Our local Boy Scout troop could’ve had an opportunity to learn that there are repercussions to their actions; and that sometimes, the worst action is in pretending that it never happened. Instead, they learned that if they deny something enough, they can get away with being cruel to youngsters and disrespecting members of their community.
EVERYONE needs to read this. It’s a Reuters investigation on child traffickers. It is one of the most sickening and disgusting things I have ever read. There are forums on the internet (including Facebook) where “parents” (and I use that term loosely) can give away their adopted children for being inconvenient/not what they signed up for/harder to raise than they anticipated. There is no vetting system. They just freaking give the kids away to ANYONE, including pedophiles and sadists.
I thought that all the hoopla surrounding Miley Cyrus’ performance with Robin Thicke on this past weekend’s Video Music Awards would’ve died down by now. But, it hasn’t. And while there has been some fantastic commentary about the meaning of their performance (as it relates to sexism and racism), I was disappointed to see that the majority of comments boiled down to this: Miley Cyrus is a little slut with a flabby rearend.
Someone privately messaged me and asked why I wrote so much about things that had happened in the past. Do I write about it so much? I’ve been writing professionally for the past three decades and I’d estimate that my pieces surrounding race issues encompass less than 1% of everything I’ve ever written.
A while ago, I used to do segments on a local radio station. It was a popular show with a host who was vaguely shock jockish. We got along fine, and it was a good forum to promote the newspaper I worked for. One day, they called me at work and put me on the air live to tell them about some of the music acts coming to town that weekend. They kept me on the line as they began another segment, in which they called a bunch of establishments that were operated by Asian Americans — dry cleaners, Chinese restaurants etc. I would soon find out that the sole purpose of these calls was to make fun of the people speaking accented English.
It has been almost three decades since Long Duk Dong made his appearance in “16 Candles,” and it doesn’t look like Hollywood’s perception of Asian men has changed all that much. Actor John Wusah turned down a chance to audition for a film, where the Asian character was there just to be made fun of. I can’t imagine that it’d be easy for an actor of any race to turn down an opportunity to work. So Kudos, Mr. Wusah.
September 19, 2012
Posted by: Jae-Ha Kim
Category: Blog, Issues
Tags: "Gangnam Style", Boston, jae-ha kim, Jae-Sang Park, K-pop, PSY, Scooter Braun, Seoul, South Korea, 박재상
South Korean rapper PSY’s “Gangnam Style” video has more than 200 million YouTube views and counting, and it’s easy to see why. No Korean language skills are needed to enjoy the chubby, massively entertaining performer’s crazy horse-riding dance, the song’s addictive chorus and the video’s exquisitely odd series of misadventures.
“People are surprised — bewildered, really — at PSY’s popularity abroad,” says Susan Kang, chief evangelist for Soompi.com, the mammoth online site dedicated to Korean pop music. “You have people saying, ‘We have all these beautiful guys and girls that have tried to break through to the U.S. market with little success. So why PSY?’ But of course they are embracing it to the fullest, and it’s causing a renewed interest in and respect for his music.”
“People who say Lin is an opportunist expected him to be a meek, quiet Asian man who wouldn’t cause waves,” says Jae-Ha Kim, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. “This discussion about what he’s worth is insulting. Clearly these teams aren’t offering him this money out of the goodness of their hearts. And for what it’s worth, I’m a Bulls fan — I’ll just miss seeing Spike Lee go nuts over Lin.”
Jeremy Lin is riding a well-deserved wave of goodwill and adulation. After being undrafted and waived by not one, but two, NBA teams last year–the 23-year-old point guard for the New York Knicks has become the sport’s latest sensation. And Asian Americans are loving it. Each time Lin shows off his skills on the basketball court or does an on-air interview where—surprise!–he has no accent, he helps Asian Americans get one step closer to being accepted as “real” Americans.