Fascinasians

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(Source: fuckyeahpocstandupcomedy)

you're probably just those fucking stupid tumblr social justice police trying to justify yourself -- how can you even be already analyzing moana when you don't even know what polynesian culture is like.?ugh, gtfo.

Anonymous

sifu-korras:

Nobody’s trying to justify anything, I was merely stating my thoughts, or is that not allowed anymore?

By the way, this is me:

image

Fairly Polynesian if you ask me. 

HEY-OH *spirit fingers*

As a minority whose race is going to be represented by a company who doesn’t have a shining track record in terms of POC representation, I think I have a right to be concerned and rather nit picky. 

Is it a crime to make sure any of these cultures — whichever ones are showcased in this movie — aren’t being exploited in any manner? Because Polynesian refers to more than one culture, multiple really, whose differences people don’t see. I could not tell you the number of times I had to explain to someone what Samoan was and they reply with, “Oh, so you’re Hawaiian?”

Audiences need to know that Polynesians are way more than a group of people supposedly living in a “tropical Hawaiian paradise.” We are more than ukuleles, grass skirts, and coconut bras. We are more than the flower and kukui leis round our necks; the seis adorning our hair; our frickin sick tattoos.

As an Islander living in a place where I am constantly mistaken as Asian or Hispanic because nobody has ever heard of Samoan or Tongan or Tokelauan, Fijian, Niuean, and all the rest, you had better believe that when my people are given the chance to be represented, I am definitely gonna be there, making sure everything is done right

Perhaps, since they’re talking mythology and whatnot, Disney’s gonna make Moana of the Lapita people, who are the ancestral Pacific Islanders. Who knows? I do know this: I can voice my own opinion with how Disney dishes out culture on this film, seeing as it’s my own.

honestly curious, why does it offend you?

Anonymous

perfectlyerik:

i see lucy as a racist film that plays on negative stereotypes while hiding behind the cover of (white) feminism. 

all this film has done is switch out the white man for a white woman. it’s still a film about a white person getting violated by the evil poc, then gaining power and wiping them out. 

here’s 2 of my favourite scenes from the trailer: 

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from top to left to right:

KEEP CLEAN 保持清潔,APPLE 蘋果,ONION 洋蔥,GRAPE 葡萄,CHAIR 椅子,TOMATO 番茄

traditional chinese is an actual written language used by millions of people, not symbols to be thrown around at the whim of set designers because they look cool and idk, serves to create a menacing asian atmosphere. this is so disrespectful, and made even worse by the fact that this film in set it taipei, taiwan where the official written language is traditional chinese.

it doesn’t matter that this film caters to a primarily “white” audience who won’t be able to read it, the language and culture of taiwan isn’t something for you to twist and use as you deem fit because it’s “exotic.” 

image

lucy shoots a guy for not being able to speak english. 

she l i t e r a l l y shoots this taiwanese taxi driver, in taiwan for not being able to speak english. she’s in taipei and she’s shooting people as they are of no use to her because they don’t speak english. 

just think about the sort of message that’s sending out. she’s not being “bad-ass strong female character who takes no shit,” she’s saying that english is useful and better. this is the type of harmful ideology that stretches all the way back from when western countries were colonising and forcing their language and customs on other countries. 

let me explain with a real life example. i was born in new zealand to two taiwanese parents. i am fluent in english, but mandarin is conversational at best. my friends in taiwan say that i am “so lucky” to speak fluent english, when they are fluent in mandarin and their english level is no worse than my mandarin. they tell me that they want to perfect their english but in the same breath tell me that mandarin isn’t worth perfecting because i have english and that’s “enough”. they also tell me how pretty my white friends are when they see pictures.

this is the type of neo imperialism ideology that they’ve grown up buying into. it honestly hurts and frustrates me that they belittle their own culture like this, honestly believing that the western world is superior. this is the type of neo imperialism ideology that this film (hopefully unintentionally) promotes: white people are better and will save the day. 

if they wanted to film a movie about a white women getting back at those who had violated her, why not film it in a western country? if they wanted to film it in taiwan, why not find an asian lead actress?

i do agree that we need more women protagonists in action/superhero movies, but not like this. its not okay that the female lead needs to be kidnapped and have her body cut open without her consent in order to gain her powers, and those said those powers do not make any of this racist bullshit okay. 

i am just so tired and angry of poc always being brushed off to the side as either props or villains in mainstream media. 

as a poc, it’s so frustrating to see that the of the standard of beauty still white women when we live in multi-cultural societies and a diverse world. 

feminism is about equality. a film in which poc are presented as evil and inferior before being killed off by a superior white woman does not promote equality. 

Plate by Plate: Project by Project's Annual Tasting Benefit

Every year, Project by Project selects a non-profit partner based on a theme or issue that addresses current needs in the Asian American community. This year, Project by Project LA is partnering up with Pacific Asian Counseling Services (PACS), whose mission is to enrich the lives of children and families through counseling and caring. PACS provides culturally sensitive and language specific services with expertise in the immigrant Asian Pacific Islander populations.

We are featuring some of the most popular and renown restaurants and drink purveyors. You also may find a list of our participants here.

Project by Project (PbP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in New York City in 1998 by a group of young Asian American professionals. The founders surveyed the non-profit landscape and noticed a recurring need in the Asian American community—organizations were spending so much time on fulfilling its missions and executing programs that they were unable to pay enough attention to the business of being a non-profit. The founders of PbP realized that what the community needed was social entrepreneurs, and that is what they sought out to build.

Comprised of a team of professionals with backgrounds in finance, consulting, technology, media, entertainment and law, PbP’s founding team felt it could play a strong role in assisting community groups in securing capital, reaching out to new groups of volunteers and bringing greater awareness to issues affecting the Asian American community. Based on those principals,  PbP created its campaigns around a 3-pronged mission that is still in practice today:  Volunteerism, Awareness, and Fundraising.

Building upon those principles and looking to impact as many causes as possible as it expands, PbP created a method of taking on a different local beneficiary community partner every year, touching on a different issue each year. This method of focusing on one issue at a time for a period of a year allows PbP to work in-depth with the partner and thoroughly educate its volunteers on the cause.

Our signature event is “Plate by Plate,” our annual tasting benefit, formerly the “Food & Wine Tasting.” We are the only Asian American non-profit organization in the country that produces a large-scale food tasting event with star chefs, top rated restaurants and celebrities who participate by serving dishes to our attendees. 

August 2, 2014 at Petersen Automotive Museum

6060 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

6:30PM – 7:30PM · VIP Reception
7:30PM – 10:00PM · General Admission

Dress Code: Black Tie/Formal

This is sure to be an amazing event for an amazing cause, I hope to see you there! For more information and ticket purchase, click here. This is not only an opportunity to truly give back to the community, but also see talent like the hosts jennyyangjokes of Jenny Yang comedy and seanmiura, Mr. Hyphen 2013!

Wish Me A Happy Birthday

flynturtle:

Today is my birthday, and as many of you know, immigration reform is one of the most important issues to me. My life and the lives of my family and community have been defined by US foreign policy and immigration laws. Instead of wishing me a happy birthday, you can wish me a happy birthday by calling President Obama at (202) 456-1111 during the weekday and requesting the following:

"Hi, my name is __, and I’m calling with the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance to urge President Obama to take immediate action on immigration. We support executive orders that ensure humane conditions at ICE facilities and in enforcement for all detainees, and specifically transgender detainees; considers the needs of lesbian, gay bisexual, and transgender immigrants; stops unjust deportations that tear families apart; expands the use of prosecutorial discretion; and expands Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals."

And thank you for your birthday wishes, please direct your wishes towards documented and undocumented immigrants that need our assistance. Also, please let us know if you call by emailing us and letting us know about your action at nqapia@gmail.com.

The price of our silence in the deadly occupation of Gaza is too high

There is a scene in And The Band Played On where Matthew Modine’s character explains the origins of the phrase “The Butchers’ Bill”: a phrase coined by British Admiral Lord Nelson when asking for the daily casualty reports of soldiers lost in the Napoleonic wars. In the film, Modine’s character creates his own Butchers’ Bill for the AIDS epidemic, and it remains one of pop culture’s most poignant visual reminders of the devastating cost of the disease in human lives.

The Butchers’ Bill in the ongoing violence on the Gaza Strip is equally heart-breaking. In less than two weeks time, Israel has launched airstrikes against Palestinian residents of Gaza targeting over 1500 sites; Hamas has also launched over a thousand rockets into Israel that have all been largely ineffective. As of today, the Butchers’ Bill for Palestinian residents of Gaza nears 350 after 11 days of fighting, nearly fifty of those dying in the last 72 hours at the hands of invading Israeli ground troops. The United Nations estimates that three-fourths of Palestinians killed in Gaza by Israeli offensive actions this month were non-militants, and approximately 50 — a third of them killed since Thursday — have been children. An additional 2000 Palestinians have sustained serious injuries in the attacksThe UN reports that yesterday the number of Palestinians displaced by the violence has nearly doubled to 40,000 — all seeking refugee status in one of 34 UN shelters.

There are no words to describe the rage and grief I feel in watching this senseless killing unfold. But the price of my silence — and the silence of too many of us in America — is also far too high.

palestinian-family-displacedA Palestinian family, displaced by the violence, flees Gaza City.

On Wednesday, reporters and bystanders watched in shock and horror as an Israeli gunship brutally slaughtered four young Palestinian children (none older than eleven) on an otherwise deserted Gaza beach. After an initial strike, the Israeli planes returned to chase and gun down the four young boys — all cousins — as they ran screaming for their lives. Just 24 hours later, seven children were shot — four of them fatally — by an Israeli naval gunboat while they were playing soccer on a Gaza rooftop.

In the last two weeks, four Israeli have lost their lives.

This past months' Butchers Bill in the Gaza StripThis past months’ Butchers Bill in the Gaza Strip.

Too many  of us are allowed by the comforts of distance to pretend that what is happening in the Gaza Strip right now does not affect us. That distance comes in many forms: geographic distance, cultural distance, religious distance, racial distance, and linguistic distance. That distance gives shelter to our assertion that what is happening to Gaza is not happening to us. It gives shelter to our rationalizations and our justifications. It gives shelter to our dehumanization of the Palestinian people. It gives shelter to our silence.

That distance is also a lie and an illusion.

David Palumbo-Liu writes about how violence in Israel-Palestine is a matter of American studies, particularly in light of our country’s hand in shaping the conflict. He and many other writers have noted the US State Department’s stance in defense of Israeli airstrikes targeting Palestinian civilians; President Obama defended that stance to Muslim American guests at the White House’s annual iftar dinner. Like it or not, America is involved in what is happening in Israel-Palestine.

Let me be clear: most of us do not know what it is like to live as a Palestinian in the Gaza Strip. As a Canadian-born (East) Asian American, I do not know what it is like to live as an occupied people in my own Holy Land. I do not know what it is like to live under constant threat of overwhelming military violence and death. I do not know what it is like to find myself staring down the barrel of an assault rifle, or be targeted by the sophisticated weapons mounted on a gunship or an F-16. I also do not know what it is like to be brown and Muslim, and to have these two simple facts of my being cast me as a villain and a terrorist.

But, what is happening in Gaza still touches me on a fundamental level.

In Gaza City, a Palestinian man stands amid debris after an Israeli airstrike. (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)In Gaza City, a Palestinian man stands amid debris after an Israeli airstrike. (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

For so many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the plight of colonized people is familiar and deeply personal. Most Asian and Pacific Islander countries still bear the scars of both military and cultural occupation, whether by Western powers and/or by other Asian nations; some of our lands still remain occupied to this day. Most of us in the AAPI diaspora share a blood memory of the violence that is wrought by occupying forces against indigenous peoples, and the political, cultural and militaristic tools that have been used in the exploitation of our lands and our people.

Most of us can still identify the after-shocks of colonialism on the course of our lives. Some of us share family memories of the atrocities of war that came with revolution against occupying forces. Some of us are in America as refugees fleeing the violence of war. As Americans and/or descendant of certain Asian nations, many of us are complicit as colonizers; some of us also still live as colonized peoples today, and for many of us that fight against the colonizers rages on.

It is true that I am not Muslim and I am not Palestinian. I also do not need to share in those identities to see the connection between their struggles and my own political narratives. I do not need to share in those identities to recognize the humanity of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and to lament their devastating and senseless slaughter. I do not need to share in those identities to stand in solidarity.

I need only be human.

The mother of one of the children killed Wednesday on a Gaza beach by Israeli forces grieves the death of her child. (Photo credit: Daily Mail)The mother of one of the children killed Wednesday on a Gaza beach by Israeli forces grieves the death of her child. (Photo credit: Daily Mail)

I do not know how to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All I know is that this bloodshed has got to end.

Millions of activists around the world — including protesters in many Asian countries — have taken up the cause of the Palestinian people fighting against occupying Israeli forces. It is time for Asian Americans to join our voices to this expanding international chorus of outrage.It is time for us — as AAPI and as moral humans —  to take a vocal stand in solidarity with Palestinian people, and all our Muslim American brothers and sisters in the States. We can no longer allow others to pay the price for our silence; for now we are again reminded that the price of our silence is too high.

Acknowledgement: Many thanks to Tazila Ahmed (@tazzystar) for inspiring, and providing many resources, in the writing of this article.

The Struggle to Love…to Struggle WITH Love

Juliet Shen and Vanessa Teck are two of the OCA interns who were terminated in 2013 for openly criticizing a major sponsor. Both identifying as activists and feminists in their early 20’s, they have shared experiences of isolation, pain, and fear. Since then, Juliet and Vanessa have begun a transformative journey to better understand how to root their movements in love.

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juliet

Juliet Shen

One year ago exactly, on July 19, 2013 at 11:05AM, I was fired from OCA – APA Advocates.

It’s been a rough year of self-reflection and unexpected turns, but I like to think that I’ve grown as a person and an activist. After being fired, I was the brunt of jokes and anonymous emails about how irrational and stupid I was, how I’d never find a place in the APIA community again, and how my career in DC was over. My idealistic bubble was popped — everything was reduced to a form letter of termination read in an empty room. I was defeated, and isolated myself in my college campus determined to not return to a community that cut us out without remorse.

After OCA, it became second nature to avoid certain individuals and organizations. This was perhaps unnecessary, but my discomfort was real. It can be difficult navigating the circuits of Asian America when you’ve pissed off one of the biggest organizations. I linked up with Suey Park as a friend and collaborator over our shared experience of being booted from nonprofits in the APIA community. It felt good to be angry. I was powerful again after being stripped of my autonomy and dignity, and stepped up to the mantle of “Juliet Shen – Feminist, Blogger, and Activist”. I was excited to be relevant again as a web warrior fighting for representation and justice. Of course, you know how that story ends.

Sometimes it’s hard to love a movement when it never loves back. The expectations for feminists and activists often don’t leave room for being human. I’ve come to find that most people who meet me for the first time have this idea of me as a “militant, man-hating, white-man worshiper”. This year, I joined a sorority and I started dating again. Somehow, these choices — choices that I made for myself and choices that make me happy — have dissolved friendships and alliances in my life. It was easier to grow a thick skin and become as bitter and callous as people wanted to believe I was. But ultimately, we can’t let peoples expectations of us limit and harden our hearts; that is the opposite of what activism should do.

I did come close to quitting. I wanted to experience life as a “normal” 21 year old and go out, have fun, and not worry. I almost didn’t renew Fascinasians’ domain and toyed with the idea of letting it fade away peacefully. I chose a year of self-care and self-love because activism was tainted with reluctance and pain. I was never radical enough, but always too radical for someone. I wasn’t angry enough, but my anger intimidated and alienated others. I didn’t feel good enough for anyone and struggled to find motivation to do anything at all.

Both OCA and Suey Park taught me the dangers of rooting my ideology in anger. And yet, this year has been cathartic. During theTwitter Clusterfuck of 2014, one particular hashtag appeared: #BuildDontBurn. That is where I learned what real community and humility meant. If OCA was the bad breakup it felt like, this was coming home to family. That’s what I always thought activism was supposed to be: individuals coming together and loving each other because they shared a dream that a better world was possible. The guidance and love from the people behind #BuildDontBurn reshaped my perspectives on ego, credibility, community, and organizing. I didn’t have to be “good enough” for anyone — I just had to act because there was injustice and discrimination in the world.

Ultimately, it is a privilege to not be political. Instead, I am reimagining activism in a positive, loving way. Tanzila Ahmed, an organizer and blogger, wrote about love as a radical tool. This year, I let myself be soft. I learned to love in more powerful and constructive ways. Love is transformative in all of its many forms, from platonic to romantic to revolutionary. The love and encouragement from OCA’s Class of 2013 Interns (shoutout to the McMansion!) and my mentors (have y’all read Reappropriate?) keeps me going today. And what of OCA? Well, I maintain that they were the spark that lit my fire…and Summer 2013 won’t be the thing that puts it out.

Love,
Juliet

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vteck

Vanessa Teck

After my termination from OCA last year, I lost myself. I began the summer as a fresh graduate with stars in my eyes, hoping that my experience in our nation’s Capitol would equip me with the tools to serve my community. Yet, after a harsh termination, the world scared me. I received anonymous messages telling me that it would be impossible for me to find a career within the APIA advocacy community, the space that I called my home for so long. I was told that I had made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. There was no room for dialogue, for I already felt the labels of a failed activist and student bearing huge weights on my shoulder. I loved the movement, but I felt as though it was no longer loving me back.

As a result, I entered my Masters program with angry eyes and a hardened soul. I knew that it would take a toll on me; my time, my health, and my overall well-being. Yet, despite multiple warnings from well-intentioned mentors about entering the ivory tower, I could have never prepared myself for the psychological train wreck that I experienced throughout this first year.I felt the need to prove myself, to prove that I belonged in a space deemed so illustrious by family members who have been taught that academia is the only road to success and by mentors who have equated academic achievement to overcoming institutional barriers. I constantly feared, with each new day in my program, that someone would call me out as a fraud. I worried that, despite my various involvements and successes, my work would never be seen as good enough, that I would never be seen as graduate material. That before I spoke in class, I had to spend precious time developing articulate statements, so that when I said them out loud, I was perceived as credible and qualified. I sat and stared at blank pages as I attempted to write my papers, worried that my inadequacies would appear the moment that I began typing. That opportunities to work with faculty members would come with risks of a larger and more public community discovering my incompetence and termination.

I never afforded myself the opportunity to fully deconstruct how the summer quaked my entire being. I went through a stage of coldness, focused solely on achieving and burying the pain that I felt each quarter, as if ignoring the pain would cause my questioning to go away. I was often told that my kindness and conscientiousness were weaknesses… that if I remained soft, I would not be able to shape others. I lost the power of my narrative and in doing so, I forgot how to love. It was not until I was invited to speak on a panel with Suey Park that I began to realize how much I was hurting… and how much of myself that I had lost. As an individual who identifies as an advocate and activist right down to my core, I spent more time resisting the system, rather than transforming it. I forgot that as a Cambodian American feminist and activist in Higher Education and Student Affairs… my presence in itself was already resistance.

485395_10151563754022851_1275087860_n

What if instead… we transformed our idea of activism into being soft? If it were about loving deeper, instead of fighting harder? If it were about creating transformative change through soulful relationships, rather than tearing each other down? What if activism was less about expertise, but focused more on cultivating a space where mistakes could be considered a form of resistance? Imagine activism as a living room in which we can all feel welcomed and at home, hearts warmed and united by our common struggles, rather than a process of putting on armor and preparing for war.

That’s not to say that protest organizing is not needed, but despite many activists who claim to fight for justice, we forget to be inclusive and place one another on a pedestal. We have expectations of others that we cannot even achieve ourselves. Nothing about that is visionary; it’s just a remix of the oppressive systems we want to transform in the first place. By claiming to be an expert in anything, we remove the ability of ourselves and others to learn and grow together. We are our own gatekeepers. It was remarkably easy to disconnect myself from the reality and challenges of crafting an inclusive climate, excused by the overshadowing of my anger, but by recognizing that my lived experiences are only one of many that have the potential to create change, I begin to decolonize what I have learned and transformatively humanize myself and others.

Since then, I have found love within the stories I have had the privilege of hearing. I found love in the struggles from fellow womxn of color, the achievements from student activists, the frustrations from other graduate students drowning in debt, and the clarity from those who have been told that they matter. Although I end this piece still fearful, I am thankful for the family that I have gained along the way. From the cutest OCA intern class ever to an incredible partner who pushes me to be fierce and proudly introduces me as a feminist, I no longer feel lost or alone. I am embraced by those in my life who continue to love me, whether I am “radical” enough or not, “critical” enough or not, “activist” enough or not.

I continue to struggle and am hopeful that I will continue to struggle because it will mean that I am still attempting to create my own space founded upon love.

Love,
Vteck

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You can find Juliet at her blog, Fascinasians, a website dedicated to curating news and experiences about and from the Asian Pacific Islander American community. To learn more about Vanessa, check out Project Ava, a social justice media company, dedicated to sharing meaningful stories. Currently, Juliet and Vanessa serve as the Co-Chairs for the Coalition of API Americans Collaborating Together to Unite the Southwest (CAACTUS).

Do you know how many members in Congress are AAPI? We have one out of 100 in the Senate, and 12 in the House out of 433 Representatives, five delegates, and one resident commissioner. We are 5.3% of the U.S. population, but that number is not reflected in our federal government.
41 Members of Congress have dedicated themselves to advocating for the needs and concerns of the Asian American Pacific Islander community as part of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). To learn more about CAPAC and its role in Congress, please visit our Facebook page!
We’re trying to reach at least 3,000 likes by this Sunday, so please reblog, share, and retweet on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. Follow us on Twitter @CAPAC.

Do you know how many members in Congress are AAPI? We have one out of 100 in the Senate, and 12 in the House out of 433 Representatives, five delegates, and one resident commissioner. We are 5.3% of the U.S. population, but that number is not reflected in our federal government.

41 Members of Congress have dedicated themselves to advocating for the needs and concerns of the Asian American Pacific Islander community as part of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). To learn more about CAPAC and its role in Congress, please visit our Facebook page!

We’re trying to reach at least 3,000 likes by this Sunday, so please reblog, share, and retweet on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. Follow us on Twitter @CAPAC.

Undoing “Mikado”: Japan is not an imaginary place, and I am not a metaphor

Awesome job seanmiura!

ASIAN SOCIAL JUSTICE BLOGGERS: A PROPOSAL

lightspeedsound:

so I mentioned this in a previous post but I think this is something that actually we really need to consider and deserves its own post as a conversation.

And because, well, I’ve had lots of success with the “POCinNeed” tag.

Anyways.

One of the biggest problems we have as bloggers is the fact that searching for actual discussions about asian fetishes, asian women, and asian culture is the fact that 99% of the posts that are tagged with that shit are from well…porn sites that do all of the above.

So our  voices get drowned out in the enormous morass of bullshit.

That being said, I think it would be really helpful to have a good, easy tag for people to track if they want to look up shit that DISCUSSES these things, instead of participates in it.

And the tag needs to be something that can be used for a lot of things and be flexible. And also I think it should involve puns because who DOESN’T love puns? And also reclaiming?

So…what if we used the tag “RiceforThought” (one word, makes it less inclusive and thus less likely to come up with porn and other racist bullshit)?

THINK ABOUT IT

BECAUSE IT’S FOOD FOR THOUGHT

BUT IT’S MORE CODED FOR US

because like Asia, it’s an enormous continent, and like provides for literally 87% of the world’s rice crop. 

But anyways. Think about it. We need a tag to distinguish ourselves from the bullshit.

And if you’re down with this idea and think it should be done, PLEASE REBLOG