Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vlog #3: Connie & Raisa

Raisa brings up several points of discussion in this brief introduction to APA month:

To find out more about the Denny's incident in 1997, come to the Anti-Asian Hate Crime Exhibit. The exhibit will launch on Monday, April 11th at 4 pm and run until the end of the semester in Bird Library's Peter Graham Scholarly Commons (1st floor).

For more information about the Asian & Asian American minor, attend the forum discussion, "Asian American Student Struggles in Central New York," on Saturday, April 9th at 3 pm in room 114 of Hall of Languages. See you there!

What's the low-down on Asian cliques?

Illustration by Sean Basista. Provided by Jerk Magazine.

Jerk Magazine's latest issue published an article entitled, "Asian vs. Asian Smackdown: Can't We All Just Get Along?" criticizing Asian and Asian American students on campus for self-segregating from one another. Its author, Karen Hor, calls out all the APA student organizations and asks, "What's the damn difference?" According to Karen, these student organizations "fortify racism within a race."

Have you had an experience similar to the one Karen illustrates? Do you agree with the points in her article? Is there self-segregation on our campus, and if yes, how do you think that affects our student body?

"The struggle for Freedom, Justice, and Equality transcends racial and ethnic barriers."

Richard Aoki was a social activist: field marshal in the Black Panther Party, founding member of the Asian American Political Alliance, leader in the Third World Liberation Front Strike at UC Berkeley, coordinator for the first Asian American Studies program at UC Berkeley. He dedicated his life to human rights. Aoki demonstrates that the fight for social justice is a collective effort, regardless of cultural or racial barriers.

Richard Aoki: Valedictorian & Lumpen (In His Younger Years)

Richard Aoki
One of the things that seems to be odd is that, here I am. I’m a Japanese American. This is an African American based organization. So meeting there the first night of the founding, Huey asked me to join the Party. I looked at him and I looked at Bobby and I said, “I know you two guys are crazy, ‘cuz we drafted the program together. Are you blind as well? I’m not Black.” Then Huey responded by saying, “That’s not the issue, Richard. The struggle for Freedom, Justice, and Equality transcends racial and ethnic barriers. As far as I’m concerned, you Black.”
In fact at one point I had the title of being the “toughest Oriental to come out of West Oakland.”
At first I looked over the other majors: rejected psychology for their subjective approach to the problems of the world, and philosophy as nothing but thought, mental masturbation. Political science, I couldn’t deal with that at Berkeley, because at the time the Poly-Sci department at Berkeley was politically conservative. In fact some of the professors worked for the CIA and that was public knowledge.
Credits to thefuckingloudestazns.tumblr.com 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vlog #1: Ricky

Introduction to Vlogs

Hey everybody,

We will be uploading interview vlogs all throughout APA Month, talking to people on campus of various backgrounds about APA Month and why diversity is important. They will be posted on YouTube and embedded to this blog. If there are any specific questions or issues you are curious about exploring, feel free to let us know and we will incorporate them into future vlogs. Enjoy!

Friday, April 1, 2011

APA Month Kick-Off Reception

Thanks to everybody, who came out to the kick-off!
 We enjoyed the amazing Pan-Asian lunch that OMA served in their office.

From top left to right: Ricky Mo, Neville Sun, Judy Wang, Amy Lau, & Dana Wan

From top left to right: Diana Huynh, Jenny Sui, Jessica Louie, Daryl Cheung, & Tim Huynh

From top left to right: Alice Feng, Leo Wong, Diana Huynh

Passion For Justice

Learning about key Asian American and Pacific Islander figures in history is important to understanding WHO we are, and WHY we are WHERE we are today. Learning about their achievements provides us a tremendous source of strength to persist in the struggle against social injustices.

Tonight at 5PM in HL 205 is a great opportunity to learn about one notable Asian American woman - Yuri Kochiyama.

Passion For Justice documents her life and work as a fierce Japanese American human rights activist. Although Kochiyama was politicized when she was in her 40s, she did not let her age and gender stop her from joining the Black Liberation, Puerto Rican Independence, and Asian American Movements. Inspired by Malcolm X, she has campaigned for the freedom of Mumia Abu Jamal, a political prisoner on death row and countless other political prisoners. Kochiyama is also a survivor of the Japanese internment camps. When Malcolm X was assassinated, Yuri Kochiyama was one of the people who ran to him and tried to resuscitate him.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Alexandra Wallace

With over 5 million views in the past week, Alexandra Wallace's rant condemning Asians for their phone etiquette in the library sparked numerous video responses, ranging from parodies of her made up Asian language to serious responses addressing her insensitivity towards Japanese tsunami victims. She has since deleted her YouTube account and removed the original video, but numerous repostings have popped up, like the one above.

Wallace issued multiple apologies, recognizing that her comments were offensive and ill-informed. Her ignorance is not due to a lack of exposure to APA culture at UCLA, where the APA community make up 37% of the student population. What do you think caused her to formulate her perceptions, even though she has Asian friends? Do you think a video like this could appear here at SU, where the APA population makes up less than 8% of the student body?

What is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month?

Asian Pacific Americans are people who currently reside in the U.S. whose heritage hails from the continent of Asia and the neighboring Pacific Islands. You might know some APAs. Sure, they may be Chinese, Korean, or Japanese. But the Asian Pacific American identity also includes people from the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Micronesia, India, or Laos—namely, not your typical “oriental” countries.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is about paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success.

Syracuse University's Office of Multicultural Affairs and co-curricular funding brings you APA Month this April 2011. This year's theme "Speak Out" is about making the invisible visible, encouraging students to advocate for social issues affecting their own communities and recognizing those who do so.

Here on this blog, you will find articles and videos all throughout the month of April, exploring what it means to be Asian Pacific American. Even if you are not of APA heritage, we hope it will help you discover your own cultural identity. Feel free to take a look around. We encourage anyone and everyone's comments. Only with conversation will we better understand each other and our hope is that you will carry this conversation long past APA month.