Queer Asian American history, “racist Asians,” Bobby Jindal’s shaky start, and two landmark birthdays
July 3, 2015
Where do Asian Americans stand in the fight for social progress? As early supporters of same-sex marriage or even candidates for the presidency, Asian Americans represent a wide spectrum of ideologies. But not everything has to be political—this week, celebrate some landmark birthdays, watch an Asian American cast kick off a new play, and look forward to taking a vacation next Lunar New Year. All this and more in the Margins‘ weekly roundup!
Last Friday, the Supreme Court reached a landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States! Find out how Asian Americans were among the first to lend their support to this historic struggle. In the wake of the ruling, remember that In the Fight for LGBT Rights, Visibility for Some Doesn’t Mean Justice for All. And learn about Mia Frances Yamamoto, a transgender criminal defense attorney who’s devoted her career to addressing Asian American LGBTQ issues.
Same-sex marriage wasn’t the only step forward this week. Columbia University recently divested from private prisons, making it the first university in the nation to do so. Meanwhile, after a persistent but quiet campaign, Lunar New Year was just declared a holiday in New York!
Before he murdered nine Black churchgoers, Dylann Roof wrote a manifesto claiming that “Asians are racist.” While Jeff Chang blames this perception on the media, Sonali Kohatkar exposes the ingrained anti-Black racism in Asian American communities. Meanwhile, a string of fires in Southern churches reminds us that the threat to Black safety is far from over. Momo Chang, who remembers Coming of Age in South Carolina as an Asian American, reminds us why solidarity is especially important today.
Though the people of Tibet are restricted from celebrating, AAWW would like to wish a happy 80th birthday to the Dalai Lama! Grace Lee Boggs also celebrated her 100th birthday last Saturday, June 27. Read about her lifetime of activism here!
Bobby Jindal’s decision to run for office—and his disavowal of a “hyphenated identity”—has led Indians and Indian Americans to mock his candidacy. At the White House itself, Muslim leaders’ decision to celebrate Iftar with Obama draws criticism from Sami Kiwashi.
Asian Americans are tearing it up in the theatre world, cutting fresh casting trails and playing Jewish mothers. On film, watch Margaret Cho take down sexism in Hollywood. And New Yorkers, swing by the Rubin Museum to purchase products handcrafted by Nepalese artisans! All proceeds go to help support communities devastated by the April 2015 earthquake.
This week’s Link Roundup was curated by Ariel Chu, an Editorial Intern at the Workshop. An aspiring writer and English major at Williams College, Ariel looks forward to dismantling stereotypes one subversive story after another.