CTM AAPI Highlights 📰 BREAKING NEWS: Oracle is winner in TikTok US bidding.
This week's AAPI highlights.
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Oracle is winner in TikTok US bidding.
AAPI News of the Week
Early in Maxine Hong Kingston’s book “The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts,” from 1976, the narrator asks, “What is Chinese tradition and what is the movies?” “The Woman Warrior” is told from the perspective of a second-generation Chinese-American girl, growing up amid her Chinese immigrant mother’s ghost stories. She comes to understand her history by narrating the fifteen-hundred-year-old legend of Fa Mu Lan, the folk hero who fought in her aging father’s stead out of filial duty. Mu Lan’s story has been told and retold in China, and, starting with Kingston’s novel, it circulated widely in America as well, most prominently in a Disney animated version, released in 1998. The new, live-action “Mulan,” which recently premièred on the Disney+ streaming platform, begins by acknowledging its predecessors. “There have been many tales about the great warrior Mulan,” its opening voice-over says, “but ancestors: this one is mine.”
Oddly, perhaps, “Mulan,” directed by the New Zealander Niki Caro and credited to four screenwriters, gives the voice-over a body in Mulan’s father. Although most Americans associate the folktale with its proto-feminist heroine, this movie is framed as her father’s story—he is the film’s definitive narrator. It is not the only dissonance in the new “Mulan.” The film is, put crudely, an Americanized celebration of Chinese nationalism, on a two-hundred-million-dollar budget.
Two San Francisco Bay Area nonprofits launched an initiative last week that calls on parents, students and schools to protect Asian American and Pacific Islander youth as discrimination against Asian Americans increases during the coronavirus pandemic.
The campaign, Stand Up for AAPI Youth During COVID, offers schools a toolkit that includes lesson plans that address issues such as the model minority myth, implicit biases, microaggressions, self-acceptance, cultural appropriation and more.
Program leaders held a virtual launch last Wednesday that Democratic vice presidential pick Kamala Harris kicked off. Harris gave a speech emphasizing the need to protect and support AAPI youth in the coming school year and beyond. Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang also spoke, along with other AAPIs in politics and pop culture.
“In this moment where there’s so many powerful forces trying to sell hate and division and engage in xenophobic rhetoric, we know the strength of unity,” Harris said. “We know the strength of lifting up our young leaders and doing everything we can to support them and their families. So let’s keep doing it.”
Asian Americans are not only struggling to find financial relief. Experts like Dr. Namratha Kandula, the co-director of Northwestern University’s Institute for Public Health and Medicine, said this community has been largely “ignored” in the public health response to COVID-19.
“[Public health agencies] are not [providing] linguistically and culturally appropriate materials or enough ethnic media outreach to really help the community understand prevention measures that need to be taken, and some of the unique considerations that might be affecting different Asian American communities,” Kandula said.
Asian Americans are also overrepresented in jobs and businesses considered to be essential -- the same job markets whose employees suffered the highest rates of COVID-19.
AAPI Minds of the Week
Early on in “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” the first of three autobiographies Douglass wrote over his lifetime, he recounts what happened—or, perhaps more accurately, what didn’t happen—after his master, Thomas Auld, became a Christian believer at a Methodist camp meeting. Douglass had harbored the hope that Auld’s conversion, in August, 1832, might lead him to emancipate his slaves, or at least “make him more kind and humane.” Instead, Douglass writes, “If it had any effect on his character, it made him more cruel and hateful in all his ways.” Auld was ostentatious about his piety—praying “morning, noon, and night,” participating in revivals, and opening his home to travelling preachers—but he used his faith as license to inflict pain and suffering upon his slaves. “I have seen him tie up a lame young woman, and whip her with a heavy cowskin upon her naked shoulders, causing the warm red blood to drip; and, in justification of the bloody deed, he would quote this passage of Scripture—‘He that knoweth his master’s will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes,’ ” Douglass writes. Douglass is so scornful about Christianity in his memoir that he felt a need to append an explanation clarifying that he was not an opponent of all religion. In fact, he argued that what he had written about was not “Christianity proper,” and labelling it as such would be “the boldest of all frauds.” Douglass believed that “the widest possible difference” existed between the “slaveholding religion of this land” and “the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ.”
Read more about author, Michael Luo.
In honor of the release of the live action Mulan today on Disney+, I thought it would be a good time to share a few words on my Disney husband. Of course, I’m talking about my barrel-chested, bisexual king, General Li Shang.
General Shang is a character in the original animated version of Mulan. He meets Mulan when she — disguised as a man — joins the misfit group of soldiers that Shang eventually helps lead to victory against the bad guys. While technically not a Disney “prince,” it’s almost too easy to argue how thoroughly Shang exceeds — both in looks and character — the mundane cadre of foppish Disney men (many of whom share a disturbing penchant for kissing unconscious women).
Shang is known as “pretty boy” for obvious reasons, and I won’t spend much time arguing that he’s the hottest Disney man because that goes without saying. I will say a few words about his size, which is what I like to call “climbable.” His exact height is unclear, but he appears to stand around seven-foot-two, outstripping his colleagues (with the exception of Beast) who otherwise appear to be pushing a willowy five-foot-seven. And unlike the majority of the Disney fellows, Shang isn’t interested in using his strength and bulk to (a) imprison women, or (b) “save” them.
Read more about author, Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz.
6. InspirAsian of the Week (Instagram Feature)
Learn more about Naomi Osaka at our Instagram page
🎾 Naomi Osaka is a Japanese-Haitian-American professional tennis player who represents Japan. Osaka has been ranked No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), and is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles.
🎾 Her George Floyd mask just one of seven face coverings, each in honor of a different person, that Osaka brought to Flushing Meadows — the same number of wins it takes to claim a Grand Slam trophy. The world’s highest-earning female athlete hopes she can get the chance to raise awareness about racial injustice by using each mask during her stay in New York.
🎾 “It’s quite sad that seven masks isn’t enough for the amount of names, so hopefully I’ll get to the finals so you can see all of them,” said Naomi Osaka
🎾 “I’m aware that tennis is watched all over the world, and maybe there is someone that doesn’t know Breonna Taylor’s story. Maybe they’ll, like, Google it or something,” Osaka said. “For me, (it’s about) just spreading awareness. I feel like the more people know the story, then the more interesting or interested they’ll become in it.”
AAPI Story of the Week
"It's quite possible for some that I may be the first person of color they have ever seen.”
Patrick Springer is the co-founder of the Black Lives Solidarity Global Initiative, which organized a rally in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement on June 13th in Taipei’s 228 Peace Park.
Part of Crushing The Myth’s Speaker Stories.