Ancient One to a theatre company performing The Mikado with all white casts, this inundation of cultural appropriation can be discouraging.

But don't let appearances fool you. The community can and does win victories against stereotyping. Slapping hashtags like @whitewashedOUT and #starringJohnCho on social media is only a beginning; activists are doing this and much more, making a definite difference against misrepresentation of Asians in the media.

Let's look at the stage. Everyone knows by now about the Seattle production of The Mikado by the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. An editorial by Seattle Times op-ed writer Sharon Chan kicked off this controversy, which saw daily picketing by grassroots protestors, pushback from the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, and a whole slew of feature articles and editorials, both pro- and against The Mikado.

What also happened, however, is that what followed was a forum involving the general Seattle theatre community. This forum discussed the balance of artistic expression versus responsibility to under-represented communities. Initial expectations were for a crowd of 30-50; instead, more than 300 people demanded to discuss the issue.

9.19.2016

We're Dropping Hints that We Need an Asian American Studies Major

Guest Post by CRAASH

Instagram: @HunterCRAASH


No, but seriously.

Memes aside, the fight for Asian American Studies (AAS) has recently seen an enormous wave of momentum. In this year alone, we have witnessed the huge victory for an AAS major at Northwestern University, the establishment of an Asian and Pacific Islander American Studies Program at the College of William and Mary, the passing of a resolution for the creation of an AAS major through the Student Assembly at Cornell University, the ongoing work by the Task Force on Asian and Pacific American Studies at Harvard University, and more. We even had an awesome Google Hangout on the #Fight4AAS with student groups at Northwestern, Cornell, and Hunter College, 18 Million Rising, and Professor Vijay Prashad! We might even dare to say that we are smack dab in the middle of a new period of the student movement for Asian American Studies.

9.18.2016

Read These Blogs


Master of None co-creator Alan Yang on Asian representation in Hollywood: "we got Long Duk Dong": When Master of None won creators Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari their first Emmy Award for comedy writing, Yang took the stage and reminded everyone that "diversity" isn't just a buzzword but a real goal worth fighting for within the TV industry.

* * *

Just the Wrong Amount of American The 1999 arrest of Wen Ho Lee, who was falsely accused of espionage by the U.S. Justice Department, taught Chinese Americans that their country may never trust them.

* * *

Typecast as a terrorist: "As my acting career developed, I was no longer cast as a radical Muslim -- except at the airport." Pakistani-Brit actor Riz Ahmed says that airport security never got the memo.

* * *

How Wellesley Plans To Address The Mental Health Of Its Asian-American Students: Asian American women ages 18 to 24 have the nation's second-highest suicide rate among women in this age group, and Wellesley is taking steps to address this issue.

* * *

Interview: Ethan Young Talks The Battles of Bridget Lee & Asian Representation in Sci-Fi: An interview with Ethan Young, whose sci-fi adventure Battles of Bridget Lee is loosely based on Mulan.

* * *

Comedian Jenny Yang serves up parody video in response to Pho controversy: By now, you must have seen the infamous Bon Appetit video featuring chef Tyler Akin whitesplaining pho. Last week, comedian Jenny Yang released a video parody and explained to KPCC radio why she did it.

* * *

Hari Kondabolu Says His Mom Is Hilarious -- And Not Because Of Her Accent: Comedian Hari Kondabolu talks accents, white audiences, and why comedy isn't his kind of activism.

* * *

Ashok and Riz the Day Of: The Night Of star Riz Ahmed talks to Ashok Kondabolu about cricket jerseys, patriotism, acting while brown, and race in the UK.



I Hate Big Phony

Guest Post by Milton Liu



Are you happy?

This was the final question I asked singer/songwriter Bobby Choy (aka Big Phony) in the documentary, I Hate Big Phony.

After an extended pregnant pause:

"Am I happy? No."

Do you think you'll ever be happy?

"Probably not. I think I'm OK with that though. Being just content. I just want to be content."

(BEAT)

"I'm not going to be great."

9.17.2016

Growing Up the Child of Immigrants

Guest Post by Melissa Hung



1. You didn't have an allowance.

2. Your parents didn't understand that school was not only about making As on your report card. It was also about making friends.

3. The sandwiches (always made with shredded meats because your mother was suspicious of cold cuts) that you took to school for lunch belied the steamed whole fish and rice you ate at home -- that fish alive and swimming in a tank just a few hours ago, before your father pointed to it.

4. On rare family outings to McDonald's you were never allowed to order your own meal. Your mother calculated that the most efficient use of money was through a certain combination of value meals and individual sandwiches. Drinks and fries from the value meals were for sharing. Everything in the family was for sharing.

9.16.2016

Angry Reader of the Week: Priska

"I am all about finding your voice and carving your own path."



Greetings, good people of the internet. It is time for us 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 Priscilla Liang, aka Priska.

Trump channels Buddha in deeply felt letter to America

Guest Post by Vishavjit Singh



Dear America,

We live in a time of tremendous upheaval and tumult in this great nation of ours. Jobs are gone, illegal immigration is exhausting our resources, Islamic terrorism is blowing our minds away, Barack Hussein Obama has been in power for almost 8 years. I can go on and on.

At this time, I appeared on the scene not to divide America but to unite it.

The only way I know we can do this is to be in the moment. To be spontaneous. To be transparent. To be a mirror unto ourselves. To be honest with our own selves. To lay bare all our emotions. To strip off our masks.

Only then we can work towards bringing a Huuuuuuuge positive change. A quiet revolution.

9.15.2016

Bruce Lee Movie Stars a White Guy Because Of Course it Does

By Keith Chow. Cross-Posted from The Nerds of Color.



This morning, Deadline unveiled the first trailer for Birth of the Dragon, which recently made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Ostensibly, the film depicts the legendary fight between Bruce Lee (played by Philip Ng) and Wong Jack Man (Yu Xia). But because this is Hollywood, the movie is going to be told from the perspective of a white dude.

Dr. Haing S. Ngor: An Angry Asian Man

Guest Post by Arthur Dong



Above is a clip of Dr. Haing S. Ngor recorded at the U.S. House of Representatives almost thirty years ago. It's intense, passionate, and angry. Take a look.

This one-minute clip, singled out from volumes and volumes of material we went through for my new documentary, The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor, continues to captivate me even after years of production work. It's partly because Dr. Ngor foreshadowed his own murder, which would happen eight years later from the time this video was recorded, but mostly it's because I was startled to see such pronounced rage from an Asian refugee in white America.

When Dr. Ngor was forced into slave labor in 1975 by the Khmer Rouge, little did he know he would escape four years of torture and be called upon to recreate his harrowing experiences in the feature film The Killing Fields. That first acting job earned him an Academy Award® for best supporting actor, and overnight he became the face of Cambodia to the world. He forsook the stereotypical quiet demeanor so often associated with Cambodian culture and took on the role of a human rights advocate with fervor, sometimes antagonizing those in his community who wished to remain silent or cower in fear of reprisals from Pol Pot's henchmen still at large. After all, entrenched Buddhist teachings led many Cambodians to believe that evildoers would eventually meet their fate anyway in the next life, so why cause any more animosity on earth.

On Chinese International Students (Or, Sorry if this comes off a little Yellow Peril)

Guest Post by erin Khuê Ninh



I have Chinese international students in my classes every quarter now, though I feel my courses do not serve them well. On the first day of class, I make noises about how this is an upper-division/college-level course in literary studies: We do reading in large quantity, in high difficulty, and then we subject the language to intense scrutiny. There is no time for problems in basic reading comprehension, or for the difference between plot summary and answering the question. Please, I want to say, would you take college-level physics without having passed algebra? All I can do is fail you.

But I deliver this spiel with less conviction lately, because they don't necessarily fail. Some do, and others turn in surprisingly polished essays, clearly tailored to the assignment, despite never having uttered a word in class. Perhaps that is proof of my internalized racism, my unjustly low opinion of the level of preparation common to international students. Or perhaps they have made use of the many 'proxy' services in test-taking and essay-writing that cater to Chinese international students on college campuses: pay someone else to write your paper and it will never show up on a search engine. I will never be able to prove it.

9.14.2016

How Hollywood Gatekeepers Block Out Asian American Content -- and Why an FCC Proposal Could Change That

Guest Post by Mark Tseng Putterman, 18 Million Rising



We know the drill too well. Hollywood announces another big budget film with a whitewashed cast. Or talking heads use racially-charged language on cable news networks. Cue our collective outrage — op-eds, Twitter hashtags, letters to industry gatekeepers. Maybe we get a half-hearted apology. Maybe not. And eventually, the outrage dissipates... until the next offense surfaces. Then we lather, rinse, and repeat.

Where does it end? How long will we wait for mainstream media to take our issues seriously?

Asian American YA Authors Roundtable

Guest Post by Wendy Xu



I work with stories both at my day job (publishing) and night job (comics), and conversations, thinkpieces, and articles around representation in media are prevalent almost every second of my waking life. We've heard many voices on how Hollywood stifles and whitewashes (Ghost in the Shell, The Great Wall, etc) and how progress in film and television is appallingly slow. It can be a real bummer, and definitely brings to light some glaring social issues that continuously need to be addressed and corrected and held accountable.

But I think that sometimes, we need some levity and inspiration in our lives to remind us to keep fighting when the battle seems tough. And in the war against whitewashing in media, one front that keeps churning out victory after victory: the outstanding, award-winning, NYT-bestselling Asian American authors in the young adult publishing industry.

For those unfamiliar, "Young Adult" (YA) is a marketing term for stories that cater to the (roughly) 13-18 crowd, and has become a huge portion of the children's lit world in the last few years, after the phenomenal success of books like Harry Potter. It spans all genres -- fantasy, sci-fi, slice of life, horror, you name it. I grew up reading a lot of young adult fantasy, and it was actually in those books that I discovered Asian representation for the first time. Authors like Tamora Pierce and JK Rowling, flawed as they are, paved the way for me to see girls like me having magical adventures.

9.13.2016

Mini Photoblog: Nostalgic Hong Kong

Guest Post by Jane Lui



Prologue. I've been in Hong Kong for two weeks. It's currently 90 degree, pouring rain, and absolutely beautiful. The heat is definitely more stubborn than I remembered... but maybe I'm not remembering right. It's been a long time. I don't come back often and when I do, I feel a lot -- memories, changes, what ifs, the lot. So I usually ride heavily on nostalgia, visiting every haunt and old-timer cuisine I can find to negotiate with my roots.

Strangely, Hong Kong seems to be doing the same thing.

9.12.2016

#allysfight

Guest Post by Andrew Kim



The Background: Bone Marrow Donation vs. Asians

Every day, thousands of East Asians need life-saving bone marrow transplants. In the UK, of the 617,000 registered marrow donors, only 0.5% are East Asian. The situation is similar in the U.S. registry; and worldwide, the numbers are no different. On average, 350 out of every 10,000 people in the US are registered donors compared to just 14 out of 10,000 in China. Why is this? What is holding back Asians from donating?

I think that Asians are generous. With money, with time -- there's never any question to help our families, our friends, our villages and communities. But our bodies...? When I told my mother that I had signed up to be an organ donor for instance, it was met with...

"You mean they'll take your eyes and heart? Can't you do something else instead?"

My mother has spent countless hours volunteering at schools, the inner city, on mission trips to other countries. But here, there was hesitation... Fear. There is something about our bodies, our sacred temples, and giving pieces away.

I am not trying to dismiss people's beliefs and ideals. But in bone marrow donation, the reality is that a small act, can have a tremendous affect. It can save a life. 90% of all bone marrow donation is just giving blood. Blood is taken from one arm, filtered in a machine to capture valuable marrow stem cells, and the rest is pumped back into the other arm. Getting tested is even easier. All you need to do is swab the inside of your mouth with a Q-tip and send it off to a lab.

9.11.2016

Read These Blogs


In Our Own Words: Reflections on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11: Muslim, Arab, South Asian and Sikh activists and allies recall where they were on September 11, 2001 and how that day has shaped their movements and resistance today.

* * *

Not all Asians are the same -- here's why thinking that way hurts them: Disaggregating data on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders could do a lot of good for access to education, for one.

* * *

The lasting impact of white teachers who mispronounce minority student names: Did you grow up having your name mispronounced constantly? According to recent studies, it turns out that this has a lasting impact on minority students.

* * *

Don't take your right to vote for granted. Immigrants like me wait years to have the chance. You may not like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton much. That's no reason to skip the election.

* * *

The Pleasures of Protest: Taking on Gentrification in Chinatown: Working as a tenant organizer in New York's Chinatown opened Esther Wang's eyes to the ugly -- and complicated -- realities of gentrification.

* * *


How Bruce Lee's Daughter Is Sharing His Philosophies With the Digital Generation: Shannon Lee founded Bruce Lee Enterprises in order to continue her father's legacy and share his philosophies.

* * *

50 Years Later, Bruce Lee Still Makes 'The Green Hornet' Kick Ass: Last week marked the 50th anniversary of The Green Hornet, which introduced TV audiences to the masked crimefighter Kato -- played by Bruce Lee.

* * *

Bruce Lee and Freddie Mercury are best friends on this Japanese Twitter account: As far as we know, Bruce Lee and Freddie Mercury never actually met in real life. But thanks to this toy and game-themed Japanese Twitter account, their action figures are now best friends.

* * *


Arthur Dong's Films Spotlight Asian American And Queer History: Arthur Dong's 2008 documentary Hollywood Chinese offers not only a glimpse into the history of Chinese Americans in Hollywood, but also a history of queer performers.

* * *

Gene Luen Yang reflects on 10th anniversary of American Born Chinese: Ten years ago, graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang released American Born Chinese, which follows the story of a boy named Jin Wang, who struggles with his identity after moving from San Francisco's Chinatown neighborhood to a mostly white suburb.

* * *

He makes white privilege a punch line. Will America get the joke? With his latest album Mainstream American Comic, standup comedian Hari Kondabolu is winning a broader audience.

* * *

Steve Aoki on how his Asian-American identity shaped his career in music: Electronic music superstar Steve Aoki spoke with CBS News about the new Netflix documentary I'll Sleep When I'm Dead and why it's important to him to speak out about issues facing the Asian American community.



To Nontraditional Asian American Families

Guest Post by Vanessa Teck & David To



This past June, we had the privilege of celebrating the beginning of our new adventures together - twice! Surrounded by adoring family and friends, we had the honor of tying the knot in a chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada (David’s hometown) and a Cambodian ceremony in Denver, Colorado (Vanessa’s hometown).

In the weeks preceding and following our wedding, we began to realize how constrained the traditional views on marriage are. From the invitation list, the procession order, the name changes, and incessant questions about kids, our happy union was being viewed through a lens of outdated practices. In Asian American families, weddings serve as a celebratory time for not just the couple, but also our communities. Oh and saving face.

But what happens when you come from a nontraditional Asian American family?

9.10.2016

When My Moms Met

Guest Post by Dan Matthews



Everything's come full circle.

Three years ago I was surprised and delighted to find out that I was going to meet my biological family for the very first time, including an identical twin brother that I never knew about. As a Korean adoptee we're often put in the mindset from the very start that making any type of reunion is near impossible (for many complicated reasons that I won't go into now). So, I knew going into this situation, and coming out of it, that it was a moment in my life that I shouldn't take lightly.

I really needed to be there mentally to take in what this meant (although as most know, a very difficult mindset for me to have). I was overjoyed to have been able to experience this, and I'm grateful to say that three years later I'm still continuing my journey to get to know them. Every day is a struggle, and communication and language barriers continue to be an issue -- but it IS happening.

9.09.2016

Angry Reader of the Week: Harry Shum Jr.

"Trying to be more human everyday."

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

Good Morning

Guest Post by Alton Wang



No single person has had a greater impact on my life than my Grandmother. Although she passed over ten years ago, to this day I still feel her by my side, guiding me. Protecting me.

Almost every day before I turned 8, my Grandmother would peek into my room when it was time for me to wake up and quietly say, "Good morning." She would then walk into the room, sit down next to me, and repeat, "Good morning," until I became fully conscious. These words are some of the few in my memory I can still hear her say to me.

My Grandmother was my third parent, who instilled in me the values and morals that still guide me today. She also mended my wounds when they appeared -- under her care, my wounds always closed, even if she had to stitch me back together.

Yet my Grandmother's life story is centered around insecurity, uncertainty, and risk. No sense of security protected her -- or her family -- until her later years.

This is why I know I felt so safe growing up, feeling protected by those words of "Good morning." Safety is a privilege -- a privilege endowed with a certainty of yesterday, a certainty of tomorrow, and a certainty of now that is not afforded to all of us.

I didn't recognize the depth of this privilege until my own sense of safety was shattered completely for the first time, as a college student interning in DC. But this time, I had to stitch my wounds back together myself.

9.08.2016

How I Became a Pretend Expert on Hot Asian American Men

Guest Post by Ada Tseng



A few years ago, I convinced my editors at Audrey Magazine that it'd be funny to ask actor/model Godfrey Gao to exchange mediocre poetry with me about his hotness.

(Hey, hey. Eyes down here, OK? I know you're trying to figure out who that is in the photo above, and where you've seen his muscles before, but stay with me. There will be more pictures of that guy at the end of this post, I promise.)

Back to poetry. I had just been told that my upcoming interview with Godfrey would be conducted through email, and, as a serious journalist, I knew it'd be hard to experience the full extent of his hotness through email. So I was trying to think of a creative way to do the interview in which the answers I received from him through the written word would potentially be better than the verbal responses I'd get from him in person. Haiku seemed to be the most accessible form of poetry for two non-poets. I figured I could also get away with asking him ridiculous questions about his swooning fangirls, beauty regimen, and tips for modeling Louis Vuitton man purses -- inquiries that would be much less charming without the syllable constraints of 5-7-5.

He probably had no idea what he was getting himself into, but he answered in haiku, and the series Haikus With Hotties was born. For each issue after that, I just kept convincing other people that this was a good idea. Folks like Freddie Wong, Dante Basco, Randall Park, and Christopher Dinh. On one hand, these are creatives working in the entertainment industry who have been directly affected by mainstream Hollywood's lack of imagination when it comes to stereotypical portrayals of Asian American men. But on the other hand, they're also just funny people who very quickly made me realize that the fact that they don't take themselves too seriously is actually the hottest quality of all.

At the time, I didn't have a grand vision of what #HaikusWithHotties would become. But last summer, we successfully launched a Kickstarter to turn the series into a 2016 calendar, including a video where I introduced myself as a "Professor of Hotness" presenting my ground-breaking research. And we hopefully gave our supporters a reason to smile at the first of every month, when it was time to turn the calendar page and unveil their next hottie.

Asian Americans, We Cannot Be Silent on the Dakota Access Pipeline | #NoDAPL

By Jenn Fang. Cross-Posted from Reappropriate


Protesters demonstrate on August 11, 2016 against the start of construction for the Dakota Access Pipeline Project. (Photo credit: Tom Stromme / Associated Press)

A war is being waged right now to defend Native lands and people from fresh exploitation by the United States government, and yet it rages to virtually no mainstream coverage.

This week, protesters entered their fifth month of peaceful protest against the proposed $3.8 billion dollar, multi-state oil pipeline that would when completed transport crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The Dakota Access Pipeline is being constructed by private developers, and will intersect through ancestral lands once held by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as well as running under the Mississippi River and within half a mile of current reservation land borders. Earlier this year, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sued the US Army Corp of Engineers denouncing the Corp's fast-tracked approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline plans, saying that the Pipeline's construction will threaten sacred sites and risk contamination of the Tribe's water supply.

The Tribe further argues that the Corp ignored its own policies requiring it to consider the impact of construction projects on the environment and on Native lands in order to “meet the pipeline's aggressive construction schedule.” Dave Archambault II, leader of the Standing Rock Sioux, added:

9.07.2016

An Asian American Mixtape to Get Out and Vote

Guest Post by Tanzila 'Taz' Ahmed



I grew up in an age of mixtape. And by "mixtape" I mean quite literally those plastic cassette tapes that you'd keep in your dual deck boombox and to which you would race over to press record as soon as the radio station started playing the song you wanted to record next on your perfect mixtape. There was no blending, sometimes you'd miss the beginning of the song, and often, you'd get the radio DJ voice. But these mixtapes -- when you were able to put the tracks in an inspiring order, have a theme, and then, if really courageous, you'd be able to give it to your CRUSH.

Well Angry Asian America -- I have a crush on you. And we at 18MillionRising really want you to get out and vote on November 8th. So we made you a mixtape.

Tiger Style! at La Jolla Playhouse: An Interview with Playwright Mike Lew and Director Jaime Castañeda

Guest Post by Raymond J. Lee



Tiger Style! is a new comedy premiering this month at the La Jolla Playhouse. Actor Raymond J. Lee, who appears in the play as Albert, interviewed playwright Mike Lew and director Jaime Castañeda.


Raymond Lee: I would love to get some history on Tiger Style! and how it came into fruition and how it came to La Jolla. Mike how was this show birthed?

Mike Lew:: This show was a really long time coming because throughout my early theater education, I kept on getting these suggestions that I should write about my family or I should write about my culture. It kept coming up and I thought, "What does that mean?" And then I figured out I should write an Asian immigrant story, but I don't have that because I'm third generation Chinese and I don't have access to those stories. So for a long time I wrote any other story I could. At a certain point with all the kind of backlash around the concept of Asian tiger parenting I realized that there were a lot of people coming out saying that it's a terrible way to raise your kids and I realized that I grew up like this. I was expected to be a high achieving kid and I have a tight relationship with my parents and I realized I could write a story specifically about that.

9.06.2016

This Is My Country

By Kathy Khang. Cross-Posted from kathykhang.com.



The older man walked up to the closed register next to me and looked at the wretched KFC/Pizza Hut menu at the travel oasis/rest stop near Elkhart, Indiana. He asked about the fried chicken hiding behind the greasy cough-guard. I wondered if he was going to do what I thought it looked like he was going to do, and I wrestled with what I would do if he tried to cut in front of the line. He stands with a curve in his back, pants hemmed too short and hair disheveled. He is older, if not elderly, with white, thinning hair. I can’t take the Korean out of me. We respect our elders. Should I just let him go? I just want to feed my sons terrible fast food, get back on the road and get home.

But he goes on, putting in his order and pulling out some money, and the cashier tells him there is line that he will have to join. The line is now about 8 people deep, not including me and my two teenage sons.

The older man, let’s call him Gerald, looks back at the line, looks at me and asks, "What do you need food for?"

I;m hoping he is joking, though he isn't cracking a smile, so I respond as kindly as I can with a smile (I have now listened to Hamilton five times on this road trip and I can't stop thinking "talk less, smile more"), "I need food to eat, just like you do."

Gerald looks at me and my sons and says, "You don't need food. Go back to your country and eat the food there."

By the way, Gerald is white. I am not.

Oh, FFS.

9.05.2016

Wings, Guns and Magic! Preview Greg Pak's KINGSWAY WEST #2

Guest Post by Greg Pak



I grew up as a biracial Korean American kid in Texas who always loved Westerns. So when I learned about the actual history of the Chinese in the Old West, my head popped off, and for over two decades, I've been obsessed with writing a story about a Chinese gunslinger in the Old West.

Last Wednesday, my dreams came true when the first issue of my Dark Horse comic book series Kingsway West hit stores. Kingsway West tells the story of a Chinese gunslinger searching for his wife in an Old West overrun with magic, and I've been pretty much blown away by the response of readers and reviewers. I'm particularly grateful to Angry Asian Man and all the readers right here on this blog who supported the book from the minute it was announced way back in July 2015. So I'm thrilled to bring you a six page lettered preview of issue #2, written by yours truly, drawn by the great Mirko Colak, colored by the brilliant Wil Quintana, and lettered by the awesome Simon Bowland!

Kingsway West #1 is in comic stores right now -- pick it up at your local shop or buy it digitally at Comixology. Kingsway West #2 comes out on September 21 -- please feel free to ask your local shop to hold a copy for you!

9.04.2016

Read These Blogs


These Simple yet Stylish Portraits Celebrate American Sikhs: The Sikh Coalition has partnered with British photographers Amit Amin and Naroop Jhooti for The Sikh Project, a landmark portrait exhibition highlighting the stories and identities of 38 Sikh American men and women.

* * *

The Hidden Scars All Refugees Carry: "I am not an immigrant. I am a refugee who, like many others, has never ceased being a refugee in some corner of my mind."

* * *

They grew up as American citizens, then learned that they weren't Today, children who are adopted from abroad by U.S. citizens generally receive automatic citizenship, thanks to better protections and regulations from adoption agencies. Even still, some transnational adoptees are left without U.S. citizenship.

* * *

In Vietnamese American community, the stigma of mental illness runs deep: Stigma within the community and lack of culturally competent resources have been a barrier for Vietnamese Americans to address mental health issues -- especially for women. But in Orange County, California, people are trying to change that.

* * *

#DocsSoWhite: A Personal Reflection: Filmmaker Renee Tajima-Pena reflects on diversity and independent filmmaking, what lessons can be learned from the past, and the realities filmmakers of color live with today.

* * *

Weekend volleyball tournament was a lifeline for early Chinese immigrants: As Asian American volleyball players gear up for the 72nd North American Chinese Invitational Volleyball Tournament, many remember its legacy in the era of anti-Chinese sentiment in the U.S.

* * *

Robin Ha's New Cookbook Mixes Korean Cuisine With Comics: Korean-American artist Robin Ha's first cookbook is filled with recipes she learned from her mother. And appropriately, it's a comic book.



Taiwan is Doing Cars Better Than Us

A Very Short Photo Essay About The Weird and Wonderful Cars of Taiwan. Guest Post by Sanjay Shah



I was in Taiwan earlier this month to help shoot the upcoming season premiere of Fresh Off The Boat. I am also so obsessed with cars that I dropped out of college to work on them. Here are some of the cars that I saw on the streets of Taiwan:

9.03.2016

7 Ways Asian Americans will TROLL the ART WORLD on September 8

Performances by Tilda Swinton, Shia LeBeouf and Marina Abramovic get Asian American makeovers next week during Kristina Wong's TAKEOVER of the Asian Art Museum. Guest Post by Kristina Wong.



I have a love-hate relationship with the Art World. I love the inventive ideas you don't see on television. I hate how colonial the museum space is with artists of color notoriously underrepresented in major art institutions.

I always thought the most "famous" works of performance art would read COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY (and be way more interesting) if performed by people of color. So when the Asian Art Museum invited me to TAKEOVER their giant four story museum for a night, I knew I had a rare opportunity to subvert the white institutional gaze of the Art World HEAD ON and make for very funny and layered results.

On September 8, my favorite artists (and the San Francisco Public Defender) give these famous performance pieces the mockery/ re-interpretation/ homage they really deserve. Check out seven highlights from Takeover: Kristina Wong!

9.02.2016

Angry Reader of the Week: Tina Tchen

"I'm all about giving people spaces where they can learn to grow and succeed."



Hey, everybody! It's that time again. Gather 'round, because it's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Tina Tchen.

Honouring (the) Movement: Bruce Lee, Grace Lee Boggs, and The Search for Asian American Liberation

Guest Post by Jenn Fang



I was too young for Bruce Lee's classic films; movies like Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon were filmed and released over a decade before my birth. Instead, I grew up on Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, a family-friendly retelling of the legendary martial artist's life story. As a child, I watched Dragon with a studied eye, enthralled in equal parts by the (melo)dramatic details of Lee's biography as I was by the scenes of a slender man crouching low, arms loosely flexed, torso bending like a reed in moving water, dark eyes simmering with cool confidence, a high-pitched noise emerging through pursed lips. Two heartbeats of breathless anticipation, and then an explosion of carefully timed, blink-and-you'll-miss-it strikes impossible for any opponent to withstand. Badassery, thy name is Bruce Lee.

When I learned later in life that a course in Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee's signature martial art, could satisfy my alma mater's physical fitness requirement, I was instantly fixated upon the idea of enrolling. Nothing seemed more awesome than becoming a student of the martial art developed by the legendary Bruce Lee.

Sadly, the Jeet Kune Do class conflicted with a core class requirement for my major. I ended up taking six semesters of karate, instead.

9.01.2016

Gay Asian Group in NYC Condemns NYS Senate Candidate SJ Jung's Comments on LGBTQ People

Guest Post by GAPIMNY



Since 1990, the Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY) has provided a supportive space for our hundreds of queer and trans A/P/A members who experience racism, homophobia and transphobia -- from strangers, from other social justice movements and even from our own family members.

We will continue to hold that space in the face of homophobic statements made by S.J. Jung, a candidate for New York State Senate who promised supporters that he would try to ban pictures of same-sex couples from school textbooks. Jung’s comments reflect that the prejudices our communities face can come from people who say they are advocates for Asian Americans, immigrants, youth, seniors, or even all New Yorkers. When people like Mr. Jung speak of inclusion and protecting "the rights and freedoms of all," where does that leave LGBTQ API people?

If Jung wants to erase us, he’s going to have to work a little harder.

angry archive