Discover more from Crushing The Myth
After being wrongfully accused of spying for China, professor wins appeal to sue the government
Elite Virginia high school doesn’t discriminate against Asian Americans, court finds
“Asian Americans recorded the fastest population growth rate among all racial and ethnic groups in the United States, study finds.”
While this statistic may seem optimistic, there’s more to the story. The growth of the Asian American population in the U.S. has occurred in tandem with increased reports of discrimination and violence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
As our community grows, we are getting louder, we are telling our authentic stories…and we are making news headlines.
Welcome to Crushing the Myth, a weekly newsletter that breaks down the latest AAPI news & newsmakers.
📰 The Headlines
After being wrongfully accused of spying for China, professor wins appeal to sue the government — “I’m very, very glad that we can finally put the government under oath to explain why they decided to do what they did, violating our constitutional rights,” Professor Xiaoxing Xi said in an exclusive interview with NBC News.
Xiaoxing Xi, a Temple University professor who was falsely accused of spying for China, will be able to bring a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A judge at a federal appeals court ruled in favor of Xi on Wednesday, allowing the physicist to move forward with his case against the U.S. government for wrongful prosecution and violating his family’s constitutional rights by engaging in unlawful search, seizure and surveillance.
The decision comes after FBI agents swarmed Xi’s Philadelphia home in 2015, rounded up his family at gunpoint, and arrested him on fraud charges related to economic espionage, before abruptly dropping the charges months afterward.
“I’m very, very glad that we can finally put the government under oath to explain why they decided to do what they did, violating our constitutional rights,” Xi said in an exclusive interview with NBC News. “We finally have an opportunity to hold them accountable.”
The case will now be kicked back to the district court, continuing a long legal battle. Xi, who’s represented in part by the American Civil Liberties Union, attempted to bring a suit against the government in 2017, alleging that FBI agents “made knowingly or recklessly false statements” to support their investigation and prosecution. Xi also claimed that his arrest was discriminatory, and that he was targeted due to his ethnicity, much like other scholars of Chinese descent. A district court dismissed his case in 2021, but Xi appealed the decision last year.
Elite Virginia high school doesn’t discriminate against Asian Americans, court finds — The decision overturns a ruling last year from a federal judge who found that the school engaged in “racial balancing” when it overhauled its admissions policy.
A divided federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the constitutionality of a new admissions policy at an elite public high school in Virginia that critics say discriminates against highly qualified Asian Americans.
The 2-1 ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond overturns a ruling last year from a federal judge who found that the Fairfax County School Board engaged in impermissible “racial balancing” when it overhauled the admissions policy at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.
The school frequently is cited among the best in the nation, and parents jockey and prepare for years to get their children admitted. But for decades Black and Hispanic students have been woefully underrepresented, while Asian Americans made up more than 70% of the student body.
In 2020, the school board significantly revamped the admissions process, scrapping a standardized test that had been a linchpin in favor of a system that set aside equal numbers of Thomas Jefferson slots at each of the county’s middle schools, among other changes. The process does not take race into account. It does give weight in favor of applicants who are economically disadvantaged or still learning English.
The first freshman class admitted under the new rules saw a significantly different racial makeup. Black students increased from 1% to 7%; Hispanic representation increased from 3% to 11%. Asian American representation decreased from 73% to 54%.
Critics of the new policy say it discriminates against Asian American applicants who would have been granted admission if academic merit were the sole criteria, and that efforts to increase Black and Hispanic representation necessarily come at the expense of Asian Americans.
Ming-Na Wen, 'Joy Luck Club' actor, will finally get a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame — The actor’s “Joy Luck Club” co-stars Tamlyn Tomita, Lauren Tom and Rosalind Chao will be delivering speeches during the unveiling ceremony.
Wen, best known for her groundbreaking roles in Disney’s original “Mulan” and 1993’s “The Joy Luck Club” — the first major studio movie with a predominantly Asian cast — will be recognized at a ceremony next Tuesday. The distinction makes her one of less than two dozen people of Asian descent with a spot on the Walk of Fame, out of more than 2,750 stars.
“Still in disbelief! INSANE!” Wen said of the honor on social media. “Thrilled to end #AAPIHeritageMonth w/ this utmost honor.”
The actor’s “Joy Luck Club” co-stars Tamlyn Tomita, Lauren Tom and Rosalind Chao, will be delivering speeches during the unveiling ceremony.
For many in the Asian American community and beyond, Wen’s star is a long time coming. The actress, who was born in Macau and immigrated to the U.S. when she was 6 years old, has a career that spans more than three decades and several historic accomplishments. In 1988, she became the first Asian series regular in a daytime drama for “As the World Turns.” Years later, her portrayal of main character June Woo in “The Joy Luck Club” drew critical acclaim for depicting generational tensions and love through an Asian American lens.
😤 Causing Outrage
on ‘Jeopardy!’ — ‘Jeopardy!’ fans were outraged after contestant Ben Chan lost his nine-day winning streak on the show over a spelling mistake.
in Yelp — A family-owned California restaurant was forced to temporarily shut down after a racist rumor spread on social media that it was “maybe” involved in selling dog meat.
because of makeup - A Chinese makeup artist has been accused of “blackface” after her transformation video tributes to the late Kobe Bryant recently resurfaced.
✊ Stop Asian Hate: An Update
‘Stop Asian Hate’ drove a funding surge for AAPI startups and nonprofits. What comes next? — Many groups say they’re cautiously optimistic that they can carry their momentum from the past few years into the post-pandemic era.
New York legislators introduce AANHPI history bill to combat anti-Asian violence — Introduced on Monday, Bill S5963 is an education law that will require both public elementary and high schools to integrate AANHPI history into their history or social studies curricula.
🥢 Now Serving
More than 1 in 10 US restaurants serve Asian food, new study finds — The highest concentration of Asian restaurants can be found in the five states where most Asian Americans also live.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto launches first-ever sushi competition show — Best known as one of the original Iron Chefs, Morimoto will serve as a judge on the show, which will purportedly be the first cooking competition TV series exclusively focused on sushi.
📽️ What We’re Watching
✍️, Lea @ Crushing the Myth