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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
"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."
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
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
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
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
Among whites, 41 percent said Indians are not likely to be
Asian American, and 45 percent didn't see Pakistanis as Asian
Here's the jawdropper. Even among Asians, the numbers who didn't
see Indians or Pakistanis as Asian American were in the 30-40
It's actually very Trump-like of the Asian Americans
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
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
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
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.
The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily
represent AALDEF's views or policies.