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.
This week, we welcome Simon Tam, front man for the embattled Asian American rock band The Slants. He talks about the eight-year fight to trademark their band name, the landmark Supreme Court ruling in their favor, and the important right for Asian Americans and other marginalized communities to call ourselves whatever we want.
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"How a Mother Remembers"
Behold! The debut collaboration between "Beat Box Man and Poem Woman," aka poet Christy NaMee Eriksen and her 8-year-old son Diego. Christy shares a poem entitled "How a Mother Remembers" while Diego backs her up with some sweet, sweet vocal rhythm. It's a little rough around the edges — Diego introduces the video with the disclaimer that it's "just a test" — but it's absolutely lovely and charming. Enjoy:
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"I'm still learning how to stay authentic, and not to veil my true self."
What's up, good people of the internet? 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 Alfa.
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Vincent Chin died on June 23, 1982.
Thirty-five years ago today in Detroit, four nights after being severely beaten in the head with a baseball bat, Vincent Chin died. The case would become a seminal rallying point for the Asian American community. And tonight, concerned community members plan to gather for a vigil outside the home of Chin's killer.
For those unfamiliar with the case: Chin was out at a strip club celebrating his bachelor party when he got into a fight with a couple of disgruntled auto industry workers, Ronald Evens and his stepson Michael Nitz. Witnesses say they heard Ebens yell "It's because of you little motherfuckers that we're out of work!" — referring to U.S. auto jobs being lost to Japanese manufacturers. Vincent Chin was Chinese American.
The fight was broken up, but Ebens and Nitz weren't finished. They searched for Chin outside the club, tracked him down to a McDonald's and attacked him. Nitz held Chin in a bear hug while Evens repeatedly bludgeoned him with a baseball bat until his head cracked open. Vincent fell into a coma and died on June 23, 1982.
NPR's Morning Edition aired a Story Corps interview Vincent Chin's best friend, Gary Koivu, who talks about his lifelong friendship with Vincent and hauntingly recounts the night he witnessed his murder.
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Saturday, June 24 in Los Angeles
RUN (Represent Us Now) is a recently formed group that aims to give voice to Asian American and Pacific Islanders, harnessing and organizing political and cultural power of AAPIs. If you’re in Los Angeles, RUN invites you their latest event, a very special salon with everybody’s favorite congressman, Rep. Ted Liu.
It’s happening Saturday, June 24 in Los Angeles (location provided upon RSVP confirmation). Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP at Team@RUNAAPI.org to attend. And to learn more about RUN, go here.
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Dash cam video of Minnesota traffic stop shows police officer violently assaulting motorist.
The ACLU of Minnesota is calling for an investigation into the police officers who pulled over a motorist and violently assaulted him. Dash cam footage shows one officer viciously beating the young man who is still buckled in his car seat, while another officer purposely turns off the camera's audio.
In the Blink of an Eye, Police Officers Turned This Traffic Stop Into an Unnecessarily Violent Encounter
Anthony Promvongsa was driving in Worthington, Minnesota on July 28, 2016 when Agent Joe Joswiak of the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force pulled him over and proceeded to beat the shit out of him. Well, first Joswiak threw open Promvongsa's door and screamed "Get the fuck out of the car, motherfucker!" Then he beat the shit out of him. Promvongsa didn't even get a chance to unbuckle his seat belt before Joswiak started swinging.
In police dash cam footage obtained by the ACLU, Joswiak can be seen punching, kicking and elbowing Promvongsa several times in the back before yanking him out of the driver's seat of his Honda Pilot, throwing him to the ground. Then he presses his knee to the back of Promvongsa's neck, pinning him face down on the pavement while he and Sgt. Tim Gaul of the Worthington Police Department handcuffed him.
At some point, Gaul intentionally turns off the audio of the encounter. After he is placed inside the squad car, Promvongsa can be heard breathing heavily and sobbing.
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"Can I see a doctor please that's white, that doesn't have brown teeth, that speaks English?"
This one comes from our neighbors to the north… A woman at a Toronto-area clinic was caught on video demanding for a "white doctor" who "doesn't have brown teeth" and "speaks English" to treat her son.
Video shows woman demand a 'white doctor' treat son at Mississauga, Ont., clinic
The video was filmed on Sunday at the Rapid Access to Medical Specialists walk-in clinic in Mississauga, Ontario, where the woman was awaiting treatment for her son, who was apparently experiencing chest pains.
Except she made clear that she wanted a very specific kind of care.
"So you're telling me that my kid has chest pains, he's going to have to sit here until 4 o'clock?" she asks a clinic employee. "Can I see a doctor please that's white, that doesn't have brown teeth, that speaks English?"
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