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Most endangered U.S. historic sites include two Chinatowns
DeSantis criticized for mandating Asian American history while banning courses on 'systemic racism'
“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
Most endangered U.S. historic sites include two Chinatowns — As gentrification pushes into ethnic enclaves across the country, a historic preservation group says the Chinatowns in Philadelphia and Seattle are facing threats.
Philadelphia and Seattle’s Chinatowns, two of the nation’s oldest, are among the most endangered historical sites in the country, according to a list from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The neighborhoods, which have long been havens for Asian Americans and immigrants, are at risk of displacement by developments like mass transit expansion, sports stadiums and large-scale real estate projects.
“For small businesses like us, we are already struggling with the very high rent we are paying,” Xu Lin, a restaurant owner in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, said in August. “And we all know arenas with their sports teams, they build their own restaurants, they have their own bars. They’re within their structure. They will not bring additional business to our community.”
For three decades, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has designated more than 350 historical sites as endangered. The sites on this year’s list of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” are particularly important to minority communities, it said in a release.
Among them, two Chinatowns were identified as under threat.
Home to more than 3,000 Chinese residents, Philadelphia’s Chinatown is lined with buildings constructed when Asians first started to populate the area in the 19th and 20th centuries. Since then, residents have had to fend off attempts to gentrify the area, while dealing with crises such as the Covid pandemic and economic downturn, locals said last year.
DeSantis criticized for mandating Asian American history while banning courses on 'systemic racism' — “Racial justice can’t be a zero- sum game for communities of color,” said Gregg Orton, national director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans.
A new law in Florida mandates the teaching of Asian American and Pacific Islander history in public schools. But many Asian Americans are not celebrating, pointing to how other marginalized communities are being affected by the state heavily limiting the instruction of systemic racism and gender identity in the classroom.
Asian American academics and civil rights organizations are speaking out after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill last week, requiring that Asian American and Pacific Islander history to be included in the K-12 curriculum. The measure coincides with another bill signed into law on Monday to no longer permit public colleges to spend money on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. It also limits the way race and gender will be taught in the state’s higher education institutions.
Gregg Orton, national director of National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, a coalition of 38 AAPI organizations, said the history law is far from a “win” for the Asian American community, adding that “racial justice can’t be a zero-sum game for communities of color.”
“When you advance a bill that uplifts AAPI communities, but don’t want to acknowledge the fact that in the same state, there are real intentional efforts to invisiblize or erase Black history, or [critical race theory], you are on the wrong side of history,” Orton said. “With Florida, it’s hard to draw any other conclusion than they are actively trying to use the Asian American Pacific Islander community as a wedge here.”
Man accused in deadly shooting at Taiwanese church in California is indicted on 98 charges — Investigators said the gunman in the shooting last year was motivated by political hatred of Taiwan.
A man accused of fatally shooting one person and wounding five others at a Southern California church luncheon last year has been charged with dozens of federal hate crimes in connection with the attack, which investigators said was motivated by political hatred of Taiwan.
The indictment announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice charges David Chou, of Las Vegas, with 98 counts including weapons and explosives charges and forcefully obstructing the free exercise of religion.
Messages seeking comment from attorneys who have represented Chou, 69, in a separate case in state court were not immediately returned.
Authorities said Chou chained and nailed shut exit doors before launching the attack on a gathering of older parishioners from the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on May 15, 2022.
Chou had two handguns, bags of ammunition and four Molotov cocktail-style devices, and was motivated by hatred of Taiwan, where he grew up, investigators said.
Among the charges were 45 counts of obstructing free exercise of religious beliefs by force, “which resulted in the death of one person, included attempts to kill 44 others, and involved the use of a firearm and attempted use of explosives and fire,” the Justice Department said in a statement.
⭐️ Winning the Popularity Contest
Ashley Park on IMDb — Actor Ashley Park has been honored with the IMDb “Breakout Star” Starmeter Award. The award is determined by IMDbPro data, analyzing the page views of over 200 million monthly visitors worldwide.
Asian food with kids of immigrants — While Asian cuisines were once deemed unappetizing or exotic, experts say the children of Asian immigrants have fueled a cultural shift in how the foods of their heritage are perceived.
R.F. Kuang’s new novel ‘Yellowface’ - R.F. Kuang, the acclaimed author of the “The Poppy War” trilogy, has recently released her fifth novel, “Yellowface.” Since hitting bookshelves on Tuesday, the book has so far earned rave reviews from outlets such as Kirkus, Publishers Weekly and Bookpage, the latter of which has dubbed it “poignant and provocative.” Meanwhile, NPR called “Yellowface” a “well-executed, gripping, fast-paced novel.”
🌟 Our History for #AAPIHeritageMonth
Why The 1980s Was A Formative Decade For Asian American Cinema — In 1982, Wayne Wang’s “Chan Is Missing” became the first feature film by an Asian American director to get a mainstream theatrical release. A decade later, Wang broke more ground when he directed “The Joy Luck Club,” widely considered the first major Hollywood studio movie featuring an all-Asian cast. (Famously and embarrassingly, it took 25 years to make another one: 2018’s “Crazy Rich Asians.”)
“Chan Is Missing” and other early films by Wang are featured in “Asian American ’80s,” a collection of 12 movies streaming this month on the Criterion Channel.
The little-known Asian American history preserved on Angel Island — In U.S. history, Ellis Island is the one that dominates conversations about immigration. On the opposite coast, Angel Island stood in stark contrast — an immigration port that served as over 500,000 people's first point of contact between 1910 and 1940.
The Untold History of the “Asian American” Identity — Until the late 1960s, Americans of Asian descent were mostly called “Oriental.” Asian Americans of that time typically identified with their specific ethnic group–Chinese, Japanese, or Filipino–but not under a greater political identity.
📽️ What We’re Watching
✍️, Lea @ Crushing the Myth