Blog

2017
Blog

This November’s word? Trumpudiation–but not everyone is cheering

I couldn’t help thinking about the Charlottesville, Virginia chant that racist white nationalists spewed last summer. They marched through the University of Virginia campus as they carried tiki…

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Fil Vets of WWII don’t die, they “just fade away;” but so does the feel good moment

My Uncle Mel was a great American. As a barber, he cut my hair. As a soldier, he was a corporal in the U.S. Army, a recipient of a Purple Heart. And now, a Congressional Gold Medal winner. I couldn’t…

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Filipino WWII Vet Almeda wins his claim; Fil-Vets honored at Congressional Gold Medal ceremony

In his 100th year, life is finally looking less absurd for Filipino WW II veteran Celestino Almeda. On Wednesday, he will be a speaker at the special ceremony honoring all Filipino Veterans of World…

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If Filipinos were here first, shouldn’t this be the United States of the Philippines?

This year, I made a pilgrimage to a special landmark that you may miss unless you happen to be looking for the only public restroom at a particular vista point in Morro Bay, California. For Filipinos,…

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Big fires in NorCal; Vandalism in Little Manila

These are hazy, smoky times in the most Asian state (by population) in America. Most of California is essentially an orchard paved over to varying degrees, and I am on the edges of the rural and…

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Marilou Danley, Stephen Paddock, and gun control

October is Filipino American History Month for a number of reasons, but probably not because it’s my birthday month. The Filipino American National Historical Society chose October because it’s the…

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Kneeling for Puerto Rico and surviving the survival politics of Donald Trump

I’m kneeling. But not for the NFL, and not necessarily for my free speech rights (witness, I still have them). Most certainly, I am not on bended knee for Donald Trump (more on the NFL issue later).…

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Bipartisan politics wins Congressional medal for Filipino Vets, right-wing ire for Trump on DACA

For real bipartisanship in Congress, we must celebrate the passing this week of a resolution in both the House and Senate to honor Filipino World War II veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal.…

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Podcast–What you need to know now about DACA

As the head of the Department of Homeland Security in the Obama administration, Janet Napolitano knows all about DACA. Though it was announced by President Obama, it was Napolitano’s agency’s plan.…

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What killed DACA? Trump’s white identity politics

When President Obama was hailed as ushering in a “post-racial” America, the phrase was often said derisively by those who wished to bury our country’s race mistakes of the past. That would include…

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Three Asian Americans on Harvey: A stranded evacuee, a Katrina survivor, and a Trump booster

If you’re a president known for tweeting, of course, there’s only one way to show any empathy. You do selfies. It was Trump in what would be known as a “mulligan” in golf–his second visit to Houston…

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Hurricane Harvey is more proof–Trump doesn’t know how to act presidential, or human

“This is the worst,” Ed Gor, a Houston resident, told me on our podcast, Emil Amok’s Takeout. We were on the phone Sunday talking about the power of Harvey, demoted from hurricane to tropical storm,…

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Trump’s total eclipse of American values

To better understand what’s happening in this great country, let’s all engage in the metaphor of the day! The total eclipse of the sun will be over in less than three minutes. But take off the…

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Rejecting a Trumpulent America

The Trump hotel brand oozes opulent luxuriousness. But now that Trump is in public office for the first time (and right at the top), I’ve coined a word to capture the new Trump style of government and…

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Remembering the evictions at San Francisco’s International Hotel

On the edge of Chinatown in San Francisco, Filipinos always gravitated to Kearny Street. Known as Manilatown, it was not a tourist trap, just a place Filipinos called home. But by 1977, development…

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Eddie Huang caps an AAJA committed to telling our Asian American stories

Eddie Huang said he’s currently working on a novel now. But when he first started writing a few years back and his literary ambitions were high, book publishers wanted a cook book, not a memoir. He…

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Actor BD Wong says his Emmy-nominated role in “Mr. Robot” doesn’t “defame or devalue trans-ness” or he would not do it

When I saw that BD Wong was recently nominated for an Emmy, my first instinct was to offer congratulations. So I was surprised when I saw an Asian American group refrain from offering kudos and take…

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Congress shines light on extrajudicial killings in the Philippines; A survivor’s tale under oath

In a news week that contained O.J. Simpson’s parole and President Trump’s trade-in for a slicker New York mouthpiece, sandwiched by even more Russia-Trump trauma, it’s not surprising…

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The Slants’ Simon Tam speaks candidly on PODCAST: “The cure for hate speech isn’t censorship…let communities decide, not government.”

It’s been a big summer for Simon Tam, musician and founder of the Slants, now trademarked, reappropriated, and unanimously affirmed by the Supreme Court. He also got married recently in his native…

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Oh no, “Hawaii Five-0” and what it means to all of us

When I first heard about Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park leaving “Hawaii Five-0,” I couldn’t believe it. The stars of the long-running TV crime procedural based in the 50th state simply asked for pay…

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