February 24, 2023

February News: You Can Act Against Hate


Thank you to everyone that participated in our recent membership survey. The Steering Committee is reviewing the feedback we received and we look forward to seeing many of you at an upcoming event!

The shootings during the Lunar New Year were both a shock and a realization of some of our worst fears. And yet, despite this tragedy within our community, anti-Asian hate crime continues to be swept under the rug in our national news. I want to take a moment to bring light to an attack in January in Bloomington, Indiana. An 18-year-old student at Indiana University was attacked and stabbed in the head while waiting to exit the bus. The assailant believed this student was Chinese and said it "would be one less person to blow up our country.” These hate crimes  will never be easy to digest, but for me, this was particularly hard since I am from Indiana and am an alumna of Indiana University. I was once an 18-year-old student waiting to get off of a bus in Bloomington. This is one attack where I could really see myself in that position. It is upsetting, exhausting, and extremely frustrating because there does not seem to be an end in sight.

In response to this attack, students held a campus rally to speak out against anti-AAPI hate. Back in 2021 the Indiana Chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) launched a petition calling on Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb “to take swift action to condemn and combat racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Indiana's Asian American communities.” At the campus rally, speakers called again for signatories to this petition and demanded that the Governor take action to make Indiana a safer and more equitable place for everyone. You can sign the petition here.  

Governor Holcomb has not responded. This lack of response exemplifies the need to elect leaders who will act against such violence and hatred. 

YOU CAN ACT AGAINST HATE. By voting - and helping our friends, family, and allies to vote as well. The AAPI Caucus Steering Committee is already discussing how we can get out the vote this year and in 2024. If you want to contribute to our Caucus’ efforts, email [email protected]

And if you vote in one of the few states with an election in 2023, make sure you request your ballot today from VoteFromAbroad.org. We’re looking at you: Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Virginia, and Wisconsin!

Democratically yours,

Emily Lines
Chair, AAPI Caucus

News of Note

Celebrating Black History Month

We hope that our members have been able to celebrate Black History this month. For 2023, the Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus has given the month the theme of Black Resistance in The Past, Present, and Future… Their caucus website is a great resource for information on Black History Month. You can find recommendations for books, articles, documentaries, and more. And, of course, you can continue to return to this page even once February is over!

Representation Matters!
AAPI Caucus Supports Julie Su to be Labor Secretary

The AAPI Caucus calls on President Biden to appoint Deputy Labor Secretary Julie Su to replace Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who is expected to be stepping down shortly from the role. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai is the only Asian American woman who is currently in a Cabinet-level position in the Biden administration.

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) noted in a recent statement, "We remain troubled that the Administration has no Secretary-level AANHPI official serving in the Cabinet, the first time we have not had representation at this level since 2000. President Biden has the opportunity to better realize the 'most diverse Cabinet in history' with the elevation of Deputy Secretary Su. CAPAC urges him to seize that opportunity by nominating Julie Su as our next Secretary of Labor.”

The AAPI Global Caucus also strongly supports Julie Su as Labor Secretary, a position she is both eminently qualified for as well as a step forward in filling the gap in AANHPI representation at the Cabinet level.

Redistricting Update

Earlier this month, the Brennan Center for Justice released an update on redistricting. It noted that there are some major wildcards regarding ongoing redistricting fights in courts and at the state level which may see major redistricting that will possibly affect voting in the 2024 election, particularly in Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio. Redistricting last year in Texas resulted in a congressional map that discriminates against Asian, Black, and Latino voters in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and South Texas regions. A panel of federal judges sometime this year will rule on litigation that the current map is indeed racially discriminatory, but no date has been announced for the review. See the full report from the Brennan Center here

Everything, Everywhere All at Once nominated for eleven Academy Awards

The AAPI Caucus is delighted that the comedy-drama, genre bending film Everything, Everywhere All at Once has been nominated for 11 Academy Awards in the upcoming 2023 Oscars, with many of the nominees Asian Americans.

Michelle Yeoh is nominated for Best Actress, the first Asian woman to be nominated in 95 years (note: Merle Oberon, whose mother was Eurasian, was nominated for Best Actress in 1935, but she concealed her Asian ancestry) to receive the best actress nomination. In January she also received the 2023 Best Actress Golden Globe Award for her role in the film.

Ke Huy Quan is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. He also received the 2023 Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor.

Stephanie Hsu is nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Jamie Lee Curtis is also nominated in this category, also for her role in the film.

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert are nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

Susan Kurata is nominated for Best Costume Designer.

Everything, Everywhere All at Once is also nominated for Best Picture, Best Musical Score, Best Song and Best Film Editing.

Recommended Reading and Listening

Asian American Identities: A National Story (with Mary Lui) - episode of the podcast “Now & Then” hosted by Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman

In light of the recent shootings, Mary Lui joins the podcast to talk about the history of Asians in America and also discuss the wide diversity within the Asian American community.

Celebrating Lunar New Year in a time of grief - episode of the NPR podcast “Code Switch”

This episode talks about some of the traditions behind Lunar New Year and also talks about the history of Monterey Park in California. It is an opportunity to learn more about the Lunar New Year festival and hear about the experiences of growing up Asian American in a diaspora.

A Terrifying Sign of Assimilation by Jeff Yang - article in the New York Times

“Researchers at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan found that personal experiences of racial discrimination and intensified perception of cultural racism from sources including news and social media reports were associated with the decision among Asians to purchase firearms.” 

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