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Thread: Stop Asian Hate

  1. #16
    Dude I’m so glad I thought it would all delete but now we can preserve kung fu history for all time noice

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  2. #17
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    More SF action

    There's a newscast vid behind the link.
    San Francisco martial arts demonstration aims to take a stand against Asian hate
    By Greg Liggins Published 4 hours ago San Francisco

    A different kind of demonstration against Asian hate took place Sunday afternoon in downtown San Francisco. Over the last several weeks, there have been all kinds of rallies and marches denouncing Asian hate, but this event had a twist, and some punches, and kicks. Greg Liggins reports

    SAN FRANCISCO - A different kind of demonstration against Asian hate took place Sunday afternoon in downtown San Francisco.

    Over the last several weeks, there have been all kinds of rallies and marches denouncing Asian hate, but this event had a twist, and some punches, and kicks.

    Martial artists from nine different schools, representing various disciplines performed combat drills and gave demonstrations outside City Hall.

    Krav Maga, Wing Chung, Muy Thai, Jujitsu, Judo and MMA, were some of the disciplines on display.

    The Asia Strong event was the brainchild of Hudson Liao and friends after the group had a discussion about the deadly Atlanta area killings and local attacks on Asians.

    "Realizing how ****ed off we were about the situation and instead of talking about it we were convicted to do something," said Liao.

    Liao, a long-time student and self-described martial arts fanatic, came up with the idea of an event to help the community realize its collective strength, and empower people to learn to literally combat violence themselves.

    "A lot of things are happening. People are getting attacked. People don’t even want to go outside of their house. This hurts our community," said one speaker at the event.

    There were speakers from the podium meant to motivate and show compassion, but the demonstrations were there to show people there are resources to help learn to be less fearful and more confident if self-protection becomes necessary.

    One of the more than 200 attendees said she liked the idea of making such a variety of martial arts demos easily accessible to the public.

    "I think it lets everybody for like 30 seconds or one or two-minute demonstrations on like, is this good for them, if this is something they want to learn," said Cheyenne Fong.

    Martial artists say they feel confident knowing they can protect themselves and their loved ones if necessary.

    They’re hoping the demonstrations show others being physically empowered also leads to mental empowerment, something they say their community needs more of right now.

    "We want people to walk away from today just feeling empowered that they can do something," said Liao. "And that there is an abundance of resources if they want it."

    Since the increase in violence against Asians, Liao says more people have expressed an interest in learning some form of self-defense.

    Quote Originally Posted by rett2 View Post
    Over 100 guests on the website right now... all seeing ads for the martial arts gear store. That's low cost advertising with reach

    just guessing but seems like the reason
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  3. #18
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    Steph & Bruce

    Steph Curry Wears Shoes Made With Bruce Lee Foundation in Solidarity with Asian Community
    BY GRACE KIM
    APRIL 5, 2021
    2 MINUTE READ



    Steph Curry recently wore shoes created with the Bruce Lee Foundation to stand in solidarity with the Asian community in Atlanta.

    On Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, Curry wore a special set of Curry 8s that were hand-painted yellow and black. These shoes featured an image of Bruce Lee as well as one of his famous quotes: “Under the heavens, there is but one family.”

    Nick DePaula
    @NickDePaula
    ·
    Apr 4
    Curry’s shoes feature a
    @BruceLee
    quote: “Under the heavens, there is but one family.”

    “We are all different & unique. On purpose. But, we are all human beings on a quest to fulfill our purpose and that energy should be used to uplift & love each other to the fullest,” he said.


    Stephen Curry and Bruce Lee
    Quote Tweet
    Nick DePaula
    @NickDePaula
    · Apr 4
    EXCLUSIVE: @StephenCurry30 plans to show solidarity with Asian community in Atlanta today with custom sneakers.

    In tandem with the @BruceLee Foundation, Curry will auction off his shoes to aid families of recent Atlanta shooting tragedy.
    The shoes will be auctioned off within the next few weeks, and the profits will be divided among the families of the victims of last month’s mass shooting in Atlanta that took the lives of eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent.

    The Golden State Warriors guard told The Undefeated that Curry was outraged by the tragedy and immediately wanted to help out.

    “Disgust, horror and outright anger at why any violence keeps happening in our country,” Curry said. “After all we have been through this past year, let alone in the history of our country, people still deal with unnecessary tragedy and are afraid for their lives. We have to do better.”

    Curry reached out to members of the Bruce Lee Foundation to find a way to support the victims’ families. He has been a lifelong fan of Lee and what he stood for, according to Yahoo Sports.

    “He lived what he spoke and meant every word,” Curry said when describing Lee. “He pushed himself to be greater than he knew he could and to impact people along the way.”

    Curry hoped that wearing the hand-painted Curry 8s would not only help out the victims’ families, but also remind everyone of Lee’s philosophies, NBC reported.

    “We have so many faithful Asian American fans that have supported me along this amazing journey,” Curry said. “We represent them on the court and I feel the love no matter where I go.”

    Shannon Lee — the president of the Bruce Lee Foundation and Lee’s only daughter — spoke to The Undefeated and referred to Curry’s gesture as a “beautiful example of allyship and solidarity in action.”

    “I am honored he would choose my father and my family as the symbol for the idea that we are all one family, as my father said, and therefore must all stand for one another,” she said.

    Feature Image via Getty
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  4. #19
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    Sakura Kokumai

    There's a vid behind the link

    Woman Training for Olympics Becomes Target of Anti-Asian Rant at Orange County Park
    Sakura Kokumai, 28, is the first American to qualify for the Olympics in karate, and is training for the summer games in Tokyo.
    By Angie Crouch • Published 3 hours ago • Updated 3 hours ago

    An Olympic hopeful from SoCal — the first American to qualify for the Olympics in karate — posted a video of the man shouting at her as she trained in a park. Angie Crouch reports April 8, 2021.

    An Asian American woman training for the Olympics' karate competition says she was threatened by a man yelling racial slurs at an Orange County Park, and is sharing the recorded video of the incident in order to spread awareness about growing harassment against Asian Americans.

    Sakura Kokumai, 28, is the first American to qualify for the Olympics in karate, and is training for the summer games in Tokyo.

    She said she’s still in shock over what happened at Grijalva Park in the city of Orange last week.

    “Nobody likes to be yelled at by a complete stranger," she said.

    In a video she shared on Instagram, you can see a stranger berating her and threatening her as she worked out.

    "Go home, stupid," can be heard. “I’ll (bleep) you up - I’ll (bleep) your husband up or boyfriend or whoever you’re talking to on the phone."

    She responds with, "I haven’t done anything.”

    "When somebody is just yelling at you that aggressively you do get your guard up a little bit - you do get worried," Kokumai said.

    Kokumai is Japanese American, but she says the man yelled something about her being Chinese as he drove away.

    "The only two words I picked up were 'Chinese' and 'sashimi' which have no connection at all," she said.

    In an online summit with other Olympic athletes, U.S. gymnast Yul Moldauer revealed he too has been the victim of racial harassment.

    “Last month I was driving and a lady cut me off. She yelled at me, 'go back to China.' For me my job is to represent this country so I take a lot of pride into it," Moldauer said.

    The man in the Instagram video has not been identified and Kokumai wasn’t hurt.

    She says while it’s heartbreaking to see a rise in attacks on Asian Americans, she hopes sharing her story will bring awareness.

    “We all belong here and we don’t have to be afraid when we go out. But I encourage people to look out for one another," she said.
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  5. #20
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    Michael Vivona busted for elder abuse

    More on Sakura Kokumai

    Police Arrest Man Accused of Berating Team USA Karate Athlete Training at Park for Olympics
    Sakura Kokumai, who qualified for this summer’s Olympics in karate, was training at an Orange County park when a stranger began yelling at her and making threats.
    By Staff Reports • Published April 19, 2021 • Updated 6 hours ago


    An Olympic hopeful from SoCal — the first American to qualify for the Olympics in karate — posted a video of the man shouting at her as she trained in a park. Angie Crouch reports April 8, 2021.

    A man accused of assaulting a Southern California Asian couple and threatening a U.S. Olympian who was training at an Orange County park has been arrested.

    Michael Vivona, 25, of Corona was arrested Sunday on suspicion of elder abuse and committing a hate crime in connection with an assault on a Korean American couple. He also was arrested in the April 1 encounter with 28-year-old Sakura Kokumai, who qualified for this summer’s Olympics in karate.

    Details about the arrest were not immediately available. It was not immediately clear whether the suspect has an attorney.

    Kokumai, a seven-time national champion, shared video of the encounter with a man who yelled at her in Grijalva Park in the city of Orange. In video shared on Instagram, the man can be seen berating her as she works out at the public park.

    It makes me emotional just to think about it because at the time I did feel that I was alone.

    Sakura Kokumai
    “Go home stupid,” the man can be heard saying. “I’ll f— you up. I’ll f— your husband up or boyfriend or whoever you’re talking to on the phone.”

    Kokumai is Japanese American, but she said the man yelled something about her being Chinese as he drove away.

    “The only two words I picked up were ‘Chinese’ and ’sashimi,’ which have no connection at all,” Kokumai told NBCLA. “Nobody likes to be yelled at by a complete stranger.”

    Kokumai was at the park to go for a jog as she prepares to represent the United States in front of the world at the Olympics in Tokyo.

    Kokumai said she shared the video to spread awareness about harassment against Asian Americans.

    “I want everybody to know, especially in the AAPI community, that you’re not alone,” Kokumai told NBC News. “I think it’s really important to have compassion, share love and look out for one another.

    “It makes me emotional just to think about it because at the time I did feel that I was alone."

    In the aftermath, Kokumai said she received heartwarming messages of support.

    “They made me feel that I do belong here,” Kokumai said.

    Details about the other crime for which the suspect was arrested were not immediately available.
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  6. #21
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    Bamboo ceiling

    A-pop! White people are ruining ‘bamboo ceiling’ for us!
    MARCH 25, 2021 BY NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

    By Stacy Nguyen
    Northwest Asian Weekly

    I know we’ve all had a really terrible week, and it feels a bit discordant to read frivolous pop culture news. But I hope this column gives you a break from the heaviness.

    White people get ****ed about term “bamboo ceiling,” which sounds like something they’d do



    Asian reporter Rebecca Sun wrote a headline in the Hollywood Reporter that said “Diverse Oscars field sees Asian actors shatter the bamboo ceiling” and a whole lotta white people got really uppity about it because they didn’t realize that bamboo ceiling is legit a term coined by author (and Asian person) Jane Hyun, who used the term to describe how hard it is for Asian Americans to get into leadership positions in big companies.

    Instead, these woke white people who don’t know that much about Asian stuff and aren’t great at checking bylines were like, “Bamboo ceiling! Oh, because they are Asian? How dare you! Racist!”

    To her credit, Sun responded in a super chill and super classy way. She tweeted, “Hi! I wrote that headline (and the story). My editor, who is not Asian, was worried about it, but it’s a conscious choice I made to reference the phrase’s usage in the corporate world (the difficulty Asian executives have in breaking through to upper management).”

    Anyway, the Hollywood Reporter has since changed that headline to something white people won’t get mad about on behalf of people of color because we must always, always, always center white ignorance and white comfort and do workarounds for white #fakefacts.
    'Bamboo ceiling' and 'Bamboo curtain' are longstanding terms.

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    Copying this to Stop-Asian-Hate too, just because it's related.
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  7. #22
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    Another slightly OT post

    ...but this one is happening in Fremont, which is where Tiger Claw HQ is.

    Buddhist Temple Takes on Fremont Over Unpermitted Buildings
    By Marianne Favro • Published May 11, 2021 • Updated on May 11, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    The co-founder of a Buddhist temple in the Fremont hills is now threatening to sue the city for religious, gender and racial discrimination. She claims the city is unfairly forcing her to demolish much of her private religious facility. Marianne Favro reports.

    The co-founder of a Buddhist temple in the Fremont hills is now threatening to sue the city for religious, gender and racial discrimination. She claims the city is unfairly forcing her to demolish much of her private religious facility.

    Fremont said the temple's co-founder has been building on her property for years without proper permits.

    "Why are they doing that to me? It's because I am Asian, a religious woman and they don't want a temple here," said Miaolan Lee, temple co-founder.

    Lee owns 29 acres off Mill Creek Road in the Fremont foothills where she co-founded the private Temple of 1001 Buddhas. Her attorney said the city now wants her to demolish her main temple hall - a Hindu God house - and four other structures.

    The city said the requests are due to Lee building without needed permits for years.

    "After an investigation that lasted several months and included multiple inspections with other government agencies, including the state water board and Alameda County Environmental Health, the city determined multiple buildings had been constructed without building permits and in violation of city zoning regulations," the City of Fremont said in a statement.

    Lee's legal team, however, claim their client repeatedly tried to get permits.

    "Our client began permitting in 2011-2014 and has been trying to get permits ever since," said Tal Finney, Lee's attorney. "And the city has been obstructionist about granting permits."

    Attorney Angela Alioto said she has taken the first steps to file a federal civil rights lawsuits against Fremont "because she is an Asian, who is a religious woman building a temple to Buddha -- she is being discriminated against."

    City officials will hold a hearing on May 18 to discuss whether to move forward with the order to demolish the structures.
    Note that I've never been to Temple of 1001 Buddhas. I didn't even know it existed until this. There's a lot in the Fremont foothills that I never explored. I was closer to the Bay side of the city.

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  8. #23
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    1 in 4

    Likely an artifact of the 'model minority' myth.

    About 1 in 4 White People Don’t See Anti-Asian Racism as a Problem, Survey Finds

    BY CARL SAMSON
    MAY 11, 2021
    2 MINUTE READ

    Featured Image (Representation Only) via Jason Leung on Unsplash

    Nearly a quarter of white people do not see racism against Asian people as a problem to be fixed, a new poll has found.

    Nonprofit Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change (LAAUNCH) published the finding in its first STAATUS (Social Tracking of Asian Americans in the U.S.) Index, which shows national attitudes toward Asian Americans.

    Key findings: STAATUS, among the first of its kind in 20 years, surveyed a total of 2,766 U.S. adults between March 29 and April 14.

    Eight out of 10 Asian Americans reported feeling discriminated against, according to the poll. Specifically, 77% of the group do not feel respected — slightly lower than African Americans (86%), on par with Hispanic Americans (77%), but above white Americans (31%).
    Despite global coverage, 37% of white Americans said they were not aware of the increase in anti-Asian incidents in the past year. Furthermore, 24% of the group do not believe that anti-Asian racism is a problem to be addressed.
    The survey found that the model minority myth persists, with adjectives such as “smart,” “intelligent” and “hard-working” still being used to describe Asian Americans. However, respondents are most comfortable to have Asian Americans as doctors, nurses, friends or co-workers, but less comfortable to have them as bosses or as president of the country.
    Twenty-six percent of Republicans, 6% of Democrats and 24% of people above 65 believe “China Virus” is an appropriate term for COVID-19. Twenty percent of all respondents also believe Asian Americans are more loyal to their home countries than to the U.S.

    Why this matters: The poll reinforces the fact that some still fail to see Asian people as a marginalized group in American society.

    LAAUNCH is working with partner organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Gold House and others to evaluate data, raise awareness, promote solidarity and develop programs that tackle bias against Asian Americans.
    “Inspired by the ADL’s research, we developed the STAATUS Index in collaboration with academics from University of Massachusetts, Boston; University of California, Los Angeles; and Princeton University to not only understand the root causes of racism and violence towards Asian Americans, but also to help shape American attitudes toward our community moving forward,” said Norman Chen, co-founder and chief executive officer of LAAUNCH.
    LAAUNCH plans to release the survey annually to track changes in perception and inform new programs that address underlying causes of racism.
    The nonprofit calls for more education on Asian American history, increased Asian American representation and a greater understanding of the impact of systemic racism.
    Dominic Ng, chairman and CEO of East West Bank, whose Foundation provided a grant for the survey, said that while the findings were unsurprising, getting them matters.

    “What’s important is that now we have data. That is crucial to create greater awareness, educate stakeholders and inform policymaking moving forward,” Ng said.

    Featured Image (Representation Only) via Jason Leung on Unsplash
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  9. #24
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    Kung Flu

    Trump SUED for Saying ‘China Virus’, ‘Kung Flu’ While He Was in Office
    Carl Samson
    2 hours ago

    Former President Donald Trump is reportedly being sued for his repeated use of “China virus” — among other phrases — in reference to COVID-19 while he was still in office.

    Anti-China rhetoric: Blaming China for “unleashing” the coronavirus, Trump routinely used terms such as “Chinese virus,” “Wuhan virus” and “Kung Flu” during his term, arguing that it is “not racist” to refer to the pathogen’s geographic origin.

    Trump accused China of withholding vital information about the coronavirus, a claim corroborated by U.S. intelligence reports of officials in Wuhan keeping the threat under wraps for weeks.

    Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor regarded as the “Wuhan whistleblower” — and who subsequently died from COVID-19 himself — was summoned to a police station for “spreading rumors online” and was forced to admit “illegal behavior.”

    A group of international scientists previously shot down rumors of COVID-19 originating in a Wuhan laboratory, but a new group recently published a letter stating that “theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable.”

    In a tweet last March, Trump called for the protection of Asian Americans — saying COVID-19 “is NOT their fault in any way, shape or form” — but continued to use controversial terms anyway, which were parroted by other Republican politicians.

    The World Health Organization has advised against attaching locations or ethnicity to COVID-19, saying the official name was “deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatization.”

    Who’s suing: Trump is reportedly being sued by the Chinese American Civil Rights Coalition (CACRC) for defamation and infliction of emotional distress.

    The organization claims that Trump’s use of those terms contributed to the surge of violence against Chinese and other Asian Americans, according to TMZ, which obtained a copy of the suit.

    They also said the former president should not have used “Chinese virus,” since “it’s not entirely clear where the virus actually originated,” TMZ noted.

    The CACRC wants Trump to give every Asian American $1 for an estimated total of $22.9 million, which will be used to build a museum showcasing the history and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the U.S.

    Trump, who has launched his own communications platform, has not responded to the news of the suit.


    Featured Image via Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)
    $1? srsly?

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  10. #25
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    US$51,000 for Atlanta shooting victims families

    Steph Curry’s Bruce Lee NBA-worn shoes raise US$51,000 for Atlanta shooting victims families
    Auction ends for footwear worn against Atlanta Hawks featuring images and quote from Hong Kong-born martial arts superstar
    Two-time MVP and Bruce Lee Foundation promise proceeds to families of victims of Atlanta-area spa shootings
    Topic |
    NBA (National Basketball Association)
    Jonathan White

    Published: 1:54pm, 23 May, 2021



    Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry smiles after shooting a basket over Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James in the NBA. Curry’s game worn shoes featuring Bruce Lee imagery have raised more than US$50,000. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA Today Sports
    NBA star Steph Curry’s gameworn Bruce Lee-customised shoes have raised more than US$50,000 for the families of the victims of the Atlanta spa shootings.
    Curry wore the shoes to show solidarity with the Asian community in the Golden State Warriors game against the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta on April 4, three weeks after the shootings on March 16 where eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were killed by a white gunman.
    “This is a significant opportunity to raise some money. We’re gonna auction them off,” Curry said after that game, after being praised for showing solidarity with Asian-Americans amid rising violence and racism in the US.
    “Obviously stopping Asian hate is huge across the country and across this world but here the shoes are a very small way to hopefully raise money for that work and that cause and, you know, raise awareness,” he added.

    Curry worked with the Bruce Lee Foundation on the project, which saw his signature Under Armour Curry 8 shoes customised by Kreative Custom Kicks.

    “Obviously, what Bruce Lee stood for in terms of unifying people, speaking on the collective harmony of everybody from different backgrounds, different races, but especially his Asian heritage,” Curry added after the loss to Atlanta on April 4.
    Jeremy Lin praises Curry for Bruce Lee shoe auction for Asian community
    6 Apr 2021

    “I think he has a lot of quotes and just narratives and themes that he spoke on consistently that still ring true today, and I know his foundation is doing a lot to live that out and to impact people’s lives and continue to spark change.”
    The auction listing on Goldin Auctions confirmed that “100 per cent of the proceeds from this auction will go to charity in conjunction with the Bruce Lee Foundation to support victims of Asian-American violence”.

    Curry’s US size 13 shoes feature an image of Lee and his family on the right shoe and an image of Lee alone on the left.

    They also feature the Lee quote “Under the heavens, there is only family” while the black and yellow colourway is reminiscent of the Hong Kong-born martial arts superstar’s iconic Onitsuka Tiger shoes.
    The auction ended with a winning bid of US$51,000 from 15 total bids, the Goldin Auctions website said.
    Curry had said that he would also sign the shoes for the winning bidder at no extra cost.

    The two-time NBA MVP was praised by Lee’s daughter Shannon and former Golden State Warriors teammate Jeremy Lin.
    “Respect,” Lin wrote on Twitter. “Man of God speaking out for others.”
    Curry’s season is now over after the Warriors lost in the NBA play-offs play-in tournament against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night (US time).

    They had lost their previous play-in game to the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.


    Jonathan White
    Jonathan White joined the Post in 2017 after a decade reporting on sport from China. He originally moved to Beijing to coach football in 2007 and later spent two years in Shanghai.
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  11. #26
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    Catharsis

    Watching Martial Arts Movies Amid Anti-Asian Violence Is Much-Needed Catharsis
    Movies and TV shows like 'The Paper Tigers' and 'Warrior' show the beauty of Asian American survival.
    By Frances Nguyen
    June 8, 2021, 4:00am


    IMAGE VIA YOUTUBE
    When I saw the opening seven minutes of Mortal Kombat on Instagram, it was the first time I’d felt anything in the realm of joy in over a month. Given the contents of the clip, I was also a little horrified at myself.

    Faithful to its video game source material, the violence in the film begins almost immediately. Within the opening minutes, a woman dies. A child dies. Hanzo Hasashi—the man who will become Scorpion, the character in the game I played most often growing up—liberates what looks like quarts of blood from the bodies of his masked opponents before confronting his nemesis, the man who will become the ice-wielding assassin Sub-Zero. The teaser leaves you at the edge of a fight that promises to be an enthralling one; here, once again, someone will surely die violently.


    The theatrically gory film was an odd source of comfort during the weeks-long despondency I felt following a series of shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of whom were women of Asian descent. With a never-ending reel of brutal violence against Asians circulating online, there was something refreshing about escaping into a world populated by people who look like me and who are portrayed as strong.

    Coming at the end of a year that gave rise to more than 6,600 reported instances of anti-Asian hate between March 2020 and March 2021, and where assaults continue almost daily across the country, watching a group of Asian characters wield their bodies with physics-defying agility and precision to deliver bouts that look and feel more like physical dialogue than combat made for a stark contrast to the images I was seeing on news broadcasts and social media, which tend to foreground Asian bodies as quiet, passive vessels for someone else’s rage.

    Examining some of the most brutal recorded attacks that have taken place this year—on elders Vicha Ratanapakdee, Vilma Kari, and Yao Pan Ma—the abridged stories captured on camera repeat the same refrain: The Asian body appears and is brutalized; that’s all that we see. For Asian Americans, these scenes invite us to participate in a ritual of vicarious trauma: Without sound, our minds train instead on the movements of the bodies that appear on screen. We imagine ourselves and our loved ones in the only body that bears our likeness—the victim’s—and our own bodies are activated by the input of threat.

    Up until recently, however, Hollywood has arguably done little to provide counter-narratives to these stories, narratives that acknowledge the real-life experiences and agency of the individuals who are navigating what it means to be Asian in America in real time. A report released last month—co-authored by sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen, author of Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism, and Stacy L. Smith, founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative—revealed that in the top 100 films of 2019, just over a quarter of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) characters die by the end of the film—and all but one dies violently. The study also notes that 42 percent of the API characters experienced disparagement, including racist/sexist slurs, with 30 percent being tokenized (meaning they were the only Asian character in the film or scene) and 67 percent channeling tired Asian stereotypes. Notably, only 13 percent were portrayed as “fully human,” (ie, complex characters with agency) which the report measured in terms of them having a wide spectrum of relationships.

    I wasn’t alone in gravitating toward media where strong Asian characters took center stage. After the shootings in Atlanta—and after the video of Vilma Kari’s attack went viral—Yuen, the report’s co-author, told me that she and her friends started watching Kung Fu on The CW, a reboot of the 70s show starring David Carradine that premiered in early April.

    Though the original was not without its shortcomings (the lead role, of a half-Chinese Shaolin monk who wanders the Wild West, went to the white actor instead of Bruce Lee, despite Carradine having no prior martial arts training), the CW series gives the story a 21st century update. This time around, the lead is an Asian woman—and, importantly, an Asian woman who kicks ass. Olivia Liang’s Nicky Shen stands alone as the only Asian American woman lead on network television right now, and her characterization as a strong and capable defender of her hometown of San Francisco offers some counterweight to the blunt fact that Asian women are twice as likely to report being targets of anti-Asian hate than Asian men are.

    “Certainly, our show is not the solution, but I hope that we are a part of the solution,” showrunner Christina M. Kim said in a press conference a day after the Atlanta shootings.

    As Yuen sees it, the show’s main draw is its constellation of rich characters with developed backstories. “As an Asian American watching it, I feel empowered, not just because there’s martial arts but also in seeing people who aren’t just the sidekick, or the friend, or the villain,” she said. “They are the leads, and you feel like you can see yourself in different parts of them.” Ultimately, she said, that’s the goal of the report: for Hollywood to represent API characters as complex, multidimensional human beings—just like in real life.

    The Kung Fu reboot isn’t the only recent work that draws on martial arts as a vehicle for telling more three-dimensional human stories. The Paper Tigers—a charming comedy about three washed-up, middle-aged former kung fu disciples looking to avenge their sifu’s murder—uses the martial art as a way of telling a story about redemption, brotherhood, and becoming men.

    Released to streaming platforms and select theaters on May 7, The Paper Tigers complicates the strong-versus-weak narrative by presenting its heroes as both in different moments. They’re strong when they’re aligned to the teachings of kung fu—which espouse traditional Eastern values like honor, discipline, humility, and bravery—and weak, both physically and morally, when they stray from them. Throughout the film, the men contend with choosing when to fight and when to walk away: When his son gets beat up by the school bully, Danny, the lead character, tells the boy that he should have walked away from the kid who has been terrorizing him and his friend. Later, after one of the Tigers is sorely wounded, Danny heads off to a fight, but not before calling his son to tell him that he’s proud of him for sticking up for his friend. Fearing that he might not make it to see another day, he tells his son how to make a fist, but offers this information with a warning: “If you go looking for a fight, that makes you the bully.”

    Beyond the moments of pitch-perfect comedy (see: the many fortune cookie-worthy proverbs doled out by a white sifu, the men’s former schoolmate rival, in Cantonese, which none of them understand), there’s also something deeply gratifying about seeing bodies, out of practice for 25 years, reckon with their limitations and slowly relearn their discipline, building back their strength over time. Tran Quoc Bao, the film’s writer and director, said he wanted to highlight martial arts as a practice of discovering one’s inner strength, and learning the right moment to express it. “With martial arts,” he said, “it’s that constant sharpening of the sword knowing that you can hang it up and not use it.”
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  12. #27
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    Continued from previous post

    As it turns out, the film’s resonance with the present moment is something of a coincidence: Tran conceived the story a decade ago, drawing on his experiences growing up in a multicultural martial arts community in Seattle. He never imagined it would be released during a pandemic, much less at a time of surging racist violence.

    “Obviously, there’s a different subtext now that kind of lingers in the air,” he told me. Still, with its subtle allusions to race and cultural appropriation, the film hits upon facets of the Asian American experience that feel just as relevant now as they did several decades ago. Importantly, it’s also an Asian American film that exists on its own terms. Though it centers non-white experience, it doesn’t announce itself as such—not to the point of color-blindness, but in a way where cultural difference feels normal, and honored.

    It’s nice to see martial arts, and kung fu especially, treated with reverence and respect. Although kung fu and martial arts movies have been a part of Hollywood’s diet since the 70s, the form has too often been relegated to an unintentional sub-genre of comedy—one replete with its fair share of racist stereotypes. As the report notes, a large component of the anti-Asian racism perpetuated in pop culture is the representation of Asian men as weak and effeminate compared to their Western counterparts—an emasculation that continues to be expressed by Hollywood through the physical domination of Asian characters by predominantly white leading characters.

    One of the most notorious examples is Quentin Tarantino’s characterization of Lee, the most beloved and celebrated martial artist of all time. In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the Lee character—caricatured as a toxically masculine showboat—challenges Brad Pitt’s stuntman character Cliff Booth to a three-round fight. It technically results in a draw, but Lee walks away humiliated after Booth handily throws him into a car.

    Yuen described the scene as exemplifying American pop culture’s impulse “to take a strong Asian man down a notch.”

    “They get these really amazing Asian actors who are at the top of their martial arts game, and then they have the white lead beat them up in order to show his prowess and maintain a kind of racial hierarchy,” she said.

    Not surprisingly, over the past year, there have been disturbing reflections of that dynamic in real life. After a man of Chinese descent was assaulted in an unprovoked attack outside New York City’s Penn Station in March, his attacker reportedly assumed a mocking kung fu stance before fleeing the scene.

    “It makes them feel better about themselves to beat up an Asian whom they feel is the enemy, because Hollywood has historically represented Asians as enemies,” said Yuen. Trump’s “kung flu” rhetoric from last year, part of his campaign to scapegoat Asians as foreign vectors of disease, certainly hasn’t helped.

    Warrior, a Cinemax original series with an Asian-dominant cast that premiered in 2019, is yet another martial arts-related project that attempts to examine and subvert this sort of racist scapegoating. With a premise conceived by the late Bruce Lee himself, the show is set during the Tong Wars of San Francisco in the 1870s—a period in American history that arguably gave birth to some of the most enduring and damaging Asian American stereotypes, from that of the disease-carrying foreigner to the Chinatown gangster and the brothel worker. The series follows Ah Sahm (played by Andrew Koji), a kung fu prodigy who becomes a hatchet man for a powerful tong, or criminal brotherhood, as it vies with rivals in Chinatown for control over resources. Notably, it’s set on the eve of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which effectively banned all immigration from China until 1943, in addition to prohibiting Chinese immigrants from becoming American citizens.

    “[In the show], we are dealing with the introduction of the Chinese mythology and propaganda machine,” said Olivia Cheng, who plays Ah Toy, a fictionalized version of the eponymous Chinatown madame known as the first recorded Chinese prostitute in America. In an interview with VICE, Cheng said that she was challenged with not only honoring the real Ah Toy’s life but also playing against the traps of one of Hollywood’s favorite and most harmful tropes about Asian women: the “dragon lady,” an Asian femme fatale who wields power through sex.

    I began the show a month after the Atlanta shootings, shortly after it was announced that the series would be renewed for a third season, on HBO Max. Given the heartbreak and impotence I felt, I wasn’t surprised to find myself drawn to Ah Toy, an Asian female character who seems fully possessed of her power as she navigates gender dynamics and a racist criminal justice system—power structures that are not only designed to oppress her but that render women like her entirely disposable. In the first season, when the police raid Ah Toy’s brothel as a means of signalling to its white citizens that it’s “cracking down” on Chinatown crime, she bribes the sergeant with a few calm words and a small red envelope. “A gift for Chinese New Year,” she says, meeting his gaze with an unflinching stare.

    Cheng told me that other Asian women have expressed being triggered by her character’s profession, which she understands. She said she had to overcome her own reticence about Ah Toy, but ultimately decided to lead with her character’s humanity. “I definitely feel a responsibility,” she said. “I think you’d have to be incredibly vacuous to be in my position and not.”

    Every character in Warrior contends with different articulations of power, said Shannon Lee, executive producer of the show and Bruce Lee’s daughter. “We’re presenting power when it gets out of control and the people who have to participate in that culture, who are the victims of that culture but who don’t think of themselves as victims,” she said. “They think of themselves as humans. They want what every human wants, and are fighting for it.”

    As violent as Warrior can be (and disquietingly close to our current reality), I have been enjoying getting to know these kaleidoscopic characters—people who reveal new sides of themselves with every power play. Even as I tense at the scenes of racist confrontation (in the opening two minutes of the series, a white immigration officer singles out a man disembarking from the boat, calls him “Ching Chong,” and knocks him to the ground), I can take cover in characters with the agency to defend themselves. I can see them fight, and I can see them win.

    “Catharsis is something that people need right now,” said Hoon Lee, who plays Wang Chao, a quick-witted black market arms dealer. “In the context of a show, you can experience—and, hopefully, exorcise—some of that rage that you might not know what to do with otherwise. That’s a primary function of storytelling.”

    Martial arts might be a safe bet for a Hollywood looking for low-hanging fruit when it comes Asian representation, but in this new slate of film and television shows, it’s also the Trojan Horse: a vehicle for Asian characters whose identities are as layered and complex as people are in real life. And while, yes, these bodies encounter brutal violence, they survive to experience what lies beyond it—joy, grief, rage, and humor together. In devastating times like these, we need storytelling that shows us that access to the full spectrum of human experience is possible—not just suffering.

    threads
    Stop-Asian-Hate
    Warrior Kung Fu
    Once-Upon-a-Time-in-Hollywood
    Mortal-Kombat-2021-reboot
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #28
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    Bad buzz

    ‘Hard pass’: Netflix’s ‘Kate’ criticized for having a white protagonist who’s out to ‘kill Asians’
    Carl Samson

    August 10, 2021

    A number of social media users are saying no to a new action-adventure film from Netflix after learning that its white protagonist is headed for an Asian murder spree.

    What’s it about: “Kate,” which releases on Sept. 10, centers on a “ruthless criminal operative” who was poisoned and left with less than 24 hours to exact revenge on her enemies. In the process, she forms an “unexpected bond” with the daughter of one of her past victims.

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who received praises for her performance as Huntress in the film “Birds of Prey,” will play the lead role. As per Indie Wire, Netflix’s official synopsis states that Kate “uncharacteristically blows an assignment targeting a member of the yakuza in Tokyo,” which leads her to being poisoned.
    The film also stars Woody Harrelson as Kate’s handler. Other cast members include Miku Martineau, Tadanobu Asano, Michiel Huisman and Jun Kunimura.
    The action-adventure is helmed by French film director and visual effects artist Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. It is written by Umair Aleem and produced by Bryan Unkeless, Kelly McCormick and Patrick Newall, according to Entertainment Weekly.

    What critics are saying: “Kate” has received more positive comments as of this writing, with many thrilled to see the involvement of Japanese rock band BAND-MAID and Winstead’s return in an action role. However, some laid out reasons why the film is problematic, and they’re all based on the idea that the lead character — a white person — is killing Asians.

    One Twitter user accused the film of Asian fetishization: “Shame on Netflix for this. After this past year especially, to then release a film that is literally white people murdering Asian people based on stereotypes and fetishization??? Hard pass.”
    Another called out the presence of white lead characters in Asian settings: “Love Winstead. But stop putting white leads around Asian culture in an Asian city while every antagonist is Asian. And what’s Hollywood’s obsession with the Yakuza, like, ****.”
    Meanwhile, one simply wrote: “#StopAsianHate. That’s it. That’s the tweet.”
    threads
    Kate
    Stop Asian Hate
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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