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…
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
After April 29th, we’ve got 1,360 days left.
That includes the lost days if Trump’s politicking results in a government
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.
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.”
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.
IN DEFENSE OF TAKEOUTS, and In Ho Oh I’ve named our podcast “Emil Amok’s
In Philadelphia, takeouts are under siege by overzealous cops who often ticket
them unfairly for being open after 11 p.m.
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
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
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.
Listen to episode 11 of Emil Amok’s Takeout below.
1:45 Preview – LA Riots
2:30 Preview – Philly 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 Intro of Philly councilman David Oh - Chinese takeouts face discrimination
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
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.