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11.30.2018

Underdog candidate makes history with Ohio State Senate win

Tina Maharath is the first Lao American state senator in the United States.



Another close race, another historic election win. On Tuesday in Ohio, Democratic candidate Tina Maharath was officially declared the winner over state Rep. Anne Gonzalez in the State Senate race for District 3.

Democratic underdog Tina Maharath wins Ohio Senate seat

Maharath's victory not only makes her Ohio's first Asian American state senator and first Asian American woman in the general assembly, she is the first Lao American state senator in the United States.

She was, by most accounts, a political underdog. Maharath, a 27-year-old financial analyst with no prior campaign experience, was up against a veteran Republican lawmaker for a GOP-held Senate seat. But after all the provisional and absentee ballots were counted, Maharath edged out Gonzalez by just 705 votes.

Angry Reader of the Week: Chantal Thuy

"I am spending a lifetime still trying to figure it out."



Hey, everybody! 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 Chantal Thuy.

11.29.2018

TJ Cox declares victory in the last undecided House race

The 116th U.S. Congress will include 20 AAPI members -- the most ever.



More than three weeks after election day, we have a winner.

In California's 21st Congressional District, TJ Cox defeated three-term Republican Rep. David Valadao on Wednesday, giving Democrats a gain of seven House seats in the state and 40 nationwide.

Cox is only one of two Filipino Americans currently elected to the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, in New Jersey's 3rd District, Andy Kim became only the second ever Korean American elected to the House. Their victories, along with Michael San Nicolas' victory for Guam's delegate representative, solidifies a historic number of AAPI members in Congress.

The 116th United States Congress will include 20 AAPI members -- the most ever.

11.27.2018

They Call Us Bruce - Ep. 55: They Call Us Cartoon Creators

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

On this episode, recorded live during Asian American Culture Con at Pacific Media Expo, we welcome animation storytellers Daniel Chong (We Bare Bears), Victor Cook (Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters), Dan Santat (The Replacements) and Fawn Veerasunthorn (Ralph Breaks the Internet).

11.26.2018

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 54: They Call Us Primetime Asians

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

On this episode, recorded live during Asian American Culture Con at Pacific Media Expo, we welcome actors Keiko Agena (The First), Jake Choi (Single Parents) and Ryan Potter (Titans) to talk about The Good, The Bad and the WTF of being Asians on TV.

11.25.2018

Read These Blogs


Decades After Clashing With The Klan, A Thriving Vietnamese Community In Texas
When Vietnamese refugees first settled in the coastal town of Seadrift, Texas, they encountered prejudice and resentment from some of the locals, culminating on November 25, 1979, when the Ku Klux Klan came to the fishing village. Four decades later, the Vietnamese are now a fixture along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

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Meet Jin Park, The First DACA Recipient Awarded A Rhodes Scholarship
22-year-old Harvard University student Jin Park has become the first recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals -- DACA -- to earn a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

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The App at the Heart of the Movement to End Affirmative Action
While most Asian Americans support affirmative action, a vocal group of Asian Americans -- mostly Chinese American -- against affirmative action can be found effectively organizing on WeChat.

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Why Does Andrew Zimmern Get to Create the Next P.F. Chang's?
Chef/TV host Andrew Zimmern wades into questions of appropriation with his new Chinese restaurant chain.

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Full Q&A: ‘Dear America’ author Jose Antonio Vargas on Recode Decode
When he was 16, Jose Antonio Vargas found out that he is an undocumented immigrant -- and after years of secrecy, he decided to "come out." On Recode Decode with Kara Swisher, he talks about his new memoir Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen.

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Jameela Jamil Hopes Celebrities Shit Their Pants in Public
This headline was too good not to share.

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23-Year-Old Karen Chee Needs To Be Your New Comedy Obsession
Karen Chee originally aspired to be a speechwriter, but became obsessed with comedy as a student at Harvard.

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Japanese Breakfast
Prolific Philly rock musician Japanese Breakfast talks work, death, dogs, anime, and wanting it all.


11.18.2018

Read These Blogs


I Love America. That's Why I Have to Tell the Truth About It
"In claiming that defiant Vietnamese self, one that disregards anyone else's definition, I claim my American self too. Against all those who say “love it or leave it," who offer only one way to be American, I insist on the America that allows me to be Vietnamese and is enriched by the love of others."

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Feeling Conflicted on Thanksgiving
Viet Thanh Nguyen ponders the meaning of Thanksgiving as a Vietnamese refugee and a father of a young son.

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Toning Down Asian Stereotypes to Make 'The Nutcracker' Fit the Times
With New York City Ballet and the Balanchine Trust encouraging modified choreography to the Chinese Tea segment of The Nutcracker, many hope that other companies will follow suit.

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I'm Adopted, But I Won't Be Celebrating National Adoption Month
"Everyone asks me -- an adoptee -- what I'm doing to celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month. As if I should rejoice each November because I'm so "lucky" to have been adopted."

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Google Translate for My Asian Parents
"Have you eaten yet?" means "I love you."

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50 Years Later, Former UC Berkeley Students Celebrate the Asian-American Movement They Began
"I went in Oriental and left Asian-American."

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Who is Andy Kim? Meet N.J.'s first Asian-American congressman
Andy Kim had never run for elected office before deciding this year to take on two-term incumbent Tom MacArthur in New Jersey's 3rd congressional district. But he did. And he won.

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Lost and Found With Hansol Jung
With plays like Wild Goose Dreams -- currently at the Public Theater in New York -- Korean playwright Hansol Jung is making a splash on American stages with stories of displacement and hope.

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How Silicon Valley's Favorite Chinese-American Restaurant Was Born
Since opening in 1970, Chef Chu's has played host to tech elites and numerous heads of state.

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Henry the First
Crazy Rich Asians wasn't supposed to be the biggest rom-com of the past decade. Henry Golding was never supposed to be an actor. So what expectation is he going to shatter next?

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Steven Yeun, A Star On Both Sides Of The Pacific, Talks Toggling Between East & West
For Steven Yeun's latest role in the film Burning, the actor tapped into his feelings of isolation as a child.

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An Alien Invasion Was Happening in Searching, You Just Didn't Notice It
Most people think Searching is just a movie about John Cho looking for his missing daughter that takes places completely on a computer. That's true, but it's also an alien invasion movie... Kind of.

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Stan Lee's final superhero was inspired by a Chinese pop star
Just weeks before Stan Lee died, the comic book legend's movie studio unveiled his final creation: a Chinese pop star who tours the world by day and saves it by night.


11.17.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Bao Tran

"Andy Lau's forgotten half-brother."



Hello, internet! You know what time it is. 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 Bao Tran.

11.13.2018

When You Gotta Avenge Your Master, But You've Got Day Jobs

Bao Tran's indie feature 'The Paper Tigers' is an underdog story about three out-of-shape kung fu fighters.



This one's for the underdogs. The Paper Tigers is an upcoming martial arts action movie about three out-of-shape kung fu fighters who have to avenge their master... except they've got day jobs and kids to feed. The debut feature from writer/director Bao Tran, this cool-looking indie project is currently raising production funds.

A dead-beat dad, an insurance scammer, and an MMA coach find themselves in the middle of a gang war when they must avenge their kung fu master's death. But first... they need to call in sick at their 9-to-5 jobs. This is a story about family, both born into and adopted, and what you owe to keep those families together.

"Imagine Bruce Lee in his 40s, out of shape and divorced, estranged from his kids, trying to figure out his place in the world," Tran says. "Then imagine that same Bruce Lee's comeback. Family, career, and life might have consumed us, but there will always be a part of us that is dying to do a few spin kicks in the backyard. This movie is dedicated to those who are one kick away from pulling their hamstrings... one lap away from a smoke break."

Here's Bao and producer Al'n Duong with the more information about the film::

11.12.2018

May You Find Summer Romance Aboard 'Love Boat: Taiwan'

Valerie Soe is making a documentary about the legendary Taiwanese cultural program, aka "Love Boat."



Here's a film project that could use your help... It's the final fundraising stretch for Love Boat: Taiwan, a documentary that looks at the allure of the Taiwan Love Boat, one of the longest running summer programs in the world, where young Taiwanese Americans get closer to their history, their culture and each other.

In the late 1960s, Taiwan's government established the Study Tour to Taiwan as an outreach program to college-aged Taiwanese Americans and Chinese Americans, to increase their awareness and support for Taiwan. Since then, young people from all over the world have attended this program.

Although it was advertised as a cultural enrichment program -- Mandarin language, martial arts, brush painting, etc. -- the Study Tour's popularity came from another source: its (somewhat notorious) reputation as an excellent place to find romance. Thus earning its more widely known nickname: Taiwan Love Boat.

Director Valerie Soe, who attended the Taiwan Love Boat as a college student in the 1980s, has been working on a documentary chronicling this important part of our community's history.

11.11.2018

Read These Blogs


Why Do Asian Americans Remain Largely Unseen in Film and Television
There have been recent gains in Asian American representation in film and television, but Thessaly La Force thinks that Hollywood can do more. Bonus: classic movie casts re-imagined with Asian American actors.

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This 43-year-old running for president in 2020 wants to give everyone $1,000 a month in free cash
Part of entrepreneur Andrew Yang's platforms in his run for president -- of the United States of America -- is implementing a Universal Basic Income, granting $1,000 for all citizens ages 18-64.

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California politics must accommodate growing share of Asian American voters
Asian Americans, one of the largest immigrant groups and the fastest-growing racial group in California, account for one in every seven votes in the state. Yet they are often overlooked for their political importance.

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The War Inside 7-Eleven
7-11, the world's largest convenience store chain, has been battling its store owners for years over franchise matters. The company seems to have found a new tool: U.S. immigration authorities.

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What Wong Kar-wai's Films Meant to Young Asians in America
For Sophie He, Wong Kar-wai's films illuminated how to navigate that liminal space between tenderness and loneliness, connection and alienation, East and West.

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Kim's Convenience co-creator on anglicization, role models and comedy as a uniting force
An interview with Ins Choi, co-creator of the hit Canadian sitcom Kim's Convenience.

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How Awkwafina Went From Viral Vagina Video to Movies and 'SNL' Host
Crazy Rich Asians breakout star Awkwafina, aka "your average Asian trumpet player turned rapper turned actress," is seeking her path amid a meteoric rise.


11.09.2018

This Virginia Tech flyer for international students doesn't feature any actual international students

Perpetual foreigner syndrome strikes again!



Virginia Tech recently printed up a promotional flyer urging international students to complete an upcoming survey to help make the campus better for international students. The flyer, posted around campus, featured a photo of smiling Asian students at Virginia Tech. You know, international students. Cool, right?

There's just one problem: none of the students in the photo are international students.

If you're wondering what the problem is, it looks like these students just got inadvertently smacked in the face with the perpetual foreigner stereotype -- the idea that no matter how long or how much or how far Asian Americans make our way in this country, we'll always be perceived as foreign -- never quite enough American.

In this case, whoever put together this flyer saw a photo of a bunch of Asians kids at Virginia Tech and erroneously assumed they must be international students. Not the kind from "here."

11.08.2018

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 53: They Call Us Not Quite Not White (with Sharmila Sen)

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. Each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

On this episode, recorded live at the Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance Summit, Jeff -- flying solo without me -- talks to Sharmila Sen, author of the book Not Quite Not White: Losing and Finding Race in America.

11.04.2018

Read These Blogs


If Asian Voter Turnout in the Midterm Elections Is Strong, Everything Could Change
"In an election year when we’re constantly being reminded of the importance of voting, Asian-Americans have the chance to fulfill our potential as a 'sleeping political giant.' With our booming population and growing presence in strategic battleground states like Nevada, Arizona, and North Carolina, we stand to make a critical difference across the electoral board."

* * *

Birthright citizenship: A Trump-inspired history lesson on the 14th Amendment
Meet Wong Kim Ark, the Chinese American cook who was at the center of a landmark but often forgotten Supreme Court decision.

* * *

I'm An Asian-American Harvard Student — Here's Why I Testified In Support Of Affirmative Action
Sally Chen, a Harvard senior and student representative in the Harvard affirmative action case, explains why she supports a race-conscious admissions policy.

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The false narrative driving the Harvard affirmative action case
"In suggesting that the admit rate for Asian Americans applying to Harvard would increase with the end of affirmative action, Blum is selling a narrative to Asian Americans that is shockingly similar to the one sold by President Trump to white Americans feeling the pinch of their (perceived) declining status."

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His wedding date canceled. So he found a new one on Reddit.

Four days before his friend's brother's wedding, Minsoo's plus-one bailed on him. So he put a call out on Reddit.

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Why LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN still matters: Romance, culture and soft power
Valerie Soe's documentary Love Boat: Taiwan investigates the ways in which the "Love Boat," the iconic summer cultural program for young Taiwanese Americans, uses soft power to gain support for Taiwan.

* * *

The Joy Luck Club
You don't see many Asian leads in Western cinema, that's why The Joy Luck Club's all-Asian cast was so radical. Its portrayal of complicated mother-daughter relationships and the immigrant experience spoke to Amy Choi as a child -- and again as a mother.

* * *

How Kavi Vu and Phi Nguyen use Facebook to get Asian American Atlantans engaged in politics
The duo launched their web series last year. With support from the Center for Civic Innovation and others, they're working to increase Asian American voter turnout and keep the community informed.

* * *

Why You Should Be Watching Maangchi, the Korean Cooking YouTube Star
Meet Maangchi. This relentlessly cheerful cook, author and internet personaity is a go-to guide for many looking for a non-intimidating approach to their favorite Korean recipes.

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Christina Hodson is shaping Hollywood's blockbuster future — and centering female stories
Bumblebee and Birds of Prey screenwriter Christina Hodson grew up devouring Hollywood blockbusters. Now she's writing them.

* * *

How Cathy Yan Landed The ‘Birds Of Prey' Directing Gig: U.S.-China Entertainment Summit
Cathy Yan talks about her upcoming big studio directorial, Warner Bros./DC's Birds of Prey.

* * *

When Jason Mendoza Turned Up at a Jaguars Game
Manny Jacinto, star of NBC's The Good Place, opens up about race, football, and Better Luck Tomorrow.

* * *

Behind The Real Sex And Love Addiction In The Musical Film 'Unlovable'
Charlene deGuzman co-wrote and stars in in the new film Unlovable, which is loosely based on her own experience with sex and love addiction.

* * *

There’s a secret about Burning that only Steven Yeun knows
Steven Yeun on his approach to creating his fascinating character in Burning, as well as his own experience moving between different mediums, cultures, and languages as an actor and Korean American.

* * *

Not My Job: We Quiz 'Crazy Rich Asians' Writer Kevin Kwan On Crazy Itch Reasons
NPR's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! invited Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan to play a game called "Crazy Rich Asians, meet crazy itch reasons" — three questions about strange things that might make you itch.


11.02.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Sylvia Kwan

"I am all about staying at home and taking care of my plants."



Hey, folks! You know what time it is. 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 Sylvia Kwan.

11.01.2018

Your Halloween Costumes

Our annual gallery of reader-submitted Halloween costume photos.



How was your Halloween? As you put away your pumpkin decor and tumble down from your candy-induced sugar high, let's look at how everybody dressed up. In what has become a really fun and popular tradition, we put the call out to you, the good readers of this blog, for photos of your totally awesome, culturally-appropriate, non-asshole Halloween costumes to feature in our annual gallery. As usual, you answered the call.

Above, we have Alexa as the littlest Cobra Kai. Thank you to everyone who sent in photos! If you'd like to submit one, send yours in and we'll add it to the gallery. Cute kid photos are always super-welcome.