Asian-Americans are best kept demographic secret

Original article here:

Asian-Americans run more than 1.5 million small businesses that provide jobs for more than 3 million Americans. We own homes and have very high rates of citizenship. At the same time, certain ethnic groups, such as the Hmong, Bangladeshi and Cambodian communities, continue to face lengthy unemployment, high poverty levels and lack of access to job training and other government programs. Yet, increasingly and across ethnic lines, more and more of us are voting.

All this shatters long-held stereotypes of Asian-Americans as the “invisible” or “model” minority. This article from The Progressive considers the role Asian-Americans will play in the upcoming 2012 elections.

Will the Asian American Community Please Speak Up?

by Vi Nguyen, DC’11

When we rushed up the steps of 295 Crown Street on Bulldog Days to “meet the Asian American community” —none of us knew what kind of “Fusion” we were walking into. And whether it was a year ago, or two or three or almost four years ago—how many of us today have an understanding of what the Asian American community is? 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a community as a group of people who “…have a common history, or share a common social, economic or politial interest.” So, what is it that ties the Asian American community together? Is it having the AACC? Is it AASA? Is it us defining ourselves as Asian Americans? Maybe it’s the color of our skin? Our heritage? How about the events that we throw?

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Reflections on China-Taiwan Panel

Submitted by Karmen Cheung MC ’13, CASA Political Chair

 We’ve all heard about the China-Taiwan conflict. Taiwan wants independence, China wants to hold on to what they think is rightfully theirs, tempers flare and debates suddenly turn into childish screaming and yelling.  I’ve heard bits and pieces about the conflict but never really took the chance to learn more. Through a panel of three professors, Peter Perdue, Ann-Ping Chin and Pierre Landry, here is what I took away from the panel:

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Panel on Future of U.S.-China Relations on Thursday

The YIRA Speakers Committee cordially invites you to a panel discussing the future of U.S.-China Relations featuring *Ambassador Clark T. Randt*, the longest-serving U.S. Ambassador to China. The panel will also feature *Nancy Massbach*, Director of the Yale-China Association and former Director of Corporate Affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as *Prof. Jessica Weiss*, an assistant professor of political science. Each of these experts will present their views on the future of U.S.-China Relations.
*2.00 – 3.00 PM*

China-Taiwan Relations Panel on Friday!

PAEC is proud to promote a joint effort by Yale’s Chinese American Students Association and Taiwanese-American Society, China Taiwan Relations Panel featuring Professors Peter Perdue and Annping Chin of Yale’s History Department and Professor Pierre Landry from the Political Science Department. Come learn from the experts about one of this decades-old critical issue facing Asia.

Supreme Court Battle Quietly Brews As Future Nominations Loom – ABC News

Originally posted on

Supreme Court Battle Quietly Brews As Future Nominations Loom – ABC News

An interesting article from longtime PAEC member and chair Tyler about possible upcoming nominations to the Supreme Court. At the center of the piece is Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu who was nominated to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Hearings regarding his nomination will be held this week in committee. A son of Taiwanese immigrants, Liu would be the only active APA federal appellate court judge in the country. What makes the story more intriguing is that according to the ABC News article, Liu is seen as a possible Supreme Court nomination for Obama. Given that Liu is only 39, this could mean that as the possible first Asian American on the court, Liu could serve for a very long time.

You can read more about Professor Liu here.

Thanks for the heads up, Tyler. As always, anyone is welcome to email with an interesting story you’d like to see on the blog.

Politics Over Pizza Panel: Point by Point

Last Wednesday, AASA hosted the “Politics Over Pizza” discussion panel – a conversation focusing on how Asian Americans reconcile the political views of their native countries with those of Western ideals. Jenny Mei BK ’13, an AASA Freshman Liaison, came up with the theme for the panel from her personal experiences – “I believe in Western democracy, but as a Chinese-American, I also felt like I had to defend China when people attacked it.”

The panel consisted of six Yalies, all of whom have an interest in politics in Asia. Besides the yummy pizza from Papa John’s (since when has their crust become so fluffy?), I took home some interesting points on the political identity of Asian Americans:

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Discussion Panel on Political Identity (Free Pizza!)

POLITICS OVER PIZZA: Interface of Asia and the US

DATE: Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

TIME: 5:00PM – 6:30PM




We’ve all talked about our cultural identities, torn between the two worlds of Asia and America. But what about our political one? How do we, as Asian-Americans, deal with political tensions between our native country in Asia and the United States? Do you feel caught between defending your home country and your Western political ideals?

Come talk about your political identity at the Politics Over Pizza Discussion Panel, featuring the following upperclassmen as discussion leaders:

-Carl Kubler – TC ‘10

-Rich Tao – SM ‘10

-Ray Wang – BR ‘10

-James Kim – DC ‘11

-Susan Liu – MC ‘10

-Faizaan Kisat – BR ‘12

The event is an open forum and everyone can participate! So come and express your opinion on this pressing issue that is becoming increasingly prominent in our lives.

Obama Nails It With State of the Union and “Question Time”

Last week was a very busy one in politics. On Wednesday, President Obama gave his first State of the Union Address. (Watch it at Given the tough political climate, it was clearly an important speech, and the president and his team were well prepared, shifting the focus to jobs and the economy. Health care reform wasn’t even mentioned until after the first half hour, but Obama still urged Congress not to give up on it yet. He made a lot of swings at the Republicans and took some jabs at his own party as well, challenging both parties to lead the country. He surprisingly made a direct mention of the Supreme Court and its decision on federal election spending, which usually does not happen in political speeches. (Not to be outdone, Justice Alito reacted visibly, which was not supposed to happen as well.) Obama also spent a lot of time talking about the culture of Washington and what it needs to clean up: the permanent election, playing politics with Senate confirmation of public officials, zero-sum game mentality, and the general cynicism and disillusionment these problems create.

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Corporate Groups in Politics

This past week’s special senatorial election in Massachusetts has received a lot of national attention. Conservatives have heralded Scott Brown’s win as clear signs of the nation’s discontent with President Obama while liberals worry about what the repercussions will be not only for health care reform but also for climate change and the rest of their agenda. The added drama that the Kennedy seat was won by a Republican just 14 months after Obama carried the state by 26 points has helped this incident overshadow the far more important political news of the week. In a 5- 4 decision on Citizens United vs. FEC, the Supreme Court overturned over a century’s worth of precedent in allowing corporations and unions to spend from their own treasuries on political campaigns.

The reactions to this ruling have varied from cries of treason to the celebration of  “a great day for the First Amendment.” This broad range of responses comes as no surprise given the long history of government restrictions on corporate participation in campaigns starting with the Tillman Act of 1907 and as recently as McCain-Feingold Act of 2002. The rulings will allow special interest groups to use their deep pockets to run ads for or against candidates who support their agendas. Proponents of the first amendment rights of institutions see it as a big victory and have dressed it up as a great win for Americans. At the same time, the dissenting opinion of the court warned that the decision “threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation.” Complicating the matter even more is the group of supporters who argue that the ruling is both good and bad for our democracy because the potential for corruption is greater but it decreases the power of big media corporations, which were exclusively allowed to participate in campaigns.

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