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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

May 16, 2012

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Asian Americans

The following is a list of recent academic journal articles and doctoral dissertations from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on race/ethnicity and/or immigration, with a particular emphasis on Asian Americans. The academic journal articles are generally available in the libraries of most colleges and universities and/or through online research databases. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Special Issue: “Generations.” Asian American Literary Review. (Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2012).

“Are there any continuities,” wonders scholar Min Hyoung Song, “between the earlier generation of writers which first raised the banner of an Asian American literature and a later generation of writers which inherited it?”

This is the question AALR’s Spring 2012 issue on “Generations” poses to 29 writers, poets, playwrights, spoken word performers, scholars, and publishers of various generations, regions, and ethnic and artistic communities. What emerges is a vital survey of generational continuities and divergences-not to mention some necessary reevaluation of how “generations,” “Asian American,” and “Asian American literature” might be understood. Respondents include Genny Lim, David Mura, Velina Hasu Houston, Giles Li, Gary Pak, Neelanjana Banerjee, Fred Wah, Anna Kazumi Stahl, Sunyoung Lee of Kaya Press, and Allan Kornblum of Coffee House Press, among others.

Other issue features include: Maxine Hong Kingston interviewed by Min Hyoung Song; Miguel Syjuco interviewed by Brian Ascalon Roley; Afaa Michael Weaver interviewed by Gerald Maa; a dialogue on “Asian American form” between Karen Tei Yamashita, Sesshu Foster, R. Zamora Linmark, Ray Hsu, Timothy Yu, Larissa Lai, Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, and Srikanth Reddy; new poetry by Dilruba Ahmed, Ed Bok Lee, R. Zamora Linmark, Wing Tek Lum, and Afaa Michael Weaver; an email to Monique Truong from The New York Times; new writing by Ed Park; translations of work by Hiromi Itō and Carlos Yushimito del Valle; reviews of Tao Lin’s Shoplifting from American Apparel and Richard Yates, the new edition of Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance, Srikanth Reddy’s Voyager, and Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth.

Asian American woman © Hero/Corbis

Special Issue: “Asian Americans in Global Cities: Los Angeles – New York Connections and Comparisons.” AAPI Nexus: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders — Policy, Practice and Community. (Volume 10, Number 2, Fall 2012).

This special AAPI Nexus issue examines Asian American experiences in global cities through comparative studies of Los Angeles and New York. The demographic facts are astonishing — more than a quarter of the sixteen million Asian Americans reside in either of the two greater metropolises where they comprise more than a tenth of the total population in each region. Consequently, it is difficult to fully understand and appreciate Asian American experiences without studying these two global cities.

The comparative approach offers great analytical potential because it can generate insights into what phenomena transcend regions and patterns that are produced by factors and forces common to Asian Americans regardless of location and fundamental global-city processes. The comparative approach can also identify phenomena that are unique to each region, such as outcomes of specific local and regional structures and dynamics. . . .

Our hope is that this issue will be a stimulus to further theorizing and empirical analyses of Asian Americans in global cities including those beyond Los Angeles and New York. . . . Scholarly research, however, is not sufficient. Our goal was to compile a set of articles that contributes to engaged practices. . . . We believe that this principle should be integral to future comparative work.

List of articles:

  • Shih, Howard and Melany De La Cruz-Viesca. “A Tale of Two Global Cities: The State of Asian Americans in Los Angeles and New York.”
  • Nakaoka, Susan. “Cultivating a Cultural Home Space: The Case of Little Tokyo’s Budokan of Los Angeles Project.”
  • Sze, Lena. “This is Part of Our History: Preserving Garment Manufacturing and a Sense of Home in Manhattan’s Chinatown.”
  • Le, C.N. “New Dimensions of Self-Employment among Asian Americans in Los Angeles and New York.”
  • Rotramel, Ariella. “We Make the Spring Rolls, They Make Their Own Rules: Filipina Domestic Workers’ Fight for Labor Rights in New York City and Los Angeles.”
  • Chang, Benji and Juhyung Harold Lee. “Community-Based? Asian American Students, Parents, and Teachers in Shifting Chinatowns of New York and Los Angeles.”

Yep, Kathleen S. 2012. “Peddling Sport: Liberal Multiculturalism and the Racial Triangulation of Blackness, Chineseness and Native American-ness in Professional Basketball.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 35(6):971–987.

  • Abstract: Abstract Deploying liberal multiculturalist discourse, the media depicts professional basketball as a post-racial space where all talented players, regardless of their race, can thrive if they work hard. An analysis of the construction of non-white players in the 1930s and in 2010 demonstrates sport as modulated by racially charged discourse. As part of a liberal multiculturalist frame, the coding of basketball players as hero, threat and novelty serve to privilege whiteness and replicate racialized and gendered images that can be traced to the 1930s. In doing so, the article highlights how liberal multiculturalism involves racial triangulation and the simultaneous processes of hyper-racialization and de-racialization.

Kiang, Lisa, Jamie Lee Peterson, and Taylor L Thompson. 2011. “Ethnic Peer Preferences Among Asian American Adolescents in Emerging Immigrant Communities.” Journal of Research on Adolescence. 21(4):754–761.

  • Abstract: Growing diversity and evidence that diverse friendships enhance psychosocial success highlight the importance of understanding adolescents’ ethnic peer preferences. Using social identity and social contact frameworks, the ethnic preferences of 169 Asian American adolescents (60% female) were examined in relation to ethnic identity, perceived discrimination, and language proficiency. Adolescents with same- and mixed-ethnic friends reported significantly greater ethnic centrality than those with mostly different-ethnic friends. Adolescents with same-ethnic friends reported significantly higher perceived discrimination and lower English proficiency than those with mixed- and different-ethnic friends. Open-ended responses were linked to quantitative data and provided further insight into specific influences on peer preferences (e.g., shared traditions, homophily). Results speak to the importance of cultural experiences in structuring the friendships and everyday lives of adolescents.

Narui, Mitsu. 2011. “Understanding Asian/American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Experiences from a Poststructural Perspective.” Journal of Homosexuality. 58(9):1211–1234.

  • Abstract: This study explores the college experiences of nine Asian/American gay, lesbian, and bisexual students and, specifically, the impact of concealing or revealing their sexual orientation on their emerging sense of self. By utilizing a Foucauldian, poststructural theoretical perspective, the researcher found that the students navigated multiple discourses, and their decisions about revealing their sexual orientation were based on relationships formed within those discourses. These decisions, in turn, helped many of the students grasp their emerging agency within the dominant discourse. To conclude, the researcher discusses the implications of these findings for higher education as a whole.

Diaz, Maria-elena D. 2012. “Asian Embeddedness and Political Participation: Social Integration and Asian-American Voting Behavior in the 2000 Presidential Election.” Sociological Perspectives. 55(1):141–166.

  • Abstract: Despite the abundance of electoral research, a recurring finding is that Asian-Americans in multivariate analyses are less likely to vote compared to all other Americans. Yet Asians have high levels of education and income, the strongest predictors of voting behavior. This article goes beyond individual-level characteristics and examines how the ways in which Asian-Americans are connected to communities moderate individual-level characteristics and influence their electoral participation. Using hierarchical generalized linear modeling, variability in Asian-American voting behavior is studied with 2000 Current Population Survey voting data and county data primarily from the 2000 U.S. Census. The main findings are that social integration, either by highly assimilating communities or through ethnic organizing, facilitates political incorporation and electoral participation. Where neither condition exists, Asian-Americans are less likely to vote.

Pih, Kay Kei‐ho, Akihiko Hirose, and KuoRay Mao. 2012. “The Invisible Unattended: Low‐wage Chinese Immigrant Workers, Health Care, and Social Capital in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley.” Sociological Inquiry. 82(2):236–256.

  • Abstract: This study investigates the factors affecting the availability of health insurance, the accessibility of health care, and the dissemination of the relevant information among low-wage Chinese immigrants in Southern California by relying on the concepts of social and cultural capital. Using community-based research and in-depth interviews, our study suggests that a severe shortage in health care coverage among low-wage Chinese immigrants is influenced by the lack of employment with employer-provided health insurance within the Chinese “ethnoburb” community. Although the valuable social capital generated by Chinese immigrant networks seems to be sufficient enough to provide them with certain practical resources, the lack of cultural capital renders the social network rather ineffective in providing critical health care information from mainstream American society.

Zonta, Michela M. 2012. “The Continuing Significance of Ethnic Resources: Korean-Owned Banks in Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 38(3):463–484.

  • Abstract: Mirroring the geographic expansion of the Korean population and Korean-owned businesses beyond long-established enclaves, Korean-owned banks can increasingly be found in areas where the presence of mainstream banks is more visible and competition is potentially stronger. Yet, despite competition, Korean banks continue to expand and thrive. By focusing on the recent development of Korean banking in Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC, this article explores the role of ethnic resources in the expansion of Korean banking outside their protected market. Findings suggest that ethnic resources and ties to ethnic enclaves are still important in supporting the ethnic economy in environments characterised by weaker ties and increasing competition by mainstream businesses.

Spencer, James H., Petrice R. Flowers, and Jungmin Seo. 2012. “Post-1980s Multicultural Immigrant Neighbourhoods: Koreatowns, Spatial Identities and Host Regions in the Pacific Rim.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 38(3):437–461.

  • Abstract: Recent trends in migration across the Pacific Rim have suggested that neighbourhoods have become important sources of community identity, requiring a re-evaluation of the relationship between urban places and immigrants. Specifically, we argue that the notion of ethnic enclaves may not fit well with some of the newer, post-1980s immigrant populations in Pacific Rim cities. Using data from the cases of Los Angeles, Tokyo and Beijing, we argue that Korean settlement in these cities represents a new kind of immigrant neighbourhood that links Korean migrants with other migrant communities, consumers in the broader region and local government interests to produce places that mitigate increasingly multicultural and multi-ethnic urban hierarchies in their localities. This role has become particularly important regarding real estate and economic development strategies.

Yoon, In-Jin. 2012. “Migration and the Korean Diaspora: A Comparative Description of Five Cases.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 38(3):413–435.

  • Abstract: The international migration and settlement of Koreans began in 1860 and there are now about 6.8 million overseas Koreans in 170 countries. Each wave of Korean migration was driven by different historical factors in the homeland and the host countries, and hence the motivations and characteristics of Korean immigrants in each period were different. The diverse conditions in and government policies of the host countries also affected the mode of entry and incorporation of Koreans. A contrast is drawn between the ?old? and the ?new? Korean migrations. The former consists of those who migrated to Russia, China, America and Japan from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. They were from the lower classes, pushed out by poverty, war and oppression in the homeland. Few returned to the homeland but preserved their collective identities and ethnic cultures in their host societies. The new migrants to America, Europe and Latin America since the 1960s, however, come from middle-class backgrounds, are pulled by better opportunities in the host countries, travel freely between the homeland and host countries, and maintain transnational families and communities. Despite these differences, overseas Koreans share common experiences and patterns of immigration, settlement and adaptation.

December 1, 2010

Written by C.N.

World AIDS Day 2010

Every December 1, 2010, the world marks the 23rd commemoration of World AIDS Day. HIV/AIDS is a disease that affects millions of people around the world, from all races, ethnicities, nationalities, social classes, genders, and sexualities. As it relates to Asian Americans, the Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center points out the following important reminders, along with a short video:

In late September, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new study estimating that 1 in 5 gay and bisexual men is currently HIV positive, and nearly half don’t know it (in 21 major cities). For A&PIs of all sexual orientations, including heterosexuals, 1 in 3 living with HIV don’t know it. Even worse, two-thirds of all Asians and over half of all Pacific Islanders have never been tested for HIV. Here are more key facts about HIV and A&PIs:

  • Between 2001 and 2004, Asian and Pacific Islander men had the largest percentage increase in new HIV infections, more than any other racial and ethnic group
  • Between 2001 and 2006, the number of new HIV infections among young gay and bisexual Asian and Pacific Islander men more than doubled

David Stupplebeen at the API Wellness Center writes more about how HIV/AIDS affects the Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) American community:

Which racial/ethnic group also has the highest increase in annual rate of new HIV infections?1 That’s right — Asians and Pacific Islanders. If this surprises you, you’re not alone. We don’t often hear the words “HIV” and “Asians and Pacific Islanders” spoken in the same breath. Maybe that’s one reason two — thirds of A&PIs have never been tested for HIV — the lack of information certainly makes it easy to assume A&PIs are unaffected by the disease. If you are A&PI, you are far less likely to get tested for HIV than your African — American or Latino peers. . . .

A&PIs aren’t prioritized as a population for HIV prevention because the number of A&PIs living with HIV/AIDS is considered “too low.” But if 1 in 3 A&PIs living with HIV don’t know it, and two — thirds have never been tested, is it any wonder rates appear “too low?” If you don’t know you’re at risk, why bother to get tested? Clearly, there are issues with under — reporting and under — testing; using the lack of data as a reason to deny resources to a community in need is circular logic. . . .

When A&PIs do get tested, it is often very late: A&PIs are the most likely to develop an AIDS diagnosis within 12 months of testing positive for HIV. A diagnosis of HIV/AIDS is highly stigmatized, often leading to rejection by family, friends and the greater A&PI community. This stigma can be so brutal that many A&PIs living with HIV/AIDS abandon their families and friends and move to a different city or state to seek treatment. . . .

Tragedies like this highlight the importance of this year’s World AIDS Day theme: “Universal Access and Human Rights.” We need to do more to make sure that A&PIs have ways to access information and testing and increase awareness in the community so people living with HIV/AIDS can exercise their right to access care when and where they want. We cannot wait until HIV infections among A&PIs are too pervasive to ignore.


November 6, 2009

Written by C.N.

Posts from Years Past: November

You might be interested to read the following posts from Novembers of years past:

  • 2008: 14 Exit Poll Statistics About Obama’s Victory
    Analyzing exit poll data and voting patterns about Barack Obama’s election victory by race, ethnicity, and other social factors.
  • 2007: New Research on Race and Genetics
    New scientific research on genetics may challenge some long-held beliefs about whether there are distinct and inherent biological differences between members of particular racial groups.
  • 2006: Health Care Costs an Issue in China Too
    A recent incident illustrating the tragic consequences of the high cost of healthcare in China highlights some potential similarities with the U.S.
  • 2005: Daniel Dae Kim: One of the Sexiest Men Alive
    People Magazine names actor Daniel Dae Kim of the ABC series Lost as one of the sexiest men alive.
  • 2004: Tragedy in Wisconsin
    The murder of several Whites by a Hmong American leads to shock, grief, tensions, and questions over whether racism on both sides played a part in the incident.

August 26, 2009

Written by C.N.

Remembering Senator Edward Kennedy and His Legacy

As all major news organizations are reporting, Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy passed away last night at the age of 77. Other news sites and blogs will offer a comprehensive review and description of his personal and professional life, so I would just like to share my own thoughts on his legacy as it relates to racial/ethnic relations and civil rights, but also what it means to be a “liberal.”

Even though he grew up in wealth and privilege, he always stood up for the less privileged and powerful among us. Among his many causes while in Congress were his championing of the Patients’ Bill of Rights and perhaps most famously, his tireless efforts toward passing universal healthcare coverage. Indeed, in his four-plus decades of service in the Senate, he amassed quite an impressive record of legislation and public service.

I will also remember his work on behalf of racial equality and justice. He was an early, consistent, and strong advocate for civil rights, exemplified by his record on supporting and sponsoring legislation on voting rights, education, labor rights, and poverty that helped all Americans but disproportionately benefited people of color and the poor the most. As the New York Times notes:

He led the Congressional effort to impose sanctions on South Africa over apartheid . . . . His most notable focus was civil rights, “still the unfinished business of America,” he often said. In 1982, he led a successful fight to defeat the Reagan administration’s effort to weaken the Voting Rights Act. In one of those bipartisan alliances that were hallmarks of his legislative successes, Mr. Kennedy worked with Senator Bob Dole, Republican of Kansas, to secure passage of the voting rights measure, and Mr. Dole got most of the credit. . . .

At a pivotal moment in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Mr. Kennedy endorsed Senator Obama for president, saying Mr. Obama offered America a chance for racial reconciliation and an opportunity to turn the page on the polarizing politics of the past several decades.

“He will be a president who refuses to be trapped in the patterns of the past,” Mr. Kennedy told an Obama rally in Washington on Jan. 28, 2008. “He is a leader who sees the world clearly, without being cynical. He is a fighter who cares passionately about the causes he believes in without demonizing those who hold a different view.”

But ultimately, I will remember Senator Kennedy for his uncanny and natural ability to balance two seemingly contradictory identities — on the one hand, being a true liberal Democrat and on the other hand, being able to cross ideological boundaries and to genuinely collaborate with Republicans on bipartisan causes.

Until recently and especially during the presidencies of Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II, due to the ideological clashes and culture wars within American society, it was a derogatory term to be called a “liberal.” Nonetheless, there are many of us, including me, who are proud to be liberal and I saw Senator Kennedy as a model for being a true liberal. As I mentioned, his congressional and public service record on behalf of traditionally “liberal” causes is unquestioned. Even when it was considered an insult to be called a liberal, Senator Kennedy never backed down from his beliefs and passion to achieve meaningful equality and justice for all Americans.

But in order to get things done and achieve results, the practical reality is that it requires collaboration. Understanding that, Senator Kennedy was extremely skilled at working with fellow Republicans and reaching compromises that still retained his core ideals. The New York Times again summarizes:

Although he was a leading spokesman for liberal issues and a favorite target of conservative fund-raising appeals, the hallmark of his legislative success was his ability to find Republican allies to get bills passed. Perhaps the last notable example was his work with President George W. Bush to pass No Child Left Behind, the education law pushed by Mr. Bush in 2001. He also co-sponsored immigration legislation with Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee. One of his greatest friends and collaborators in the Senate was Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican.

Senator Edward Kennedy at the 1980 Democratic National Convention © Associated Press

In the end and for me personally, Senator Kennedy will always embody the Buddhist-like, yin-and-yang ideal of achieving balance in how we conduct our lives. He came from wealth and privilege but he never wavered in standing up for the downtrodden and underprivileged. His personal life was not without controversy but he worked tirelessly in excelling in his professional life. And he always stood proud and true to his liberal convictions but also knew when and how to collaborate with others to get results and move forward as a nation.

Senator Edward Kennedy’s legacy is one that we can all learn from as Americans, today and always. In his own famous words from the 1980 Democratic convention,

The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

 


March 4, 2009

Written by C.N.

Jim Yong Kim: First Ivy League President

As many news outlets such as the Boston Globe are reporting, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, a world-renown medical anthropologist at Harvard, has just been named President of Dartmouth College, becoming the first Asian American president of an Ivy League school:

Kim, a 49-year-old expert in AIDS and tuberculosis, is internationally renowned for his groundbreaking work delivering healthcare to developing countries. . . .

[Dartmouth's Board of Trustees] . . . praised his record in heading international agencies such as Partners in Health, a nonprofit he founded with colleagues while students at Harvard Medical School, and for his ability to prod countries for funding while overseeing the World Health Organization’s first major effort to promote AIDS treatment.

Dr. Paul Farmer, a co-founder of Partners in Health who has worked with Kim for 25 years, said he expects Kim to use his new post as a bully pulpit to address the problem of medical care delivery to underserved communities, from urban America to rural Africa. . . .

His was awarded a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2003, and he was elected in 2004 to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Born in Seoul, Kim grew up in Muscatine, Iowa. His father, a dentist, taught at the University of Iowa and his mother received her doctorate in philosophy there.

Kim was valedictorian and president of his senior class, as well as quarterback for his high school football team. . . . His wife, Dr. Younsook Lim, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital, gave birth to their second son on Friday night. The couple’s oldest son, Thomas, is 8.

Dr. Kim’s appointment as Dartmouth’s new President, and his distinction as the first Asian American President of an Ivy League school, continues the recent accomplishments of Asian Americans around the country, from President Obama’s cabinet members Steven Chu, Eric Shinseki, and just-nominated Gary Locke, to Joseph Cao, the first Vietnamese American member of Congress, to Don Wakamatsu, the first Asian American professional sports head coach, to Mindy Yip, recently named an Educator of the Year.

Dartmouth College is generally known to be the most “conservative” and most predominantly White of the Ivy League schools, so picking Dr. Kim is quite interesting from that perspective. As the Boston Globe article points out, Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees was apparently most impressed by his ability to consistently raise money wherever he went, so that was most likely the primary factor in hiring him, rather than making a social statement by hiring the first Asian American Ivy League president.

Nonetheless, it is a very significant moment for Asian Americans, especially in higher education. I think we should also note that Dr. Kim is Asian American, as opposed to Asian. As the article notes, while he was born in Korea, he grew up in Iowa and was actually quarterback for his high school football team. In other words, he is what sociologists consider part of the “1.5” generation of Asian Americans — born overseas but raised and socialized as American. As such, Dr. Kim precisely represents the kind of American who can embrace diverse sets of cultures and be the bridge that connects the U.S. to our increasingly globalized world around us.

I congratulate Dr. Kim on this important accomplishment and wish him the best success at Dartmouth.

———————–

Update: A colleague at Dartmouth forwarded me a mass email that was apparently sent by an anonymous student or group of students at Dartmouth regarding Dr. Kim’s appointment:

This is the Generic Good Morning Message for March 3, 2009.

Yesterday came the announcement that President of the College James Wright will be eeplaced by Chinaman Kim Jim Yong. And a little bit of me died inside.

It was a complete supplies.

On July 1, yet another hard-working American’s job will be taken by an immigrant willing to work in substandard conditions at near-subsistent wage, saving half his money and sending the rest home to his village in the form of traveler’s checks. Unless “Jim Yong Kim” means “I love Freedom” in Chinese, I don’t want anything to do with him. Dartmouth is America, not Panda Garden Rice Village Restaurant.

Y’all get ready for an Asianification under the guise of diversity under the actual Malaysian-invasion leadership instituted under the guise of diversity. It’s a slippery slope we are on. I for one want Democracy and apple pie, not Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen. I know I sure as shit won’t ever be eating my Hop dubs bubs with chopsticks. I like to use my own two American hands.

As I noted in my post, Dartmouth is generally known to be the most conservative of the Ivy League schools. It is good to know that some there are working diligently to maintain that reputation — and to show the world that racial ignorance and prejudice can exist in a “world class” institution of higher education.

———————–

Update #2: My colleague at Dartmouth has forwarded me the apology of the student who wrote the offensive email:

I would like to apologize to the entire Dartmouth community for the offense and harm that I caused by writing the Generic Good Morning Message listserv on Tuesday morning. I was the anonymous GGMM intern cited in the D as “Lozar Theofilactidis,” and the words were all mine.

I understand that the message I wrote was very hurtful and insensitive. I know that no apology can make up for the pain I’ve caused, but I hope that it can be a start. I also know that no matter what justification I can attempt to provide for my actions, I’ve directly harmed the College, and I’m sorry for that.

I hope you can all understand that my intent was never one of malice against the Asian community, but an extremely crass attempt at hyperbolic satire. I was initially trying to criticize what I perceived to be surprise among many at the naming of an Asian-American President-Elect, Dr. Kim. I then tried to broaden my attack to encompass all of the reactionary, xenophobic, neo-Patriotism that exists in our post 9/11 America.

I tried to create a narrator that would be viewed as ignorant, and I hoped that by removing any semblance of subtlety, this voice would not be taken seriously. I realize now that somewhere in that transformation, the specific target of my satire was lost, and all that remained on the page were my extremely racist words.

That being said, I now know that I can’t hide behind my “intent.” Intent and execution are two entirely different things. I know I hurt many people personally, and damaged the reputation of the College publicly. I deeply regret my actions and the harm I have caused. I had no right to spread a message that alienated and belittled one ethic group, particularly one to which I do not belong.

I also realize that this reaction of surprise that I perceived among some students was not racist or xenophobic at all, but rather appropriate. Come July, we will have the first Asian-American Ivy League President, proudly breaking a tradition of largely Caucasian male Presidents. I know the entire College community is very proud of this fact.

The student body’s response in defense of Dr. Kim, both privately and publicly, has been overwhelmingly positive. The D’s article yesterday, “E-mail on Kim stirs controversy,” clearly showed that my misinterpreted words do not represent Dartmouth’s actual opinions of Dr. Kim’s election. I know that my message seemed to act as a flagship of student opinion outside of Hanover, and I apologize for giving that a chance to happen.

I have started, along with the rest of the GGMM staff, to try to find ways that the whole community can learn from this experience. We are meeting with OPAL and the Pan-Asian Council to try to find a constructive strategy moving forward. Among the comedy groups at Dartmouth, I hope we can find a way to try to prevent offensive lines in satire from being crossed again, as they have been in the past. I hope that my incendiary message at least provoked some discussion about race and inclusively on campus, but I am ashamed that it required so much offense and hurt for this to happen.

I know I can never take back what I wrote. I am sorry if I hurt you personally, and I am sorry for affecting the College in such a negative way. If you would like to speak to me individually about this, I would love to do so. Perhaps at the beginning of next term, after finals, would be the best time. I promise you I am going to learn as much as I can from this mistake.

Sincerely,
Tommy Brothers
Class of 2011

From reading his apology, it sounds like Mr. Brothers is sincerely and genuinely sorry for his actions and I certainly hope that is the case. Nonetheless, I still think that he and others like him at Dartmouth and around the country still believe some of the sentiments that were expressed about the email, especially about Americans losing their jobs to “foreigners.”

As I’ve said on numerous occasions, when people to feel economically unstable and threatened, in most cases, one of their first reactions is to lash out at those who they perceive to be benefiting at their expense. And inevitably, that scapegoat is usually a person of color.