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?
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.”
Almost a year after the passing of the Father of Indian comicsAnant 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 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)
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
There are two million South Asian Americans – at least those were the numbers we had to use and were derived from the 2000 Census. But as we’ve written before, the numbers of the community were suspected as being underestimated in the previous Censuses. The data from the 2010 Census has been slowly release this year and last month theAsian Pacific American Legal Center released their latest report “A Community of Contrasts; Asian Americans in the United States: 2011″(download PDF here) which has a comprehensive national community analysis.
The report covers a wide range of topics such immigration, employment, housing and health. I would like to address in particular the population and civic engagement components that the report discovered in the South Asian community. One of the largest findings is that South Asians are the fastest growing Asian American community; the Indian population is at 3,183,063; the Pakistani population is at 409,163; Bangladeshi population at 147,300; Nepalese population at 59,490; Sri Lankan population at 45,381; and Bhutanese population at 19,439. That brings the South Asian American population close to 4 million with an exact total of 3,863,836 people. The Bangladeshi and Pakistani population literally doubled between 2000 and 2010.
The citizenship rate of foreign-born Asian Americans has also increased, from 50% in 2000 to 57% now. India has one of the greatest number of legal permanent residents eligible to become citizens and 57% of foreign-born Pakistanis have been naturalized. Yet, there are still language and cost barriers associated with citizenship and this remains a hurdle to full civic engagement. Continue reading →