The Korematsu Case and the Future, Our Future

Some people think that the incarceration of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II happened a long long time ago, and since the verdict in the Korematsu case was vacated, everything is okay now, and this could never happen again. However, after the events of 9/11, there has been an escalation of hate crimes and racial profiling all around the country targeting Muslims and Arab Americans, and those perceived to be Muslim and Arab Americans (like Sikh Americans).

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Written by on February 7, 2014

Justice for Trayvon, Justice for all our children

I wish I were surprised by the verdict, but my heart is breaking. I am typing this out on my phone today because it could not wait. How do we raise our sweet children of color? What do we tell them? What do we tell ourselves?

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Written by on July 15, 2013

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder: Veto SB 59! No guns in my children’s schools!

I remember when my children were small and I would not let them have playdates or sleepovers at homes that had guns. It was embarassing to ask, “Do you have guns in the house?” but I did. I made one relative get rid of the gun I knew he kept before we would come for a long visit. Curious small children. Careless adults. Deadly weapons. Not a combination I was interested in seeing together.

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Written by on December 17, 2012

Possibility. Imagination. Conversations to remember. A Future for all of us.

Imagination has no limits today. I love that about Halloween. Education has no barriers today either. I love that about the Natural History Museum. (Whenever we talk about Chicago, eight-year-old Little Brother has only one word, “Sue.”) Even now, three weeks later, the memories of this day and the imagination it inspires insulate me from the hateful racist and sexist rhetoric churning outside my door.

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Written by on November 29, 2012

Making Teriyaki Sauce for Thanksgiving Eve

Of course, Thanksgiving (Eve or otherwise) is not really about the food. As I told the children in my most recent presentation on Asian harvest festivals, it really is about the people—all the family and friends we call home. And in this, all of our different cultures really are more alike than not.

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Written by on November 22, 2012

Trying to Understand the Entitlement Ethos in Abigail Fisher v University of Texas and Republican Party Post-Election

So I am really puzzled by people like Abigail Fisher of the current US Supreme Court case Abigail Fisher v University of Texas. A mediocre student, the University of Texas insists that she simply was not good enough, but she is certain that the reason she was not accepted is because of affirmative action and less-qualified minorities. This case also pulls Asian Americans into the argument. Lots of folks have already written about the legal dimensions of this case, and it is complex, but I am curious about the sense of entitlement that makes her so certain that it is the fault of others that she did not get in.

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Written by on November 11, 2012

This Halloween: Dress classy. Dance cheesy. We’re a Culture, not a Costume.

As Halloween nears, whenever I teach late, I come home to find a different cast of characters galloping triumphant through my house, including Howl’s Moving Castle, pirate vs. ninja, kung fu masters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Steampunk, Goth Lolis, and more. A raucous combination of cosplay and Halloween, the spirit is festive, the creativity fun, the details impressive. Last week, even my old prom and wedding dresses were both trotted out and Steampunked. “Don’t you kids have homework to do?” And the background music in our house these past few weeks has been Psy’s “Gangnam Style” with its driving beat and in all its many variations.

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Written by on October 25, 2012

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