Friday, May 24, 2019

85% of Asian Americans come from six countries

After receiving criticism for not including Asians and Asian Americans in their examination of ethnic groups in the United States, the Pew Research Center has done its best to rectify that shortcoming.

The latest report, released to coincide with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, from Pew shows that 85% of all the 22 million Asian Americans are made up from six countries. The rest of the percentile pile, about 13%, is shared by at least 13 other origen groups.

According to Pew, Chinese Americans still make up the largest group with 23%. They are followed by the fastest-growing group, Indian Americans with 19%; closely followed by Filipinos, 28%; Vietnamese and Koreans, 9% each; and Japanese, 7%

Other findings based on an analysis of the US Census:

  • About half of Asians in the U.S. ages 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or more in 2015, ahigher share than other races and ethnicities, but this share varies greatly by origin group
  • Seven-in-ten U.S. Asians ages 5 and older speak English proficiently. 
  • Income inequality is rising more rapidly among Asian Americans than other racial or ethnic groups, reflecting wide disparities in income among Asian origin groups.
When the Pew Research Center omitted Asian American data in its initiial report in 2010 because the Asian Americans, when compared to whites, blacks and Hispanics, was statistically insignificant, it received an onslaught of criticism from the Asian American community.

In an effort to rectify their omission, in 2012, Pew released a follow-up report, "The Rise of Asian Americans," it again was heavily criticized for painting Asian Americans as the "model minority." A revised report was released in 2013. Subsequent follow-ups to the follow-up continue to this day with researchers taking more care in its interpretation of the raw data that they glean about Asian Americans.

For more information on Asians in the U.S., see Pew Research Center’s detailed fact sheets for each national origin group.

Chloe Kim struggling with being a celebrity

For Olympian Chloe Kim, being in the spotlight isn't all that glamorous.

Chloe Kim made international headlines on the halfpipe at PyeongChang 2018 when she became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal at 17-years old but with the glory came the tremendous pressure to "represent" Asian Americans. 
“Every time I’m stepping outside, I have to make sure I’m putting my best foot forward,” Kim told espnW. “That’s hard sometimes. I ask people not to be so harsh. It has even affected my family. My mom’s doing this knitting class and said she has to be careful, she’s worried she might say something weird. We’re working on it as a collective.”

ESPEN interviewed Kim in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) to discuss success and growing up in the spotlight.

Kim made sure to thank her family for her successes and continues to be grateful for them. Her parents instilled in her a drive to work hard for success since she was young.

“My dad never quit or let me give up or anything like that,” said Kim. “I just like what I do, it was never hard to motivate myself. I always wanted to do more. If I didn’t like what I did, I’d be miserable in the mountains. I do what I do solely because I love it, and that’s all the motivation you need.”

All that hard work has brought her an Olympic gold medal and national fame, but that fame means little rest in the public eye.

“Sometimes when we go and eat, we have a strategic way of sitting at the table so that no one can see me,” said Kim. “I don’t want to sound like a brat who says she hates her fans, I love my fans. Sometimes though I just want to be left alone. I’m so anxious about what I’m saying, what I’m wearing, or what I look like. It can be really hard.

“I’m working on accepting that that’s my life now. It’s always going to be like that, I’m always going to be judged. Sometimes I’m like, ‘damn, I wish I didn’t tweet about churros that one time.'”

Kim spoke about her experiences as one of the few Asian Americans on the slopes as part of a campaign with Panda Express for APAHM.

As for defining success outside of snowboarding, Kim claims she’s the worst person to ask.

“I haven’t found it yet. I’m going to college. I’m going to see what I can do with my life outside of snowboarding. I’ll have an answer for you in six years.”

Kim will be attending college at Princeton, where she hopes to major in a science, reports The New York Times.

“Even after I snowboard, I hope that my next career involves helping others,” Kim said in the Panda Express interview. “As long as I’m helping others, I’ll be very happy with my life.”


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Filipino American veteran indicted for terrorist plot

Mark Steven Domingo inn his current mug shot, left, and a file photo, right.

A federal grand jury has indicted a Filipino American for his role in planning to bomb a rally in Long Beach last month for the purpose of causing mass casualties. 

Mark Steven Domingo, 26, of Reseda, California, a former U.S. Army infantryman who was deployed to Afghanistan, was previously arrested on a criminal complaint in this case. The indictment returned Wednesday (May 22) formally charges him with providing material support to terrorists and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. If convicted, he would face a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison.

The suspect, who has been in federal custody since his arrest last month, is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on May 31 in United States District Court.

According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, Domingo, in online posts and in conversations with an FBI source, plotted for violent jihad, a desire to seek revenge for attacks against Muslims, and a willingness to become a martyr. 

After considering various attacks – including targeting Jewish people, churches, and police officers – Domingo decided to bomb a rally scheduled to take place in Long Beach last month. As part of the plot, Domingo asked a confederate – who actually was working with the FBI as part of the investigation – to find a bomb-maker. Domingo then purchased and provided to the confederate and the bomb-maker, who was actually an undercover officer, several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel for the bombs.

Leading up to the planned attack, Domingo called for another event similar to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas to give Americans “a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world,” the complaint states. Following an attack on Muslims in New Zealand on March 15, Domingo wrote in an online post, “there must be retribution,” according to the complaint.

On April 26, Domingo received what he thought was a live bomb, but in fact was an inert explosive device that was delivered by the undercover law enforcement officer. According to the criminal complaint, after receiving the bomb, Domingo drove his confederate and the undercover officer to Long Beach to scout the location Domingo planned to attack. While there, Domingo discussed finding the most crowded areas in order to kill the most people. Domingo was arrested shortly after returning from scouting the intended attack location.

Domingo served in Afghanistan from September 2012 to January 2013 and was discharged from the Army shortly thereafter, according to the LA Times. The details are murky but apparently he was involved in a violent incident while in Afghanistan. His discharge fromthe service was not an honorable discharge.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Aie-Jen Poos message to graduates, 'Empathy is our superpower'

Labor leader Ai-Jen Poo delivered the commencement speech at Smith Collge in Massachusetts.

In her Smith College Commencement address, activist and social innovator Ai-jen Poo urged the Class of 2019 at Smith College to take that extra step to not only to seek change, but to transform the country.

“Together, we have the power to not only change the country,” Poo said. “We can run the country, too. We can change the logic of power in our country -- to fundamentally disrupt the hierarchy of human value that defines our culture, our politics and our economy.”

Poo noted that although women have made progress, they have not yet seen transformative change. “We won more opportunity in a context set by men,” said the labor leader and cofounder of Supermajority, an advocacy agency.

“We don’t want to run things for the sake of running them. We want to run them because we’re going to do things differently,” Poo said.

Poo reminded graduates of the 140-year old institution that the history of the nation includes colonization, slavery, and waves of migration by different ethnic groups, which have been the basis of some injustices felt today. Poo said that the message of a united country is both fraught and remarkable.

“The idea that we are both many and one is both the source of so much pain and conflict and precisely what makes us so unique and extraordinary as a nation,” Poo said.
As an organizer, Poo said that embracing empathy and vulnerability is a message that has allowed her to connect with women who want to be both powerful and human.

Poo told the almost 1300 graduates -- bachelors' and advanced degrees -- that in her experience, empathy is the essential ingredient to making change and moving forward.
A  leader in organizing domestic workers, Poo quoted her mentor, Gloria Steinem, who graduated from Smith in 1956, and urged graduates to imagine a new paradigm of power -- one in which women are “linked, not ranked.”
“We need you to take responsibility now -- not just for yourself, your community, or even just the people who share your values. We need you to take responsibility for the whole -- for the whole entire project of taking this vision of democracy into the future -- running it all. And doing it differently. Doing it together. With a whole lot of empathy.”
“Empathy is our superpower,” Poo said.

Opponents call out GOP candidate over anti-Muslim and racist posts


A GOP mayoral candidate in New Jersey is under fire for his racist, misogynistic, and anti-Muslim social media posts. 

One of David Henderson’s Facebook posts included a picture of severed pig heads with the message, “Sharia Law Saturday. Ha! There is no Sharia Law in America,” reports The Trentonian. Another one had a picture of a body builder carrying pigs that declared, “Happy Ramadan.”

Ramadan is the Islamic holy month observed by Muslims, involving fasting from dawn to sunset. Muslims also abstain from the consumption of pork, so Henderson’s mocking posts definitely did not sit well with many.

“If you are going to run for office, you should represent all of the people and have regards for all of the people,” said Imam Qareeb Bashir, president of the Islamic Council of Greater Trenton. “What we have seen on a national level is people continue to support racial comments, bigotry, Islamophobia, etcetera, and people will not stand up. It’s as if people do not have the moral courage to stand up.

“Hamilton Township residents and Mercer County, how will they respond to this?” Bashir added. “If they don’t respond — or if they take a passive attitude, then that is scary.”

Henderson, who supports the construction of the border wall, also suggested Central American immigrants have low IQs in a post.

“The average IQ in Central American countries, Honduras: 81, El Salvador 81, Guatemala 79,” he wrote, “would assign these migrants and their offspring to the ‘educable’ or mildly retarded category in US public schools and unable to master all but the basics.”

Henderson has also posted photos of exposed women, even captioning a photo with the text, “Sideboob Saturday.”

A Mercer County Republican strategist and a former campaign manager, Henderson is running against incumbent Mayor Kelly Yaede in the June 4 Republican primary.

In an interview Friday, Henderson apologized for the “insensitive” posts and promised to learn from them.

In addressing his post about Central American immigrants, he said, “I paraphrased some research documents that I had reviewed. In retrospect, I didn’t do justice to presenting the entire body of work that I paraphrased. I can see that it is very hurtful. It is not me to denigrate Central Americans because there’s a lot of quality [citizens].

“At the end of the day, I’m a human being. I didn’t say I was a perfect human being, and I have my faults. I’ll admit them, and I’ll take responsibility for what I did and I will grow from understanding the hurtfulness of that statement. The people deserve to see it and I’ll have to do my best to show my better side to those people. At the end of the day, I’m a quality person.”

He stated his parents raised him to accept people of every “color, creed and religion” and that he let them down with those posts.

“Since I posted those Muslim things, I’ve realized the insensitivity of it. I’ll take responsibility for that,” he added. “My mother would say, ‘What were you thinking? Why would you say something like that?’ Unfortunately I don’t have her with me anymore to ground me as much as she would.”

According to Yaede, Henderson has become a town pariah due to his posts.

“There is absolutely no acceptable justification for his posts,” said Yaede. “This is the real David Henderson Hamiltonians know. I brought this to the forefront during the last school board election. Add to the fact he has been expelled from youth athletic leagues, banned from eating establishments and barred from the Hamilton Township Republican Club. How so-called leaders and elected officials endorse or continue to work with an individual like this is appalling to me.”

“In my roughly 15 years in local politics, I have never seen a candidate here in Hamilton behave in such a vile and disgusting manner, but this is the real Dave Henderson,” said former councilman Dennis Pone, chairman of the Hamilton Township Republican Committee. “He has repeatedly posted racist and misogynistic pictures with comments like these over the years. Many of his followers feel compelled to make nasty comments along the way.”

Hamilton Council candidate Vinnie Capodanno even compared Henderson to David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard. “He was acting like the imperial wizard. Right now he has calmed down, but them rants on Facebook and the things that he said — to me, that was something David Duke would say.”

The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on Republican State Committee Chairman Doug Steinhardt to repudiate Henderson’s anti-Muslim and racist Facebook posts, reports Insider NJ.

“The posts to Mr. Henderson’s Facebook page are, by any standard, crude and offensive, not only to Muslims, but to anyone of conscience and compassion,” said CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues. “The bigoted views expressed by Mr. Henderson are below the dignity of a public official and should serve to disqualify him as a candidate for an office that claims to represent the interests of all citizens, regardless of their race or faith. This is just another painful reminder of the extreme divisiveness that characterizes the current political climate at the national level.”


#IAm profiles for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) has teamed up with US Bank to observe Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with the #IAm Campaign, a series of video interviews of Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

The question asked of the interviewees is: How did you become successful? The journey to success has been tough for many of the subjects, only made hopeful by those who supported them along the way. 

As they received encouragement along they way, the subjects have broken barriers and opened doors for others to follow.

This Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, let us not only remember those that have opened doors for us, but that our unique stories are also opening doors for others. Let us celebrate the success and the support, and most importantly, celebrate what’s possible.

Drawn mainly from the world of entertainment, it also lists a few journalists, writers and sports. Among the AAPI personalities spotlighted are George Takei, Jeremy Lin, Lisa Ling, Ming-Na Wen and Apolo Ono. Start with actor George Takei's #IAm story:

There are a ton of other videos and profiles so check them out for yourself, and participate: “Share YOUR #IAm story. Join the conversation and share what inspires you the most and express your I Am_ aspiration via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram with the hashtag #IAm. Or simply share this campaign with your friends and family.”

More links provided below. If they don't work, click here.