March 30th, 2008

Retiring This Blog

Dear readers,

After much consideration, I have decided that it is time for me to retire this blog.

The primary reason for such is: as some of you may already know, I also maintain another blog on my Asian-Nation site. I have maintained that site and blog longer than this one and it focuses more specifically on current events and issues related to Asian Americans.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there is just too much overlap between these two blogs, so to save me the time necessary to maintain both of them, I will concentrate on just maintaining my Asian-Nation one. At the same time, I will expand the Asian-Nation blog somewhat to include much of this blog’s focus on race relations in general and its connections to higher education.

You can still browse through the Archives of this blog or use the search function in the right hand column to review any and all of my previous posts from the past four years, but this will be the last post on this blog.

Below is a list of the most recent posts on my Asian-Nation blog and I encourage you to continue your participation by switching over to read my Asian-Nation blog. Thanks and hope to hear from you again soon.

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Latest Posts at Asian-Nation


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March 24th, 2008

Korean Americans Going to Korean Colleges

Asian Americans know that the competition to get into the top colleges and universities is quite intense these days. With that in mind, as the Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily reports, many Korean American students have decided to skip the U.S. entirely and instead, attend the top universities in South Korea:

A year ago, 19-year-old Korean-American Choi Joo-eun chose Korea¡¯s Yonsei University over the prestigious University of California system in her home state. Having gotten into both UC San Diego and UC Irvine, she had earned a place in two schools even many California teenagers dream of entering.

So far she has no regrets. On campus, she takes classes taught entirely in English while spending her spare time learning Korean culture and language. Off campus, Choi, who had never visited Korea before deciding to study here, keeps busy building a new network of friends and pursuing her dream of working for the United Nations one day. . . .

While it is well known that many Koreans opt out of the highly competitive race to get into a top local university like Yonsei for an American university, an increasing number of Korean-Americans and overseas-educated Koreans are heading in the opposite direction. . . .

Still, regardless of Korea being the land of their parents, it is far from home, and the students have to overcome their share of hardship and difficulties in adjusting to a new country and culture.

The article highlights the many advantages associated with such a process -- reconnecting with one’s ancestral ethnic roots, exposure to an international climate, becoming fluently bilingual in English and Korean, etc. But as the last line of the quote I cited above alludes to, there can also be loneliness and cultural adjustment issues.

Nonetheless, this particular trend of Korean Americans “going back” to Korean schools is likely to accelerate in the coming years, as the world in general but American society in particular become increasingly globalized and transnational. As such, such transnational Korean American students are likely to have a competitive advantage.

However, it is worth noting that as the article points out, being Korean American does not automatically mean that you will have an easy time in Korea -- being Asian and Asian American are two difference things.

Nonetheless, seen another way, being Korean American does provide another avenue of personal and academic enrichment when it comes to having the cultural international connection to Korea -- one that can be seen as an asset rather than a liability as we move forward into the 21st century.


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March 16th, 2008

Temporary Hiatus: Going on Spring Break

I’m not shy about it -- even professors need a spring break too. So I’m off to visit some friends and do some camping in North Carolina for a few days. Hopefully I’ll return in one piece and be back blogging on Friday. See you then.


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March 14th, 2008

Anti-Latino Hate Crimes on the Rise

It’s no secret that the national debate surrounding illegal immigration has at a boiling point in recent years. With that in mind, as Diverse Education reports, it’s probably not a coincidence that the number of hate crimes committed against Latinos in recent years has also increased significantly:

The Southern Poverty Law Center, in a report titled “The Year in Hate,” said it counted 888 hate groups in its latest tally, up from 844 in 2006 and 602 in 2000. . . .

[The SPLC] said hate groups were proliferating because a growing number of Americans were agitated by the immigration debate. He said many new groups had appeared in the border states of California, Texas and Arizona where illegal immigration has been a particularly volatile issue.

The article goes on to report that the SPLC has officially designated the largest and most vocal anti-illegal immigration group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, as a hate organization, based on the published beliefs and actions of many of its members, supporters, and/or contributors.

If you’d like more information on specific incidents of anti-Latino hate crimes committed recently, the SPLC lists many examples on their website.

All in all, I am very saddened but not surprised to hear about this upward trend in anti-Latino hate crimes. History has consistently shown that whenever the American economy is struggling and there’s more competition for economic survival, racial/ethnic groups are almost sure to become targets of racial violence.

With the issue of illegal immigration still a prominent hot-button topic for conservatives and because illegal immigration critics frequently are not able or willing to distinguish between those who are legal immigrants or not, Latinos are inevitably the most convenient targets.

Unfortunately things do not look encouraging as we move forward this year, as more signs point to a coming recession (if we’re not there already), which means even more hostility is likely to be directed at Latinos.


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March 12th, 2008

Facts for Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month and to commemorate it, the Census Bureau has again released their “Facts for Features” page that contains various demographic and socioeconomic data and statistics about women in the U.S.. Here are some of the more notable figures:

153.6 million: The number of females in the United States as of Oct. 1, 2007. The number of males is 149.4 million.

$32,649: The median annual earnings of women 16 or older who worked year-round, full time, in 2006. Women earned 77 cents for every $1 earned by men.

98 cents: The amount women ($48,586) in the District of Columbia, who worked year-round, full time, earned for every $1 their male counterparts earned ($49,544) in 2006. Among all states or state equivalents, the district was where women were closest to earnings parity with men. Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey were the only states where median earnings for women were greater than $40,000.

32%: Percent of women 25 to 29 who had attained a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2006, which exceeded that of men in this age range (25 percent). Eighty-eight percent of women and 84 percent of men in this same age range had completed high school.

894,000: The projected number of bachelor’s degrees that will be awarded to women in the 2007-08 school year, who are also projected to earn 380,000 master’s degrees during this period. Women would, therefore, earn 59 percent of the bachelor’s and 61 percent of the master’s degrees awarded during this school year. In addition, women would earn a majority (52 percent) of first-professional degrees, such as law and medical.

More than $939 billion: Revenue for women-owned businesses in 2002. There were 116,985 women-owned firms with receipts of $1 million or more.

Nearly 6.5 million: The number of women-owned businesses in 2002. Women owned 28 percent of all nonfarm businesses. Nearly one in three women-owned firms operated in health care and social assistance, and other services, such as personal services, and repair and maintenance. Women owned 72 percent of social assistance businesses and just over half of nursing and residential care facilities.

37%: Percent of females 16 or older who work in management, professional and related occupations, compared with 31 percent of males.

22 million: Number of female workers in educational services, health care and social assistance industries. More women work in this industry group than in any other. Within this industry group, 11 million work in the health care industry and 8.4 million in educational services.

62.4 million: Number of married women (including those who are separated or have an absent spouse) in 2006. There were 59.8 million unmarried (widowed, divorced or never married) women.

5.6 million: Number of stay-at-home mothers nationwide in 2006, up from 4.6 million a decade earlier.


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March 10th, 2008

New Asian American Radio Show

A former student of mine, Nate Bae Kupel, has been hard at work on helping to create a new radio show devoted to Asian Americans and is happy to report that the show is finally ready. His announcement is below:

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As I Am: Asians In America Radio Pilot

As I Am is an hour-long program, hosted by author-activist Helen Zia, that examines the American experience – present, past, and future - with an Asian American lens. Through politics, arts, popular culture, history, and everyday encounters with the famous and not so famous, As I Am offers listeners a unique opportunity to learn from and about the nation’s dynamic Asian American community. In the process, those who tune in from all backgrounds will gain fresh perspectives on their own lives and experiences.

The program is produced by the Institute for Asian American Studies and WUMB Public Radio at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

About the Pilot
The As I Am pilot features reports, analyses, and commentary on social, political, cultural and artistic topics seldom heard on traditional public radio broadcasts. Hosted by the award-winning journalist, author and scholar Helen Zia, public radio audiences will hear unique voices and perspectives on a variety of issues from across the country.

The Pilot features up and coming author Min Jin Lee as she discusses her new book Free Food for Millionaires with Boston College’s Professor Min Hyoung Song. As I Am’s Paul Niwa reveals the effects of gentrification on Boston’s Chinatown through one man’s battle against his landlord’s rent increase.

Minnesota Public Radio’s Angela Kim’s journey from California to the Midwest reminds us that no matter where we may move we are often searching for something, anything, to remind us of where we came from. Nationally recognized slam poet Regie Cabico performs a piece that challenges the notion that we can be easily defined by a census box. Known for his cookbooks and popular television show Yan Can Cook, Chef

Martin Yan steps out of the kitchen to talk with the award-winning broadcast journalist Sydnie Kohara. A group of UMass Boston students’ trip to the Gulf Coast is chronicled as they discuss rebuilding the Vietnamese American communities ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. And International Studies Professor at Trinity College Vijay Prashad comments on why his ideal home isn’t in the present, it is in the future. You can hear these stories and more, on As I Am: Asians In America.

The program will be distributed on the Public Radio Exchange and is expected to have national carriage on non-commercial radio stations across the country. The program will be available for listening and downloading on our website soon. For now, listeners may go to the Institute for Asian American Studies’ website to download or stream the program.

Musical consideration for the pilot has been provided by Boston Progress Radio a community-based online radio station and blog focusing on independent Asian American music and art.

For more information on As I Am, please visit our website: www.asiam.us

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Kudos to Nate and his crew for putting this project together. As I’ve said many times in the past, we Asian Americans need to create more outlets like this where we can express ourselves however we want, instead of relying on others to do so however they want.


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March 6th, 2008

Giveaway Contest: What If Democrats Lost?

I’ve been given the opportunity to conduct the first (and hopefully not last) giveaway contest on this blog -- here’s your chance to win a free DVD of Blue State. Featuring Academy Award winner Anna Paquin, Blue State is an independent film about a disgruntled John Kerry campaign activist that vows to move to Canada if Bush is re-elected.

Blue State DVD

Here’s how to enter: send me an email at CN_Le@yahoo.com and in 20 words or less, tell me what you would do if the Democrats lost the 2008 Presidential election.

The deadline to email me your entry is Friday, March 21, 2008 at 11:59pm. I will pick the best, most creative answer as the winner. FYI, I am cross-promoting this contest on my other site, Asian-Nation.org, and therefore, you are allowed only one entry on either site.

Good luck!


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March 4th, 2008

Survey About Presidential Campaign

I received the following email asking for my help in announcing a survey on political attitudes, by researchers at SUNY Stony Brook:

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Hello. I am writing to ask for your help with a survey which is part of my dissertation project. I was wondering if you would be willing to post a link to the survey on your blog? Your help would be greatly appreciated, and I think you and your readers would be ideal candidates for the survey.

The survey is about people’s reactions to the presidential candidates in the upcoming election. If you are willing to help, please post the
following information:

***

The purpose of this survey is to examine how people think and feel about the political issues, parties, and candidates in the upcoming election. In the survey, you will be asked a series of questions about two political candidates, John McCain and Hillary Clinton. We are very interested in how
individuals that find information on the web think about politics, and your participation would be greatly appreciated. In total, the survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. The survey is completely anonymous and you can skip any questions you do not wish to answer.

Click here to take the survey: http://www.ic.sunysb.edu/stu/crweber/TAKESURVEY/election_2008.htm

Please feel free to contact Chris Weber (crweber@notes.cc.sunysb.edu) at Stony Brook University with any questions or concerns. Thanks for your help!

Thank you,

Chris Weber
PhD Candidate
Stony Brook University

Stanley Feldman
Professor
Department of Political Science


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