Recently compiled data finds the South Korea is a more racially intolerant nation in comparison to its neighboring countries, Japan and China, which runs contrary to the profile of prosperous nations.
According to a report in the Washington Post, two Swedish economists set out to determine whether or not economic freedom correlated with racial prejudice. But in order to somehow quantify such abstract data, the duo sought the help of the World Values Survey, ”which has been measuring global attitudes and opinions for decades.”
A study carried out by World Values asked participants from 80 different countries to identify from a list various types of people they would not want as neighbors. Some respondents selected “people of a different race,” and the more frequently citizens of a country responded as such, the country was viewed as less racially tolerant. Continue Reading »
Obama Backs Policy of South Korea’s President on North
New York Times
President Obama offered an endorsement Tuesday of South Korea’s new president, Park Geun-hye, and her blueprint for defusing tensions with North Korea, but warned that the first move was up to the erratic, often belligerent young leader in Pyongyang, Kim Jong-un.
In a news conference after an Oval Office meeting, Mr. Obama said Ms. Park’s policy, which mixes deterrence with an openness to engagement, is “very compatible with my approach.”
But after weeks of warlike statements from Mr. Kim, which subsided only in recent days, Mr. Obama emphasized that the “burden is on Pyongyang to take meaningful steps to abide by its commitments and obligations, particularly the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
South Korean president reassures U.S. lawmakers on North Korea
South Korean President Park Geun-hye assured U.S. lawmakers Wednesday that the strength of their alliance and the steps her country has taken will effectively deter provocations from North Korea.
“The Korean government is reacting resolutely but calmly. We are maintaining the highest level of readiness,” Park told told a joint meeting of Congress. She added: “Korea’s economic fundamentals are strong. Its government is equal to the task. And it is backed by the might of our alliance. So long as this continues, you may rest assured no North Korean provocation can succeed.”
Park is on her first overseas trip as president. On Tuesday she met with President Obama at the White House. The two leaders pledged a united front against North Korean aggression in a news conference after their discussions.
Taking on Sen. Chuck Schumer, House member says immigration bill’s family visa changes would hurt Asian-Americans
New York Daily News
The most junior member of New York’s delegation is taking on the state’s most powerful lawmaker on the racial impact of an immigration bill.
Freshman Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) wrote Sen. Chuck Schumer on Tuesday, arguing that an immigration overhaul he helped author “contains a number of provisions that are disadvantageous to the Asian American community and detrimental” to the nation.
Meng praised parts of the bill, which is set for a committee vote Thursday, but blasted a change to a program that lets people sponsor their family members for visas.
How Asian Americans became a key White House constituency
The growing influence of Asian Americans in U.S. politics will be on full display Wednesday, as President Obama meets with half a dozen lAsian American leaders this afternoon, and Vice President Biden addresses the Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies gala tonight.
How did Asian Americans get to be such a key political constituency? Both their votes and their donations have made a difference, especially in Obama’s reelection bid.
Asians are quickly becoming a core Democratic group: Exit polling showed Obama and Biden won 73 percent of the Asian vote in 2012, up 11 points from 2008. This represents one of the biggest changes for any group in 2012, at a time when most voting groups shifted away from Obama in 2012. While Hispanics have captured the public’s attention as one of the nation’s most important voting blocs because of their larger numbers, Asian Americans are growing even faster as a share of the electorate.
Most Asian-Americans live in mixed neighborhoods, but exceptions abound, experts say
Medill Reports Chicago (Northwestern Univ. School of Journalism)
Asian-Americans are not only the best educated and fastest growing racial group in this country, they are also more likely than any other race or ethnicity to live in racially diverse neighborhoods, according to a recent Pew study.
Language skills and education levels are factors that affect Asian-American’s ability and desire to live in racially mixed neighborhoods, local experts say.
Of the nearly 17 million Asian-Americans living in this country, according to U.S. census data, the study found that only 11 percent live in an area that is predominantly Asian-American.
“If you look at Chicago, I think that’s generally true because Asian-American communities tend to be more dispersed throughout the city,” said Mark Chiang, associate professor of English and Asian-American studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Twitter diplomacy for Dennis Rodman
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is tapping his friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to ask for the release of a Korean-American man sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the North.
“I’m calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him ‘Kim’, to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose,” Rodman said on Twitter. He later called the tweet a direct response to a Seattle Times editorial that dared him to ask Kim for the release if the two are really buddies.
Rodman visited North Korea in February and sat next to Kim as they watched an exhibition basketball game. His trip came at a time of high tension between Pyongyang and Washington and was not endorsed by the U.S. State Department.
Am I racist?
According to an online test developed by Harvard psychologists, I have a moderate preference toward white people.
I — a liberal white male who deeply cares about racial equity — was quicker to assign positive words (e.g., joy, love, peace) to faces of white people and negative words (e.g., awful, failure, hurt) to faces of African Americans. I feel shock, shame, and disgust. The fact that 27 percent of the 732,881 people who took the test had the same result, while another 27 percent had a “strong preference” toward white people, provides some consolation but not much.
Seoul Tackles Rising Refugee Inflow
Wall Street Journal
The 25-year-old man arrived in South Korea in October 2011 after he fled Iran for what he identified as religious reasons. He was from a conservative Muslim family but said he found Christianity in Iran’s underground church movement. After receiving threats over his secret worship from members of his community, including his father and cousins, he fled abroad.
The man entered South Korea on a forged passport, a fact that immigration authorities say he admitted to in March this year when submitting his application for asylum. His representatives say South Korea was meant to be a stop on the way to Canada, where he planned to apply for refugee status. But after arriving in South Korea, the broker he had paid to take him to Canada disappeared, according to his lawyers.
After hearing from relatives about a summons from a court in Iran to appear on charges of apostasy, his lawyers say the man immediately filed an application for refugee status at an immigration center in Seoul.
Rookies poised for big K stats
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
Age: 26; MLB career starts: 7; Player Rater SP ranking: 36th
Stuff: Many scouting reports during the winter, at the time the Dodgers signed Ryu to a six-year, $36 million contract after paying a $25.7 million posting fee, had the left-hander’s stuff ranging as high as that of a No. 3 or 4 starter to as low as that of a situational reliever. Ryu’s changeup is the key to his sticking in the rotation: It’s his best pitch, he uses it often against righties (30 percent usage) and opponents overall have batted .222 against it. Meanwhile, his delivery is deceptive enough to completely fluster lefties — hence the “reliever” chatter — as they’re batting just .176/.243/.294 against him.
Adjustment period? Hitters might begin to catch up with Ryu the more times they see him; the San Francisco Giants, who on Sunday became the first team to face him for the second time during the regular season, enjoyed more success against him (4 runs, 8 hits, only 2 K’s) in meeting No. 2. Two years ago, “60 Feet 6 Inches” examined pitchers’ prospects for success during their proverbial “second trip around the league,” and the telling tale was that strikeout artists tended to fare better than finesse types during that phase. Ryu’s current 251-K pace might paint such a strikeout-artist picture, but if he’s not a traditional flamethrower — his average fastball velocity thus far is 90.0 mph — is he subject to that? I wonder.
Korean American artist sculpts dual identity
Golden Gate Express (SF State Univ.)
A young man in clay-smudged jeans sits on a stool, steps on a pedal and molds a heap of clay with quiet finesse. The wheel spins the now curvy tower of clay like the gears turning in his head. He asks, “What would you like me to make?”
The tower is cut with a wire and reassembled into the lid, bowl and spout of a teapot. The rest is manipulated into a tall vase.
This is 27-year-old studio art major Nick Oh’s nature as an artist — calm, skilled and prolific. Although he’s described by classmates as mysterious and keeping to himself, his art speaks volumes.
Oh’s most ambitious piece, the slightly larger than life-size figure of himself — sitting cross-legged nude and eating American items (a football and McDonalds cup) out of Chinese take-out boxes — features about 300 racial slurs and jokes painted on the bare “skin” fired with a clear glaze.
Lambda Theta Delta, which boasts being UC Irvine’s “first and largest Asian Greek fraternity,” is under fire this week after a racist music video was posted on YouTube, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Four members of Lambda are seen dancing in what was meant to be a humorous parody of Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z’s recent hit, “Suit and Tie.” In the video, one of those students dons blackface as he mimics and mocks Jay-Z. UCI community members responded to the video with anger, and it soon spread across the internet.
The university is conducting an official investigation of the fraternity and those involved in making the video, according to UCI Vice Chancellor Thomas Parham. Continue Reading »
A Korean American woman is suing drugstore chain CVS in federal court after an employee altered her name on a receipt to read, “Ching Chong Lee,” the Smoking Gun reports.
In an email to the company’s customer relations department, Hyun Jin Lee complained about the offensive term, saying:
“Do you think it’s funny? It’s very disturbing to me!!!!,” Lee wrote. “Why doesn’t he just call me Chink! It has the same derogatory meaning!!!!!” Continue Reading »
Photo via Toronto Star.
A strange county bylaw has a small community in Canada debating what to do with a deceased man’s tombstone – which is, according to the rule, illegally inscribed with a “legend in Korean characters recording [the deceased’s] genealogy,” the Toronto Star reports.
The specific law, which was passed in 2001 by the town of St. George, a tiny suburb of Toronto, does not allow for the back of a tombstone to be engraved with anything more than the family name. If a family wishes to inscribe additional notes or images on the gravestone, the cemetery advisory committee must approve it.
Byung Soon Choi’s relatives were not aware of the law, much like many of the other bereaved since the bylaw has never actively been enforced, and had Choi’s tombstone engraved with Korean characters. Neighboring tombstones had unique designs such as a maple sugar bush, a tow truck and a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey logo. Choi’s headstone didn’t appear to have raised any serious bureaucratic problems until the family of the deceased Bruce Bailey sought approval from the cemetery advisory board to inscribe an additional note into his gravestone and was denied. Continue Reading »