130+ AAPI Groups Demand More Following Fox News Racist Segment

Representatives of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations met with Fox News executives today to present a community letter signed by 134 national, state and local AAPI organizations and allies, as well as a petition with nearly 24,000 signatures, in response to the racist “Watters World: Chinatown Edition” segment that aired on The O’Reilly Factor earlier this month.

The 134 organizations expressed their continued outrage over the perpetuation of racist stereotypes and pushed for more representation of AAPIs in Fox News coverage. The letter asks for a written apology, a commitment to diversity and sensitivity training, and news programming that will educate viewers on the AAPI electorate. Additionally, it urges Fox News to increase its number of AAPI guests and for Fox News senior executives to continue this important dialogue through regular meetings with AAPI leaders.

“We are pleased to have had the opportunity to present our letter directly to Fox News executives in a productive meeting today,” said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang. “The outpouring of support for this call to action–from across the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, including many student organizations, and beyond–is a powerful demonstration of the widespread outrage and hurt this racist segment has caused.”

“We appreciate the opportunity to meet with Fox News today,” said Karin Wang, Vice-President of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles.  “The segment clearly struck a nerve with Asian Americans of all ethnic backgrounds and reached far beyond New York City.  We have conveyed this widespread and national anger and frustration to Fox News executives and we look forward to their response.”

“Many Asian Americans and our allies were hurt and angered by Watters’ segment,” said Jenn Fang of Reappropriate. “It was deeply humbling to be able to provide a platform by which those thousands–perhaps even millions–of voices could directly reach representatives of Fox News. I sincerely hope that today’s events lay the groundwork for a fruitful and lasting conversation between Fox News and the AAPI community on issues of inclusion and diversity.”

Read the letter here.

Today’s meeting was facilitated by the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and hosted by the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). New York Assemblymember Ron Kim (District 40) and representatives from OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates and its New York chapter also attended.

Disney Supports Asian and Pacific Islander Young Leaders with $500,000 Scholarship Commitment

The Walt Disney Company this week made a $500,000 commitment to establish a new scholarship program with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) in support of high-achieving Asian and Pacific Islander college students.

The Walt Disney Company/APIASF Scholarship program will provide 150 scholarships over a three-year period and will be available to eligible students with Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity in the U.S. beginning fall 2017. This scholarship commitment is one part of Disney’s ongoing efforts to strengthen diverse communities and support higher education.

“Disney is proud to support young Asian and Pacific Islander leaders in achieving their dreams of a higher education,” said Paul Richardson, chief diversity officer, The Walt Disney Company. “By giving these promising students the resources and tools they need to earn a college degree, we enable them to create a better, brighter future for us all.”

Auli‘i Cravalho, the Native Hawaiian star of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana, and the film’s producer Osnat Shurer announced the scholarship program at APIASF’s gala on Oct.20, along with APIASF President and Executive Director Neil Horikoshi.

“Speaking on behalf of Auli‘i and all of us at Disney Animation, we are extremely honored to be part of this important scholarship commitment,” Shurer said. “We thank APIASF for their extraordinary work and Disney for its support of these initiatives.”

“The Walt Disney Company’s generous support will make a significant difference for some of the nation’s most underserved students,” Horikoshi said. “With many Asian American and Pacific Islander families facing financial barriers, The Walt Disney Company/APIASF Scholarship has the potential to be life-changing for students.”

In addition to the scholarships, Disney’s commitment will support the fund’s SMART program, which will provide students with mentoring and access to training and resources.

The Walt Disney Company/APIASF Scholarship will be available for the 2017-2018 school year. In order to be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity, as defined by the U.S. Census;
  • Be a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the United States (citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau are also eligible to apply);
  • Be enrolling in a U.S.-accredited college or university as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student in the 2017-2018 academic year;
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted) or have earned a GED; and
  • Apply for federal financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 1, 2017.

Based in Washington, D.C., APIASF is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). For details about APIASF and the new scholarship, visit APIASF’s website at www.apiasf.org.

In New Ad, Khizr Khan Asks Donald Trump: ‘Would My Son Have a Place in Your America?’

Hillary for America is airing a powerful testimonial ad from Khizr Khan, a Virginia Gold Star father, who recounts the story of his son Captain Humayun Khan, who tragically lost his life in Iraq while saving every member of his unit.

Captain Khan ordered his unit to back away from an oncoming suicide bomber while he moved towards it to protect and defend them.

On the debate stage Wednesday night, Clinton responded to questions about Trump’s recent attacks on women by outlining his long pattern of attacking a variety of Americans, including disabled Americans, veterans, Latinos, African Americans and Muslim Americans like the Khan family.

The ad ends with Khizr saying, “I want to ask Mr. Trump, would my son have a place in your America?”

Not only has Trump repeatedly attacked Muslim Americans in this campaign, he has also insulted our men and women in uniform by arguing he knows more than the generals and repeatedly denigrating our veterans and military families.

Khizr Khan, joined by his wife Ghazala, delivered one of the most powerful speeches at the Democratic National Convention this summer and were subsequently attacked repeatedly by Donald Trump.

The ad will air as part of an already existing ad buy in the battleground states of Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Hate Crime Charges Filed in Brutal Assault on Sikh Man

The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office today filed hate crime charges against the attackers of Sikh American, Mr. Maan Singh Khalsa. Mr. Khalsa was brutally assaulted and his Sikh articles of faith were violently desecrated on September 25, 2016.

“The assailants violently targeted my Sikh faith. I am thankful to the Richmond Police Department and Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson for taking the right legal action in charging my attackers with hate crimes,” said Mr. Khalsa. “The charges are the first step to addressing violence and bigotry, which plague communities across the United States.”

Mr. Khalsa, a father, IT specialist and caregiver for the elderly, was driving on the night of September 25th when a man in a truck threw a beer can at his car wholly unprovoked. At an intersection further up the road, the assailants got out of the truck and assaulted Mr. Khalsa through his open car window, knocking off his Sikh turban and hitting his face repeatedly. They shouted, “Cut his fu***g hair,” pulled his head out of the window, and cut a fistful of his religiously-mandated unshorn hair with a knife. Mr. Khalsa sustained injuries to his fingers, hands, eye and teeth.

“I trusted the District Attorney’s office to do the right thing and they came through,” said Richmond Mayor, Tom Butt. “We do not condone this in Richmond and we don’t condone it in America.”

Prior to the charges, the Sikh Coalition, community leaders, and a coalition of civil rights organizations, advocated vigorously on behalf of Mr. Khalsa, urging for a hate crime investigation and prosecution.

In the 15 years that have followed 9/11, Sikhs remain hundreds of times more likely to be targeted in cases of profiling, bigotry and backlash than the average American. Sikhism, the fifth largest religion in the world, has been an integral part of the American fabric for over 125 years.

“These hate crime charges ensure that the bias-based nature of the assault on Mr. Khalsa will be addressed during the prosecution,” said Sikh Coalition Legal Director, Harsimran Kaur. “The purpose of prosecuting bias-motivated assaults as hate crimes is not to impose harsher penalties. Instead, the purpose is to mitigate hatred in our society and ensure that we are all free to safely pursue the American dream regardless of our race, ethnicity, or religion.”

The Sikh Coalition has represented hate crime clients throughout the United States for the past 15 years and is representing Maan Singh Khalsa in this case. For all media inquires, please contact Jagmeet Singh or Mark Reading-Smith, who can provide more info, send photos and facilitate interviews. Mr. Khalsa is not available for interviews, but Jagmeet or Mark can facilitate interviews with legal counsel and/or a member of the local Sikh community.

Source: Sikh Coalition

Judge Denny Chin to help Hawai’i law school students reenact trial of Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee

U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Denny Chin, based in New York City, will guest lecture at the UH Law School on Tuesday, October 18, and will help student actors perform a reenactment based on trials after resistance by Heart Mountain internees.  Judge Chin and his wife, attorney Kathy Hirata Chin, created the reenactment based on trial transcripts.

In addition to teaching and speaking at a faculty workshop, Judge Chin will lead a public presentation about the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming, one of 10 concentration camps used to intern Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Heart Mountain is known for the active resistance offered by many of the young men incarcerated there, protesting loss of their civil rights. The short performance, featuring law student actors, will be free and open to the public in Classroom 2 at the Law School at 2515 Dole Street beginning at 5:15 p.m.

Judge Chin and Hirata Chin have been deeply involved in research about the camp, and co-wrote a script that reenacts two of the trials of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee. The committee was a group of young resisters who challenged the draft of young Nisei men, and who argued that they would not follow draft orders until the rights of internees were reinstated.

Today Heart Mountain is the internment camp with the most structures still intact.  It was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 2007.

Judge Chin is well known as the trial judge who, in 2009, sentenced Bernard Madoff to 150 years in prison for the Ponzi scheme that impoverished investors who had entrusted Madoff with their life savings. In sentencing Madoff, Judge Chin said, “The message must be sent that Mr. Madoff’s crimes were extraordinarily evil.”  He added that they had taken “a staggering human toll” and there was a need for “retribution.”

Dean Avi Soifer called Judge Chin’s visit an important event for the Law School, in particular because of its deep involvement in addressing and healing civil rights abuses.

Said Soifer, “It is hardly surprising that there is so much interest among our students and staff in these very important matters, in addition to the scholarly focus of a number of our faculty members.”

Professor Eric Yamamoto, the Fred T. Korematsu Professor of Law and Social Justice, for example, has spent a scholarly lifetime researching, and writing and lecturing about, civil injustice, including the incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans by their own government.  Yamamoto helped challenge the imprisonment of Fred Korematsu for defying the order to report for incarceration, winning a decisive victory in the 1980s that helped set the stage for reparations for those interned and their descendants, and a formal apology from the American government.

During their visit, Judge Chin and Hirata Chin will also meet with Law School faculty members as well as federal judges and members of the Federal Bar Association.

Judge Chin graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude in 1975, and earned his JD from Fordham Law School in 1978. Judge Chin is the only Asian American who serves as a currently active judge in the federal appellate court system. In 1994, he was the first Asian American appointed as a U.S. District Judge outside the Ninth Circuit. Hirata Chin is a leading corporate lawyer in New York City who also has led and served on multiple public interest task forces and committees.

Source: University of Hawai’i press release

Photo: Densho Digital Repository

AALDEF Seeks Volunteers to Monitor Elections

 

AALDEF is looking for volunteers in California to monitor the November 8 elections to help ensure compliance with the federal Voting rights Act and to document instances of anti-Asian voter disenfranchisement.

In past elections, Asian Americans have faced a series of barriers in exercising their right to vote.  For example, poll workers were hostile and made racist remarks, poll sites had too few interpreters to assist Asian American voters, translated voting materials were missing or hidden from voters, and ballots were mistranslated listing Democratic candidates as Republicans, and vice versa. When the news media reported on election results and the vote by specific groups, Asian Americans were often overlooked.

On November 8, 2016, AALDEF, along with other Asian American groups and bar associations, will be monitoring the elections and conducting non-partisan voter surveys at poll sites in Asian American neighborhoods.

Advance registration required. Sign up at http://www.aaldef.net.

Polling sites in California include San Diego and San Jose.

Training Sessions:

Wednesday, October 5, 12:00 PM
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, 12730 High Bluff Dr, Ste 400, San Diego*

Wednesday, October 5, 6:00 PM
National Federation of Filipino American Associations, Mabuhay Room, 1603 Hoover Ave, National City*

Thursday, October 6, 3:30 PM
Asian Law Alliance, De Anza College, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, 3:30 PM

*Light lunch/dinner will be provided

Attendance at one training session is required for all volunteers.All volunteers must be non-partisan and work a 3-hour shift. (CLE trainings are 90 minutes. Attorneys can receive 1.5 CLE credits including 0.5 ethics credit.)

For more information, contact AALDEF Staff Attorney Jerry Vattamala or Voting Rights Organizer Iris Zalun at 800-966-5946 or votingrights@aaldef.org.

Hillary Clinton’s Plan to Jumpstart Small Business Startups, Growth and Job Creation

The majority of Asian-owned businesses are small businesses and they form one of the strongest segments of America’s economy: between 2007 and 2012, Asian-owned businesses grew by 24 percent (from 1.5 million to 1.9 million), ten times more than the national growth rate. In the same period, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander-owned businesses grew by 45% (from 37,687 to 54,749), twenty times the national growth rate of 2%.

While small businesses have helped AAPI families get ahead, many segments of the AAPI community continue to face barriers in securing the resources and capital they need to grow. Hillary will fight to level the playing field for AAPI small business owners by cutting red tape, expanding access to capital, providing tax relief, expanding access to new markets and fighting discrimination in the lending market.

Hillary Clinton is proposing a comprehensive, job-creating package of reforms and innovations to jumpstart small business startups, and strengthen small business growth. The new proposals reflect what Clinton has heard since one of her first events of the campaign at an Iowa bike shop and across nearly 100 visits to small businesses since. Over a year ago, Hillary Clinton pledged that she would be the “small business president” if elected. Small businesses create around two-thirds of all new American jobs.

Clinton’s plans are aimed at making it easier to start, grow and sustain a small business in America. Her proposals will streamline the process of starting a small business; improve access to financing for small businesses; provide tax relief and simplification for small businesses; incentivize more health care benefits for small businesses and their employees; ensure the federal government is more responsive to small businesses; and, make it easier to fight back when small businesses get cheated.

Clinton and Senator Tim Kaine both grew up in small business-owning families. Clinton’s father ran a small drapery business in suburban Chicago where she grew up, and Kaine’s father ran a small ironworking business in Kansas City where he grew up. Kaine will discuss the new plan during a roundtable with small business owners this morning in Lakewood, Colorado, and Clinton will discuss it on a nationwide conference call with small business owners from all across the country this afternoon.

“Watching my father run a small business in Chicago, and working side by side with small business leaders throughout my career, I’ve seen firsthand how small business owners lift up their communities — but I’ve also seen the daily struggles they face. This is why I am putting forward a plan that will make it easier for people to create a business and for existing business owners to grow and hire,” said Hillary Clinton. “Whether it’s our efforts to streamline regulation and cut red tape so existing small businesses can hire more or our plans for new tax incentives that help new small businesses get off the ground, this plan is a comprehensive look at what small businesses need to succeed. It’s clear that small businesses are the engine of our economy and strengthening them is key to making an economy that works for every American, not just those at the top.”

Clinton’s new plan would:

Streamline the process of starting a small business. It takes longer to start a business in the U.S. than it does in other countries like Canada or Denmark — often because of unnecessary red tape and licensing requirements at the state and local level. Hillary Clinton will offer state and local governments a deal – new federal incentives if they streamline unnecessary licensing and make it less costly to start a small business.

Improve access to financing for small businesses. Small business loans comprised just 29 percent of total bank loans in 2012, as compared with 51 percent in 1995. Clinton will work to boost small business lending by streamlining regulation and cutting red tape for community banks and credit unions, which are the backbone of small business lending in America — while also defending the new rules on Wall Street. Clinton’s plan also would allow entrepreneurs to defer student loan payments with no interest while they get their ventures off the ground.

Provide new tax relief and simplification for small businesses. Hillary will create a new standard deduction for small businesses—like the one available to individual filers—so they get tax relief without filing as many forms documenting their overhead costs, potentially including transportation, computer and phone use, maintaining an office and more. She will simplify the rules so small businesses can track and file their taxes as easily as filling out a checkbook or printing a bank statement. And the new plan would quadruple the start-up tax deduction to significantly lower the cost of starting a business.

Incentivize health care benefits for small businesses and their employees. Clinton would simplify and expand the healthcare tax credit for small employers in the Affordable Care Act, so that even more employers can provide quality, affordable healthcare to their workers. She will make sure that small businesses with up to 50 employees can be eligible for the credit, and she will simplify complex phase-out and eligibility rules so that it’s easier for many more small businesses to get the credit and cover their workers.

Ensure the federal government is more responsive to small businesses. Clinton will push the federal agencies to make government more user friendly and treat small businesses like the customer, including by guaranteeing a 24-hour response time to small business with questions about federal regulations and access to capital programs.

Make it easier to fight back when small businesses get cheated. Clinton will stop large companies from using expensive litigation hurdles to deny small businesses their right to a remedy when they’re denied payment for services—and give small businesses recourse to take on predatory behavior.

The full comprehensive proposal is available on HillaryClinton.com.

Campaign to Launch Official AAPI Page

Hillary for America is going to launch an official AAPI page on its website and it’s full of helpful information and links!  (This site, AAPIforHillary.com, is grassroots and unofficial.)

The page is going to officially launch in a few days, but you can preview it now at https://www.hillaryclinton.com/page/aapi but you can also just type in “hillaryclinton.com/aapi” and you’ll be redirected.

hillary-clinton-com-aapi

Some of the resources you’ll find on the page include:

  • AAPI Fact Sheet
  • Call Thermometer
  • Sign Up Sheets
  • Event Flyers
  • Small Business Flyers
  • Facebook Cover Photo
  • Twitter Photo
  • Stronger Together GIF

Visit the page now and check it out!