Monday, February 27, 2017

Adventures with Mandy Chan

Well I have said in the past that Mandy Chan is making a movie. And Noah got to be in it. I have a small role as well. This filming was done at Extreme Ninja Martial Arts center in Medford and I had the opportunity to talk to Master Ninja Nguyen there as well. We may be working together in the future especially in the area of Lion Dance. Well, Noah had some fun and I hope he learned something about the TV shows he watches.

Chinatown Tour

I recently gave a tour of Chinatown. The  highlight was actually our visit to the Oak Tin association where Uncle Frank spoke to the tour about Chinatown's history, his involvement in politics and the history of Oak Tin Association. I don't know why I didn't record that. But at least I recorded our last stop at Woo Ching White Crane where Noah led a little Lion Dance and Kung Fu class. Check it out. 

Ideas for Black history month

Well February is over, but we had the opportunity to join Woo Ching White Crane for a lion dance at an event that combined Chinese New Year and Black History month into one event. This gave us some ideas.

We'll see what we can make of them next year. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

What makes a school?

A friend of mine who is also in the Kung Fu world asked me some questions about what makes a school.
I can imagine that if these questions were brought to someone who has been doing this for a while
the answers would be like, "But you know this already?" But actually I think that mentality is a mistake. 
I have seen many different styles and models fro Kung Fu teaching. 

Or also for groups. If you look at the history, there is also a correlation between Kung Fu and Religion. 
And so there are all sorts of models from business, to family, to cult, to revolutionary movement.
I am going to post the questions first and then answer  whatever people have the most interest in. 

Although I already answered these questions in an e-mail, I think I will go into a broader
 answer doing a post for each question.  

I think I will go into the fantasy and theoretical as well which very well may become reality in my future. 

In other words, I have ideas fro new models of schools that I would like to try. Or perhaps using
old models in a new way. 

If  I really had it my way, I my books would be as successful as JK Rowling's and the Kung Fu Schools
would be like little Hogwarts that would make money but also provide for the community. 
Not only provide for the community, but actively turn it around and solve many societal problems from our 
country's issue with policing to poverty and hunger. Maybe I'll be answering these questions more in terms 
f what my fantasy school would require. 

1. What exactly makes someone a sifu as opposed to an instructor of kung fu? 
 What kind of training is involved in both roles to obtain either title?
2. Are all students required to perform?  

3.What is expected of students?
4. Students pay tuition to the school
 and in return what is expected of sifus/the school? 
 ie practice space availability, 
instruction from instructors vs. sifus, outlets for performing/demonstration

5. When is lion/dragon dance practiced/performed?
6. Are sifus/instructors paid in a martial arts school?
 Is this their full time jobs?
7. Are performers/students paid for performances?
8. What is the market rate for a student, whether adult or child?
9. How much does it cost to run a martial arts school? 
 What are the other sources of income besides performances and tuition fees?
10. What keeps retention and census high?
11. Do you give back to the community?

I may have other questions depending on your answers.  
Such as if nobody's getting paid, why do you all keep doing it?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Interview with LuDow

I had the opportunity to interview Hip Hop Artist LuDow.  The video takes place in Boston's Chinatown. The music is hot and the topic is even hotter in this political environment. 

 How did you get into Hip Hop?

I think I was in 4th or 5th grade when my friends introduced me to the music. I remember the first song I heard was "Ready or Not" by the Fugees. I remember us trying to break dance. Actually one of my first introductions to Hip-Hop culture wasn't through music but graffiti. I remember my friend was really into it and one day we were chilling he made me keep watch as he spray painted the back of this school haha. In high school, Hip-Hop was everywhere; I listened to a lot of rap and when I was 17, me and my friends started rapping. We would get high and drunk and start freestyle cyphers, rapping "off the top", improvised, nothing pre-planned or written. Back then a lot of people would freestyle at parties; it was fun and allowed us to creatively express ourselves in a competitive environment. Some people don't like the competitive and aggressive nature of rap cyphers but honestly that was a huge part of what pushed our skills forward. I started writing raps in college trying to put more meaning and intention into the music. 

 What did you parents think about that?

Hip-hop was our youth-culture growing up in the city. My family always knew I liked rap music. They were cool with it. It's not like they told me to stop or anything but I think for a long time they didn't know I also liked to rap. For a while they would say I was a spoken word artist, which I think it seemed more acceptable than being a rapper. 

 Where is your herng ha and ho did your parents get to the United States?

Funny you assume my parents are immigrants. My family has actually been in the states for generations. Both my grandfathers were born in the US and now pretty much everyone is in the U.S., although a lot of my mom's extended family are immigrants. I have roots in Guangdong (Hoiping, Sunwoi, Toisan) and my dad was born in Seoul. His dad was serving in the U.S. military intelligence when he met my grandmother during the Korean War; they moved to the U.S. soon after my father was born. My family history is pretty complex, maybe we should have another interview about that haha.

What are your thoughts on Trumps Immigration Ban?

Probably what most sane people are thinking. It's bad. Very bad. Racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, fear mongering. I'm glad that it has been shut down; it's clearly illegal. It's based on the same crazy white supremacist mentalities that gave us the Chinese Exclusion Act and Japanese internment. The current political climate is really focused on white nationalism and a fear of non-whites. It's a totally unfounded logic that immigrants are dangerous and need to be monitored. Trump's rhetoric has led to a lot more anti-Asian hate too. 

 What do you think the purpose of Hip Hop is in terms of politics and community organization?

Hip-Hop is rooted in being a form of expression for oppressed peoples. So much of it's history is connected to political situations and current events. It can be used to educate, to politicize, to build community. Hip-Hop has the potential to be a very powerful form of communication, especially now that it's so global and part of the mainstream. Rap is a way for us to express their voices, opinions, thoughts, and experiences and that allows us to connect with each other in different ways. 

What is the Chinatown Community to you? Were you ever part of the organizations or sports teams? Do you come to Chinatown often? Why did you choose it as the location for the music video?

Chinatown is a place where I felt proud to be Asian American. My parents, family, and their friends have been involved in the Chinatown and Boston-area Asian American activist community for a long time and so the Chinatown community was a big part of my childhood. I remember going to protests, community events, meetings, etc. In high school I got involved with several youth groups including Chinese Youth Initiative at the Chinese Progressive Association and was a founding member of the Chinatown Walking Tour Collective (now AVOYCE) at the Asian Community Development Corporation. As an adult, I've also worked as an educator with youth at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. 

We chose Chinatown as a location for the Go Back music video because of the message of the song: feeling unwelcome in America and being told to "go back where you came from". Given the perpetual foreigner stereotype, this is something that Asian Americans can relate to and Chinatown is such a central hub of the local Asian community.

What do you notice about the changes in Chinatown and what do you see for the future? How would you like to be involved in that through your music?

Everyone knows that Chinatown has been struggling through the effects of gentrification and a lot of new luxury developments. Over the years I've noticed more non-Asians around the area as well as more young Chinese nationals, mostly international students. I also have noticed that there are more groups of young people in general, less families. 

I especially want youth in Chinatown to hear my music and feel connected to the messages. When I was growing up, there weren't many Asian American role models or people who I could look up to and I know how important it is to see people who look like you in the media and entertainment industry. I want these kids to know that they could be a musician, a rapper, an artist too.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Great Wall (Movie Review)

Poster for Asia... you see Andy Lau.

Poster for the US.... Andy Lau has vanished

I heard a lot about this movie on Facebook and when I saw that my friend Judy Sang was watching it, I decided to find out what she thought of it. 

 Were you pissed off at first that it was starring Matt Damon? Or did this make it more interesting? Are you fans of Matt Damon in General?I am not a fan of Matt Damon but respect him as a good actor and writer. I initially was horrified to hear him starring in a Chinese movie and being the lead actor and hero. But after watching the movie and seeing the storyline - it made sense to have a white actor be the lead (did not matter if it was Matt Damon or another white actor).  Also, I learned later that the movie was written in Hollywood and Zhang Yimou was hired to direct the movie and so it was a Hollywood movie and not a Chinese movie.

Are you bigger Andy Lau or Matt Damon Fan?
I am definitely a bigger fan of Andy than Matt. I grew up watching all his movie and listening to his canto-pop music. I like him more as an actor than singer. I went to see the movie because of him and the director. I love the director's movies.

  A lot of people on Facebook were calling to boycott the movie. What do you think about this?
I think the boycotting is a bit of an overreaction once you learn it is a Hollywood movie and the story is kinda weak and has no connection to Chinese history and the history of the Great Wall. It was all action with a weak script.

 What made you want to watch the movie?
The director. I am a humongous fan of his work. I also was excited to see Andy in a Hollywood movie. I was very disappointed to see the director direct a movie that was not his own and the quality of the script bring horrible. Also, Andy had a mid-tier role.

 How was the movie? Was it better or worse than you expected?
 The movie was worse than I expected. I had high hope on it giving the American audience a taste of Chinese history snd history of the Great Wall. The movie did none of that and was poorly written. The visual was good and the director is famous for that.

Do you think a movie like this is good or bad for Asian Americans in general? (Or neither)
Neither once I learn it was a Hollywood movie. It had nothing to do with Asian Americans since it was a stupid story with no Chinese history. It could have been a movie about another historically Wall.

 Would you like to see more movies like this even if it has a white leading role?
 No, unless the script is better and involve the history of white people in Asia.

Another friend, Caroline also saw the same movie and had a different perspective.

 "When I first heard about the movie last year, I was surprised that Matt Damon was cast as the main actor when everyone else is Asian. After seeing the movie, he was good in the movie though it's more for entertainment.  If it was someone else portraying the character, the actor would need to be of the same caliber.  I have no emotions about Matt Damon. I am a fan of Andy Lau.

I didn't hear about the boycott.  What was the context of the boycott about?  Would need more information before I can answer this question.

 I had no expectations for the movie.  To me, it is entertainment and not a historical context.  I did look up taogao (sp) which is a mythical creature. 
 It helped to bring the Asian actors to the forefront and majority were good.  Though what bothered me is the scenes with the emperor which showed him like a child.  The child is weak and afraid instead of  being a strong character, mindful of responsibilities and strong."

Asian American TV Drama

 I recently wrote about the new Asian American Drama being produced by Asian Boston Media Group.  

Here is an interview with Leo Anthony about the project.

What brought this idea to fruition
    As you know, being among the Asian community for a long time now, I realized that Asians, especially     Chinese, Vietnamese and Koreans love dramas...what Americans know as soap operas. But they are all           produced across seas. My thought was to create an Asian drama series in the USA. This would be the first       of its kind here. 

 Why is it important to have an Asian TV Drama that is based in Boston and Quincy?
    The most important aspect is the Asian population is significant enough in the Northeast, and make it relate to life happening here.

 What is the population you are serving?
    Anyone and everyone to enjoy, as long as it's well received and a good show!

 Do you think that non Asians will be interested in this series as well. 
    Yes, because it's based here locally, with an American influence. And, there will be plenty of roles for non-       Asian actors.

 What language will the series be in... why?

    By all means, English. This show is based on Asian-American concepts

I'm excited to see this happening and it would be great to see more of this type of thing. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Dim Sum 點心

A personal poem about Dim Sum which isn't really about food...

in Cantonese means "to touch"

means "heart"

So 點心, Dim Sum, directly translates as "touching the heart"

點心 is a very touching custom to my heart

I don't usually go out for 點心

So, many of the most memorable ones I've had

Are with my 婆婆 (grandmother), 公公 (grandfather), and their children and other grandchildren

Usually large tables about 15 people

Spending brunch with these people so close to my heart

Every moment touched my heart

Cherishing especially the heart touching moments with 婆婆

Who now flies so freely with the other ancestors 在天堂 (in Heaven)

Won't forget your genuine, soft smile

Until your last weeks,

I always saw that caring smile embracing all your loved ones

你真的有心 (You are genuinely kind, lit. you genuinely have heart)

While 公公 usually talked about his past and younger years with pride and for granted

婆婆, you would usually ask questions instead

Like how's work

How's living with your friends

How's your meals

Genuinely heart touching questions 

Though my Cantonese is as broken as a piano missing keys

You still understood most of my off tune answers to your heart touching questions

婆婆 I know you are not really proud of your past 

And are embarrassed of the different lifestyle you grew up with before marrying 公公

But I'm so proud of you 

Of your heart touching ways

Your heart touching existence

Your heart touching meals

Your heart touching 利市 (red envelopes)

Your heart touching conversations

Your heart touching presence

婆婆你真的點我嘅心 (grandma you truly touched my heart)

So 點心 will always touch my heart with my cherishing memories of you 婆婆

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Asian TV Drama to be filmed locally!

Check out the Kickstarter page .

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"The Gaza strip could be the Hong Kong of the Mediterranean" Political Analysis by Miguel Ali.

(political analysis by Miguel Ali)
I have an array of opinions on the Palestinian-Israeli deal being discussed by Trump and Netanyahu. I'll condense this into small points - this is an issue I've often had to comment on as a political pundit. My opinions are going to be controversial.
I will also be detailing below the ideal peace deal between Palestine and Israel, based on my knowledge of history and current issues.
Of note - as an American, I love Israel because they have been a top ally, through thick and thin (especially during the Cold War conflict). We would not have won the Cold War without Israel. I would love to see a vibrant Palestinian community take foot. The Palestinians have a culture that is based on diversity and trade - bringing them in as global players would be great for all parties. POINTS:
1. Palestinian Leadership Idiocy: Thanks to George W Bush and Ariel Sharon, the Palestinians were given the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is arguably the most attractive piece of land on the Mediterranean. As Speaker Newt Gingrich once told me, this is a strip of land, with a natural harbor, that could become the Hong Kong of the Mediterranean. If the Palestinian leadership had vision, the ideal peace plan would have been:
a. Consolidating in the Gaza Strip, and declaring it as its own country of Palestine.
b. Give the West Bank to Israel in exchange for more land next to the Gaza Strip. With Palestine's booming ports, and docking prices that heavily underbid those of Greece, additional land would be needed for all the warehouse storage Palestinian companies would soon be building. Palestine would rival Greece as a top harbor in the region.
c. Palestinians in the West Bank get Israeli citizenship under the current terms offered to Muslims/Arabs (3/5 individual vote) - they also get Palestinian citizenship.
d. Palestine gets $15 billion in aid, specifically to build the finest port and harbor system in the world, along with a highway system to connect outer-Gaza Strip to the coast line (such a project also puts Palestinians to work, immediately - much better than just giving aid to the leadership, who will then transfer it to bank accounts in Europe).
e. Establish a Palestinian bank, with an FDIC, so loans (particularly small business loans) become popular.
f. Palestinian's are proud stewards of the Islamic monuments in Jerusalem. Agreement is reached that Israel will always uphold committee of six members (3 Israelis, 3 Palestinians) to review religious rites in Jerusalem. Jewish sites are now fully opened to all religions, as are Muslim sites. Agreement is notarized by the UN that no Islamic holy sites will ever be bulldozed or touched, with the exception of re-fortifying sites.
Palestinians were arguably the glue that held the Islamic Empire together - the bridge that kept a cohesive trade between Arabia and North Africa. Palestinians are incredibly entrepreneurial. This should have been a peace deal that put the Palestinians back into that position of business prowess - the truest celebration of their wonderful culture.
2. Muslim & Arab Idiocy: For those who are fans of an Independent Palestine, that dream has temporarily died. The best chance that Palestine had was with W Bush and Ariel Sharon. Rather than play ball with those two men, the global Muslim community did more to antagonize Bush and Sharon, rather than jump on board when they gave the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians (with encouragement to declare an independent state and fortify). Had the Muslim/Arab community been more in-sync with Bush and Sharon, many of the points on the peace plan above could have been brokered and agreed upon quickly. I can say this because I have Muslim heritage - Muslims were upset at W Bush (when in fact he was the best thing to happen to Palestinians in the last 50 years), and what were these actions supposed to lead to? What was this irrational hatred supposed to culminate towards? Global Muslim and Arab leadership should note this, and attempt to not continually practice the skills of stupidity.
3. Explanation of GOP Bigotry: After watching their GOP President (W Bush) give so many concessions to the Palestinian cause (followed by watching effigies of him burnt in Muslim countries) - can you really now blame the GOP grassroots for turning towards ultra-bigot Trump?
4. One State Solution: I'm actually open to the one-state solution. Palestinians deserve better leadership than what the current Palestinian or Arab World leadership has to offer. Is Anwar Sadat seriously the last Arab leader to show true intelligence and vision (well over 35 years ago?). One reason peace isn't happening is because Palestinian leadership is continually shown to be profiting off of not having peace (wouldn't surprise me if that's happening now). In addition, at this point.... I honestly think Israelis would be more interested in seeing Palestinians excel than the global Arab leadership (especially if Israelis knew that Palestinians are now members of the country). I would be sad, because an independent Palestine, based out of the Gaza Strip, could be game-changing for the Arab World (in a great way). But I also know that the Palestinian culture will do just fine in Israel (and if anything, excel much further). It would sad that all Palestinian citizens do not get a full vote, but Israel is trying to avoid what happened in Lebanon, where a Christian country quickly became Muslim. For that matter, Israel is NOT a democracy. Not a bad thing. Let us just be clear that Israel was made to be a Jewish sanctuary and place of empowerment, not a democracy (and it's doing pretty good at following through on its promise).
5. Palestinian Leadership: I've never seen a larger cesspool of incompetence than the Palestinian Leadership. And I've seen a LOT of incompetence (I use to be a grassroots Republican).
6. Israeli Bigotry: Israel is not bigoted against Muslims. Israel's participation in bringing down the Soviet Union liberated five Muslim nations. If you ask the common Israeli if they are proud of being responsible for the independence of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan - they would proudly answer "yes."
Nonetheless - I am a forever optimist. The vibrancy of the Palestinian culture, along with positive intentions of the Israeli community, will guarantee that we somehow see a good resolve to this (it may take removing Palestinian leadership to see it).
(Migeul Ali is a film director, tech start up entrepreneur, and political pundit. This was first posted through Facebook)

Friday, February 17, 2017

English have or not to have?

In my short life so far, quarter of a century to be exact. I've had 2 legal English names both of which I no longer identify with. There is no significant meaning behind these 2 names. They have just simply been space fillers for people to address me with. Names in the English Name Dictionary so that I could fit in to this American Anglosphere. But do I as a person still fit into this sphere? Yellow skin and eyes slanted. Not really.

Growing up I've been asked many times why I have an English name because I LOOK like I shouldn't. I never could really answer that question and even today I still don't have a full satisfactory answer. All my family members and Chinese classmates had both English and Chinese names. So of course, I wanted to be as American and proud of it as them.

The past two years though, I felt I almost forced everyone to address me by my Cantonese name and scornfully spoke my Cantonese name when people still called me by my English name. I no longer feel any material connection with my English name at all. This name only reminds me of my constant desire to hide my Chinese self from others. Now I embrace my Cantonese name, my birth name, as tight as I do my language and culture.

"Wind" is my third English name, but this is different. It has meaning unlike my first 2. It is a direct translation of the artist name I chose for myself 風. I fly with this name in pride not feeling I am hiding my Chinese self. Maybe I will write a poem about how I got to this name later.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Chinatown Report

I came across this site... and it is incredible... here is an interview with the founder.

How old is the site? 
going on the 4th year

 What is your role why is it important to you? Why should it be important to everyone?

The role of Chinatown Report is to share and promote all that is Chinatown - the food, the culture, the traditions. 

 I started  a blog specifically for Boston's Chinatown, though we visit other Chinatown's as well. Have you ever been to Boston's Chinatown? What are your thoughts?

Have not been in 6 years but love the Boston Chinatown.  

 What is you favorite Chinatown in the world

All around, it would be San Francisco. For food, Las Vegas by far.

What are the trends toward Chinatowns? I read an article that said the traditional ones are shrinking but new ones keep popping up

Traditional ones are shrinking, similar to how and why the little Italy's have shrunk. Chinese/Italians eventually earned more, bettered their lives and moved into better areas. New Chinatowns are popping up in places like Salt Lake City, Austin, Atlanta and more. There is also the geographical areas, like the entire San Gabriel Valley which is like one huge Chinatown in a way.

 I learned that in Germany you (by law) cannot have two Chinese businesses together. In other words, to prevent a Chinatown from forming. What are your thoughts on this? Are there benefits to just mixing altogether?

 Do not know much about this subject, but  find it rather surprising considering Germany has what seems to be very casual immigration policies.

 How did you celebrate Chinese New Year this year?

This year spent with friends and family. Attended the local (Las Vegas) events

 What do you see for the future of Chinatowns in general and if you are familiar with Boston's with Boston specifically. 

Boston is Chinatown Reports weak spot. Know anyone that can help?  

" It's a Skin Thing" Interview with Sensei David Dixon

I was talking with Sensei Dixon about Chinatown and mentioned that I now live in JP, which is labelled officially as the City's "Latin Quarter."

I also grew up in JP we were the 1st Black family in an Irish, German hood
From 64 and up

We lived on Lamartine St

Sensei Dixon talked about a friend he had grown up with. Whom he had fought with before becoming friends.

His mom was White his Father Chinese

Apparently, as adults he had felt slighted when after visiting him, the owners of the house, had asked him to not come around the house any more. I asked if it had been relatives...

No nothing like that his family and mines became friends... They were a Chinese family he was living with as an adult maybe he was renting a room from them

I asked if he felt that Chinese were more racist than whites even.

I think Chinese want to be White. Even in Hong Kong they are divided between mainland Chinese and the Chinese who live in Hong Kong.
As Asians go I have a good many Cambodian friends. They are like the Ni##ers  of the Asian World. some are darker than myself.

This statement shook my beliefs somewhat. I tend not to believe that Chinese are overtly racist. It is more like they do not trust outsiders of any kind, whatever color even if those outsiders are Chinese.
It’s a skin thing... It’s easy to get around cultural differences but you can't get around color.

Even in Martial Arts you have Blacks that study Karate rather than Kung Fu cause back in the days the Chinese refuse to take us as students.

Talking more about Race perception in Chinese culture he mentioned

Well let go back to the Statues of Buddha and how they have made him more white over the years. The original's  had curly hair, broad noses and big lips

It’s even true in the Black Nation if you’re light skin you’re better than a black person who is darker

All life came from Africa
Yea there are like 8 shades of Black.

There are even cases where you have twins one comes out Black the other White
My thing is not about color its about the internal light of a person

My thing is lil bro. Ppl are taught to be racist and that is so wrong

Have you ever had positive experiences with Chinese?

I have to admit my only contact. Was with my friend and his brother. Even when I use to go into Chinatown (to shop) they would follow me around even though I’ve been there any times... They would let the whites roam the store unharrassed.
The funny thing is store details (police details)  Are trained to watch

I have a good friend who started training in Wing Chung back in the 70's from a Chinese guy... Somehow word got to Chinatown and his teacher was call to come there and explain why he is teaching a Black

You asked the question if Chinese are more racist than Whites... There is no difference. What they both care about is the Black Dollar

Yes I felt offended i would shop there for years and that's the treatment I received.
We live in America, land of the Brave home of the Slave any race of ppl will accepted you to your face if your spending money
I can tell you this Lil Bro. When The Master Bruce Lee Died i cried for a week... Never met him never took kung fu back then but I loved that Man

I got into the Martial arts because I had 5 older sisters and we lived in a all White Irish, German hood

I’ve have studied Goju Ryu, Wing Chung, Wah Lum, and Goshi Shun all from Black men

I talked to him a little bit about my experiences teaching Kung Fu and Lion Dance at Mission Park in Roxbury. I noticed that even in my class there was a division between black and Chinese. And a lot of racist jokes and noises being thrown the other way (from the blacks to the Chinese as well. And that I heard that many blacks were boycotting my class in solidarity with the old teacher (who was black)  and for whatever reason had to leave. I did come away from the experience that Martial Arts ARE extremely important for the Black Community.   At the end of the class one student took a knee and bowed like in a movie. What I realized is that some people need a Sifu, a Sensei, yes a MASTER, in order to get through childhood, before they can become their own Master. But given the history of our country, I feel extremely uncomfortable with this when I have a black student… because I am white.

So I do believe it would be better if the master was black. I did not go into all these details with Sensei Dixon. I only mentioned that Martial arts was important for the black community and that it would be better if the Master was black and I mentioned the black students making “ching Chong” noises and saying this old lady who was helping to watch my child, smelled and how they were saying all Chinese people smelled even as I was teaching them Chinese Lion Dance.

See this is the wrong way to think it should not matter the color of a person’s skin or the back ground it kills me to the core to hear stories like that...
I have never taught my kids nor my students any racist stuff. You know why Lil bro? Because i don't know any.
You are welcome Lil Bro. just walk with a open mind and you will do God's work

I will tell you the truth. It was uncomfortable hearing some of these things. And of course many readers may have counter arguments. But the point of the blog is to show all perspectives and to look at all the aspects of Chinatown. My goal for this blog was never to be objective… but to step into other people’s shoes and to allow the reader to do so as well.

Thank you Sensei Dixon for sharing your very personal experiences.

Examining Chinatown Racism

The blog’s purpose is to share many perspectives about Chinatown and Chinese and Asian American culture. Not all of those perspectives are going to be positive. There is a stereotype that Chinese are particularly bigoted to the point where I recall a commercial on TV where a young Chinese man yells at his grandfather for telling him to watch a black man coming into the family store. I think the commercial was pulled as it should be.

I have met many elderly Chinese who are quite accepting of African Americans though they did not learn everything that you learn as an American grade schooler. In fact the common perspective they are coming from is taught by the Communists (whom they distrust and were often victims under that rule, which is why they are in America)

Some key points from this “racist” perspective just to get you to understand are that

  1. The Civil Rights Movement was seen as Mao supporting Communist brothers as a Fifth Column to take down the Paper tiger of American Imperialism. …. The goal was to get Martin Luther King elected as President… which is why he was assassinated

  1. This is more Chinatown. But Many African Americans in Chinatown happen to be there for Pine Street Inn… and also there are many robberies involving African Americans. For instance, my Father and our neighbors were robbed almost every day by someone black. White people were there to be Child molesters so you had to watch them too. In fact I remember an old lady telling her grandchild to be good or else I, the lo fahn, would steal her away. I was a child myself. The grandmother knew I could understand Chinese too. She was laughing. To her (and she was most likely raised in a village in an environment that had  not yet joined the modern world… more like the middle ages in the west) it was funny. But she actually meant no harm by it. I even read an interview of one of the African American men that used to rob Chinese people in a book about busing. He specifically targeted Chinese because they carried a lot of cash, did not speak English, might not even be legal, and therefore would not go to the police. Easy.

  1. I would like to point out that a lot of this comes from personal experience. It’s different therefore than just hearing about stereotypes on TV.  And many Chinese have met “good” black people. And will acknowledge that they exist…. They may even be friends with them. But there is still that thought of “but mostly” or “most of the ones I have seen.”

So from my perspective, of course racism exists in the Chinese Community (depending on how you define racism.) But in interviewing Sensei David Dixon I was surprised at his comment that “Chinese Have no respect for Black Culture.”  Especially since I see a lot of similarities between the two groups… whether it is pig feet and chitlins, jook and grits, or many of the superstitious beliefs.

Southern Chinese and African Americans who trace family back to the South here in America are extremely similar in culture. And my view on Chinese racism is that it is mostly a misunderstanding. So it is important to at least step into someone else’s shoes to be able to see what they see.  My next post will be the interview with Sensei David Dixon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

That far off Mayoral election

Well this is more Boston related than Chinatown Specific. I saw an interview with Tito in the Sampan.... We reached out for an interview too... but nothing yet. In any case, this will make the election time interesting. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Contact: Charles Onwuche

Statement from City Councillor Tito Jackson on GE's decision not to pursue a publicly-funded helipad

I am thrilled to hear that the voices of the residents and businesses of South Boston and the Fort Point Channel were finally heard by the Walsh and Baker Administration, and the sweetheart deal given to General Electric has become less sweet with the news that they will not pursue a public helipad as part of their relocation incentive package. I agree with GE. Boston's talent and resources make it one of the best places for any business to move to. Google and Microsoft greatly expanded their presence in our metro area because they appreciated Logan Airport's proximity to the center of Boston, as well as the well-trained and hard-working workforce that we have in Boston and beyond. I commend GE for reaching the same conclusion. It is a sweetheart deal that GE has sensibly stepped away from on Valentine's day. I suspect the hearts of Boston's taxpayers will not be broken today. I want to also congratulate the many businesses, residents, and community groups who successfully fought against the Mayor and Governor's incredibly ill-advised use of tax-payer money. I read with dismay, however, that the Mayor's Administration still wants to pursue a publicly-funded helipad. I ask them plainly to stop. We have spent too much time and treasure already.
We have better things to spend our tax dollars on. I call on the Mayor to instead fund the students of forty-nine Boston Public Schools that face $11.4M in funding cuts next year, rather than still push for a taxpayer-funded helipad even the corporate executives have now said no to.
We need to focus our energy, resources, and time in training more of our residents to participate in an economy that requires computer science, coding, and STEM skills. Clive Johnson in a recent article in Wired Magazine entitled, "The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding," implores us to develop and train a workforce of the future. The data about the Massachusetts economy shows us that we are not at a loss for great companies here, but of the talent to fill the companies that we already have. The savings from the helipad should go to train the workforce of tomorrow.

– City Councillor Tito Jackson