Tag Archives: invaded

invaded: november

posted by missmsian

I’ve been putting off a recap of Azns in North American media for November because I know I’ll have to bring up the ‘too Azn’ controversy and, frankly, I’m tired of it.

Azn invazn

In case you missed the whole shebang, Maclean’s published a story on Nov. 10 that Azns (they meant Chinese) were taking over campuses, creating ethnic ghettos (their words, not mine) and destroying fun for boozy white kids.

The article said elite U.S. schools like Harvard use unofficial race quotas to keep ambitious students of Azn descent out, in order to maintain their white heritage, and essentially suggested Canada do the same. The magazine published a second piece on Nov. 25 claiming they actually meant they wanted Canadian campuses to maintain merit-based admissions. Durrr.

The only good in this is that many groups committed to anti-racism have mobilized against not only Maclean’s (and the Toronto Star) but a lot of the discourse on Azn presence in Canada. Victoria city council passed a resolution condemning the Maclean’s article. Vancouver city council is set to vote on a motion demanding media accountability and ethical reporting in relation to the Maclean’s and Star pieces this week. Toronto city council is voting on a resolution that Orientals work like dogs next week. Just kidding. Or am I … ?

New eats

West Vancouver, how ya enjoying Osaka Supermarket? Recently opened by T&T Supermarket Inc., this store boasts 80 kinds of Japanese noodles … yum! The only slightly confusing part of the Vancouver Sun‘s story: “Osaka Supermarket will provide the ethnic Chinese food that has made its parent T&T Supermarket chain so successful, but it’s character will be Japanese-themed, as befits its name.” Huh? Do all Azn foods look the same too?

Soft white people

Edmonton now has an anti-racism program aimed at white people, teaching them how to recognize (and presumably choose to give up) their white privilege, much to the distress of, well, white people. Don’t call them racist, okay?! Their feelings are hurt. Boo hoo.

Celebrating David Lam

You may remember him as the first Azn-Canadian lieutenant governor, a highly successful real estate businessman, a philanthropist or founder of Vancouver’s dragon boat festival. But to Tung Chan, he was a friend and hero, and so we use Chan’s words to describe this powerhouse, who lost his battle to prostate cancer on Nov. 22:

“When he became LG, he showed the way to all of us, that you can maintain your cultural identity, you can continue to promote the good values of your heritage while maintaining and not compromising your Canadian-ness.”

An Azn Cosby Show?!

In a similar vein to ‘Azn Jersey Shore,’ U.S. producers are working on a show tentatively titled “The Chin Chens,” about a Chinese-Vietnamese-American family a la Cosby. Errr … thoughts on this?

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invaded: october

posted by missmsian

How we appeared in North American media in October.

Calgary 1, Toronto 0

On Oct. 18, Calgary elected its first South Azn Muslim mayor, Naheed Nenshi. Nenshi, panned at first as a fringe or idealistic candidate, ignored the haters and ran a solid campaign on, SURPRISE, a painstakingly researched platform.

Sure, he threw around buzz words like “sustainability” and “diverse communities,” but he also proposed, SURPRISE AGAIN, real ideas: low-income transit passes, a non-residential commercial property tax to replace the separate and confusing business and business property taxes and funding for a new library branch, to name a few.

His election doesn’t throw the city into post-racial bliss, but it’s definitely a few steps up from Toronto, which elected this on Oct. 25. Here’s how a Montreal Gazette piece summed up Toronto’s new mayor: “Rob Ford, who appears better suited to run a roadside diner than a city, swept to victory this week.” Ouch.

We could take a few hints from Campbell, CA.

This is what solidarity looks like

Quebec’s Jewish Orthodox Council for Community Relations has joined the fight against the province’s proposed bill that would ban niqab wearers from receiving government services.

“While the bill focuses on the controversy over the wearing of the niqab by Islamic women, Montreal’s Orthodox Jewish leaders expressed fear their community may also be targeted eventually,” the article says. Exactly.

Canadian Conservatives love immigrants

Who knew? The best part about this story is that the Globe and Mail ran a front-page photo of Cowin and Helen Poon, probably one of the first times the paper has run a photo of Azns (i) not named Kim Jong-il and (ii) not running naked from a Vietnamese village. Just saying.

U.S. conservatives hate soup

Especially Campbell’s. They like tea, though.

Racist and badly Photoshopped. Double ew.

Justice at work …

Ontario has no fully accredited Mandarin interpreters for our courts. [Insert sarcastic “hun hao!” here.]

Forget it. There is no justice …

Child soldier Omar Khadr was sentenced to 40 years in prison by U.S. military jurors after pleading guilty to several “war crimes,” including the killing of U.S. soldier Christopher Speer.

Let’s get real: almost 300,000 U.S. soldiers died in combat during WWII and you don’t see their widow(er)s crying in court (Tabitha Speer sounds like a total b*tch to me) and uniformed officers giving their murderers harsher sentences than even prosecutors demanded. Sorry, I thought the U.S. was at war. I thought it was kind of understood that soldiers sometimes die in wars.

Sex, and lots of it

Shigeo Tokuda is a 76-year-old porn star apparently making enough of a splash in Tokyo to be noticed in Canada.

A gushing white woman describes various sexual encounters with “uber-sexy” Chinese men.

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invaded: september

posted by missmsian

September was a relatively quiet month for Azns in North American media coverage and decidedly less Islamophobic than August.

Mongolia, repeat after me: “Mine! Mine! Mine! Not yours.”

Prime Minister Harper met with Mongolia’s PM Sükhbaatar Batbold last Tuesday to discuss free trade and expressed at one point that Canada is interested in the Azn country’s gold, copper and uranium deposits. I have two pieces of advice for Mongolians:

(1) RUN AWAY. RUN VERY FAR AWAY. Remember the situation in Ecuador where armed security forces (for Canadian mining companies) allegedly attacked unarmed anti-mining protestors? Or the UN report calling out seven Canadian companies on exploitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Or the 15 Canadian-hired mine workers who were gunned down in the Philippines? You get the idea. I haven’t even included the damage done to Indigenous lands and peoples in this country.

(2) Learn from India: the government recently rejected a British firm’s proposal to mine bauxite in Orissa, saying the project would have caused extensive environmental damage and endangered the livelihoods of the Indigenous people in that region.

Experience an Azn oasis …

… right in your back–errrr–side. Cintas’ online poll ranks The Spice Route Asian Bistro and Bar as the second best bathroom in Canada because you can pee while admiring exotic Azn plants in a private garden.

Oh hai, ethnic shoppers

A new report shows that retailers who don’t target “ethnic shoppers” are missing out on a large revenue pool. This shouldn’t really be news because, duh, you lose big when you don’t cater to half the population’s needs/wants. My major issue with the coverage–aside from the sweeping generalizations about how “ethnic shoppers” purchase goods–is the use of the word “ethnic” as the opposite of “mainstream.” Really? C’mon now. You may as well have used “Oriental.”

Honouring Korematsu

During World War II, U.S. citizen Fred Korematsu bravely refused to be “relocated” to an internment camp and challenged the detention of Japanese-Americans as unconstitutional. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to five years’ probation. Although he appealed, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction. It was only in the 1980s that the conviction was overturned and his name was cleared.

In post-9/11 years, Korematsu spoke against the indefinite detention of those deemed to be “enemy combatants” without charge.

This month, California’s Guvenator signed a bill designating every January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution.

A great “situ-asian”

Team Jumba on The Amazing Race, Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim on Hawaii Five-O, Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) and Harry “Situ-Asian” Shum Jr. (Mike Chang) on Glee … to end off on a positive note, Azns are getting a lot of love in American pop culture these days. Let’s hope this keeps up.

Yes, they are Azn. Yes, they are dating.

And speaking of situ-azns … what’s going on with Azn Jersey Shore? Has it been picked up by a major network yet?

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invaded: august

posted by missmsian

Another wild month for Azns in North American media. Check out July and June for more news.

Good Pakistan, Bad Pakistan

Prime Minister Harper appoints Salma Ataullahjan a senator–making her the first Pakistan-born person to hold that position–and paints her face into Duccio’s Madonna and Child. Not really. But close; she does give the standard I-love-diversity-and-integration speech. And every self-righteous liberal gives himself a pat on the back, satisfied he’s fulfilled his affirmative action quota for the year.

Not everyone is fooled by those crafty, crafty Pakistanis, though. The National Post reminds us that while some Pakistani-Canadians are diversity-loving political puppets, most are actually TERRORISTS. The best way to remind us, of course, is by running three articles called “All roads lead to Pakistan,” “Canada’s battle with radicalization” and “Don’t call it Islamophobia” in the same issue a few days after the devastating floods and basically implying that if we contribute to relief efforts, we’re funding terrorist activities. Thanks for enlightening me.

Dear Ignorant …

The opposite of blatantly racist reporting is the equally annoying “pitiful immigrant story” some newspapers like to run.

In response to a Toronto Star editorial called “Exploited immigrants,” letter writer Robert Manders opines:

“Is Ford in Oshawa treating Asian immigrants like slave labour? I don’t think so. Are the Bay or Sears hiring young Asian women to work long sweaty underpaid hours in their alterations department? No. Do stylish shops on Queen St. have secret employees toiling unseen and in distress? Highly unlikely. If the miscreant employers are of Asian origin, say so.”

Actually, yes, they are–here and overseas. Exploitation has a broader definition than you would imagine.

The Muslims are boarding!

Creepy dude films a few women wearing veils boarding a flight and extrapolates from his little vignette that the West is letting terrorists onto airplanes for the sake of political correctness.


The Tamils are landing!

Run! Away! Criminalize them before they arrive on shore! Falsely conflate a liberation movement with terrorism!

Wasn’t it John “Father of Liberalism” Locke who defended the right to revolt against an unjust government in Two Treatises of Government? So, actually, you could say the LTTE is operating within a liberal-democratic system. Okay, there may be gaps in this argument, but it’s no more flawed than this logic, which has been popular among mainstream media:

Brown people –> on boats –> terrorists

Do you speak wif broken Engrish accent?

You may not be able to get job interviews, but you’re welcome to attend a diversity casting call.

No, they’re not casting for a particular show. But, hey, if there’s ever a biopic about a white woman who rescues inner-city kids or a movie that requires slumdog millionaires, murder victims, enemies of the U.S. army or an IT geek-best friend … well, you might get a call after all.

At least networks now look like they’re doing something about unequal representation in the entertainment industry–a point brought up by this report that says Sikhs are misrepresented in pop culture.

Groundbreaking research

Victims of stereotyping and racism are screwed in life. You read it here first.

These are a few of my favourite Fordisms

Trigger warning: contains racial slurs

“Those Oriental people work like dogs. … They’re slowly taking over.”

“Do you want your little wife to go over to Iran and get raped and shot?”

On a video about homosexuality in Toronto’s South Asian community: “I have no problem giving money out to physically or mentally handicapped children or seniors, but spending $5,000 on this video is disgusting, it is absolutely disgusting to spend this amount of money on this, whatever it was called, video.”

Oh, Calgary

The private deck at this home, that “will only sell to a white buyer,” won’t have “colored people peaking [sic] into your backyard.” Good to know.

Let’s face it. We’re all terrorists.

In previous months, we at least had a celeb scandal (thanks, Tiger) or exotic food story to balance out the coverage of Azns. Not this month.

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invaded: july

posted by missmsian

A look at Azns in media last month.

If it’s K-Town, I’m down … I think

This blog had some discussion about whether the reality show modeled after MTV’s sleazy boozefest “Jersey Shore” would ridicule its Azn participants or allow them to, for once, shed their bookish images.

I think most of us are anxiously waiting to see if a network picks it up. If no network does, much as I hate the show’s concept, I would have to cry foul and call racism.

Golden boy

Contrary to what I mistakenly blogged about before, Golden State Warriors’ draft pick Jeremy Lin is not the first Azn-American to grace the NBA. Wat Misaka, a Japanese-American, joined the league in 1947.

However, Lin does join a very small group of Azns who have made it to the big leagues. Here’s hoping he has a long, successful career–and that he develops a signature jump fans can start calling the “Lin-dy hop.” (If this actually happens, you read it here first.)

“Ching Chong Song” is just wrong

Village Voice recently voted white indie band “Ching Chong Song” the worst band name of all time. Uh … yeah.

A band member’s response to ongoing criticisms about the name:

“Growing up a child of a gay parent in a tiny town, a poor second-generation Italian girl, I also have experience with the nuances of language. And give me a break you stupid twats. By the way, ‘ching chang chong’ is what people in Germany call the game rock paper scissors, and stupid petty retards is what I’m calling you.”

Wait … your parent is gay so that makes it okay to be racist?!


It’s that good.

Canada hates Iranians

Nuclear weapons! Ahmadinejad! Muslims! Apparently, Canada has a lot to hate about Iran. So much so that new sanctions against the country were announced July 26 in an effort to curb the possibility that Iran might eventually develop some type of nuclear-related weaponry.

“These sanctions are in no way intended to punish the Iranian people,” Prime Minister Harper promised in an official statement.

Change your skin colour or get out of this country

Sob. Sob. Sob. White people everywhere started crying “reverse racism” after Sara Landriault, a white woman, couldn’t apply for a federal government job because the application is limited to applicants of colour and Indigeous applicants. Cabinet minister Stockwell Day was prompted to announce, “We want to ensure that no Canadian is barred from opportunities in the public service based on race or ethnicity.”


The only difference is, we mean that people of colour, Indigenous people, differently-abled people and women who have the same (if not more) qualifications as able-bodied white men are systemically denied jobs because of arbitrary judgements based on their appearance.

And Day and fellow white male Cabinet minister Jason Kenney mean that the current employment equity policy (which, hello, is different from “affirmative action,” but neither has acknowledged this) bars white men (and sometimes women) from applying to 2 per cent of the federal government’s jobs. That’s 91 out of 5,000 jobs, according to 2008 figures.

The Tories are ordering a review of “affirmative action” policies. That will likely result in the designated “historically disadvantaged groups” being even more underrepresented in the public service.

Conservative Senator Donald Oliver speaks very eloquently about the need for employment equity. I can’t link to other articles on the subject … the comment boards are too terrifying.


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invaded: june

posted by missmsian

The most interesting (to me) media about and by Azns last month.

Hard(ly?) news

Chinatown grocer’s trial delayed: Toronto storeowner David Chen and two others were arrested last summer after trying to make a citizen’s arrest on chronic plant thief Anthony Bennett (yeah, I know … sounds like a bad Mary Higgins Clark novel).  Chen’s trial was pushed from the end of June to Oct. 4 to 6 after defence lawyer Peter Lindsay realized the Crown is racist. Just kidding. I spoke to Lindsay once and he was adamant this case ain’t a racial thang.

Stats Can says hate crimes up in 2008 … and they published the data in June 2010. Maybe their slowness is one big hate crime. I don’t know.


Michaelle Jean celebrated her last Canada Day as governor general in China instead of Canada. People fussed because they wanted her to be in town for the Queen’s irrelevant visit. I just hope someone in China brought up Humiliation Day on July 1.

Here’s a cute pic of Jean holding a baby panda:

Baby panda > Queen

Azn love fest

The New York Times ran a half-decent piece big-upping YouTube as a “crucial launching pad” for Azn-American artists (translation: mainstream labels won’t sign them). But they called the piece “Unexpected Harmony” (translation: the Times didn’t expect Azns to have musical talent).

The Canadian Press ran another they’re-taking-over story about South Azns but, for once, it wasn’t tinged with fear and loathing. It seems South Azns are starting to show up in mainstream media and moving away from the roles they’re always stereotyped into. I’m thinking Kelly from “The Office.” The article mentions more.


Goodbye, Japan. Goodbye, Koreas. Next Cup, boys.

Fun fact: the Asian Football Confederation is headquartered in Malaysia. True story.

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