Ron Paul supporter posts online ad attacking Jon Huntsman for “Chinese values”

This is a disgusting bit of race-baiting. Someone claiming to support Ron Paul’s bid for the GOP presidential nomination has posted an attack ad against Jon Huntsman — who frankly isn’t one of the top contenders — that plays up Huntsman’s connections to China.

It begins with an ominous challenge asking whether the candidate represents “American values or Chinese?” Then it show him speaking Mandarin and asks “Weak on China? Wonder why?” before showing Huntsman with his adopted Chinese daughter.

That’s a stupid stretch for even an ignorant person, that a presidential candidate would secretly support the People’s Republic of China because he has an adopted Chinese daughter. The next clip shows Huntsman, a Mormon businessman and former governor of Utah as well as Barack Obama’s ambassador to China (he quit the post in April to run for president), holding his other adopted daughter, who is from India.

The video ends with an icky Photoshopped image of Huntsman’s face superimposed on a portrait of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung.

The video preys on peoples’ irrational and race-based fears of the Chinese (and, by projection, all Asians), a theme that’s unforunately been a part of American culture since the earliest days of Chinese immigration and the rise of enduring stereotypes such as the evil Fu Manchu and “Dragon Lady,” to the widely parodied 2010 TV ad featuring an evil Chinese Professor chortling about the fall of the United States because of wasteful government spending.

The Huffington Post has Huntsman’s response:
Continue reading

Ethnic studies classes ruled illegal in Arizona because it would promote “racial resentment”

Arizona state seal I can’t think of a good reason for me to want to live in Arizona. Via Yahoo, here’s news that a judge has ruled that the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American Studies course violates state law because it’s “designed primarily for one ethnic group, promoting racial resentment and advocating ethnic solidarity instead of treating students as individuals.”

Part of the school’s funding is being withheld until it complies with state law and quits offering the course. The judge wrote in his ruling that the course crosses the legal limits because “such teaching promotes activism against white people.”

Apparently it’s OK to “objectively” teach about racial oppression, but not OK to teach from an activist perspective. However I’m not sure how you teach objectively about, say, the enslavement of African Americans; the genocide and systematic uprooting of Native Americans; racism against Blacks, Hispanics and Asians; and the imprisonment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II without people getting pissed off. Aren’t we allowed to be angry? Isn’t that a free speech issue?

I love the United States and I consider myself a patriotic American citizen. But I’m allowed to be angry at my country, and resent it for a host of things including the lousy management of the economy, unnecessary wars, rampant cultural imperialism, institutionalized racism, white privilege, legislative gridlock and other stuff.

I’m also all about ethnic solidarity. If we’re a racial salad bowl, people of color need to be proud of who we are AND celebrate our place in the multicultural richness of American society. That doesn’t mean we’re fomenting a race revolution against white folk. I mean, seriously.

I’m dumbfounded. Speechless. And saddened. It’s another reason to avoid AZ unless I’m just driving through.

Lowe’s pulls ads from “All American Muslim” series, sparks debate on both sides, brings out the haters

TLC's All-American Muslim


Lowe’s this week backed out as an advertiser on the TLC network’s superior reality TV show, “All-American Muslim,” which follows the lives of five Muslim American families in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit that’s home to the largest Mulsim population in the U.S.

I visited Dearborn when I attended the 2011 convention in Detroit of the Asian American Journalists Association and was impressed with the palpable sense of community among the Muslims. We spent time at the Arab American National Museum, and felt the same sense of cultural pride alongside patriotism for accomplishments as Americans that I feel whenever I visit the Japanese American National Museum in LA.

Muslims are misunderstood by a lot of Americans who confuse anyone who’s Muslim with being a terrorist or the enemy we’ve been fighting in parts of the Middle East. That specter of hate also reminds me of Japanese Americans, and the blanket condemnation JAs faced after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, even though many of them were loyal to the United States.

I understand that Lowe’s was concerned because the show became what they called a “lightning rod” for “strong political and societal views” — the words they used on their Facebook page to defend their decision — in the emotional debate over Muslims in America.

Here’s the company’s Facebook post about pulling the ads:
Continue reading

Seriously? Controversy about Obama kids getting “Asian” food including teriyaki chicken on Dec. 7?

Obama Family Portrait

This about takes the cake for lame-ass non-issues. WUSA9, Gannett’s DC affiliate (and sister station to Denver’s KUSA 9News, the top-rated station in Denver and home to Adele Arakawa, the Japanese American top-rated anchor), posted this video and text followup about the Obama girls’ private school serving Asian food on Dec. 7: “Sidwell Friends School, Sasha and Malia Obama’s School, Opts For Asian, including Japanese Food On Pearl Harbor Day.”

If you watch the video, it criticizes the yahoos who turned the lunch menu into political commentary about dishonoring those who died at Pearl Harbor 70 years ago. But the text is much more ambivalent and invites readers to get worked up into a frenzy, even with its headline spotlighting “Japanese Food.” Come one, teriyaki chicken? Yeah, it’s Japanese but it’s hardly un-American. Nothing to convene a new HUAC investigation over.

OMG — no one should have any Japanese food on Dec. 7. For that matter, we should have any German or Italian food in addition to Japanese food, on Memorial Day or Veterans’ Day. And don’t forget Korean and Vietnamese food… oh wait, there were Koreans and Vietnamese who were on our side. God forbid, if anyone gulped down any sushi yesterday, they’re traitor bastards.

This kind of crap is why I grew up dreading Dec. 7 every year.
Continue reading

Anti-Chinese sentiment never seems to go away, even when the US Senate apologizes for past racism

Arthur Dong DVD collection

It took four decades before Japanese Americans received a formal apology for the internment of 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II. The apology was part of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. The Chinese in America are still waiting for an apology from the top, 129 years after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was signed by President Chester A. Arthur.

The Chinese Exclusion Act was one of a series of laws enacted against Chinese immigrants starting in 1879 through 1904. The 1882 Exclusion Act squeezed Chinese immigration to the US to barely a trickle – and cut down rights for Chinese already in the US, for example by excluding Chinese from citizenship and therefore denying them the right to own any property. Amazingly, the act remained on the books until 1943, when it was repealed in large part because China became an ally during WWII. It remains to this day the only US legislation that singles out people by ethnicity or national origin.

On Oct. 11, with the help of organizations including the 1882 Project, JACL and OCA, the Senate passed a resolution apologizing for the Chinese Exclusion Act. Now these groups are pushing for a similar bill, House Resolution 282, to pass in the House.

Mainstream American culture goes in cycles when it comes to anti-Chinese sentiment, and we’re in one of those periods, mostly because China is ascending to its new position as one of the top world economies and that stirs up race-based xenophobia.
Continue reading