Archive for the ‘Asian American’ Category

The Problem With The Asian American Consumer Report

Friday, February 21st, 2014

(Forbes) As evidenced by a compilation of ads by top brands marketing to Chinese residents of North America during the Lunar New Year, the Nielsen report on Asian Americans may have finally succeeded in convincing corporate America to pay more attention to the fastest-growing U.S. multicultural segment. But Asian American scholars say the report may be a step backward for smaller Asian groups that are underserved and misrepresented.

All things considered, the holiday is also shared by other groups who were not particularly marketed to.

“There will always be diverse populations within Asian America that may not be successful,” said Vu Pham, former Asian American studies researcher and lecturer at UCLA. “We do need to work harder than 100% to achieve 100%.”

While the report shows that Asian Americans are more likely to enjoy incomes of $100,000 or more than overall U.S. households, 13.2% of Vietnamese, 30.7% of Hmong, 24% of Cambodian and 14.5% of Laotian American families lived in poverty in California, compared to 10.2% of the total families in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

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Obama wants to stop ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ for minorities

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

(Los Angeles Times) President Obama plans to launch an initiative aimed at improving the lives of young black and Latino men by bringing businesses and foundations together with government agencies to change what an administration official called the "school-to-prison pipeline."

The initiative, which Obama calls "My Brother's Keeper," is to be unveiled Thursday, the official said. It will mark the latest in a series of efforts by the president to spur social change outside the stalemated legislative process.

The move also represents an escalation of Obama's efforts to directly target the problems faced by young men of color.

During the last five years, Obama has met privately with groups of minority teenagers and young men in their communities and at the White House. But in his State of the Union speech, Obama pledged to go further, saying he would bring more of his resources as president to bear on the social problems that get in the way of success for minority youth.

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The truth about the Tiger Mother’s family

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

(Guardian) Amy Chua has been accused of many things – a cruel approach to parenting, gratuitous use of cultural stereotypes, a talent for sensationalism – but cowardice isn't one of them. She provoked uproar with her 2011 memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, charting her unbending rules for raising her daughters, and spent two years dealing with the fallout, including death threats, racial slurs and pitchfork-waving calls for her arrest on child-abuse charges.

She might, therefore, have been expected to take an easier road with her follow-up. Instead, she and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, have written The Triple Package, which is devoted to one of the most inflammatory subjects imaginable – why some cultural groups soar ahead in the US (while others, by implication, fail). The book charts how three specific qualities, which they argue are essential to success, are passed down through the generations, often through the family.

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As Parents Age, Asian-Americans Struggle to Obey A Cultural Code

Friday, January 17th, 2014

(New York Times) Two thick blankets wrapped in a cloth tie lay near a pillow on the red leather sofa in Phuong Lu’s living room. Doanh Nguyen, Ms. Lu’s 81-year-old mother, had prepared the blankets for a trip she wanted to take. “She’s ready to go to Vietnam,” Ms. Lu said.

But Ms. Nguyen would not be leaving. The doors were locked from the inside to prevent her from going anywhere — not into the snow that had coated the ground that day outside Ms. Lu’s suburban Philadelphia home, and certainly not to her home country, Vietnam.

Ms. Nguyen has Alzheimer’s disease, and Ms. Lu, 61, a manicurist who stopped working two years ago when her mother’s condition worsened, is her full-time caretaker. In Vietnam, children must stay home and care for their aging parents, Ms. Lu said. Elders “don’t want nursing home,” she said: Being in a nursing home creates “trouble in the head.” The family now relies financially on Ms. Lu’s husband, a construction worker.

In a country that is growing older and more diverse, elder care issues are playing out with particular resonance for many Asian-Americans. The suicide rate for Asian-American and Pacific Islander women over 75 is almost twice that of other women the same age. In 2012, 12.3 percent of Asian-Americans over 65 lived in poverty, compared with 9.1 percent of all Americans over 65. Nearly three-quarters of the 17.3 million Asians in the United States were born abroad, and they face the most vexing issues.

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Obama picks his first Asian American deputy secretary of cabinet department

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

(Washington Post) Chris Lu, who was White House cabinet secretary during President Obama’s first term, is going to be nominated to be deputy secretary of Labor, the White House announced Wednesday, making him the first Asian American to be nominated to a deputy secretaryship during this administration.

If confirmed, Lu would replace deputy secretary Seth Harris, who had been in that position since 2009. He did a six-month stint as acting secretary earlier this year. He’s leaving next week for a teaching gig at Cornell.

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Asian Americans are the most prolific spenders in U.S., survey shows

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

(Los Angeles Times) Asian Americans have emerged as the most prolific and impulsive buyers in the nation, according to a Nielsen survey released Thursday.

They prefer Costco over Wal-Mart, brand names over generics and lead the nation as a demographic in online buying. As a group, their spending power outpaces the coveted millennials — those in their 20s and early 30s, according to Nielsen's "Significant, Sophisticated and Savvy: the Asian American Consumer 2013."

Asian American households, on average, boast incomes of $100,000 or more — earning more than general U.S. households and representing the highest among cultural groups, according to the findings.

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Jimmy Kimmel apologizes for ‘killing everyone in China’ skit

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

(CNN) – Late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel apologized for airing a clip of a child suggesting that "killing everyone in China" could be a solution to America's debt problem.

"You know, today is a weird day," Kimmel said on Monday's show. "There seems to be a lot of people upset with me, more upset than usual."

Chinese-American groups organized several protests and a petition drive after the October 16 broadcast of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

The offending remark came while Kimmel was talking to a group of children, ages 5 and 6, about the United States government's debt, much of which is held by China.

"America owes China a lot of money, $1.3 trillion," Kimmel told the children. "How should we pay them back?"

"Shoot cannons all the way over and kill everyone in China," one boy said.

"Kill everyone in China? OK, that's an interesting idea," Kimmel said.

He then posed the question: "Should we allow the Chinese to live?"

While one boy said, "No," most of the children said, "Yes."

"If we don't allow them to live, then they'll try to kill us," a girl said.

"Well, this has been an interesting edition of Kid's Table — The Lord of the Flies edition," Kimmel said as the segment ended.

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Julie Chen Receives Apology From Ohio TV Station Following Her Plastic Surgery Revelation

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

(E-Online) The Dayton, Ohio, TV station that Julie Chen said made her feel so insecure about her looks that she went under the knife to make her eyes look bigger has issued an apology.

"We are sorry to hear about what happened to CBS' Julie Chen in 1995 when she was a reporter at WDTN-TV," Joe Abouzeid, WDTN and WBDT president and general manager, said in a statement given to the Dayton Daily News. "The station was under different management and ownership during that time. At WDTN and WBDT, we don't tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind."

On the Sept. 11 episode of The Talk, Chen revealed that she opted for plastic surgery after one of her former bosses told her that her "Asian eyes" would prevent her from getting jobs.

NEWS: Julie Chen speaks out following her plastic surgery confession

"My secret dates back to—my heart is racing—it dates back to when I was 25 years old and I was working as a local news reporter in Dayton, Ohio," Chen told the audience. "I asked my news director [if] over the holidays, if anchors want to take vacations, could I fill in? And he said, 'You will never be on this anchor desk, because you're Chinese.'"

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Fox Won’t Take Racially Problematic Scenes Out Of Pilot For ‘Dads’ Sitcom

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

(Atlantic Wire) Despite the requests of an Asian American media watchdog group—plus bad press from all corners—Fox has no plans to replace offensive scenes in the pilot of the Seth MacFarlane-produced fall sitcom Dads.

The Hollywood Reporter reports today that Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly and COO Joe Earley have responded to complaints issued by the Media Action Network for Asian Americans' Guy Aoki about racist stereotypes in the show. In their letter, Reilly and Earley make no mention of reshoots and ask Aoki, whose organization contacted the network last week, to give the show a chance to develop, and explaining that actress Brenda Song's character—an Asian-American woman working at a video game company—"is a strong, intelligent, empowered young woman who basically runs the company, and who almost always gets the upper hand on the guys." (In the series pilot, the show's leads have Song's character dress up like a sexy school girl and giggle to woo Chinese investors.)

Other scenes in the pilot for the show, which centers on the relationship between two video game developers (Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi) and their socially awkward dads, contain offenses including a character's use of the word "Oriental" and a series of jokes about the size of a Chinese man's penis. In their letter, Reilly and Earley write that Dads "…is a show that will be evocative and will poke fun at stereotypes and bigotries – sometimes through over-the-top, ridiculous situations, adding that "…everyone involved with 'Dads' is striving to create a series with humor that works on multiple levels and 'earns' its audaciousness." (And, of course, earns money: The CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls, which was also slammed for its racist portrayal of Han Lee, a Korean-born owner of a Brooklyn diner, ended up being a ratings success for the network.)

Some people just aren't buying these sorts of defenses of the show or its humor. As Melissa Maerzexplained in an essay for Entertainment Weekly, the problem with the pilot is that it's not actually poking fun at stereotypes, it's asking the audience to laugh with and embrace them. Even Song's character doesn't seem to care about the way she is dehumanized. "This kind of silent compliance might be the most dangerous part of Dads," Maerz writes. "It’s not just that racist jokes go totally unchecked, it’s that the people who are the butt of those jokes end up playing along, just to show everyone that it’s okay." The show also, as other critics have pointed out, just isn't funny.

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CNBC Reporter’s Use of “Chink in the Armor” Condemned By Asian American Journalists

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

(Media Matters) A CNBC reporter is under fire for using the phrase "chink in the armor" during a Tuesday discussion of Wendi Deng's pending divorce from News Corp and 21st Century Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch.

The comments by CNBC's Robert Frank drew a critical response from the Asian American Journalists Association, which condemned the statements as "offensive" and "inappropriate."

Discussing whether Deng's new lawyer might be able to gain her a share of the Murdoch family trusts during the divorce case, Frank stated on CNBC's Power Lunch: "I wonder, you know, Peter, what do you think the chink in the armor here might be? That's what [Deng's lawyer] is so good at, is finding a chink in the pre-nups and all these trusts. What do you think they may be looking for to get more out of this divorce?"

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