Author Archives: Simon Tam

Reaction to Ashton Kutcher’s brown face Pop Chips ads

 

The Truth with Hasan Minhaj – Ashton Kutcher and PopChips

(Warning: Explicit Language)

Simon Tam is a Chinese/Taiwanese American, an activist, and musician. He is the founder and bassist for The Slants, the first all Asian American dance rock band in the world. His writing can be found at http://aslantedview.tumblr.com

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Asian-American Heart Attack Care Now Similar to Whites

One of the greatest disparities that Asian Americans have been facing in this coutnry has been in the area of health care. API women tend to have the highest rates of breast and cervical cancer. API men don’t seem to fare better in other areas, such as Hepatitis. Some reasons stem from cultural differences, others from lack of access to quality care.

However, some research provides hope for Asian Americans who suffer from heart attacks.  Performance is improving in other areas. Let’s hope that everyone is able to enjoy the benefits of quality care, regardless of race.

Simon Tam is a Chinese/Taiwanese American, an activist, and musician. He is the founder and bassist for The Slants, the first all Asian American dance rock band in the world. His writing can be found at http://aslantedview.tumblr.com

UCLA Study Finds U.S. has more elected, appointed Asian American officials than ever

A new study released by UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center has been released, showing that the presence of Asian Americans are increasing in the political sphere. (Click here to read)

One of the major finds is that Asian Americans will make a signnificiant difference in the upcoming election, with over 4 million votes expected to be casted.

Glad to see people are finally paying attention!

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Simon Tam is a Chinese/Taiwanese American, an activist, and musician. He is the founder and bassist for The Slants, the first all Asian American dance rock band in the world.  His writing can be found at http://aslantedview.tumblr.com

Hapa Diversity Workshop – Free but Space is Limited, RSVP now!

Hapa Diversity Workshop, facilitated by Dr. Linda Isako Angst, Cultural Anthropologist of Japan.

Who are you? How do you get to know someone you perceive as different? How do we understand who we are in relation to others? What assumptions do we make about “us” and “them” in the course of everyday life? Taking its cue from the perspective of cultural anthropology, this workshop will ask participants to think—and then unthink—assumptions we hold about ourselves and thereby examine the stereotypes we create about cultural others. While we celebrate the diversity each of us holds as culturally situated individuals, we must also learn how to honor and support the proliferation of ethnicities within our midst.

Free, but RSVP is required.

Time
Thursday, October 20 · 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Location
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center

121 NW 2nd Avenue
Portland, OR

For more information, visit http://www.oregonnikkei.org

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Simon Tam is a Chinese/Taiwanese American, an activist, and musician. He is the founder and bassist for The Slants, the first and only all Asian American dance rock band in the world. Presenting a bold, unapologetic view of the API experience through their music, Simon delivers workshops and talks on Asian American culture throughout the continent. He is an enthusiastic supporter of API advocacy organizations, adopting dogs, and fighting cancer.
An avid fan of music, reading, and diversity, Simon is a regular contributor to API Crossroads and You Offend Me You Offend My Family. His writing can be found at http://aslantedview.tumblr.com 

Obama to See Asian American Caucus for the First Time

This article details Obama’s first-ever meeting with the APIA caucus.

I think it’s disturbing that Obama is only meeting with the Asian Pacific Islander caucus now, several months after he began working on his re-election campaign rather than in the first few years when there could have been a stronger difference made on behalf of minorities. Frankly, the GOP has not done a very good job at reaching out to Asian Americans either. Despite the fact that APIA’s are the fastest growing minority in the United States, our voice is still relatively ignored in the immigration reform.

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Simon Tam is a Chinese/Taiwanese American, an activist, and musician. He is the founder and bassist for The Slants, the first and only all Asian American dance rock band in the world. Presenting a bold, unapologetic view of the API experience through their music, Simon delivers workshops and talks on Asian American culture throughout the continent. He is an enthusiastic supporter of API advocacy organizations, adopting dogs, and fighting cancer.
An avid fan of music, reading, and diversity, Simon is a regular contributor to API Crossroads and You Offend Me You Offend My Family. His writing can be found at http://aslantedview.tumblr.com 

Should We Vote on Someone Based on Their Ethnicity?

An interesting story was released in today’s issue of SF Gate about the Democratic leadership refusing to endorse any Asian Americans for mayor, even though over half of the candidates from Asian. Many local Chinese Americans protested the decision and questioned the decision. To me, the issue brings up a bigger issue of how/why we back candidates of color and why it is important that we do.

To me, it seems that people generally support candidates who they believe can relate to their own personal experiences, values, and experiences. You’d like to see a person of color a part of the decision making process when it comes to issues affecting communities of color. It lends to the idea of authenticity and credibility. Perhaps was not too great of a surprise when President Obama won 96% of the black vote, even though historically Republicans have a greater foundational history in supporting civil rights than Democrats do. For example, in the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, Republican majority supported civil rights in over 96% of the votes. By contrast, Democratic majority opposed civil rights votes over 80% of the time (and also here). However, with broad brushing by the media and both parties, we’re often left with stereotypes of each side: Republicans being redneck, racists, and greedy; Democrats are elitists, corrupt, and support terrorism. History doesn’t louder than the characterizations we receive of those who we disagree with. We as voters want to trust our gut feelings and we hope that the person we’re supporting understands the plight of our communities because they have gone through the very same experience themselves. Even if sometimes the solution might not be what we expect.

There are countless examples of politicians misleading their base: immorality despite a platform of religious righteousness, economic scandal in the face of campaign of corruption, betraying their wedding vows or oath of office. To be fair, these exceptions should not be the standard in which we judge future candidates. We should continue to have faith in individuals that we support and relate to in hopes that they can bring progress to our communities. We should support the positive exchange of ideas not the demonizing by overzealous naysayers. Furthermore, I personally believe that we should support individuals irregardless of their party affiliation: if their ideas, their values, their experiences, and their history show them to be the best fit then may the best candidate win.

I would like to see more Asian American candidates enter the field and winning seats because despite several decade of “talk” from candidates, progress in the way of addressing the major disparities in health, education, income, access, and rights still remain rather bleak. The only group that has ever address the “Model Minority Myth” with precision, accuracy, and delicacy has been Asian Americans, the very group referred to by the Model Minority. Shouldn’t it make sense that we are included in the conversation when it comes to issues pertaining to our community because we know that very community the best?

So in answer to the question that I posed earlier: should we vote on someone based on their ethnicity? Maybe. I believe it should be one of several factors: do they have a history of addressing the needs of the community at large? Do you share similar values and a philosophy on how to solve issues?

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Simon Tam is a Chinese/Taiwanese American, an activist, and musician. He is the founder and bassist for The Slants, the first and only all Asian American dance rock band in the world. Presenting a bold, unapologetic view of the API experience through their music, Simon delivers workshops and talks on Asian American culture throughout the continent. He is an enthusiastic supporter of API advocacy organizations, adopting dogs, and fighting cancer.
An avid fan of music, reading, and diversity, Simon is a regular contributor to API Crossroads and You Offend Me You Offend My Family. His writing can be found at http://aslantedview.tumblr.com 

Office of Equity Public hearing

There is a public Hearing on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 6 p.m. in City Council chambers, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, to discuss the creation of a new City bureau — the Office of Equity. The new office will coordinate work within the City and in the community on the Equity Initiative in the Portland Plan, aimed at eliminating disparities and achieving equity in Portland.

More information on the proposal is here: . http://www.portlandonline.com/fritz/index.cfm?a=361064&c=49233

Please review the draft ordinance and work plan and send any comments to sara.hussein@portlandoregon.gov by noon on Monday, August 29.