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The Civil Rights Act

It’s been 50 years and one day since the passing of the Civil Rights Act, so this Thursday, let’s throwback all the way to 1964. On July 2 of that year, the United States passed this landmark civil rights legislation that served to help ban discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, and national origin. Nowadays, students in history classrooms across the country learn about how the Civil Rights Act of 1964 helped end segregation and much of the Jim Crow Laws for African Americans. But what they don’t learn is that, thankfully, this Act also served as a great stepping stone toward social equality for Asian Americans.

Back in the late nineteenth century, Chinese Americans in the West, and particularly California, had to deal with an onslaught of racist attacks not only at school and work, but in their own homes as well. This sort of discrimination extended beyond the Chinese and also affected Japanese and Filipino immigrants (remember the internment camps during World War II?). After 9/11, South Asian Americans, Arab Americans, and Muslim Americans were all lumped together as “public enemy number one.”

You can’t deny that things have gotten a lot better since those days, but you also can’t deny that the situation isn’t great. There may not be as many outward attacks on Asian Americans, but discrimination has managed to rear its ugly head in sneakier ways. For example, even though nationally, Asian Americans have great educational achievements, they hold lower per capita income and fewer leadership positions than Caucasians with the same educational background. Despite all the progress, stereotypes and racism rage on. Apparently, Asian Americans are seen as “hard workers,” but not leadership material.

Well, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but unfortunately, it seems that legislation alone cannot end discrimination. It’ll take a change in perspective and attitude from most, if not all, Americans for social equality to truly exist. Hopefully, progress won’t need another 50 years. Now the question is, where do you stand?

Racism within the Chicago Police

What is the purpose of having police? Is it not to protect and retain order among the community? Well these two policemen in a recently released evidence video of a spa raid over a year ago tells a different story. On July 31st of 2013, a police raid on a spa massage parlor was conducted after a report of alleged sex services was offered in one of the back rooms of the parlor. The police came in hot and immobilized 32-year-old salon manager Jianqing “Jessica” Klyzek. Without clearly explaining what was going on, two policemen dragged her into the lobby and started yelling and retraining her. Klyzek was tased after allegedly scratching and punching an officer; mind you Klyzek is only 5’2” and 110lbs. Even after being handcuffed and kneeling, one of the officers clearly slapped her from behind on the back of her head. Even if the retainee is uncooperative and or loud, this is not the way to behave. Being a police does not give you the right to do anything you want. And it certainly does not entitle you to the racist comments and threats that progressed after Klyzek was immobilized and on her knees. One of the policemen screams “I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the f— you came from, and I’ll take this place and the whoever owns it will f— kill you because they don’t care. I’ll make one call and take this building. Then you’ll be dead and your family will be dead.” If that hasn’t stirred you up then I don’t know what will because police brutality is wrong, and racism is definitely wrong. It’s not just Asian Americans or this Asian American in particular that are treated unequally. Immigrants from all around the world may face such struggles here. Quite ironic considering this country was founded by immigrants.

On a lighter note, this video surface on the internet because of Klyzek’s decision to sue the Chicago police department after fighting off allegations and charges placed against her by the same police department over the past year. The evidence from this video shows quite clearly what “really happened” and may help prove whatever scratching or biting that may or may not have occurred was an act of self-defense. So take that corrupt cops. Point 1 Humanity—0 Corruption.

Viewer discretion advised.

Cop Filmed ‘Brutally Assaulting and Racially Abusing’ Asian Women

#Iam Campaign

The mission? To “champion diversity by educating, connecting, and empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander artists and leaders in entertainment and media.” The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, otherwise known simply as “CAPE,” saw its humble beginnings in the form of a group of three friends, television producer and executive Wenda Fong, publicist Fritz Friedman, and film producer and executive Chris Lee, meeting in the back of a Chinese restaurant in 1991. What these three wanted to create was a network of support for API (Asian Pacific Islanders) in the entertainment industry, and they did just that. Now, 22 years later, CAPE has become the largest and most influential gathering place for API. And, for May 2014, CAPE has launched a new project: the #IAm Campaign. The #IAm Campaign centers on AAPI Youtubers and entertainers in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The mini-episodes feature a series of success stories told by people like Wong Fu, Michelle Phan, and Steven Yeun, that illustrate their struggles as AAPI trying to make it in the entertainment field with so many racial stereotypes and expectations placed on them, not only by society, but by their families as well. Michelle Phan stated that her mother wished for her to become a doctor while her passion was for the arts, and Ryan Higa (Youtuber NigaHiga) explained that he chose to major in nuclear medicine simply because he’s Asian and it seemed like a fitting career. Many AAPI are pigeonholing themselves into careers that others expect them to have rather than focusing on what they are truly passionate about. The #IAm Campaign aims to change this mindset in the AAPI youth and encourage them to pursue what they are interested in, not what they feel obliged to do. Which begs the question, what would you do? For more information about CAPE and the #IAm Campaign, please visit

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