Tag Archives: Asian American

Chink: an Asian American slasher movie

Here’s a great opportunity to help out some film-makers in the Asian American community.  A project called “Chink” produced by Koji Steven Sakai (of 8asians), Stanley Yung (of The People I’ve Slept With), and Quentin Lee is in need of funding assistance.  Read more about it over at Channel APA.

What’s most intriguing about this new project is not just the fact that it will star Asian Americans.  The plot is about Eddy Tsai, an Asian American who has been bullied his entire life.  Growing up without an Asian American community of support, Eddy develops some intense self-hatred that gets internalized into hate of all Asian Americans.  His solution to all this bullying?  Become a serial killer, of course.  His target?  Asian Americans.

This internalized racism is seen a lot throughout the Asian and Asian American community, but Sakai, Yung, and Lee take it to a new extreme.  Promoting this movie with phrases like, “It’s gory but it’s also sexy. It’s about identity but it doesn’t take itself too seriously,” makes this project something to talk about.  Hopefully it will facilitate discussion around serious issues of identity and the increase in bullying of Asian Americans at school, in the office, and online.  After all, the issues of self-hate among Asian Americans is one of the highest of any other group and that stands as a disability to our community.  We should be embracing one another, not fostering hate because we see reflected in our friends and family what society deems undesirable.  Surviving and moving forward from such internalized racial hate is the only way that we’ll be able to come out of those ideas.  Discussion will facilitate those actions, and this movie will hopefully be a great stepping stone for the API community to start the dialogue about these tough issues.

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Jillian Toda is an Oregonian from the Columbia River Gorge, where her great grandparents farmed upon arriving to America from Japan.   She is currently a student at Willamette University majoring in Rhetoric and Media Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies.  In her spare time, she’s an MBA candidate at Atkinson Graduate School of Management.
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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

1/8, half, hapa, part, quarter still equals=100% Human

At the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, there is a model of historic Japantown in downtown Portland.  It shows all the Japanese owned businesses that were operating pre-World War II.  These businesses are no longer in Portland today.  Not because Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans were lazy, or made bad business choices, or just decided to stop running their businesses.  These businesses and properties were seized, and their owners interned during World War II.

The Legacy Center has a small exhibit about the experiences of these interned Japanese immigrants and Americans.  You see the areas they had settled into, the lives they were forced to leave behind, and the conditions they were forced to live in when they were interned.  Through pictures, displays, and poetry, this exhibit drives home how Japanese immigrants and Americans integrated into their communities, and how they were ripped apart from the U.S. fabric by internment, communicating who is allowed full membership in America, (ie whites), and how if communities of color are “behind”, it is because racist policies and actions continually destroy progress they make.

There is also a temporary exhibit in the Legacy Center: kip fulbeck: part Asian, 100% hapa.  It explores reactions of hapas to the question, “What are you?”, and teases at the ideas of essentialized races that drive such questions.  Although yes, lineage can be simple as having one parent who grew up in one country and another parent who grew up in another, the greater migration and mixing of humanity is more intricate and complex.

Visit the hapa exhibit and ask yourself: What does it really mean to be “half white, half Asian”, or to try and quantify any other kinds of “mixtures”.  Why is it important to us to identify these categories, when white people are allowed to just be white?  If you want more grounding and discussion, APANO is hosting a tour and discussion this Thursday night, August 4, with karaoke after!

Educate and liberate.