NEWS: Exclusion, Prosecution, Protest

NBC News: NY Lawmakers Ask Obama to Formally Apologize for Chinese Exclusion Act / Advocacy Groups Press DOJ for Investigation on Alleged Profiling of Scientists // MSNBC: Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth // NBC News: Asian-American Advocates Speak Out in Favor of Gun Control As Dems Hold Sit-In  

DAILY NEWS BRIEF: Accusations, independent voters, and photographers

Latest news: The CBS 60 Minutes program devotes a segment on two American citizens – Xiaoxing Xi and Sherry Chen – who were falsely and abruptly charged with spying based on inadequate and erroneous evidence. An opinion piece in U.S News & World Report raises the political problems of treating the Asian American electorate as a monolithic…

DAILY NEWS BRIEF: Places, names, and faces

In the news: The Chicago Tribune reports that it’s Chinatown community is countering the negative effects of urban gentrification on ethnic neighborhoods by welcoming and supporting new Chinese immigrants. The Washington Post provides historical and cultural context to a recent law passed by Congress, which updates names used in legislation to remove antiquated racist terminology….

NOTABLE ESSAYS: On Solidarity, Invisibility, and Satire

Racial and ethnic identity politics make for difficult conversations these days. Quick and sharp responses to offensive language in the media are multiplied and repeated, then  become trending topics in brief social media outbursts. These eruptions, unfortunately, offer more heat than light. Except for these three recent essays: [Huffington Post] How Do Asian Americans Advocate…

IN BUSINESS: Portable power from the sun

NBC News, via its NBC Asian America channel, is featuring start-ups in the new business series “Self-Starters.” The series highlights stories of entrepreneurs pursuing their paths to attain the proverbial American dream. The current episode “GigaWatt” shows CEOs Deep Patel and Harold Tan describe their products — portable solar energy solutions that power devices in…

MUSIC MONDAY: L.A., the Devil, and other love songs

Singer and songwriter Connie Lim has a direct and spare style that gives her contemporary songs emotional clarity. The Los Angeles-based musician hasn’t gained much nationwide attention, but she has been producing an impressive range of songs that include alternative pop ballads, covers, smooth soul, and more recent indietronic rock. The following music videos feature…

CINEMA SUNDAY: Daughters & Mothers

Based on Amy Tan’s novel and directed by Wayne Wang, “The Joy Luck Club” movie reveals the difficult and sometimes violent life stories that underlie the conflicts between mothers and daughters. In the movie, memories of the mothers’ past lives in China intersect with the  modern-day experiences of their Chinese American daughters. The multiple emotions…

FOODIE FRIDAY: Gastronomy and Irony

After some Asian American writers protested the publication of his latest New Yorker poem, “Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?,” humorist Calvin Trillin had to defend his doggerel as just satire of the “food-obsessed bourgeoisie,” not racist verse. Trillin’s offending poem starts out with a complaint: “Have they run out of provinces yet? If…

FOODIE FRIDAY: Authenticity in gastronomy

In 1961, restauratrice Cecilia Chiang opened The Mandarin restaurant in San Francisco and introduced Americans to real Northern Chinese dishes. She served hot-and-sour soup, dumplings, pot stickers, beggar’s chicken, smoked tea duck, Peking Duck, among many others that replaced then-standard Chinatown food like egg foo young, egg drop soup, and chop suey. Chiang received the…

CINEMA SUNDAY: Painting the world of Disney’s “Bambi”

Art director Tyrus Wong’s impressionistic style defined the innovative look of Walt Disney’s classic animated film “Bambi” released in 1942. A new documentary about him called “Tyrus” by Pamela Tom is being featured by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) during its film festival. The film includes stories of his artistic achievement at Disney,…