Saturday, December 9, 2017

AAPI civil rights group calls GOP immigration plans part of 'white nativist' agenda

Asian Americans joined other groups to protest GOP immigration plans.

AS MORE DETAILS become available about the meeting between the White House and Congressional leaders on Thursday (Dec. 8), leading civil rights organizations minced no words in describing the Republican plans for immigration reform part of a "white nativist agenda."

The Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a coalition of five legal aid organizations from across the country, issued a statement calling attention to the White House’s efforts to get Congress to eliminate the family immigration system and diversity lottery in exchange for passage of legislation for more than a million immigrant youth whose lives hang in the balance since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was terminated by the Trump administration on Sept. 5.  
Since the termination of the program, AAAJ has called for passage of a clean DREAM Act — a bipartisan piece of legislation that provides a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants without the attachment of any other provisions that would further negatively impact our immigration system. 
The statement of Advancing Justice, follows:

"Congress must not cave to White House pressure to trade passage of a legislative solution for undocumented youth in exchange for supporting its white nativist agenda of building a border wall, more immigration enforcement, ending the family-based immigration system, and slashing the annual number of immigrants that receive green cards (referred to as “chain migration” in the White House press statement). 
"Chain migration is a term used by anti-immigrant and white supremacist organizations to attack the United States' family-based immigration system. When Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, it finally ended the previous racist national origin quotas that began with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and heavily favored immigrants from Northern and Western Europe. The diversity lottery was included in the 1965 law as a way to ensure that people from all over the world would receive the opportunity to immigrate and reunite with or keep their families together. The vast majority of immigrants coming to the U.S. through the family-based system and diversity lottery are people of color.  
"In addition to blocking families from reuniting, the White House requests for increased immigration enforcement will also tear apart families already in the U.S. This two-pronged attack to curb immigration and increase deportations is part of a white supremacist agenda to reduce the number of people of color in the U.S.  
"We call upon every member of Congress in support of undocumented youth to do the right thing and continue pushing for the DREAM Act before they go home for the holidays. With every passing day, 122 immigrant youth lose their status. More than 11,400 have already lost their protections and hundreds of thousands of others’ lives are hanging in the balance. 
"If you are a member of Congress who claims to stand with undocumented youth, you must also stand up to this administration’s attempts to further its agenda by separating families through deportations and slashing immigration by ending the family immigration system and diversity lottery. 
"The time is now to pass a clean DREAM Act before the holidays. Congress, we’re holding you accountable to make it happen without concessions that dismantle the family immigration system or harsh enforcement policies that would further tear families apart and terrorize immigrant communities."
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Marvel Rising: superheroes of color in feature film next year


ASAM NEWS



MARVEL COMICS has unveiled its new multi-platform offering, Marvel Rising: Secret Warrior and it’s going to feature quite a diverse cast.

The featured length animated film includes a number of prominent Asian/Americans already part of the Marvel universe. Chloe Bennet will voice Quake, the S.H.I.E.L.D operative and inhuman from ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bennet’s S.H.I.E.L.D. castmate, Ming Na Wen, will play the villain, Hala. Kathreen Khavari will return as Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, Marvel’s first Muslim hero.

“To have this brown girl who’s a Muslim, who’s a superhero, who doesn’t fall under these stereotypes … [and] is just a good, decent human being who wants to bring that out in other people — I feel really fortunate to be able to portray her,” Khavari told BuzzFeed.



Sana Amanat of Marvel
RELATED:
Among the champions leading the project is Marvel’s director of content and character development, the New Jersey-born Pakistani/American, Sana Amanat.

“It came out of a desire to be able to tell stories about characters that we think are the next great heroes of the Marvel Universe,” she said.

AV Club reports the plan is to launch the project with a few shorts before diving into the full length feature. The cast will showcase much of Marvel’s younger characters and a strong women cast.

“It’s all stuff you can connect with and feel like, these heroes are a lot like me,” Cort Lane, executive producer on the project, said to ABC News.

Watch for Marvel Rising: Secret Warrior in 2018.




It's completely amazing to see that the world of comics, so often derided as a form of literature, is coming into its own and that the industry is doing what it can to reshape pop culture, especially in the impressionable minds of its readers.

The more young people see characters of color, even in comic form, represented in all forms of media, the more accepting our society will be of people who are different from what was considered -- up to this point -- the norm as defined by the dominant culture. The new normal includes people -- as well as fictional characters -- of color.

(Views From the Edge contributed to this post.)


Kamala Khan will provide the voice for Ms. Marvel.

Chloe Bennett will provide the voice for Quake.
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First Vietnamese/American Catholic bishop dies

Bishop Dominic Dinh Mai Luong
BISHOP Dominic Dinh Mai Luong, the first Vietnam-born bishop to serve in the U.S., died Thursday, Dec. 6, after a long illness. He was 77.

His appointment by Pope John Paul II to the office of episcopacy on April 25, 2003, was because of the enormous growth of the Catholic Church in Orange County and, more specifically, the burgeoning Vietnamese Catholic community in the region in need of a shepherd on the hierarchical level.

The words on the bishop's coat of arms summarized his journey geographically and spiritually: ‘You are Strangers and Aliens No Longer.’

At the time of his appointment, Luong acknowledged: “By calling me the first Vietnamese priest to the office of episcopacy, His Holiness in particular, and the Church in the United States in general, recognize the many contributions with which 400,000 Vietnamese Catholics, over 600 priests, and more than 500 religious have enriched the Church in the United States, especially in the area of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.”

Luong was born on Dec. 20, 1940 in Minh Cuong, about 50 miles from Hanoi in the Province of Bui Chu in North Vietnam.
He attended a French-Vietnamese school and then a minor seminary. In 1956, at the age of 16, his bishop sent him to the U.S. to continue his priestly formation. He would not return home until 1979 because of the Vietnam War.
Luong was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Da Nang on May 21, 1966 by Bishop James A. McNulty at the Basilica of Our Lady of Victory in Lackawanna, N.Y.
After ordination he received a bachelor’s degree in physics and master’s degrees in biology and psychology. He taught biology at a junior seminary in Buffalo, where he also served as associate pastor at Saint Louis Parish.
RELATED: Steve Bannon says Catholic Church needs immigrants for economic reasons
When a wave of Vietnamese refugees began to make their way to the U.S. after the fall of Saigon and the communist takeover in 1975, Luong was transferred to New Orleans where a large number of refugees were landing.
He served many refugees in New Orleans, where he would become director of the archdiocese’s Vietnamese apostolate and became founding pastor of Mary, Queen of Vietnam parish. He was incardinated into the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 1976.
Luong was a big part of refugee resettlement efforts in Louisiana and was viewed as “the godfather of the Vietnamese Catholic community” there, said Father John Nhan Tran, pastor of Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mandeville, La. Luong was his spiritual director in seminary.

“(Luong) was involved in anything that had to do with helping Vietnamese people getting acclimated to the new environment,” Tran told the Orange County Register.


He worked as director of the National Center for the Vietnamese Apostolate and directed the U.S. bishops’ pastoral care for migrants and refugees.


Bishop Luong, who retired in 2015, remained active in the Church while based at St. Bonaventure Church in Huntington Beach, Calif. – a parish with a strong Vietnamese contingent. He told OC Catholic in a recent interview that he liked “to keep in contact with my people.”

A vigil for Luong will be held at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13 in the Arboretum at Christ Cathedral. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 at Holy Family Cathedral, 566 S. Glassell St. in Orange, Calif.
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High number of Asian Americans say they've experienced discrimination


ASAM NEWS

A POLL of a representative sample of 500 Asian/Americans found a significant number in the community say they have personally experienced discrimination.

The survey conducted by National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is part of a larger survey of African Americans, Latinos, Asian/Americans, Native Americans, whites, men, women and LGBTQ adults.


RELATED:


“Our poll shows that Asian/American families have the highest average income among the groups we’ve surveyed, and yet the poll still finds that Asian/Americans experience persistent discrimination in housing, jobs and at college,” said Robert Blendon to NPR.


"Over the course of our series, we are seeing again and again that income is not a shield from discrimination.” Blendon co-directed the survey and is a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard Chan School.

More than one out of four Asian/Americans say they have been personally discriminated against because they are Asian.

Twenty-seven percent have experienced discrimination when applying for jobs, 25% when being paid or applying for promotions, and also 25 percent when renting or buying a home.

Slightly more Asian/Americans, about one out of three, say they have experienced racial or ethnic slurs. 35% say they have been subjected to offensive comments about their race and ethnicity.

Sixty-one percent of Asian/Americans surveyed believe members of their community face discrimination. 


Younger Asian Americans are more likely to feel this than older Americans. 68% believe this discrimination is based on individual prejudice while 16% say both government policies and individuals are equally to blame. 14% blame institutional racism.

You can read the entire report here.
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Iowa Congressman: 'Diversity is not our strength'

THERE'S NOT MUCH more I can say about this tweet from Congressman Steve King of Iowa. It speaks for itself.

King's tweet this morning (Dec. 9) is frightenly similar to the views held by Adolf Hitler as he writes in Mein Kamph:

The Jew uses every possible means to undermine the racialfoundations of a subjugated people. In his systematic efforts to ruingirls and women he strives to break down the last barriers ofdiscrimination between him and other peoples. The Jews were responsiblefor bringing negroes into the Rhineland, with the ultimate idea ofbastardizing the white race which they hate and thus lowering itscultural and political level so that the Jew might dominate.
What can you expect from a man who regularly makes outlandish statements about people of color.

Last July, King was on Chris Hayes’s MSNBC show, and he objected to the journalist Charlie Pierce’s emphasis on Donald Trump’s reliance on white support.

“This whole white-people business, though, does get a little tired, Charlie,” King said. “I'd ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”


“Than white people?” Hayes asked, taken aback. “Than Western Civilization itself,” King said.

People of Iowa ... really? This is 2017, not 1939.
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Thursday, December 7, 2017

TGIF FEATURE; Aquaman like you've never seen him; 2018 teaser trailer

Hawaiian/American actor Jason Momoa as Aquaman will be moodier, more badass.

HERE'S AN EARLY PEEK at Jason Momoa as Aquaman looking more badass than ever in the new movie due a year from now. The "look" is quite different from the Aquaman we saw in this year's Justice League.


Director James Wan (The Conjuring and Furious 7) says in a piece in Entertainment Weekly: “It’s going to look very different, it will feel very different — aesthetically, tonally, story-wise — it’s my own take,” Wan tells EW. “It’s a much more a traditional action-adventure quest movie.”

Unlike the Aquaman in the D.C. comic books, Momoa will go shirtless much of the time. That look is also different from his appearance in the Justice League where his upper torso wore body-hugging armor.

The movie, a solo vehicle for the King of Atlantis, will go into Tim Curry's backstory and how the half-Atlantean and half-human becomes a superhero. His version of Aquaman will include a plenty of scenes in fabled Atlantis, guarantees Wan, a Malaysian/Australian.

Aquaman, due to be released in December 2018, also features Nicole Kidman, Amber Heard, Willem Defoe and Dolph Lundgren.


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Congresswoman Judy Chu arrested at pro-DACA rally


SCREEN CAPTURE
Demonstrators await their arrests Wednesday after attending a demonstration asking for a vote for the Dream Act.
ASAM NEWS contributed to this report

TWO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS -- Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA, and Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill., —were among the 182 demonstrators arrested during a rally demandingt that Congress pass a clean Dream Act.

The arrests came after a rally and march to the Capitol where about 15,000 people called for a vote on the DREAM Act. Chu and Gutierrez were charged with “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding,” They were processed and released.



“‘Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.’ Those are the words written by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during his own, far more dire, arrest in Birmingham." said Chu after being released. She apparently was expecting to be arrested because Wednesday morning she had posted on social media that she was off to get arrested.

"And while my brush with the law today was planned and civil, those words from his famous letter continue to inspire our civil disobedience. Then it was on behalf of black citizens treated as less than human. Today it is on behalf of immigrants who are facing threats of deportation and separation from family and the only home they have ever known," said Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Concus.


Rep. Judy Chu of California.
“Black and AAPI Immigrant are joining hands on this historic day of action to reject the lie that our people are disposable and that we are each other’s enemies," said Jung Woo Kim speaking on behalf of the Korean Resource Center and the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC). 

"We are centering and uplifting our own voices, hold elected officials accountable and demand a clean Dream Act and a permanent solution for TPS holders together. The time is now and congress needs to act on both before the end of the year,“ said Kim.

The protestors presented a petition of 400,000 signatures in support of DREAMers and TPS holders to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s, R-KY, Speaker Paul Ryan’, (R-WI, Senator Chuck Schumer’s, D-NY, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s, D-CA Capitol Hill offices.


Under DACA, nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children have been given work permits and protection from deportation. Trump wants to end the program by March 2018 and challenged Congress to come up with legislation to protect this group before the deadline.

"There is a bipartisan bill ready to be voted on that I know could gain a majority vote if only Speaker Ryan would let us bring it to the floor," said Chu. "We have tried everything from large scale rallies to a small meeting with the Speaker to make our case. But each time, we have been ignored. Today, I know our words were heard, but will Republicans have the courage to act on them? 

Trump’s decision to end TPS will impact 420,000 immigrants from over 10 countries, the majority of which have populations that are majority Black including Sudan, South Sudan, Haiti, Somalia, Yemen, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua. 

Activists said they hoped their rally would help destroy the stereotype that the black and Asian-Americans communities are at odds.

The protest was sponsored by the AAPI Immigrant Rights Organizing Table and UndocuBlack. The day of action by the two groups highlighted the exclusion of both Blacks and Asian/Americans from the immigration debate. It might signal more joint actions by the two ethnic groups that conservatives try to divide by using the Asian stereotype of the model minority myth against African/Americans.

“Black and Asian/Americans and Pacific Islanders] immigrants are joining hands on this historic day of action to reject the lie that our people are disposable and that we are each other’s enemies,” said Jonathan Jayes-Green, co-creator and national coordinator for the UndocuBlack Network.

"Through coalitions, we are stronger. By joining together, we increase our power tremendously,” Chu said.
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Asian American senators call for Franken to step down; he announces decision to leave office

SCREEN CAPTURE / CNN
Hawaii's Sen. Mazie Hirono called for Sen. Al Franken's resignation.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post has been re-edited to include Al Franken's intention to resign.

THE THREE SENATORS of Asian descent joined over 30 of their colleagues in asking for the resignation of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., because of the mounting allegations against him for sexual misconduct.

Senators Mazie Hirono, Tammy Duckworth and Kamala Harris were among the 13 female and 19 senators who said the embattled Sen. Al Franken resign Wednesday (Dec. 6).

Thursday morning, Franken yielded to the pressure and took to the Senate floor to announce his plans to resign. He stopped short of a full admission and that disappointed a lot of people.

“I am sad that he took that time to still deny and say that some of this stuff wasn’t true,” said Leeann Tweeden, the Filipino/American KABC deejay who was the first woman to reveal Franken's inappropriate behavior that occurred during a 2006 USO tour.

The picture she posted of a smiling Franken groping her breasts while she was asleep was damning for the senator.

After that incident seven other women have come forth to show that Franken's sexual misconduct was apparently a reoccurring behavioral problem. As the incidents mounted, it became too much for his fellow senators, most of them Democrats, to ignore or leave to an ethics committee investigation .

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-HI,  issued this statement in a press release:

“Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women.

“TIME Magazine, by naming ‘The Silence Breakers’ as their ‘Person of the Year,’ is recognizing what women have always known: there are men among us who use their positions of power and influence to manipulate, harass, and assault women. What is new here is the women. We are, all of us, speaking out, naming names and demanding that the harassers take responsibility for their behavior.

“I am proud of each of the women who has come forward, and heartened by the changing climate that has received their stories with acceptance and compassion.

“My hope is that this moment for a cultural change will result in women no longer being viewed as objects or toys, but recognized for their abilities and achievements. As regular human beings. Women have endured this behavior, which for too long has been ignored and tolerated. But no longer.

“We can only create a culture where women are respected as equals if we all step forward and be part of the change by holding everyone, especially our leaders, accountable.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-ILL, released this statement:
“I am deeply disappointed by Senator Franken’s behavior. He must step aside. To all those across America who have come forward to share their stories over the past few months: thank you. Your courage and strength in driving this long-overdue national conversation is awe-inspiring. As national leaders, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard—and we must lead by example to ensure every person is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans, it’s about our society. It’s about who we are as a people and the kind of country we want our daughters—and our sons—to grow up in.”
On Facebook, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA, posted:
"Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing is for Senator Franken to step down.

"However, this conversation does not begin or end with any one individual. It is clear that Congress needs a fundamental overhaul in how we deal with sexual harassment and assault. The process is too slow and too murky. What we need is swift action and transparency.

"We also need to take a look at this across all industries and all professions. I am equally concerned about the waitresses, domestic workers, and women working on factory lines who have come forward to share their experiences with harassment and violence. If today is the end of this conversation, then we will have failed not only those women working now, not only the courageous women who have come forward, but the next generation of women who will enter the workplace.

"I will continue to work with my colleagues on efforts to address the issue of sexual assault and misconduct in Congress or anywhere else."
Franken's behavior towards women came to light in November when Filipino/American deejay Leeann Velez Tweeden revealed on her KABC blog that Franken aggresively kissed her without her consent and included a picture of Franken fondling her breasts while she was asleep during a 2006 USO Tour in the Middle East. 

RELATED: Silicon Valley's women struggle for respect, equality 
Franken personally apologized to Tweeden and she accepted the senator's apparent regret. However, she was disappointed at Franken's apology of Thursday (Dec. 7).

“It’s a lose-lose situation here. It’s not like I’m jumping up and down rejoicing," told the Washington Post. "You are watching somebody probably having the worst day of his life. I feel bad, and feel bad for his family.”

Since Tweeden's revelation, other women have cme forth describing incidents of sexual harassment and groping by Franken. The most recent accusations came in a Politico report Wednesday (Dec. 6) in which, a woman who chose not to be identified alleged Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006; and this morning (Dec. 7), The Atlantic included an essay by another woman, a former Congressional staffer, who wrote about the senator touching her inappropriately during a picture-taking event.
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

APIA Health Forum: Trump tax bil will have a negative impact on health care.

SCREEN CAPTURE / NBC
Around 2:30 a.m., Dec. 2, the U.S. Senate approved the controversial tax reform bill.

The U.S. Senate passed a horrendous tax reform bill that will change America for decades if signed by Donald Trump. It was written up in secret, amended at the last minute and voted upon in the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 2.

Although called a tax bill, its impact on health care will impact Americans for decades by eliminated the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, sometmes referred to as Obamacare. 
RELATED: Asian American senators decry the tax vote
On Saturday afternoon, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum issued the following press release:

"Today, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released a statement following the Senate's passage of tax legislation, including an amendment to repeal the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Due to the repeal, an estimated 13 million people will lose their health insurance.

"'It is shameful that in the midst of open enrollment as millions of Americans head to the Affordable Care Act's marketplace to get coverage they can rely on, the Senate has voted to partially dismantle that same coverage in order to pass tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest in our nation, while adding an estimated 1 trillion dollars to our deficit,' said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. 

"This is dangerous for communities, such as Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, who disproportionately face disparities and barriers in accessing health insurance and utilizing health care. 
"The increase to the deficit will also lead to automatic future spending cuts to certain programs like Medicare and the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Health care must be affordable and available for all. We will work alongside other health advocates in calling on Congress to listen to their constituents and heed the call to protect our care.

"Since the ACA became law, the individual mandate has helped to reduce the uninsured rates for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPI) by half. The Congressional Budget Office estimated repealing the mandate will lead to 13 million people losing their health insurance and premiums will increase by 10 percent. 

"Many AAs and NHPIs disproportionately experience a range of chronic conditions that, prior to the ACA, were considered pre-existing conditions that required routine access to preventive care and treatment. Before the ACA, many groups, such as Korean, Indonesian and Micronesian Americans had uninsured rates above 20 percent.

"The House plans to vote on the tax bill (this week) and must work with the Senate to reconcile differences. If passed, the bill will then move to President Trump for signature, setting the stage for further attacks on health care programs in 2018.

"APIAHF urges the House to reject the Senate Bill and to stand up for the constituencies they represent."
The House in a 222-192 vote on Monday (Dec. 3) voted to approve a motion to go to conference with the Senate on tax legislation.

The people responsible for Americans' health issued a joint statement this month, the American Psychiatric Association, American College of Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, voiced strong opposition to the GOP's tax proposal.

The American Hospital Association approved of some portions of the bill that included the tax-exemption for nonprofit hospitals, but was also dismayed at the elimination of the individual mandate.

"We are also disappointed that the tax legislation passed with a provision that would eliminate the individual mandate, which would result in the loss of health insurance coverage for millions of Americans," said an AHA statement. "The goal of the ACA was to extend coverage and, as a result, millions have benefitted from access to needed care. We must protect that access to care for those who need it and ensure the most vulnerable patients are not left behind."
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Question of Identity: Who has the right to call oneself Asian?

Mixed cast of 'Crazy Rich Asian' left to right: Chinese/Brit Gemma Chan, Malaysian/Brit Henry Golding, and Chinese/American Constance Wu.

WHO IS ASIAN? What makes someone Asian? How much of you have to be Asian to be able to call yourself Asian? Three-fourths? One-half? One-eighth?

Do you have to look a certain way in order to call yourself Asian?

In any of the dozens of countries that make up Asia that is not a question they have to grapple with because they are mostly homogeneous. However, polyglot America is built  on the back of immigrants from every country in the world. With the United States' myriad number of racial interactions, it is a question that comes up frequently and how you answer defines your sense of "just-who-the-hell you are."

Of course, it would be wonderful if the question never was asked, but the U.S. is not at the stage where it can ignore questions of race.

Most recently, the question arose in a little Twitter spat between actress Jaime Chung and Henry Golding, who was cast in the lead male role in the upcoming movie Crazy Rich Asians, based on on the best-selling novel of the same name.

When Golding, who is half-white (British/Malaysian) but born and raised in Malaysia, was awarded with the pivotal role of Nick Young in the movie, Asian/American actress Cheung threw some shade in his direction because of his mixed heritage and he wasn't Chinese enough as described in the novel.

Jaime Chung
Golding was reportedly hurt by the comments. “There are many arguments, for and against. Am I Asian enough? he told Variety from Singapore. "I was born here, I have lived 17 years of my life here, so for me, I feel more Asian than anything,"

The two have apparently made up. Chung, who's plays Blink in the TV series The Gifted, apologized  last week for her earlier comments against Golding's casting.

The question, who can claim to be Asian, is not going away, especially in the U.S. as members of the AAPI community, especially among the youth, struggle with identity.




 In response, Golding accepted Cheung's apology.


Asian/Americans are not the first to face this dilemma. It is a question that  African/Americans have struggled with for centuries and continues even today.



The universal answer has long been that an African/American, or black, is any person with any known African black ancestry. 

From slavery and into the Jim Crow era, it became the "one-drop rule:" if a person has a single drop of "black blood," it makes a person black.

The question, "Who is Asian?" can have many answers, but Asians and Asian Americans are not the first to have to face this question of identity. One way it can be answered is to see how the African American community handled the question 'Who is black?" 



This definition reflects the long experience with slavery and later with Jim Crow segregation. In the South it became known as the "one-drop rule,'' meaning that a single drop of "black blood" makes a person a black. It is also known as the "one black ancestor rule," some courts have called it the "traceable amount rule," and anthropologists call it the "hypo-descent rule," meaning that racially mixed persons are assigned the status of the subordinate group. This definition emerged from the American South to become the nation's definition, generally accepted by whites and blacks.

Still it is a question raised whenever an African/American reached a level of prominence.
There was never any doubt that Beyoncé is black, but the question arises, is she black enough?
She shouldn't have to answer but in her private life of activism in her support of Black Lives Matter and other issues and, most notably, in her music, there is no doubt where she stands. 

It is not the first time she has declared her blackness, but when something like her song  "Formation" comes along — unapologetically black, proud, Southern, political — everyone, even those ignoring her identity as a black woman and not just some post-racial music star, has to take note. There's nothing shy or subtle about it. She proclaims:
My daddy Alabama, momma Louisiana 
You mix that negro with that Creole 
make a Texas bamma 
I like my baby hair, 
with baby hair and afro,
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils
Beyoncé uses "Formation" to remind listeners and viewers that although she's a wealthy entertainer, and she has mixed roots, she's still very much aware of and involved in the struggles faced by people who resemble her. 

Our last president, Barack Obama -- raised in a predominantly Asian/American culture of Hawaii and spending a few years in Malaysia, the stepson of a Malaysian man, whose sister is half Malaysian, whose nephews, nieces and in-laws are unquestionably Asian/American -- faced the question when he began his campaign for presidency.

He wasn't raised in the "African/American experience," said some members of the black community. His early critics said: He doesn't speak like us. He's doesn't know what it feels like to  be raised as a black man in America.

Beyoncé
In his eight years as president, he answered the question again and again. Now he is revered within the African/American community as the first black man to be elected POTUS.

As Asian/Americans -- a term new Asian immigrants must learn to understand -- if not embrace, we have distinctions between East Asians, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and even more if you break down into the  subgroups.  What we can conclude is that nobody can claim to be the "true" Asian.

To add to the debate, there is the question of Asians of mixed heritage, like Golding. Is he Asian enough?

In the early days of the Asian/American civil rights movement, the question arose among some Chinese and Japanese activists, whether or not Filipinos are Asian. A new version of that debate continues today as new immigrants from South Asia try to figure out if they fit in with the more established East Asian community and as new immigrants from China question the motives of those who consider themselves Asian/Americans.
Is it enough that Hailee Steinfeld doesn't run away from the question, "Are you Filipino?" In an interview with a Manila newspaper, she said: “Very early on, I was made aware of how much passion and pride Filipinos put into anything. I feel so connected to the people and the culture."

Even though they proudly state they are Filipino, can the general Asian/American community accept public figures like Steinfeld, Vanessa Hudgens, Bruno Mars, apl.de.ap, Enrique Iglesias,  Darren Criss or Lou Diamond Philipps as fellow Asian/Americans? Are they Asian enough?
Should we have a racial litmus test for other Asian/Americans of mixed race such as California Sen. Kamala Harris, Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott, actors Keanu Reeves and Sharon Leal, Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell or Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin? Are they Asian enough?

Asian/Americans don't have a Beyoncé or Obama to represent them. They can settle questions such as that being posed here. The aforementioned Asian/American celebrities who have made their individual marks on U.S. society don't have the powerful media platforms of celebrities like Beyoncé or Obama, whose actions and prominence resoundingly answer the "who is black" question.

The "one-drop rule," adopted by African/Americans, seems like a worthy example for Asians and Asian/Americans. Likewise, if someone says he or she is Asian and there is a tiny iota of DNA evidence to confirm that, why should we question how that person perceives himself or herself no matter how they might appear? Why should that person be denied his or her self identity, especially when there are some "full-blooded" Asians called "bananas" or "coconuts" who try to not own up to their Asian roots? 

Asian/Americans don't have the luxury to argue among themselves whether one is Asian enough to call themselves Asian. Mainstream America still sees Asians as one amorphous "inscrutable" mass made up of "others," foreigners or outsiders.

If an Asian/American is fortunate enough to rise up and make a name for oneself -- mixed heritage or not -- to be noticed, praised or admired by the rest of America, we should see that as a door opening.

(And, to be clear, nor should those passing through that door, slam it shut behind them.)

"I was proud to be able to represent Asia," said Golding of his role in Crazy Rich Asians. "There are some sour people out there, but we should be getting together and fighting for something bigger, rather than Asians against Asians.”

The Twitter feud between Golding and Chung may be over, but the debate will certainly continue as we seek to find ourselves in this multi-racial country and as we inevitably interact with other races in a pluralistic America.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Edited throughout for clarity on Dec. 6, 11 a.m.)
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