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Emil Amok's Takeout from Emil Guillermo Media

The podcast companion to Emil Guillermo's Amok commentary on race, politics, and society from an Asian American perspective. If it's in the news, Emil has a take. An award winning journalist, columnist, talk-host and humorist, Emil's compilation of essays and columns,"Amok" won an American Book Award. He is a former host of NPR's "All Things Considered," and has reported and commented for radio and TV and newspapers, in Honolulu, San Francisco, Sacramento, Boston, Dallas, St.Louis, and Washington, D.C. Read his takes on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund website at http://www.aaldef.org/blog Emil also writes a column for the U.S. bureau of the Manila-based http://www.inquirer.net and on Diversity issues at http://www.diverseeducation.com
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Welcome to "Emil Amok's Takeout," a podcast featuring the takes of award-winning journalist and commentator Emil Guillermo on race, politics, and society from an Asian American perspective.

Beginning with Asian Week, Emil has written a weekly column on Asian America since 1991. It has since migrated to www.aaldef.org/blog and to his own www.amok.com.  His experience includes TV news reporting and anchoring in San Francisco, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.; Hosting "All Things Considered" on NPR; Nationwide newspaper op-eds and columns at SFGate and USA TODAY; Talk-show hosting in Washington,D.C. San Francisco, and Sacramento; And reporting for NBC News Asian America. A collection of his columns and essays won an American Book Award. 

Emil also worked on Capitol Hill as a speechwriter and press secretary for then-Congressman Norman Mineta.

Emil is also a voice-over artist, with videos for PETA registering more than 6 million views on youtube, with tens of millions more views on all platforms.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBHWd_57u4o&t=5s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xLIlituBCs&t=219s

 

Currently, Emil writes for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund at http://www.aaldef.org/blog 

http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

 

 

Jun 19, 2017
Chin estate trustee provides insight on how difficult it was to get justice for Vincent Chin. The Asian American community was small and reluctant to speak up. Even civil rights organizations weren't sure about Asian Americans in a black and white world. It may also explain why Asian Americans have reacted differently in recent years to hate crimes that should be considered as significant as Chin's but have failed to get traction with a now larger, divided and complacent Asian American community.
 
Show Log:
:00 Intro, the basic factsa about the death of Vincent Chin, update from Helen Zia, and observations about the case.How the civil rights community was sometimes at odds with Asian Americans.
10:21 Audio portion of interview with Helen Zia
23:26 Emil reads from his 2012 column where Chin's killer Ronald Ebens apologizes for the murder.
34:04 End
 
 
Emil Guillermo: Lessons from Vincent Chin murder 35 years after; Podcast interview with Helen Zia; and thoughts on my interview with Chin's killer, Ronald Ebens
June 18, 2017 8:40 PM
We have now arrived at the 35th year of these essential Asian American facts:
On June 19, 1982, Chinese American Vincent Chin, 27, who was with friends at his own bachelor party, was mistaken for being Japanese by two white auto workers, Ronald Ebens and his stepson Michael Nitz, at a Detroit strip club. Ebens told me Chin sucker-punched him. The fight was taken outside, but then broken up. It would have ended, but Ebens and Nitz pursued Chin by car and found him at a nearby McDonald's. In the parking lot, Ebens brutally beat Chin with a baseball bat. 

VincentChinW.jpg

Chin was comatose for four days and pronounced dead on June 23.
For that crime, Ebens and Nitz, his accomplice, were allowed to plea bargain. They pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, were sentenced to three years' probation, and fined $3,720.
There was no prison time for the murderers of Vincent Chin.
The Asian American community was outraged, which led to a federal civil rights prosecution against Ebens and Nitz. Ebens was found guilty on one charge and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He appealed to the Sixth Circuit, and a second federal trial was moved from Detroit to Cincinnati. Ebens was acquitted by a Cincinnati jury that found no racial motivation in the killing of Chin.
That's where the story has been for the last 35 years: The perps are free. And Asian Americans can still be victims of extremely violent hate crimes, like Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Asian Indian mistaken for a Muslim. This year in Olathe, Kansas, Kuchibhotla was allegedly killed by a white gunman who yelled, "Get out of my country."
For the 35th year marker of Chin's death, I called to get an update from the writer Helen Zia, who is also the trustee of the Chin estate.

HelenZia3.jpg
Zia said the Chin family was awarded a $2 million judgment in civil litigation against Ebens back in the '80s, and continues to monitor Ebens, now 77 and retired in Nevada. "The judgment has been continued," Zia told me. She said that with interest and penalties, the judgment could be in excess of $8 million, but Ebens has "not paid a dime."
 
Zia said she's philosophical about recovery. 
"The guy did what he did," she told me. "He's a killer. He got away with murder. But the things that need to be done on behalf of the community don't depend on him or his death. It will bring closure. But it doesn't mean hate crimes have ended."
An edited portion of my interview with Zia is in my podcast, Emil Amok's Takeout.
Besides being the trustee of the estate, Zia was right there in the thick of the Chin case in Detroit. A journalist with legal training, she wrote for the daily newspaper there, but refrained from writing about the case so she could be one of the founders of American Citizens for Justice, the group formed to fight for Chin.
It was just a handful of Asian American lawyers and activists. At that time, there were few Asian Americans in the law or in journalism. And there was no one with the expertise to do a federal hate crime case.
Thirty-five years later, Zia said that what strikes her the most are the things people don't bring up about the case. 
LilyChinW.jpg

The human stuff, like the late Lily Chin, Vincent's adoptive mom. "She died feeling that if she hadn't adopted him, he'd be alive," Zia told me. "It's so sad to me to think about it that way."
But the human stuff also includes the human opposition to the case within the community and the backlash that existed at the time.
"We had civil rights people who said, 'We'll support you because Vincent was Chinese and thought to be Japanese, but if he were Japanese, we won't support because he would've deserved it,' " Zia said. "I said 'What? You're kidding?' The Michigan ACLU and the Michigan National Lawyers Guild strongly opposed a civil rights investigation because Asian Americans are not protected by federal civil rights law. That was something we had to argue."
Fortunately, the national offices of those legal groups prevailed and forced the state chapters to comply.
"Here were some of the most liberal activist attorneys saying Asian Americans shouldn't be included under the civil rights law. Vincent was an immigrant. We had to establish he was a citizen, with the implication there might not have been a civil rights investigation if he had not been naturalized. All of this stuff...these were hurdles we had to overcome with major impacts today," Zia told me.
"Can you imagine if the Reagan White House had followed the National Lawyers Guild's Michigan chapter and the ACLU of Michigan and said, 'Why should we look expansively at civil rights? We shouldn't include immigrants and Asian Americans.' And at that time, that would include Latinos too, because at that time if you were not black or white, what do you have to do with race? Those were the things people would say to us."
Zia said after 35 years, a quick telling of the Chin case rarely discusses just how difficult it was to fight for justice. But she says those are the enduring lessons of the Vincent Chin case, because it has contributed to a modern sense of social justice for every American.
"Every immigrant, Latinos. Every American," Zia said. "Hate crime protection laws now also include perceived gender and disability. It was the Vincent Chin case when we had to argue civil rights was more than black or white."
Zia said the case was also more difficult because it was during a pre-digital, non-computer, pay-phone age. Communication occurred slowly. 
But the case was also slow because Asian Americans were a micro-community.
We're 21 million now and feel empowered.
In 1980, the Asian American population was just 3.7 million nationwide. And most were timid, non-boat rockers.
"In the Vincent Chin case, people were incredibly reluctant to become involved," Zia told me. "They had never gotten involved before. And I think that's what gets lost [in the retelling of the story]. Exclusion didn't end till about 1950, and so what that meant was Asian Americans of every kind, from Chinese to Filipinos, everybody, were pretty much totally disenfranchised till the mid-20th century."
"So when Vincent Chin was killed 30 years later [in 1982], the communities had. . .I think of it as stunted growth. There weren't people running for office. If there were, it was a miniscule number. There weren't people standing up; we didn't have advocacy organizations."
A right to justice, and a community's sense of empowerment, was a difficult thing to imagine for many Asian Americans. "Not only did we not have it," Zia said, "People didn't even recognize it was something we could have. The idea we all came together with the Vincent Chin case and sang 'Kumbaya' and took over and went to the Reagan White House and the Department of Justice and got all these things to happen. . .that's a mythology. And I think it's a disservice to the next generations to think this."
Helen Zia knows what was happening in Detroit in the '80s as the fight began for Vincent Chin.
More of her thoughts on Emil Amok's Takeout.
 
RONALD EBENS
I don't know what Vincent Chin's killer did for Father's Day.
I last talked to Ronald Ebens in 2015, around the June 23 anniversary of Chin's death. "I'm doing fine," he told me then, adding quickly he had a good Father's Day with his kids.;
I asked him then if he ever thought about the anniversary. "Like what?" he said. "I never forget it."
Never?
"Of course not."
It was 2015. "I'm 75 years old, and I'm just tired of all that after 33 years."
He's 77 now, and Helen Zia doesn't want him ever to tire or forget the truth.
"He will never spend a day of his life without knowing he has a huge debt to society and a huge debt to Vincent Chin's family," Zia told me. "And one day, he will pay for it."
The very first time I talked to Ebens was in 2012, on the 30th anniversary of the Chin murder.
On the podcast, I read aloud the column that I wrote on June 22, 2012.
It has Ebens explaining himself and describing what happened that night. He was reluctant to talk to me, but he did. And during our conversation, he apologized for the murder. 

RonaldEbens6.jpg

"I'm sorry it happened and if there's any way to undo it, I'd do it," he told me in my exclusive interview. "Nobody feels good about somebody's life being taken, okay? You just never get over it. . .Anybody who hurts somebody else. If you're a human being, you're sorry, you know."
But Zia, who read my column at the time, has never bought that as an apology.
"I stood next to this guy in court, and I see his face, over and over, read his words, and frankly, I don't see a shred of sincerity," Zia told me. "[He's really saying] 'I didn't even mean to kill, why should I have to go through this.'"
And then to me, Zia said, "It would take more than you interviewing him saying, ' I'm sorry, I killed him.' Let's see how sorry he is and set an example for future people who are thinking of killing a Muslim student in North Carolina, or a man in Kansas. These killers who kill out of hatred and go to justify their killings, it takes more than saying I'm sorry."
 
http://www.amok.com
http://www.twitter.com/emilamok
http://www.aaldef.org/blog
 
 
Jun 17, 2017
 Show Log
 
00: Open, intros, Emil comments on news, including the week's gun violence and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
 
14:35 Karthick Ramakrishnan, UC Riverside, School of Public Policy; AAPI Data
 
15:52 Interview begins
1:01:20  On bias against South Asians
1:02:49  On Vincent Chin Anniversary
1:07:10 Emil reads his Father's Day Essay
 
 

Emil Guillermo: Who is Asian American? On AMEMSA, Vincent Chin, and my Amok Monologues for Father's Day. PODCAST EXTRA: Karthick Ramakrishnan
June 16, 2017 11:57 AM

Say Asian or Asian American, and people think "Chinese."
Most people know that's not the case, but that tends to be the prevailing stereotype. And not just among whites, blacks, and Latinos. 
It's harder when even Asian Americans believe in the stereotype.
"East Asians need to recognize that Southeast Asians and South Asians are Asians too, " Karthick Ramakrishnan told me on Emil Amok's Takeout. "If you combine the Southeast Asian and South Asian categories, all these nationalities together, they're the overwhelming majority. East Asians are now a minority within the Asian American category."

KarthickW.jpg
 
Ramakrishnan is Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside. He directs the National Asian American Survey, which recently revealed the jaw-dropping finding that some Asian Americans don't consider South Asians as Asian American.
Previously, I spoke with his NAAS cohort Jennifer Lee about this survey question here.
In my interview with Ramakrishnan, we discuss who has the power to define who is Asian, and how the "Asian American" umbrella is being threatened. Is an AMEMSA--Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, South Asian--category inevitable? 
"If you're brown and someone thinks you're Muslim, you get a different racial experience," Ramakrishnan told me on Emil Amok's Takeout. "That's what "AMEMSA" captures.
But what happens then to the broad Asian American category of 21 million and growing when 5 million South Asians can't identify and adopt a new category? 
Ramakrishnan also talks about how the NAAS findings may explain why there wasn't a massive mobilization from Asian Americans to protest the murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla earlier this year. 
While Vincent Chin's murder inspired the activism of Asian Americans 35 years ago, the ire over the Kuchibhotla hate crime has not had a similar impact on the community. Ramakrishnan said it should have, and the fact that it didn't reveals Asian America's implicit and explicit biases.
"It's kind of a game of whack-a-mole," Ramakrishnan told me. "Unfortunately, when particular parts of our community are getting whacked, other parts of our community don't stand up nearly as much and are not nearly as vocal as we should be."
Uh-oh. We're reverting back to the other prevailing stereotype. Non-boat rockers. Just get on the boat. Don't miss it. Get off the boat. Just don't rock it. 
But maybe we should. The upcoming 35th anniversary of Vincent Chin is the time for some reflection.
In 2014, I wrote about how the entire community should use the days Chin was in a coma from June 19 to June 23 to think about what it's like to be Asian American.
We are coming up to that time.
It's a wide ranging Emil Amok's Takeout, including a special treat: I read my annual Father's Day essay, part of a story in my "Amok Monologues: A short history of the American Filipino--NPR, Harvard, Death on Mission St.," which I'm premiering at the San Diego International Fringe Festival, June 23 to 29.
 
Buy your tickets here: 
https://sdfringe.ticketleap.com/amok-monologues/


AmokMonologuesW.jpg
 
If you're in San Diego, come on by! It's another part of my exploration of the solo performance form. It's funny.  It's tragic. It's amok! 
 
contact:
 
http://www.amok.com
 
http://www.aaldef.org/blog
 
Jun 7, 2017

Ep.16: Emil Amok's Takeout---Show Log

:00-show open; Emil's take on Trump's tweets, climate change accord, Kathy Griffin, James Comey, Trump as hood ornament.

15::40 The NAAS Survey's finding that Asian Americans often exclude South Asians, Central Asians. Our xenophobia problem.

17:00 Prof. Jennifer Lee, Columbia Univ. on her research with Dean Karthick Ramakrishnan, UC-Riverside 

58:25 Prof. Pawan Dhingra, Tufts University, reacts to the findings. 

Show ends with my Warrior Prediction for Game 3!

AALDEF blog for the week: 

Too much terror, too much news. And the really important event of last week--Trump's nose- thumbing at world unity on climate change by pulling out of the Paris Accord-- is practically forgotten. 

Not that Trump would like us to dwell on that.

That was a classic Trump communication boner.

The Washington Post Fact-Checker, co-written by Michelle Ye Hee Lee with Glenn Kessler, pointed out Trump's basic misunderstanding of the accord. It's a non-binding deal. He can change Obama's goals on his own. That's a kind of deal the slippery Trump should love.

But his misreading of the accord led to wrong assumptions, like whether China and India could end up building more coal plants than the U.S. No, they can't. In fact, China has just curtailed more than 100 coal plants this year. Truth is optional with The Donald. He made up his mind on the Paris Accord with the wrong facts. 

Being morally wrong is bad enough. It's worse when it's compounded by being factually wrong.

And that was just a few Trump misstatements from last week's accord pull-out speech.

It was just the pre-weekend warmup.

After the London terrorist attacks, Trump's tweets turn out to be a lot more dangerous than any greenhouse gas--to the political climate.

Maybe the president needs better pictures to understand the issues. He got things completely wrong when it came to London's Mayor Sadiq Khan, who was trying to calm his city after the latest attacks. The mayor told his citizenry not to get alarmed by the massive police presence.

Khan wasn't downplaying terrorism.

Trump, of course, totally misunderstood and had to tweet it out.

"At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is 'no reason to be alarmed!'" Trump said in a tweet, misconstruing the statement of Mayor Khan.

Another tweet was more offensive. "Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his "no reason to be alarmed" statement. MSM [mainstream media] is working hard to sell it!"

And then he used the occasion to further advocate for his travel ban, because in Trump-think, if we banned Muslims we could stop terrorism. Only this time ,Trump was unequivocal in his belligerence and xenophobia.

"People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!"

The caps are all Trump's.

This is the kind of misunderstanding that can lead to real tragedy--armed conflicts, major wars.

Even conservatives are starting to indicate that a Trump Twitter intervention may be needed. After Kellyanne Conway defended the president on morning TV by trying to downplay the tweets, her husband, Filipino American attorney George Conway, was appealing to the level-headed.

"These tweets may make some ppl feel better, but they certainly won't help OSG [Office of the Solicitor General] get 4 votes in SCOTUS, which is what actually matters. Sad."
 
Yes. Sad. 

Trump stands by Twitter as a way to talk directly to the people. But that's precisely why journalists must cover the statements and take them seriously. Surely, world leaders are concerned about the uncensored thoughts coming through Trump's twitter logorrhea.

That's the precise word for it.

We should all be concerned. 

ARE INDIANS AND PAKISTANIS ASIAN AMERICAN?
Trump isn't the only one with a xenophobia issue. In some alarming findings, the 2016 National Asian American Survey found that many non-Asians don't think South Asians are Asian American.
 
Worse, many in our own big tent group, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, don't think so either.

Jennifer Lee, Columbia University sociology professor and Karthick Ramakrishnan, Dean of Public Policy at UC Riverside,  published the findings in The Society Pages.

Most whites, blacks, and Latinos held the view that only East Asians from China, Japan, and Korea were Asian American.

Filipinos were tweeners, with anywhere from 15 to 17 percent of different groups thinking Filipinos weren't Asians. (Maybe Mexicans?)

Non-Asians.jpg
But ask all groups about Indians and Pakistanis from South Asia, and Arabs and Middle Eastern people from Central and West Asia, and embarrassingly large numbers don't see them as Asian American at all.
 
Among whites, 41 percent said Indians are not likely to be Asian American, and 45 percent didn't see Pakistanis as Asian American. 

Asians.jpg

Here's the jawdropper. Even among Asians, the numbers who didn't see Indians or Pakistanis as Asian American were in the 30-40 percent range.

It's actually very Trump-like of the Asian Americans surveyed.

You'll recall the February murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the Kansas City tech engineer who was allegedly gunned down at a suburban bar by Adam Purinton, 51, a Navy veteran and former air traffic controller, who saw Kuchibhotla and yelled, "Get out of my country."

That was on Feb. 22. 

It took six days before the president even acknowledged it in a brief mention in his joint speech before Congress.

It could have been an opportunity for real leadership. But everything the president has done has emboldened violent white nationalists. We saw it recently with the violent stabbings in Portland. And certainly we saw it in Kansas City when Kuchibhotla was gunned down.

At the time, I thought the murder would galvanize the broader community of 21 million Asian Americans to stand up united against the hateful political sentiments of Steve Bannon being channeled through Trump and that's been empowering folks like Adam Purinton.

And now, because of the insights of the survey on how we see ourselves, I know why it didn't.

"To fail to see Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis as Asian--especially when they see themselves as such--is to silence their voices," wrote Lee and Ramakrishnan in the Society Pages. "It also risks promoting an incomplete portrait of Asian Americans that ignores more threatening, dangerous and even deadly forms of anti-Asian discrimination."

Jennifer Lee called it "drawing boundaries on Asian America." 

Or maybe a wall?

That NAAS research shows it's happening, and that in a serious way, Asian Americans have our own sense of xenophobia.

Like Trump, we fear each other.
 
We're just not tweeting about it as much as he does. Listen to my interview with Lee on the East Asian/South Asian divide and the findings of the survey on our podcast, Emil Amok's Takeout, coming soon.

*     *     *
Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
 
The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.



Posted by:Emil Guillermo

 

 

 

 

May 27, 2017

Show log  Emil Amok’s Takeout Ep. 15

:00  Emil’s opening rap

1:46 San Diego Fringe Festival and SF Marsh shows

2:30 Coming up intros of top stories

5:05 What made me go amok this week

6:25 Martial Law in the Philippines? Oh, just “Partial Martial”?

18:12 Intro Celestino Almeda, the 100-year old  Filipino WW2 Vet still

Fighting for his equity pay

24:12 Interview with Almeda

42:28 Intro and interview with Association of Asian American Studies President-elect Theo Gonzalves,

University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

1:30:00 MY NBA FINALS PICK

----

Emil Guillermo: Emil Amok's Takeout Podcast - No rest on Memorial Day for a WWII Filipino Vet; and a conversation with AAAS President-elect Theo Gonzalves on APAHM
May 26, 2017 7:36 PM

Memorial Day always winds up the annual observation of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

And what better way to remember the one story (along with the Japanese American Internment) that lingers as the moral compass of the community.

For that reason, this Memorial Day will be a special one for Filipino WWII Veteran Celestino Almeda.

Despite many vets seeing an equity pay windfall in 2009, a handful like Almeda are still in appeals.

His fight for justice with the U.S. government has been the bureaucratic version of the Bataan Death March.

Almeda-FDR.jpg

hat's no disrespect to the survivors of that historic event 75 years ago.

Almeda certainly will remember deceased friends like retired U.S. Air Force Major Jesse Baltazar, a former POW who survived the Bataan Death March in 1942, and died just last year at age 96.  

Baltazar often accompanied Almeda, fighting side by side in the latter's bureaucratic battle with the VA over equity pay.

Baltazar-Obama.jpg

Almeda was a young soldier in the Philippine Army reserve, when he answered the call of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to protect the Philippines with the U.S. Armed Forces of the Far East. The added lure was full benefits as a soldier, including U.S. citizenship.

Almeda-sepia.jpg

As you'll hear in my interview with him on Emil Amok's Takeout, Almeda, the reservist, was made active for a year. 

He was then made inactive when Gen. MacArthur retreated to Australia as the Japanese took over Manila.

Almeda has official Philippine Army documents signed by U.S. officers to document all that. What he doesn't have is the record that he served in the guerrilla forces, which Almeda says were only verbal orders.

Once the war was over, he was made active again and served side-by-side Americans.

There would be no problem until President Truman signed the Rescission Act of 1946. which stripped the Filipino veterans of any right to the benefits that had been promised for their service.

Ever since then--for more than 70 years--Filipinos like Almeda have been fighting piecemeal for a restoral of all the benefits due them. 
 
Almeda's service has been good enough to help get him U.S. citizenship in 1990. He's even been given a VA card for medical benefits. 

But it wasn't until President Obama in 2009 finally came through with a lump sum payment of $15,000 to Filipino veterans living in the U.S., and $9,000 for those still in the Philippines, that Almeda found himself in the bureaucratic battle of his life.

The VA has approved more than nearly 19,000 cases, according to its website. The payout has been more than $220 million.

But it's also rejected close to 24,000 cases. 

There's about $56 million left in the pot.

But that doesn't mean the VA is willingly giving it out, at least not to Almeda.

The VA wouldn't honor his Philippine Army documents, though he has kept the originals in pristine condition. He's still currently in appeal, but in the meantime, he's taken to public protests like one last year when Robert McDonald, the VA Secretary under Obama appeared in public. In the Q&A part of the program, Almeda tried to appeal to McDonald but had his mic turned off.

MacDonald's reaction got a stern rebuke from retired General Antonio Taguba, the general who led the investigation into Abu Ghraib. 

Taguba additionally pointed out that updates to the law--PL 111-5, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation)--directed the Secretary of VA to consider all forms of evidence of service and not just those originally considered. 

"This amendment has not been fully executed by the VA," Taguba complained to Mc Donald.
Now a year later, McDonald's out, a new VA head is in, and Almeda is still fighting for justice, seemingly locked in the Bataan Death March of appeals, hoping to get approved for his lump sum before he turns 100.

It's Memorial Day, but his taste for justice has not died.

Listen to him tell his story on Emil Amok's Takeout. Days before his 100th birthday, Almeda's still got a lot of fight left.
 
AAAS President-elect Theo Gonzalves on the relevance of Asian American Studies today
On my recent trip to Washington, DC, I was able to talk to an old friend, Theo Gonzalves of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and the president-elect of the Association for Asian American Studies.

What are they doing? How has Asian American Studies stayed relevant? How valuable is the AAS degree?

Use the fast forward and listen to Gonzalves, where he thinks Asian American Studies is going, and the importance of APAHM.

 

And if you want to read my Emil Amok column on Martial Law

https://usa.inquirer.net/4026/martial-law-not-needed-can-stop-dutertes-destiny

 

Contact Emil at http://www.aaldef.org/blog, the site of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

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BIO

Emil Guillermo wrote for almost 15 years his "Amok" column for AsianWeek, which was the largest English language Asian American newsweekly in the nation. "Amok" was considered the most widely-read column on Asian American issues in the U.S.


His thoughtful and provocative social commentaries have appeared in print in the San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate.com, San Francisco Examiner, USA Today, Honolulu Star Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and in syndication throughout the country.  His columns are seen in Asia and around the world, on Inquirer.net. 

His early columns are compiled in a book "Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective," which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 2000.

Guillermo's journalistic career began in television and radio broadcasting. At National Public Radio, he was the first Asian American male to anchor a regularly scheduled national news broadcast when he hosted "All Things Considered" from 1989-1991. During his watch, major news broke, including the violence in Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of dictatorships in Romania and Panama. From Washington, Guillermo hosted the shows that broke the news. 

As a television journalist, his award-winning reports and commentaries have appeared on NBC, CNN, and PBS. He was a reporter in San Francisco, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

After NPR, Guillermo became a press secretary and speechwriter for then Congressman Norman Mineta, the former cabinet member in the Bush and Clinton Administrations. 

After his Hill experience, Guillermo returned to the media, hosting his own talk show in Washington, D.C. on WRC Radio. He returned to California where he hosted talk shows in San Francisco at KSFO/KGO, and in Sacramento at KSTE/KFBK.

Guillermo's columns in the ethnic press inspired a roundtable discussion program that he created, hosted, executive produced, resulting in more than 100 original half-hour programs. "NCM-TV: New California Media" was seen on PBS stations in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles, and throughout the state on cable.

Guillermo also spent time as a newspaper reporter covering the poor and the minority communities of California's Central Valley. His writing and reporting on California's sterilization program on the poor and minorities won him statewide and national journalism awards.

In 2015, Guillermo received the prestigious Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice from the Asian American Journalists Association. The award, named after the late Korean American physician from Texas, recognizes excellence in the coverage of civil rights and social justice issues in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Guillermo, a native San Franciscan, went to Lowell High School, and graduated from Harvard College, where he was named Ivy Orator as the class humorist.

Thanks for listening to Emil Amok's Takeout!

http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

http://www.aaldef.org/blog

May 22, 2017

Links to columns touched on by Emil in Podcast No.14:

http://aaldef.org/blog/emil-guillermo-last-fable-day-asian-americans-emmy-snub-fresh-off-the-boat-easter-xua.html

 

http://aaldef.org/blog/emil-guillermo-is-fresh-off-the-boat-historical-or-the-taming-of-eddie-huang.html

http://aaldef.org/blog/emil-guillermo-wong-kim-ark-gop-anchor-baby-suzanne-ahn-award.html

 

http://aaldef.org/blog/emil-guillermo-asian-americans-no-1-by-2065-immigration-pew-report.html

*     *     *

 

 

Emil Guillermo PODCAST: Randall Park at the APAICS gala for AAPI Heritage Month talks about Asian American representation in the media
May 22, 2017 10:19 AM

On Emil Amok's Takeout, I corner Randall Park at the gala dinner of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). a/k/a Asian Prom.

Listen to my short conversation with the "Fresh Off the Boat" star, as well as an excerpt from his speech accepting the 2017 APAICS Vision Award.

RandallParkEG-W.jpg

Oddly, I forgot to ask him if politics was in the cards for him. Writing and producing was. But politics? He does play a governor in HBO's "Veep." 

As I flew into D.C., I noticed at the airport magazine racks the conservative National Review trying to make the case for a presidential bid by "The Rock"--a Republican.

President Rock?

Dwayne Johnson hosted the season finale of "Saturday Night Live" this past weekend, and was joined by Tom Hanks.

Hanks said if they ran as a ticket, he'd "get them the senior vote because he fought in WWII--in ten different movies.

The Rock added that he'd get the minority vote, "because everyone just assumes, I'm, well, whatever they are."
 
JohnsonHanks5.jpg

It got a big laugh. 
 
It sounds like a joke, but given the rise of a reality show star to the presidency and the immense popularity of Johnson and Hanks, you never know.

And with that, the SNL banners unfurled to reveal the slogan "Johnson Hanks 2020."

JohnsonHanks2020.jpg

Considering that The Rock and Hanks seem like stable personalities with decent vocabularies, anything would be an improvement over the present White House occupant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
 
Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

Contact Emil at http://www.aaldef.org/blog, the site of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

If you like what you see, consider clicking the "DONATE" button.  AALDEF is a 501 C3 and your contribution is tax-deductible.

Give us your feedback there, or at www.amok.com

Leave a voice message. We might use it in a future show.

Consider subscribing for free on iTunes, where you can rate and review.

You'll also find us on YouTube, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

   

BIO

Emil Guillermo wrote for almost 15 years his "Amok" column for AsianWeek, which was the largest English language Asian American newsweekly in the nation. "Amok" was considered the most widely-read column on Asian American issues in the U.S.


His thoughtful and provocative social commentaries have appeared in print in the San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate.com, San Francisco Examiner, USA Today, Honolulu Star Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and in syndication throughout the country.  His columns are seen in Asia and around the world, on Inquirer.net. 

His early columns are compiled in a book "Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective," which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 2000.

Guillermo's journalistic career began in television and radio broadcasting. At National Public Radio, he was the first Asian American male to anchor a regularly scheduled national news broadcast when he hosted "All Things Considered" from 1989-1991. During his watch, major news broke, including the violence in Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of dictatorships in Romania and Panama. From Washington, Guillermo hosted the shows that broke the news. 

As a television journalist, his award-winning reports and commentaries have appeared on NBC, CNN, and PBS. He was a reporter in San Francisco, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

After NPR, Guillermo became a press secretary and speechwriter for then Congressman Norman Mineta, the former cabinet member in the Bush and Clinton Administrations. 

After his Hill experience, Guillermo returned to the media, hosting his own talk show in Washington, D.C. on WRC Radio. He returned to California where he hosted talk shows in San Francisco at KSFO/KGO, and in Sacramento at KSTE/KFBK.

Guillermo's columns in the ethnic press inspired a roundtable discussion program that he created, hosted, executive produced, resulting in more than 100 original half-hour programs. "NCM-TV: New California Media" was seen on PBS stations in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles, and throughout the state on cable.

Guillermo also spent time as a newspaper reporter covering the poor and the minority communities of California's Central Valley. His writing and reporting on California's sterilization program on the poor and minorities won him statewide and national journalism awards.

In 2015, Guillermo received the prestigious Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice from the Asian American Journalists Association. The award, named after the late Korean American physician from Texas, recognizes excellence in the coverage of civil rights and social justice issues in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Guillermo, a native San Franciscan, went to Lowell High School, and graduated from Harvard College, where he was named Ivy Orator, the class humorist.

Thanks for listening to Emil Amok's Takeout!

http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

http://www.aaldef.org/blog

 

 

May 12, 2017

Ep. 13 

Emil Guillermo: "Mommy, I need you," a Mother's Day podcast memory; plus Trump grows more Nixony by the day

May 12, 2017 3:04 PM  

From the AALDEF blog: 

http://aaldef.org/blog/emil-guillermo-mommy-i-need-you-mothers-day-podcast-trump-nixon.html

I wrote an essay about my mother that was in my collection of Emil Amok columns in my book Amok back in 2000.

 
I read it here, along with a preamble on the podcast, because I've too often given short shrift to my mom's story, in favor of my dad's.
 
But my mother's story was pretty incredible too. She survived the Japanese occupation of Manila during WWII and found her way to the U.S. with the help of an angel, a Spanish aristocrat who was unrelated, and whom I remember as having so much makeup on her face that she she looked like a ghost. I only knew her as Lola Angelita, world traveler.
EGMomW.jpg

My mom is in this picture, on the left. Another one of her comadres, my Lola Rosie, is holding me. I'm just horribly disoriented looking for the right nipple. And probably crying.
 
All that and more on the podcast for Mothers Day in May, which is also AAPI Heritage Month.
 
Here's a shoutout to The New Yorker for its funny, satirical cover, the positive yellowfacing of Dr. David Dao, who is replaced by the ousted FBI chief James Comey.

It's funny, not racist, as some have suggested. It's a recognition of how we felt about Dao, and how we should all feel about what's happened to Comey.
NewYorker.jpg

In Trump-speak, the Comey thing is as important as the Russia thing, and so much more important than any email thing. 
 
In the firing, Trump as Nixon was pretty obvious from Day 1. But Trump doesn't leave well enough alone. He's compounded it with subsequent steps that only create a growing credibility gap between his White House and the American public.
 
Where is the Truth about the firing of Comey? We have several versions, at this point. One too many for a real democracy.
 
And if Trump isn't getting really Nixony, why did he tweet about the possibility that conversations with Comey were taped?

James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!


           King Donald?

           It leaves us with motherhood to hang on to for now, while we can.
 
Show Log:
00:    Opening
:20     About our show
1:15   My theater performance
1:56   This episode
3:17   New Yorker spoof: Comey as David Dao
4:29    More on Trump
10:26  Preamble on my Mom, followed by the "Mom's Sundae" commentary from my Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective

*     *     *
Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

 

 

Contact Emil at http://www.aaldef.org/blog, the site of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

If you like what you see, consider clicking the "DONATE" button.  AALDEF is a 501 C3 and your contribution is tax-deductible.

Give us your feedback there, or at www.amok.com

Leave a voice message. We might use it in a future show.

Consider subscribing for free on iTunes, where you can rate and review.

You'll also find us on YouTube, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

   

BIO

Emil Guillermo wrote for almost 15 years his "Amok" column for AsianWeek, which was the largest English language Asian American newsweekly in the nation. "Amok" was considered the most widely-read column on Asian American issues in the U.S.


His thoughtful and provocative social commentaries have appeared in print in the San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate.com, San Francisco Examiner, USA Today, Honolulu Star Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and in syndication throughout the country.  His columns are seen in Asia and around the world, on Inquirer.net. 

His early columns are compiled in a book "Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective," which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 2000.

Guillermo's journalistic career began in television and radio broadcasting. At National Public Radio, he was the first Asian American male to anchor a regularly scheduled national news broadcast when he hosted "All Things Considered" from 1989-1991. During his watch, major news broke, including the violence in Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of dictatorships in Romania and Panama. From Washington, Guillermo hosted the shows that broke the news. 

As a television journalist, his award-winning reports and commentaries have appeared on NBC, CNN, and PBS. He was a reporter in San Francisco, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

After NPR, Guillermo became a press secretary and speechwriter for then Congressman Norman Mineta, the former cabinet member in the Bush and Clinton Administrations. 

After his Hill experience, Guillermo returned to the media, hosting his own talk show in Washington, D.C. on WRC Radio. He returned to California where he hosted talk shows in San Francisco at KSFO/KGO, and in Sacramento at KSTE/KFBK.

Guillermo's columns in the ethnic press inspired a roundtable discussion program that he created, hosted, executive produced, resulting in more than 100 original half-hour programs. "NCM-TV: New California Media" was seen on PBS stations in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles, and throughout the state on cable.

Guillermo also spent time as a newspaper reporter covering the poor and the minority communities of California's Central Valley. His writing and reporting on California's sterilization program on the poor and minorities won him statewide and national journalism awards.

In 2015, Guillermo received the prestigious Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice from the Asian American Journalists Association. The award, named after the late Korean American physician from Texas, recognizes excellence in the coverage of civil rights and social justice issues in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Guillermo, a native San Franciscan, went to Lowell High School, and graduated from Harvard College, where he was named Ivy Orator, the class humorist.

Thanks for listening to Emil Amok's Takeout!

http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

http://www.aaldef.org/blog

 

May 4, 2017

SHOW LOG:

:00 Opening rap

3:25 Health care vote

8:15 Duterte and Trump

11:42 Corky Lee intro

18:20 Corky Lee interview

 

From the blog at http://www.aaldef.orgblog

By Emil Amok

My late mother, the wise Filipina, would always say, "Your health is your wealth." And when her health failed, she was thankful for her health care through Medicare. And now after today, we're a step closer to the danger zone. I talk about #TrumpNoCare on the podcast.
But we won't let the threat to health care mar Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
And if you're wondering, yes, Donald Trump did tweet about it. His proclamation mentioned Dr. Sammy Lee, the great Olympic diver and the first Asian American man to win an Olympic gold medal in the 1948 Olympics.
He also mentioned Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, who embodied the spirit of this month. In 1932, she was the first Chinese American woman to earn a pilot license at a time when only one percent of all pilots in the U.S. were women.
Trump, of course, likes any One-percenter of any kind.
Trump's proclamation was fairly boilerplate, as you'd expect from a man who thinks diversity is identity politics and not a hallmark of a nation that believes in equality.
Trump even cites Public Law 102-450, which makes May each year "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month."
He's not going to try to repeal it like, say, Obamacare. (Listen to the podcast for my take on that.)
"I encourage all Americans to learn more about our Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander heritage, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities," Trump proclaimed
Let's see if he takes his own advice, and learns how many Asian Americans will be threatened by his #TrumpNoCare.
Or we can just go back in history with that legendary picture of the railroads and the Golden Spike uniting America by rail. You've seen it, right?
RRHistoricPhoto.jpg

Photographer Corky Lee saw it when he was a kid growing up in New York. It was the first mention of any Chinese people that he saw in his history books.
The text said Chinese people helped build the railroad. But Corky didn't see any Chinese in the picture.
On the AALDEF podcast, Emil Amok's Takeout, Corky said he bought the best magnifying glass he could find at Woolworth's. And he still couldn't see any Chinese.
"We were excluded again," he told me.
May is quite a month. May 6 is the 135th Anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act, signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur in 1882. 
 
Important, no doubt.
But May 10 is the 148th anniversary of the photographic exclusion that has been bothering Corky since he first saw that picture of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah.
On May 10, Corky will stage a flash mob photo, hoping for people coming in period dress to do what people have done for years.
Only Corky wants to make a picture with actual Chinese people--like the people who built the railroads.
 
CorkyLee-RR photo.jpg

He's been doing it as a matter of tradition for the last few years, his build-up to a grand 150th anniversary shot. 
But every year, there's something special besides "the picture."
One year, it was the Buddhist ceremony at the Chinese Arch, believed to be the first one ever. 
arch-CorkyLee.jpg

Go ahead, make a pilgrimage to Utah for AAPI Heritage Month.
I doubt if The Donald will be there. 
Find out more by going to Corky Lee's Facebook page.
Listen to the podcast on how Corky developed his sense of "photographic justice," and how the activist's heart merged with the photographer's eye to produce some of the most memorable photographs of modern Asian American life ever taken. 
Corky talks about his first camera and his father's style of teaching.
And several times throughout, he talks about the picture that has been his driving force to include Asian Americans in everything he sees through the lens. 

 

Contact Emil at http://www.aaldef.org/blog, the site of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

 If you like what you see, consider clicking the "DONATE" button.  AALDEF is a 501 C3 and your contribution is tax-deductible.

 Give us your feedback there, or at www.amok.com

Leave a voice message. We might use it in a future show.

Consider subscribing for free on iTunes, where you can rate and review.

You'll also find us on YouTube, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

 

  

BIO

Emil Guillermo wrote for almost 15 years his "Amok" column for AsianWeek, which was the largest English language Asian American newsweekly in the nation. "Amok" was considered the most widely-read column on Asian American issues in the U.S.


His thoughtful and provocative social commentaries have appeared in print in the San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate.com, San Francisco Examiner, USA Today, Honolulu Star Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and in syndication throughout the country.  His columns are seen in Asia and around the world, on Inquirer.net. 

His early columns are compiled in a book "Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective," which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 2000.

Guillermo's journalistic career began in television and radio broadcasting. At National Public Radio, he was the first Asian American male to anchor a regularly scheduled national news broadcast when he hosted "All Things Considered" from 1989-1991. During his watch, major news broke, including the violence in Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of dictatorships in Romania and Panama. From Washington, Guillermo hosted the shows that broke the news. 

As a television journalist, his award-winning reports and commentaries have appeared on NBC, CNN, and PBS. He was a reporter in San Francisco, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

After NPR, Guillermo became a press secretary and speechwriter for then Congressman Norman Mineta, the former cabinet member in the Bush and Clinton Administrations. 

After his Hill experience, Guillermo returned to the media, hosting his own talk show in Washington, D.C. on WRC Radio. He returned to California where he hosted talk shows in San Francisco at KSFO/KGO, and in Sacramento at KSTE/KFBK.

Guillermo's columns in the ethnic press inspired a roundtable discussion program that he created, hosted, executive produced, resulting in more than 100 original half-hour programs. "NCM-TV: New California Media" was seen on PBS stations in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles, and throughout the state on cable.

Guillermo also spent time as a newspaper reporter covering the poor and the minority communities of California's Central Valley. His writing and reporting on California's sterilization program on the poor and minorities won him statewide and national journalism awards.

In 2015, Guillermo received the prestigious Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice from the Asian American Journalists Association. The award, named after the late Korean American physician from Texas, recognizes excellence in the coverage of civil rights and social justice issues in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Guillermo, a native San Franciscan, went to Lowell High School, and graduated from Harvard College, where he was named Ivy Orator, the class humorist.

Thanks for listening to Emil Amok's Takeout!

http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

http://www.aaldef.org/blog

 

Apr 28, 2017

Show notes (index at bottom)

Korean American community leader John Lim from the KCCD/MyKoreanStory.org series on "Sa-I-Gu." Go to www.saigue429.org. Also, how Chinese Takeouts in Philadelphia are being discriminated against in another story that involves Asians and African Americans pitted against one another. Councilman David Oh details how what started with home invasions has progressed into harassment by police. Oh, a Korean American, says he gets guidance from the brutal death of his cousin in Philadelphia in 1958. Beaten by black youths, In Ho Oh died, but his family rejected revenge in favor of forgiveness. And it's the third year after the murder of my cousin, Stephen Guillermo.

http://aaldef.org/blog/emil-guillermo-trumps-100-days-la-riots-cousins-death-asian-pacific-american-heritage-month-david-da.html

 

Emil Guillermo: Trump's 100 vs. real anniversaries: the LA riots, a cousin's death, and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month; PODCAST: Will Dao get a tax cut? And more...

April 27, 2017 4:44 PM

 

I guess Dr. David Dao didn't want to drag it out.
 
He didn't need 100 days. Neither did United. CEO Oscar Munoz continues his apology tour in the media with a new report that heralds changes in service, including an increase in fees from $1,350 to $10,000 for bumped passengers. Dao's settlement amount hasn't been disclosed. Frankly, I would have dragged it out in the media, what with court delays and every story accompanied by the shrieking doctor being treated like a sack of rice. So, good for United. But not necessarily good for the consumer, because now the pressure is off of United to live up to its word.
For now, we're left to wonder if Dow will benefit from that Trump Tax plan.
 
TRUMP'S 100
The obsession over Trump's 100 days is natural. It's a round number check-up, the first benchmark we have to contemplate the big question: Did America make a mistake electing Donald Trump?
 
But most of us knew the answer on Nov. 9. And there is no political "morning-after-pill."
 
So more than an arbitrary thing, the 100-day window lets everyone give the victor the benefit of the doubt and show us he's legit. 
100 days.jpg

With 100 days, it's even rigged in favor of the president. Mind you, the "honeymoon" phase is when the president's capital is said to be at its highest (largely because he hasn't screwed up yet). Rightfully then, we can expect the "100 days" to give us a good sense of the absolute best an incoming president can do.
 
In other words, it's never going to be any better. This is it. 
 
Which makes it troublesome that as we approach the 100th day, the best we can say is, "Can we get an annulment?"
 
No, here's what can be said. Trump knows how to be a boss. He just doesn't know how to be president.
 
He knows closely-held family businesses and is all too willing to appoint inexperienced family members to influential positions. Democracy? It's an alien notion to Trump. LIke his towers, he likes to be the big bully, above it all. With three immigration executive orders held up in federal court (two on travel bans, one on sanctuary cities), it's clear he doesn't know the limit of his reach.
 
His tax cuts are like his public payout for your silence. Raising the standard deduction for individuals may put a few hundred bucks in your pocket. But it's nothing compared to the corporate tax cut. And according to Trump, it's all made up by growing the economy at 3 percent.
 
It's a variation of "trickle down" economics. Over the last 30 years, we've already learned that "trickle down" theories don't work well in practice. Cutting taxes on the rich so they reinvest in jobs and it all magically trickles down throughout the economy is a nice fantasy. But it doesn't work (not if companies merely use cash to buy back shares and pay the top execs). The plan enriches the 1 percent and practically guarantees the growth of budget deficits, putting the country in the red--if the fantasy doesn't come true.
 
Couple all that with Trump's huge military budget, and his 100 day penchant for using missiles in Syria and Afghanistan like he's trying to outdo Kim Jong Un, and you see where this could all be heading. 
 
It's not the middle class, let alone America first.
 
The tax cut is bad policy. Don't let Trump buy your silence. It's not like a money back guarantee. Besides, your vote in our democracy is worth way more than that.
 
Resist. Insist on tax fairness. Trump said in his campaign he'd raise taxes on the rich. Make him live up to that. Either that, or it's just another Trump lie. A typical flip-flop like we've seen in the first 100 days.
 
From China, to trade, to NATO, to his bad appointments, to his aggressive military stands without Congressional approval, the president has done more in 100 days to discredit himself than to reassure us in his presidency.
 
Hence, my grade for Trump:  F. And that doesn't stand for Filipino.
 
And if you still believe, like Trump, that the 100 day marker really doesn't matter, well, it does mean this. 
 
America still has a healthy sentence remaining for which there is no parole. 
 
You can mark it on the wall with chalk, but it's better simply to act up and resist. 
 
After April 29th, we've got 1,360 days left.
 
That includes the lost days if Trump's politicking results in a government shutdown.

What can you expect from Trump but the best kind of gridlock we've ever seen?
 
IN LOS ANGELES, ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY: 25 years, or 9,125 days later
In Korean, the phrase being used is "sa-i-gu," or 4-2-9, the date most Korean Americans will never forget. If you were in Los Angeles, you were at ground zero. They call it a riot. They call it an uprising. There was plenty to be upset about. The Rodney King verdict--which acquitted four police officers caught on videotape beating King--was the flashpoint. But it also allowed a community to vent about everything else, including the case of Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed by a South Korean store owner. Soon Ja Du, the liquor store owner, was convicted of manslaughter, fined, given five years 'probation, but no prison time-- even though the jury suggested Du get 16 years.
That, combined with the King verdict, is said to have triggered six days of unrest. It left 55 dead, 2,000 injured, 11,000 arrested.
 
And it was the Korean American community that bore the brunt of the outrage.
 
On the AALDEF podcast, I play a clip from the Korean Churches for Community Development's (KCCD) partnership with KoreanAmericanStory.org. 
 
The first story is from John Lim, who was the president of the Korean American Bar Association in 1992. He says Korean Americans, by virtue of their businesses, were misperceived by the media and the public as reaping economic benefit from the African American community and "not giving back." 

JohnKim.jpg

Because of that, Lim says Korean Americans were unfairly victimized during the riots. They were harshly treated in the aftermath when liquor licenses were taken away, and families not compensated. Lim doesn't see why a struggling Korean American community, most of them newly arrived post-1965, should have been blamed for the hundreds of years of social injustice endured by African Americans in society.
 
The KCCD Commemorative service is one of many to be held this weekend in Los Angeles at the Oriental Mission Church, at USC, and UCLA. 
 
Listen to Lim on our podcast: coming soon!
 
IN DEFENSE OF TAKEOUTS, and In Ho Oh
I've named our podcast "Emil Amok's Takeout," and that means we have a soft spot in our heart for Chinese takeouts. 
 
In Philadelphia, takeouts are under siege by overzealous cops who often ticket them unfairly for being open after 11 p.m.
 
GoodLuckRestaurant.jpg

I talk with Philadelphia councilman David Oh about the situation. Are Chinese takeouts no different than the Korean liquor store owners of Los Angeles? Oh talks about that. And he tells his own personal story of his cousin beaten to death in 1958 in Philadelphia. It was a Korean/African American story that was felt from Philadelphia to Seoul. The story of In Ho Oh has become a motivating factor for David Oh in the modern racial disputes he sees. It teaches him to seek the high road--by rejecting revenge and offering forgiveness.
 
As you'll hear in the interview, it didn't take the family 100 days in 1958 to show its compassion
 
MY COUSIN STEPHEN--1,095 DAYS LATER 
Finally, on the podcast, Oh speaking about forgiveness makes he consider my own cousin's murder. Stephen Guillermo was gunned down May 3, 2014 when he entered the wrong apartment by mistake. The resident, an African immigrant, was armed and shot him with a single bullet. I've written about it here.
StephenG.JPG

The murderer was known, was arrested, and then released. The DA wouldn't touch the case. My cousin remains a victim, with no real resolution or sense of justice.
 
But a story like In Ho Oh's offers some comfort and guidance as we approach May 3rd, 1,095 days after Stephen's murder.
 
In these key anniversaries, we remember as we approach Asian Pacific American Heritage Month how easy it is to slip into an unwitting divide-and-conquer mindset. No one wins, if we take the bait and fight each other. 
 
After hundreds of days, in these painful instances where the poor are pitted against the poor, maybe our best options always come down to this: forgiveness, understanding, and empathy.
 
*     *     *
Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

SHOW LOG

:30 Hello

1:45 Prevue on LA Riots

2:30 Prevue of Takeout Discrimination

4:00 Dr. Dao Settles with United

6:30 More on Trump's 100 days and the tax plan

11:56 25 years after the LA Riots, on 4-29 Sa-I-Gu

14:40 John Lim from KoreanAmericanStory.org, and their Sa-I-Gu project

28:46 Chinese Takeouts discriminated in Philly

Philadelphia David Oh intro

30:06 David Oh talks about how the situation began.

1:01:00 Oh's cousin, In Ho Oh

1:04:00 Act of Forgiveness

1:06:00 Stephen Guillermo

1:12:30 Wrap up on Stephen

 Contact:

http://www.aaldef.org/blog

http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

http://www.amok.com

Thanks for listening to Emil Amok's Takeout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 22, 2017

Don't tell the Laotian community in Richmond, CA that environmental racism doesn't exist. They've been fighting corporate polluters and making them listen to their voices for years. Miya Yoshitani of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) talks about their story fpr Earth Day as an inspiration for other Asian Americans to take action in the Trump era

Shownotes:

2:50  Emil Amok's take on Trump

5:19 On Bill O'Reilly's ousting

7:30 On Earth Day

8:00 Intro to Yoshitani interview

17:00 Fighting an incinerator in Chicago

18:40 On Environmental Racism

21:00 On toxic waste and race

26:00 The Richmond success story

27:25 The Laotian Organizing project

29:30 The need for multi-lingual communication 

32:54 Environmental activism means engaging in democracy

36:00 The environment provides our common ground

56:00 How Asian Americans can fight Environmental Racism

1:11:00 The smelly dog food factory

1:11:20 Staying optimistic

 

Read more from Emil Guillermo at http://www.aaldef.org/blog

Leave a comment at http://www.amok.com

Leave a voice mail on Speakpipe while you're there. 

Tweet @emilamok

 

Thanks for joining us on "Emil Amok's Takeout."

Apr 14, 2017

 

Emil Guillermo: Dragged United passenger Dr. David Dao is no Rosa Parks, but he could be a poster boy for all consumers
April 13, 2017 4:45 PM

When the U.S. drops the "mother of all bombs" on Afghanistan as a worldwide message, it's time for a little sobering perspective.

Maybe we could take a little more time to treat all people with a little more respect, fairness and dignity in our everyday lives. Person to person. And certainly, corporation to consumer. 

Which brings us to the viral bombshell of a story that won't die. 

If United, or anyone else, thought the dragging of Dr. David Dao was a short-term headline that would go away with a simple apology, they were sorely mistaken.


Dao's tale is bigger than anyone thought. It's soon to become the last stand for the modern global consumer. 

Dao, the 69-year-old man dragged off a United flight so that the airline could seat its own employees, has hired Thomas Demetrio, a top-notch personal injury lawyer based in Chicago. At a press conference Thursday, Demetrio made it clear how he saw things.

Demetrio didn't think the case was about race, even though Dao in one of the now numerous cell phone videos could be heard asking if United was asking him to leave the plane because he was Chinese. (At the press conference, Dao's daughter, Crystal, clarified that Dao immigrated from Vietnam.)

 

To further his point, Demetrio shared with the media an e-mail he'd received from someone suggesting that Dao was the "modern day Asian Rosa Parks."

"I don't think that's the case at all," Demetrio said. "What happened to Dr. Dao could have happened to any one of us."

Demetrio said Dr. Dao "has come to understand that he's the guy to stand up for passengers going forward."

In other words, he's the universal little guy. 

But race did come into play in one significant way when Dao told Demetrio how he felt about the dragging. On one of the phone videos released, Dr. Dao was seen crying out, "just kill me, just kill me." A reporter asked what Dao meant by that?
 

"I asked him that question; here's what he told me," said Demetrio. "He said that he left Vietnam in 1975 when Saigon fell. And he was on a boat. And he said he was terrified. He said that being dragged down the aisle was more horrifying and harrowing than what he experienced in leaving Vietnam."

If there's a lawsuit coming, and indeed there is, I don't think United stands a chance.

As a writer on race issues in America, I've often wondered what one factor in our society could become our common ground and end the pain of discrimination. Twenty years ago, I thought age would allow us to see beyond race. The ageists of the world have proved me wrong. In Dao, a 69-year old loving father with multiple grandchildren, I think we have the answer. 

He's the battered consumer in this angry, short-tempered society, standing up to the corporation. 

Race? Not primary. It may have helped the Chicago Airport cops to see him as an "other" so they could drag him away with zeal. But basically, race is irrelevant.  

Dao was a seated ticket holder, a profit center to the corporation. And when it didn't need him anymore, it violently bullied Dao and treated him like crap. 

We can all relate to that. It's what I thought on Monday when I first heard the story.

 

Now Dao is poised to become the one who fights for what all consumers deserve. 

Demetrio said there were three things every consumer should demand:  fairness, respect, and dignity. "That's it," Demetrio said. "I hope [Dao] becomes the poster child for all of us." 

It's not the position that most Asian Americans willingly seek out. Most hold on to the stereotype--unless you are chosen, and it's beaten out of you.

And then there's no other option but to speak up. You take a stand, and become what I've long called since my Asian Week days: a "Public Asian."

Dr. Dao wasn't at the press conference. 

Demetrio said he was at a secure location and appreciated if the media would leave him alone. Ultimately, Dao will return to Louisville, but probably by car. Said Demetrio: "He has no interest in ever seeing an airplane." 

Hear bits of the media conference in Ep.9 of the ALDEF podcast, Emil Amok's Takeout.

I also interview an Asian American from Kentucky, Mimi Hwang. She talks about the local reaction to Dao, who lives in the Louisville area, and gives her own perspective as a business owner and as someone who has experienced what it feels like to be bullied due to her Asian background. It happened to her family in 2015. She also says that while the Dao story is empowering, the micro-community of Asians has little voice and no support from social justice organizations.

I even mention if the community has heard from Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, who happens to be the wife of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell.

No, Hwang said. But she'd welcome Chao's support in the community.

 

Show notes

Opening

1:54 The Shriek

5:08 “I am not going…”

5:34 Thomas Demetrio, Dao’s lawyer

5:53 Rosa Parks?

6:13 Opening of Press conference

11:58 Dao’s the guy

12:25 On United CEO’s Apology

14:20 Crystal Pepper, Dao’s daughter

15:46 On seeing Dad dragged on video

16:00 Dao’s injuries

17:41 “Just kill me.”

19:06 The first 20 minutes of the whole conference (including a repeat of the first 6 minutes).

39:00  End of conference

41:48 Mimi Hwang at her martial arts studio, talk about the Louisville community where

Dr. Dao is from and about her own experiences with racism.

1:06:51 Emil’s conclusion.

Contact Emil at http://www.aaldef.org/blog, the site of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

 

If you like what you see, consider clicking the "DONATE" button.  AALDEF is a 501 C3 and your contribution is tax-deductible.

 

Give us your feedback there, or at www.amok.com

Leave a voice message. We might use it in a future show.

 

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You'll also find us on YouTube, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

 

  

BIO

Emil Guillermo wrote for almost 15 years his "Amok" column for AsianWeek, which was the largest English language Asian American newsweekly in the nation. "Amok" was considered the most widely-read column on Asian American issues in the U.S.


His thoughtful and provocative social commentaries have appeared in print in the San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate.com, San Francisco Examiner, USA Today, Honolulu Star Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and in syndication throughout the country.  His columns are seen in Asia and around the world, on Inquirer.net. 

His early columns are compiled in a book "Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective," which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 2000.

Guillermo's journalistic career began in television and radio broadcasting. At National Public Radio, he was the first Asian American male to anchor a regularly scheduled national news broadcast when he hosted "All Things Considered" from 1989-1991. During his watch, major news broke, including the violence in Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of dictatorships in Romania and Panama. From Washington, Guillermo hosted the shows that broke the news. 

As a television journalist, his award-winning reports and commentaries have appeared on NBC, CNN, and PBS. He was a reporter in San Francisco, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

After NPR, Guillermo became a press secretary and speechwriter for then Congressman Norman Mineta, the former cabinet member in the Bush and Clinton Administrations. 

After his Hill experience, Guillermo returned to the media, hosting his own talk show in Washington, D.C. on WRC Radio. He returned to California where he hosted talk shows in San Francisco at KSFO/KGO, and in Sacramento at KSTE/KFBK.

Guillermo's columns in the ethnic press inspired a roundtable discussion program that he created, hosted, executive produced, resulting in more than 100 original half-hour programs. "NCM-TV: New California Media" was seen on PBS stations in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles, and throughout the state on cable.

Guillermo also spent time as a newspaper reporter covering the poor and the minority communities of California's Central Valley. His writing and reporting on California's sterilization program on the poor and minorities won him statewide and national journalism awards.

In 2015, Guillermo received the prestigious Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice from the Asian American Journalists Association. The award, named after the late Korean American physician from Texas, recognizes excellence in the coverage of civil rights and social justice issues in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Guillermo, a native San Franciscan, went to Lowell High School, and graduated from Harvard College, where he was an Ivy Orator and class humorist.

Thanks for listening to Emil Amok's Takeout!

Apr 7, 2017

Emil Amok's Takeout is the podcast/radio program of award-winning journalist and commentator Emil Guillermo. 

Read his takes on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog at http://www.aaldef.org/blog

And at http://www.amok.com

On this episode, he is astonished by the sudden change in Trump. Yes, Syria is a grave situation. But Trump, the man of walls, the man who would chop off 24 million from Obamacare, and pass along any savings to his generals, has never shown anything but a tough, hard bottom-line approach to life. So forgive me for being skeptical of his jingoism because he was moved by the victims of Syria's Assad. 

Let's see if Trump says anything at all about the Bataan Death March. 

It's iconic and yet, no one really knows a whole lot beyond the name.  The Filipinos in America know how important it was. And now a move is on to make sure it's in the California high school curriculum. April 9 marks the 75th anniversary of the death march where 10,000 Filipinos lost their lives compared to about 650 U.S. soldiers. Daniel Gonzales, professor of Asian American Studies at SF State University is interviewed. (At 9:30).

Bonus material: "Ghost in the Ship" flopped in its opening week. And we know why!  Jenn Fang's favorite anime growing up has been blasphemed by Dreamworks' live action approach. She said it's even worse than she could have imagined. Hear her discuss the problems. Spoilers? The movie comes pre-spoiled. (Starts around 54:00)

That's it. 

Comments welcome at http://www.aaldef.org/blog

If you liked what you've read or hear on the podcast, share with a friend. Or even make a tax-deductible donation on the blog page. AALDEF is a full non-profit serving the Asian American community.

 

 

 

Mar 29, 2017

You might know about Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII, but did you know the U.S. also rounded up Japanese Latin Americans, mostly from Peru.

They were held and imprisoned in the U.S. to be used as pawns of war. About 2,200 were rounded up. 

On Emil Amok's Takeout, I talk to two survivors, Art Shibayama, 86 , and Blanca Katsura, 86. Both were 12-years old and living in Peru when their families were taken from their Latin American homeland and placed in a camp in Texas.

Recently, Shibayama brought his case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights at the Organization of American States. The hope is to force the U.S. to give a proper apology and reparations equal to the Japanese Americans who were interned during WWII. Because of their foreign status, Japanese Latin Americans were offered a fourth of what Japanese Americans received.

Show Notes:

2:00 Emil's take on Trumpcare defeat

5:00 How to Fix Obamacare

8:00 Art Shibayama calls it kidnapping.

14:20 Blanca Katsura felt she was without a country.

16:11 Phil Tajitsu Nash, civil rights activist and AALDEF board member talks about the significance of the case before the IACHR. 


To support our podcast, go to the blog at http://www.aaldef.org/blog

If you like our show, please consider a donation to AALDEF, where any donation is fully tax-deductible.

For feedback to to my personal page at  http://www.amok.com

Twitter@emilamok

And please subscribe for free on iTunes, where you can rate and review our show and help more people learn about the issues we talk about on the show.

Thanks for downloading and listening to Emil Amok's Takeout!

Emil Guillermo

 

 

Mar 22, 2017

In an exclusive interview, host Emil Guillermo talks with Profs. Scott Kurashige and Emily Lawsin about their discrimination lawsuit filed against the University of Michigan. 

See more on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog, http://www.aaldef.org/blog

The lawsuit paints a broad picture of discrimination and exclusion at the school that Kurashige previously documented in his writing and in the media. The suit alleges his outspokenness on exposing the school’s discriminatory demographics (e.g., only 4.1 percent Black, 4.6 percent Hispanic, 0.2 percent Native American in 2015; only 4 percent of students from low-economic status in 2014) led to his termination as director of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Studies Program in 2013.

Kurashige, a tenured professor and a winner of the American Historical Association’s Beveridge Award, alleges he was blacklisted by colleagues and forced to resign in 2014.

Lawsin was also harassed for attempting to expose discriminatory practices at the school. While on protected leave to care for a baby with Down syndrome in 2015, she alleges the school began layoff proceedings that turned into a move to terminate. Lawsin has since been barred from teaching her classes for the winter 2017 semester.

Their lawyer, Alice Jennings said the university had no cause for action against Kurashige or Lawsin.

“As is usually the case where an individual is championing the rights of others and refuse to accept racial and sex discrimination aimed at them, the institutional process, by individual leaders or administrators, creates pretextual allegations against the person or community of persons to give a logic to their discriminatory or retaliatory actions,” Jennings told me. 

Jennings continued: “I think what occurred with professors Kurashige and Lawsin is precisely what occurs in an academic culture that is systemically racial and sexist and geared to perform in a protect manner against people of color who will not allow themselves to be undercompensated, -evaluated or humiliated, degraded and treated with disrespect, where others — non-people of color, similarly situated are treated more favorably.”

“We will vigorously defend the university against this lawsuit,” University of Michigan spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald said in media reports.

We're on iTunes, so please, subscribe,rate and review.

Contact us on the AALDEF site at http://www.aaldef.org/blog

Follow on Twitter: @emilamok

Thanks for listening to Emil Amok's Takeout

Mar 16, 2017
With just hours before the Travel Ban 2.0 was set to take effect, federal judge Derrick Kahala Watson in Honolulu halted it nationwide by issuing a temporary restraining order to the listed plaintiffs: the State of Hawaii and Ismail Elshikh.

You heard a lot about Hawaii, but not much about Elshikh in most of the news reports.

Elshikh was critical to the important issue of standing to file the lawsuit.

Hawaii's claims were similar to the state of Washington's in the suit that stalled the first travel ban. Like Washington, Hawaii's universities would suffer monetary harms, as would the state as a whole--especially its important tourism industry.

But Elshikh was the named human face in this suit. 

Read more at http://aaldef.org/blog/emil-guillermo-thanks-to-hawaii-and-ismail-elshikh-travel-ban-20-blocked-for-now.html
 
Also important was the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Trump during the campaign, which the judge noted as indicative of the travel ban's real motive.
 
Maybe the administration will learn that even a "watered down" version of Islamophobia is still Islamophobia and no way to fight terrorism.
 
That's especially true when the hateful rhetoric inspires hateful actions as it did in Olathe, Kansas recently.
 
I play an interview I did with Jenn Fang just days after the murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla. We talk about the president's reaction, how the Vincent Chin case compares, and why Asian Americans should care about Islamophobia.
 
See the SAALT report here:
http://aaldef.org/blog/emil-guillermo-is-srinivas-kuchibhotla-the-vincent-chin-for-south-asians.html
 
Emil Guillermo is a veteran journalist, columnist, commentator,  broadcaster, and talk host.
 
See all my blog posts at http:/www.aaldef.org/blog
 
and at http://www.amok.com
 
Thanks for listening to Emil Amok's Takeout.
 
 
 
http://www.aaldef.org/blog
 
Mar 8, 2017

In Emil Amok's Takeout, host Emil Guillermo, writer on the Asian American Legal Defense and Educaton Fund blog (www.aaldef.org/blog) talks about the new travel ban.

Even sanitized, the ban is an attack on Muslims and Muslim Americans. 

Beyond the travelers it specifically bans, it authorizes a provision to create a data base of foreign nationals in America and the crimes they commit. 

A score card! What better way to criminalize an innocent community. It's another wrongheaded attempt by Trump 45 which will only alienate and anger Islamic people, not just from the six countries in the ban, but all Islamic countries and the communities where they live in America.

Good job, Trump!

Emil also talks to Deepa Iyer, author of the book, "We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim,and Sikh immigrants shape our multi-racial future."

Iyer says immigrant communities are already in fear. She denounces the travel ban, and talks about how it fans xenophobia in the U.S. 

Specifically, she talks about the shooting death in Olathe, Kansas, where one Indian engineer was killed and a second on injured in February. 

Iyer says the killing has impacted the Indian community, which she says is "becoming woke." 

Go to Emil Amok's bio at http://www.aaldef.org/blog

 

Mar 4, 2017

It's not every day an undocumented person gets to sit in the chamber of power and listen to the president.

But that's what happened to Angie Kim.

Emil Guillermo talks with Kim, a community organizing fellow at the Minkwon Center for Community Action in Flushing, Queens, NY.

Brought to the U.S. at age name by her parents from South Korea, Kim qualified for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals program (DACA), in 2012.

It gave her the right to get a work permit and stay in the U.S. Now 32, her future is in jeopardy, as President Trump has yet to say what will happen with DACA recipients. In recent days, some DACA recipients have been apprehended by ICE  under new broad guidelines.

Kim, invited to the speech by Congresswoman Grace Meng, didn't get a shout out like the widow or Ryan Owens. Kim shares her thoughts on the politics of the night and how she uses her activism to deal with the fear she faces as the only undocumented person in her family

Emil Guillermo write for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog. He is an award-winning journalist who was once an NPR host, newspaper columnist, and TV reporter. 

See his work at www.aaldef.org/blog

Or at www.amok.com

www.twitter.com/emilamok

 

Emil Amok on the Speech. amok.com March 1, 2017

It wasn’t exactly a State of the Union, more like a Trump state of mind.

But that means the best thing you could say about Trump45’s address before Congress is this: At least the TelePrompTer didn’t break.

If it did, who knows what we would have seen on speech night.

“Campaign Trump”?

Or “Twitter Trump”?

That’s the Trump who has been the real enemy of the people.

But this speech was slightly more tempered. Milder. And he didn’t veer off wildly.

The president showed us all— he could read!

Sad.

And just for doing that, 78 percent of viewers in a CNN/ORC poll gave Trump positive marks.

Now that’s something Trump understands. Ratings.

Governing, however, has been a mystery. But now Trump will learn from experience that if you give a political speech that’s long on promises on things like jobs, education, infrastructure, and Obamacare, without a stitch of detail on how to keep those promises, let alone pay for them, ratings can go up.

And maybe he’ll start acting normal?

That’s something both to welcome and to fear.

Welcome because he’s not 100 percent in your face.

Fear, because he’s figured out how the game works.

And that of course, makes Trump more dangerous than ever.

There were two things specifically I was looking for in the speech,  that  left  me pretty disappointed.

Though Trump began the speech talking about Black History Month and civil rights, he really could have condemned the threats to the Jewish Community Centers and the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries much stronger than he did.

And he could have dwelled on the shootings of Indian Americans in Olathe, near Kansas City. One man, Srinivas Kuchibhotla died. Another Indian American was wounded.

A Caucasian man, Ian Grillot,24, was wounded trying to disarm the shooter, another Caucasian male, Adam Purinton, 51, who  started it all by hurling racial slurs at the Indians.

These are the kind of things Trump45 has brought out in America since the start of his presidency.

We should have seen a passionate denunciation of these acts. Instead,  rump simply read the prompter then bathed in the shower of self-congratulatory applause.

It was as if just by being gracious makes him a hero.

But what did Trump do since he’s taken over?

With his anti-immigrant, build-a-wall, nationalistic rhetoric, he has given a segment of America a signal that hate is OK in America.

The O-KKK.

Trump’s victory unleashed all that on America.

But the president acknowledged it with just a single line:  “While we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

It didn’t seem sincere. Not after the first 40 days. It seemed hollow.

He didn’t even mention the Asian Americans by nationality or name.

It was just a shooting in Kansas City.

Not good enough.

Of course, later in his speech, Trump milked another sentimental moment to honor Navy Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens, who died in Yemen during a raid last January.

The military is always a safe bet. So honor a Gold Star family, and deplete the domestic budget in favor billions for the military.

But for the Jews, or for the murdered Indian immigrant?

Trump gave them short-shrift.

It’s the reason Trump’s big pre-speech “leak” that he would be calling for a bi-partisan immigration reform seemed just like an insincere  tease.

After the travel ban fiasco, and the new ICE policies that have resulted in round ups of undocumented immigrants around the country, a real push for a compromise on immigration would have been a great headline.

But there was “no there, there.”

Not when Trump’s speech contained more talk of a border wall, references to “illegal immigrants,” and borders as “lawless chaos.” And then, as he is likes to do, Trump mixes border security with national security and all that entails, and creates for us all one big fear: “Radical Islamic Terrorism.”

And he used that exact counter-productive term, once again, despite advice to refrain.

By the time he got around to his pitch for a bi-partisan immigration  “compromise,” Trump had no credibility with minority communities and those close to the immigrants who are living in fear.

Immigration has always been humanitarian based for political or economic reasons for the immigrant. The benefit to the U.S. has always been the extra.

Trump’s idea is for a merit-based immigration. He wants to cherry-pick the best, because the best will make money for Trump, the U.S., and that’s all he really cares about.

Once again, he could have made a better case had he mentioned the Indian man who died in Olathe, that suburb of Kansas City.

His name was Srinivas Kuchibhotla. He was a tech worker at Garmin, the gps company.

He was one of the immigrants Trump likes.

But not enough to mention in a major speech.

There were other glaring things Trump said. Like calling education the “civil rights issue of our time.”

Really? So is that why Betsy DeVos–the voucher queen hell bent on destroying public education–the new secretary of education?

And what about that travel ban? After the  speech, Trump cancelled again the announcement for the new executive order that was to supercede the one held up by the court in Washington state.

Reports had it that Iraq would come off. Would other countries be added?

I worry for the  Philippines.

This is the week the militant group Abu Sayyaf, home based in the Philippines, revealed a video showing the beheading of a 70-year-old German hostage.

Trump didn’t mention it at all.

But it was in the subtext when Trump said, “We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America—we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.”

Stated or unstated, you knew that the beheading in the Philippines,  reported in the New York Times on speech day, could potentially be more fuel for Trump’s xenophobic fire.

And this was a toned down speech.

So if you hear people praise Trump about this speech and the polls giving him good marks for his performance,  don’t be fooled.

All he did was stick to the TelePrompTer.

And act presidential. Remember, he’s all showbiz.

It’s still the same old Trump.

 

Feb 27, 2017

In this episode, recorded days before the announcement of Trump 45's new travel ban, journalist and commentator Emil Guillermo talks to  Erika Lee, the director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota. She's the author of the book, "The Making of Asian America." 

If you’re Asian American,  not a visa overstay, nor a DACA recipient, you may have your head down and not be paying attention to all the new proposals on immigration and border security.

But a new proposal could impact Asian Americans and their families and friends.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has proposed this idea: to collect private social media from Chinese visitors entering the U.S. on tourist and business visas.

National security is again the stated fear, even though there’s little evidence to justify such an invasion of privacy.

This unfair scrutiny based on race and national origin could result in unjust harassment, detention and should be a chilling reminder to Asian Americans whose ancestors were the first major group to be targeted and banned from the U.S.

“These types of actions do affect Asian Americans,” historian Erika Lee, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, told me on the AALDEF podcast, “Emil Amok’s Takeout.”  “Asian immigrants are the fastest, not only immigrant group in the United States, but the fastest growing undocumented immigrant group in the United States. So they are directly impacted by these interior enforcement and border security propositions and policies.”

Collecting information from Chinese business and tourist visa holders could just be the beginning of a greater overreach by the government.

On the week when a new revised travel ban is expected, Lee warns: “If any of our international relations with Asian countries get even more  rocky, who knows who will be added to the travel ban.”

Lee adds:  “I don’t think that class status or national origin protects new Asian immigrants from these policies. But certainly as Asian Americans, whose families have  lived through (the consequences of previous bans like Chinese Exclusion),  the need to act up is imperative. The need to talk about solidarity, and  show solidarity couldn’t be more clear.”

Once we’re on ITunes, please subscribe rate and review.

You can contact me on twitter @emilamok

Or go to the aaldef blog…at www.aaldef.org/blog

Thanks for listening to Emil Amok's Takeout

 

 

Feb 18, 2017
Ep.1: Emil talks with Phil Tajitsu Nash about EO 9066 and the internment of Japanese Americans during  WWII

Feb. 19 is the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin Roosevelt. It was the start of a nightmare for Japanese Americans who were rounded up and placed in internment camps during World War II.

How did it happen? And could it happen again to another group?

Phil Tajitsu Nash is an Asian American history professor at the University of Maryland, a civil rights lawyer, and a board member of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.  

He talks about how Roosevelt came to sign 9066 despite information that should have negated any sense that Japanese Americans represented a threat.

He also talks about how the internment personally impacted his family.

Read more on the blog at http://www.aaldef.org/blog

 

Feb 17, 2017
Special episode: Emil Amok's Takeout

Virginia Beach dentist Allan Bergano, an Asian American of Filipino descent wasn't going to go down without a fight.

A city road widening project was forcing him to move. But after spending more than $400,000, he went to the city for relocation costs and was denied.

Officials said there decision was final. There would be no appeal. 

Bergano sued the city in Federal Court. But it wasn't easy.

It was his sense of the historical discrimination faced by Filipinos in America that kept him focused on the fight.

Listen to the podcast. Read his story on the AALDEF blog, http://www.aaaldef.org/blog

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