My Little Personal Jeremy Lin Story

Davis, CA, 7th grade – I was on the school basketball team, and usually played a two guard or small forward. In the 4th quarter of a game that wasn’t close, the coach told me to go in and run point. The other four players on the court, all white, weren’t having it. The coach didn’t intervene.

Enter Jeremy Lin.

Maybe that story doesn’t play out the same way now?

Joe Biden imitates Indian accent during NH speech

Vice President Joe Biden (who I like to think of as America’s wacky, slightly off-color Uncle Joe) briefly imitated an Indian accent while giving a speech in New Hampshire on Thursday.

As longtime readers know, this isn’t the first time Biden’s gotten into hot water with the desi community. Back in 2006, the then-Senator noted that “You cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

Watch the video of yesterday’s speech below. The imitation begins at 00:09 and ends rather abruptly. As one Buzzfeed commenter noted, “It’s like halfway through the impression he thought, “Oh sh–, better not follow through with this one.”

ACK tribute in NY

Almost a year after the passing of the Father of Indian comics Anant Pai, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop pays tribute in New York on February 16 to the comic series he created.

Amar Chitra Katha: Monica Ferrell, Chitra Ganesh, Keshni Kashyap, and Himanshu “Heems” Suri of Das Racist Does your knowledge about the Ramayana come entirely from comics your mom brought you from Jackson Heights? Or are you a comic book fan interested in engaging with one of the bestselling comics in both Asia and the world? Party down with the Workshop’s tribute to Amar Chitra Katha, the beloved Indian comic that’s sold more than 90 million copies, often featuring lovelorn maidens, fearless saints, and mythical kings romping around a half-toned South Asian fantasia, tinted yellow, blue and green.


I’ve read the Ramayana and enjoyed the comic versions too. I’ll also admit that much of my knowledge of the Bible comes from the colorful, engaging Amar Chitra Katha comics. For more details on the event, visit aaww.org.

Marie Claire interviews Nikki Haley

Haley's senior class photo (c. 1989)

Marie Claire Magazine titles its interview with South Carolina’s governor “Will Nikki Haley Be Our First Female President?” and looks at her tips for personal success and her inspirations. That’s how we get to know she’s totally into Joan Jett. I wonder if she watched The Runaways when it came out in theaters a couple years ago or if she has a vintage collection of Jett LPs.

Here’s some of what she had to say:

FIND WHAT MOTIVATES YOU–ON A DAILY BASIS AND IN LARGER WAYS. Music motivates me. When we have bill signings, we’ve got music playing. I have a great love for Joan Jett. When I am going through the toughest times, I’ll blast her music. She was one of the first female rockers when female rockers weren’t accepted. When no one would sign her, she created her own label. And when she accomplished everything … she walked away! I mean, how cool is that?   FIND DIVERSE ROLE MODELS. Mine are my mother, Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Martina Navratilova, Gabby Giffords. And Joan Jett. I tell you, Joan Jett is my idol. I would just love to meet her! (Marie Claire)

 

Don’t Tase Our Moms, Yo

Tunics are a clothing staple at stores these days. But a local FOX affiliate reports that a Pakistani Tampa woman’s family feels that she may have been shocked with a Taser because she was wearing a traditional tunic or salwar while shopping at a Walmart. (Thanks for the tip Bewildered.)

The 61-year-old Tampa woman was walking down the aisle of the Walmart on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard when she “felt a jolt” in her back, said Laura McElroy, a spokeswoman for the Tampa Police Department.   Concerned, the woman called her daughters, who rushed to the store and discovered two small marks on her back consistent with being shocked by a stun gun, McElroy said. (Tampa Bay Times)

The police are not releasing video surveillance of the event yet, and they say that the video does not show a Taser being used but does show two women walking past the victim and then passing her again as if targeting her. They will determine if it’s a hate crime after finding and interviewing the suspects, and are also pursuing a theory that it was an attempted robbery.

Bombs away, please

Four locations in Queens rang in the first night of the new year with firebombs. An Islamic center, a bodega, a home used for Hindu worship, and the home of an African-American Christian family had firebombs thrown at them. A fifth location in Nassau County, the home of a desi family, was also targeted with a firebomb. No people were hurt in the attacks, and the NYT mentions that in three of the attacks the bombs used Starbucks Frappucino bottles.

This morning New York religious and community leaders will hold a press conference to denounce the attacks at Imam Al-Khoei, the Islamic center targeted by one of the firebombs. The state’s governor and NYC’s mayor have both spoken out against the attacks.

CBS New York reports that police released a sketch and surveillance video of the suspect, and that the NYPD will pay a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward. NY1 notes:  ”Anyone with information on the attacks should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.”

A Name to Remember

The New York Times reports that the placement of Mohammad Salman Hamdani’s name on the National September 11 Memorial obscures his bravery that day. Lauded by the mayor, police commissioner and other government officials, including Rep. Keith Ellison, as a hero for trying to save lives at the World Trade Center on 9/11 before he died, 23-year-old Hamdani had been an EMT and a police cadet.

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Scared for Her Life and Other Stories of Hate [UPDATED]

UPDATED Dec 21, 2011: Looks like Aisha Khan was found and that some of you skeptical commentators were right all along. We will keep you posted as the story develops.

According to Overland Park police, officers made contact with her Wednesday afternoon. She was not abducted or held against her will. Police said there is no criminal investigation. [nbc]

+++++++++++

Are you in Kansas? Pay attention to this photo. Her name is Aisha Khan and she’s missing.

I can’t shake the chills her story gives me. She’s petite, 19 yrs old, newly wed and a college student. Her sister dropped Aisha off at 10am on her college campus so that she could prep for her noon final. But she never made it to her final.

Aisha Khan … has been missing since Friday morning. That is when her older sister said she left frantic text messages with her about a drunken man on the Edwards Campus she described as “creepy.” Faiza Khan said she dropped Aisha off at the campus around 10 a.m. Friday ahead of a noon final. The text messages started arriving within an hour.

 

“There’s a creepy guy that just came up to me, and he was harassing me,” Faiza said her younger sister told her in a message. She told local media outlets that Aisha “was just freaking out at that time. She didn’t know what to do. I guess she pushed him and she slapped him.” [cjonline]

 

I can’t count how many times I’ve been creeped out by harassing men – it often feels that as a woman in the American public we have to brace ourselves for street harassment. But Aisha is a girl in hijab – I can only imagine that her harasser must have said something really islamophobic and sexist to have deserved a slap. Finally, there’s the voicemail message she left her sister.

“Oh my gosh it was so scary,” Aisha said in her voice message. “My heart is like pounding. I’ve never got this scared in my life. Pick up your phones. I am freaked out right now.”

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Shahid Khan Buys the Jags

The NFL has its first minority owner and he happens to be a Pakistani-American. Shahid Khan, an Illinois businessman who owns the Flex-N-Gate Group, which makes automobile parts, is paying a reported $760 million to buy 100 percent of the Jacksonville Jaguars from Wayne Weaver. Yes, you’re going to see a brown man with a handlebar mustache giving high-fives in the owner’s box. How cool is that?

Khan, 61, came to America when he was 16, earned an engineering degree from the University of Illinois and fell in love with American football and a blonde named Ann Carlson. Over the years, Khan and his wife have given zillions to their alma mater.

Most recently, the couple made a $10 million donation for the Khan Annex to Huff Hall, home to the university’s college of Applied Health Sciences. “One of the great joys of my life is making money,” Khan said at the September dedication ceremony. “ … What makes it even better is to use it to make a difference.” [Florida Times-Union]


The big question hanging in the air in Jacksonville is whether Khan will keep the team in the city or try to move it to L.A. So far, Khan is saying all the right things, but will he be able to resist the hundreds of millions he could make by moving to a much larger market?

It will also be interesting to see whether Khan keeps a low profile or seeks the limelight. Will he be the type of owner who’s on the sidelines, chatting with players, and always ready to make comments to the media? Or will he stay in the background and let his coach and general manager run the show? If he enjoys being in the news, then you can bet that L.A. will be very tempting.