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As we enter September 2001, we've learned the meaning of the "c" word that describes somebody of a Chinese background from many perspective, along with a great number of other important news. Review the info and share what your comments are on the listed news.

Review the latest events and people to observe the APA communities' progress.


Recent days have two comics that have used the "c" word as an integrated part of their comedy routines. Listed below are some biographical information on Sarah Silverman and Kate Rigg.

A typical '90s "alternative" comedian -- which in her case means a nice Jewish girl with a sweet delivery and a dirty mouth. A middle-class New Hampshire kid from a family with four daughters - Susan (a rabbi), Laura Silverman (cartoon character - she's the receptionist on Comedy Central's "Dr Katz") and Jody (struggling screenwriter). Her sisters nicknamed her "Skunk" and "Panda" because of her dark hair and pale skin. Sarah's father (Donald) funded her early career after she dropped out of NYU in her freshman year.

Film Credits include:
Evolution (2001): Ivan Reitmann - dir.
There's Something About Mary
Bullworth - Warren Beatty, dir.

TV Credits include:
Larry Sanders - Recurring / HBO
Politically Incorrect - Guest Star / ABC
Seinfeld - Guest Star / NBC
Star Trek Voyager - Guest Star / UPN
David Letterman - Guest Stand-Up / CBS
Saturday Night Live Series - Regular-Staff Writer / NBC
Hollywood Squares - CBS TV

Asked about her "Chinks" comment Colin Quinn fellow SNL alumnus and ex-boyfriend) sprang gallantly to her defense. "She nails other ethnic groups," he said. "If it were just 'Chinks,' I would wonder, but …. It's the fucking New McCarthyism! There's no irony in anybody when it comes to these things!"

High-Profiled Supporters
Garry Shandling, Bobby Farrelly (who directed Silverman in There's Something About Mary) and Larry Charles (Emmy-winning TV producer of Seinfeld and Mad About You) are among her fans.

Personal Background
Sarah had a comfortable middle-class childhood and remains close to her parents. She did have her troubles as an youth. They ranged from a family breakup (her parents' divorce when she was 7), childhood trauma (she was a bed wetter well into junior high, so mortally afraid of being discovered that she'd pinch herself to stay awake during slumber parties), teenage emotional disorder (at 15, she suffered panic attacks about attending school).

Sarah Silverman Statement (July 27)
"The intent of the joke was to illuminate racism, not support it. Mr. Aoki has associated my name with racism in countless publications this week, which, as a member of the Jewish community, makes me concerned that we're losing control of the media.

Conan O'Brien Statement (July 23)
NBC apologized over the weekend to the TV journalists gathering in Pasadena for allowing a racial slur to air on his show without silencing the offending word. In a segment earlier this month, comic Sarah Silverman made a joke about pretending to be a bigot to get out of jury duty, but the joke's use of the word ''chinks'' riled the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, which demanded an on-air apology.

NBC Statement
issued a statement of regret, saying its standards and practices department should not have aired the word, but Conan told the TV journalists, ''The ultimate responsibility ... on something like that is mine. It's my show ... so I take the hit for failing to drop audio on the offensive word.'' Silverman has issued her own statement, saying she meant no offense and that the word has been taken out of its satirical context. In comedy, ''context is everything,'' O'Brien said, addding, ''I don't think she has a racist bone in her body. We have a lot of really intelligent, bright people [on the show], and I'm very reluctant to edit people. In this case, I really should have done that.''...

Entertainment Weekly on July 24 2001
NBC TV has announced that the use of a racial epithet on last week's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" was inappropriate and steps would be taken to prevent it from happening again. Without mentioning Sarah by name, they hinted that any such joke or similar racial stereotyping would be edited from TV programs before transmission. We can hope that this placates the Asian-American groups whose complaints were so vociferous a few days ago!

Richard Roeper Article (Sun-Times Columnist) wrote, as noted in Sarah Silverman's website, the following:

"Now the talented, smart and lovely Silverman seems poised to reach breakout stardom--but she's learning that increased exposure means you start playing according to a different rule book. A self-deprecating but tacky joke that will be met with either laughs or boozy indifference on the club circuit can elicit quite a different reaction when you tell it on national TV.

The “C” Joke
Appearing on ''Late Night With Conan O'Brien,'' Silverman talked about trying to get out of jury duty: ''My friend is like, why don't you write something inappropriate on the form, like, 'I hate chinks.' [But I didn't want people to think I'm racist], so I just filled out the form and I wrote, 'I love chinks--and who doesn't?' ''

Richard Roeper’s Response
If you examine the joke for a moment, it's obvious that Silverman is positioning herself as a feminine Archie `Bunker--so oblivious to her racism, as many racists are, that she doesn't even understand that her very attempt to be sensitive is horribly offensive. It's actually not a bad joke-slash-commentary. But the Media Action Network for Asian Americans protested, and NBC responded with a statement calling the joke ''inappropriate.

In any case, this episode once again illustrates that some slurs cause less outrage than others. Silverman found herself in a small tempest over the joke--but what would have happened if she had substituted the word ''nigger'' for ''chink''? Would NBC's censors have thought for even a second about allowing the joke to go on the air unbleeped? Doubtful. "

This 28 years old comic has a skewed view of the world-a good trait for any comedian. But in her case, it's in-your-face slanted. Born to an Indonesian mother and an Aussie father, the Toronto native has become a star on the Manhattan comedy-club circuit with her routine Chink-O-Rama, a postmodern variety show complete with Asian fly girls, disco music and outrageous sketches.

Rigg says her quest, in her various interviews, is to reclaim those stereotypes -- to take away their power to degrade people.

Kate Rigg’s View on “Words”
"Words are not people. The problem with the word 'chink' is that it's nonsense and it doesn't mean anything until someone assigns it as a slur. It has a history of usage that is offensive to people but the word itself is nothing. It is a bunch of letters on a piece of paper.

The important thing is it sparks a conversation and it's meant to do that. We need to start talking about this again. I love that me saying "chink" just freaks people out! But you know what? It doesn't freak people out after they see the show. Even if people have an issue with me using it in the show and call me Uncle Tommy, they will go home to their white friends and say: I saw this most outrageous show with this girl and she's not even a real chink and she's saying "chink"! How dare she because that's a history of repression that stands 100 years and blah blah blah."

Personal Background
She was raised in urban Canada and spent a short period in Melbourne, Australia, where she won the Melbourne Comedy Award, two writing awards, and Best of Fringe Performance Award. She then tricked the Julliard School into admitting her for classical acting training. Since graduating she has been performing character comedy in New York and Los Angeles.

Professional Credits
Her television credits include OZ, Law and Order, Guiding Light, Wonderland, four national commercials, and the special "The Human Race". She is the Fashion Cop on the soon to be launched YONew York Networks and an upcoming contributor to Laugh.com.

Information on Her Current show
Her latest act has a sexy hip-hop sensibility, complete with a trio of Asian fly girls called the Chinkorama Dancers. Kim Awon ("Afro-Chink"), Satomi Shikata ("Nip-Chink"), and Kimye Corwin ("Euro-Chink") perform a number of dances to songs like "I'm Turning Japanese" and "Kung Fu Fighting." The latter routine includes a hilarious fight sequence that is both campy and dynamic. They exploit/portray all manner of Asian stereotypes. She says "It's like In Living Colour with an Asian... slant."

Foxy Brown (born Inga Marchand), a 21 years old rapper of South Asian/Trinidadian background and Brooklyn native, has been the center of controversies for much of her professional life since her 1998 album Chyna Doll. Hip-hop has a long history of feuds, few of them as nasty and lively as that between two of the raunchiest female rappers around, the "Ill Na Na," Foxy Brown, and the "Queen Bee," Lil' Kim.

Her latest effort, entitled “Broken Silence,” addresses these issues. Within her music, she speaks freely of her past mistakes and asked her family for forgiveness for certain acts. They include posing on the cover of Vibe magazine holding her crotch, and for her reputation in the media as a wild woman.

Her c.d., with her brother Gavin Marchand being its executive producer, various special guests appear to help fulfill her vision. They include artists such as Ronald Isley, the Neptunes, reggae super producer Tony Kelly, Capone-N-Noreaga and her protégé - a white female rapper named China White. Conspicuous is the absence of Brown's longtime collaborator, Jay-Z, who ghostwrote for the rapper and appeared on her previous albums.

She states that “Foxy is an image, an artist, a performer. She's the one who is a pit bull about her business. Inga (Marchand) is the regular young girl who reads and doesn't - I don't - party. I don't go out. I'm so not industry. I hardly have any industry friends.

This Cambodian American rapper bring a new generation to face Cambodia's greatest modern horror. His words such as "If you don't do what they say/ In the plastic bag where they let the bullets spray/ Anything goes/ So be careful with yours/ It's terrible/ The Year Zero" that struck a responsive chord with youths in Cambodia and the U.S. The album has caught on among the trendy urban youth of the capital, who often have access to MTV and English-language lessons.

History Behind His Material
Students aren't taught much about the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge years, when an estimated 1.7 million died. Cambodians tend to treat the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime as a period to be forgotten: School textbooks barely mention it, popular literature glosses over it, parents are often reluctant to delve into their private horrors. Sociologists attribute many Cambodians' reluctance to dwell on those years to the Cambodian Buddhist philosophy of forgetting and forgiving.

His CD functions as an education course. He's the first Khmer artist who is actually revealing something - and that touches a lot of people of Cambodian ancestry.

Personal Background
Prach’s family fled Cambodia when he was only 4 years old, after suffering separation and deprivation during the deadly Khmer Rouge experiment. In a song called "Welcome," Prach captures his parents' relief at reaching the U.S.: "As soon as our feet hit the ground/ My mom busted in tears/ No words can describe/ A moment so rare/ And right by her +-side/ My father was there/ Staring at the sky/ Holding each other/ Realized we survived/ The genocide."

Prach Ly has become Cambodia's first rap star. And he'd never even really lived there

Tony Lam: First Vietnamese American to hold elected office in the U.S. upon winning a seat on the Westminster City Council in California in 1992.

Dang Pham: Executive director of San Francisco's Immigrants Rights Commission and City Census 2000 liaison.

Bich Ngoc Nguyen: Acting director for the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Education Affairs under former president Bush.

Barrett Thang: First Vietnamese Superior Court judge.

A report released in March surveying the politics of Asian Americans shows that Vietnamese immigrants are the only group that identifies more often with Republicans than Democrats, which Nguyen attributes to the war being fresh in their minds.

Maile Nanri defies a stereotype--for herself and other Asian women. "I hate it--everyone that's Asian hates it," said Maile Nanri, who was born in Japan, stands 5-foot-9 and wears size 12.

Example of Asian American Artistry
Maile Nanri, 24, is a rarity--an Asian plus-size model represented by a major New York agency. And she has become a minor celebrity to some Asian women who are rebelling against the ethnic stereotypes and cultural expectations with which they are burdened.

Family Background
Born in Tokyo, raised mainly in New Jersey, Nanri, who graduated in 1999 with a degree in Pacific studies and a minor in communications from Loyola Marymount University, is like many immigrant children, caught between worlds.

Professional Background
Most of Nanri's work has been fashion shows and TV fashion segments, not magazines and catalogs. Her major exposure to other Asian women came on Jade Magazine, an edgy Internet publication that targets English-speaking Asian women.

Her agent is Aida Brigman of Click, a two-decade-old agency that has made a name for itself championing unconventional-looking models. She had what Click looks for in all its models: good skin, wide-set eyes, a firm body, nice teeth.


The purpose of this section is the following:
to discover more about our dreams
our fears and our hopes and
invaluable and missing information


AsianWeek's Sam Chu Lin reports that on Guy Aoki's August 23, 2001 participation in ABC's "Political Incorrect addressing racial slurs. Other participants included comedian Sarah Silverman, Anne-Marie Johnson, David Spade and MANAA's Guy Aoki.

Sarah Silverman was an obvious choice. In July 2001, she appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, during which she had used the word "chink" in a comedy sketch. Guy Aoki, who had to practically begged for a spot on the show because people weren't aware that he is the co-founder and president of Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA), a watchdog organization that advocates for fair portrayal of APIAs.

"He gave an impressive display of his debating skills," said actor and activist George Takei. "It was aggressive. It was articulate. It was witty, and it was forceful. It was a powerful thing to see Guy performing like that."

Hard-working Asian American bands (KIM and Enda) were one of the top 50 qualifiers for the 'American Music Awards Presents the Coca-Cola New Music Award.' The Coca-Cola New Music Award competition was announced in June and received more than eight hundred entries. (editor's note: unfortunately, Enda recently reports that they didn't make the next stage.)

Dick Clark and Bobby Haber will next select ten quarter-finalists from the 50 qualifiers to perform in a playoff competition on September 13 at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City and the five semi-finalists will participate in a college market tour around the country, culminating in a semi-finalist showdown at College Station, TX where three finalists will be selected. Three finalists will compete for the Coca-Cola New Music Award in Los Angeles on January 7, 2002, days prior to the AMA telecast on January 9, 2002.

This brand new music award category created by The American Music Awards&Mac226; (AMAs), The Coca-Cola Company, dick clark communications (DCC) and The CMJ Network (CMJ) will honor the best unsigned band or artist in America.

Mark Hsiao is a Juilliard-trained pianist who works at the city's Department of Cultural Affairs. He made the news when he and his "life partner" (Howard Koeppel) are sharing their posh Upper East Side apartment with its million-dollar views of midtown Manhattan with Republican Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (and his body guard), who is presently separated from his wife, Donna Hanover

Despite progress treating mental illnesses, afflicted members of racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to receive inadequate treatment or none compared with whites, according to a U.S. surgeon general's report issued Sunday in San Francisco that calls on minorities and local governments to close the health gaps.

The report is the first from the nation's top doctor exclusively to address the disproportionate burden of mental illnesses shouldered by African Americans, Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. It says mental disorders take a heavier toll on members of such communities, causing needless misery and often disrupting already precarious lives.

Asian Americans, research shows, suffer no more mental disorders than do whites, but they were the least likely of the groups studied to seek treatment. Only 17% of afflicted Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, whom the report tallies together, sought care. "Shame and stigma are believed to figure prominently" in the lower use rates, the report says.

A North Carolina state legislator apologized on Aug. 22 for forwarding to fellow lawmakers an e-mail that claimed, "Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity."

Rep. Don Davis, a white Republican, said he received the letter on Aug. 17 and forwarded it to every member of the state House and Senate. He said he didn't consider the letter racist.

"I humbly want to apologize if the e-mail forwarded from my office on Monday night was offensive or disrespectful to anyone in this General Assembly, state or nation," Davis said in a written statement.

Close to 2,500 angry demonstrators rallied outside a Vietnamese pop music concert at the Sun Theatre in Anaheim on Sunday. The concert and protest underscored a widening cultural divide between some older refugees and younger Vietnamese Americans.

Protest organizers and others said the musical event was no more than propaganda for Vietnam's Communist government. The show's organizer, John To of San Diego, said the lineup included internationally acclaimed Vietnamese singers and musicians, and that love songs, not politics, were on the evening's program.

The performers included Lam Truong, a 25-year-old singer who is studying at Berkley School of Music in Boston--among the "cream of the crop," along with singer Cam Van, a Vietnamese diva who was in Orange County visiting an uncle and her drummer husband, Khac Trieu.

Yoshiaki Shiraishi, the man who brought sushi to the masses in Japan by serving it up on a conveyor belt in fast food-type restaurants, has died. He was 87.

A former sushi chef, Shiraishi opened his first revolving sushi bar, called "kaiten zushi" in Japanese, in 1958 in Osaka. In the restaurants, customers sit around a bar like in a traditional sushi shop. But instead of ordering directly from the chef, they pick up their raw fish morsels off a conveyor belt. That keeps labor costs down.

Pepsy Kettavong. A Laotian American, created "Let's Have Tea" - a bronze sculpture of the civil rights crusaders Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, will be officially unveiled in tiny Susan B. Anthony Square in Rochester, N.Y., on Sunday, 81 years to the day after American women were extended the right to vote.

Dispensing with pedestals, creator Pepsy Kettavong placed the pioneer feminist and the former slave face-to-face in sturdy Victorian chairs. At their side is a table holding a teapot, two cups and two volumes - one possibly a law book, the other a collection of poetry.

Douglass spent 25 of his most influential years as an orator and abolitionist in Rochester, publishing The North Star journal on Main Street. Plans are inching forward to open a "Douglass education center" in a long-vacant Victorian hotel a block from Anthony's red-brick house, which is now a museum chronicling the women's rights movement.

Both were active in the anti-slavery and suffragist movements. They met for the first time in 1848 when she was 28 and he was 33.

Merrill Lynch (Evan Ling & Hugo Zhang/City of Industry), Salomon Smith Barney (Mindy S. Ross - Sr. V.P.) & other companies' efforts represent the largest multicultural marketing pitch for an industry that has taken heat for having a less-than-diverse customer base and personnel pool.

They are targeting the lucrative Asian and minrity marketplaces. The U.S. Census Bureau figures from 1999 show the median household income in the Asian/Pacific Islander community was $51,205, up from about $45,000 in the early 1990s and the highest figure for any ethnic group. The 1999 median household income was the highest ever recorded for African American ($27,910) and Latino ($30,735) households.

In June, Schwab opened its first branch catering to Korean Americans, an outlet in Los Angeles' Koreatown that brings to 15 the number of Asian-focused branches nationwide that have been launched as part of the company's Asia Pacific Services program. Late last year, the company launched its Vietnamese Services Hotline, featuring bilingual licensed representatives to give information on various financial topics.

Highlights of Hollywood's fall film lineup include the film "American Adobo" - a comedy about five Filipino-American pals coming to grips with their romantic and professional choices.

Savaged by the effects of the May 2000 nationalist coup and the country's image of instability, the tourism sector estimates it will have lost $112 million in revenue by the end of this year.

Visitors' bureau marketing director, Bill Whiting, is pushing to more than double Fiji's tourism income to $500 million over the next seven years. That will mean attracting major offshore investors to build the hotels and resorts to cater for more than 800,000 visitors a year.

Aging Filipino veterans of World War II protested at a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in downtown Los Angeles demanding medical benefits as former soldiers who risked their lives for the United States. The orchestrated plea was the latest public event designed to build support for the veterans' decades-long fight for full pensions and other benefits from Washington.

After Richard Labbe allegedly killed his neighbor Thung Phetakoune, he told police: "Those Asians killed my brother and uncle in Vietnam, call it payback time. If you're not going to do anything about these Asians in my country, then I will."

Earlier this month, a Rockingham County, N.H. grand jury charged Labbe, a 35-year-old resident of Newmarket, N.J. with second-degree murder and hate crime.

According to police, on July 14 Phetakoune had tried to break up an argument between Labbe and Sam Chan, another neighbor who had delivered an eviction notice to Labbe from the building landlord.

The case marks the first time the state has charged anyone under the hate crime statute in a murder case, authorities said. The law was enacted in 1990.

The affidavit says Labbe told police his attack was "payback" for his losing relatives in Vietnam. His father later said Labbe lost no relatives in that war.

Hawaiian mothers had higher rates than any other Asian or Pacific Islander women to smoke during pregnancy. This is despite the national numbers dropping a whopping one-third overall from 1990 to 1999, with the greatest successes occurring among women in their late 20s and 30s. But smoking rates for pregnant teenagers climbed during the latter part of the decade, generally mirroring the smoking habits of teens overall.

The 33 years old Viet Dinh is the highest-ranking Vietnamese American official in the Bush Administration, working as assistant attorney general overseeing the Office of Legal Policy.

His past included 12 days in a boat with about 75 other people, fleeing to Malaysia from Vietnam. His family's flight had to be coordinated with his father's escape from prison, or it could have meant death or jail for those remaining. They were greeted by gunfire from patrol boats in Malayasia as they pulled into harbor on June 12, 1978.

After a few months in Malaysia, they settled in Portland, Ore. For two years, they picked strawberries, scrounging to send money to Dinh's father and one of his sisters, who were hiding out in Vietnam. Dinh also went to school, learning English by reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books.

In 1980 the family moved to Fullerton, Calif. Dinh's mother -- who had been a teacher in Vietnam -- became a seamstress, and Dinh flipped burgers at McDonald's, served pies at Pizza Hut and swept floors. The family saved money to bring their father to the U.S.,, who the Vietnamese government had placed in jail because of his political position as a council membr. He entered the U.S. in 1983.

Dinh received a scholarship to go to Harvard for four years and another three years at Harvard Law school. He became a research assistant at a Kennedy School of Government think tank, and worked in Boston's budget office. He helped found an umbrella organization for Vietnamese students in Massachusetts.

In law school, he homed in on his passion for the Constitution and its structure -- the separation of powers. He developed a conservative philosophy in which government should hold limited powers to maximize the "zone of liberty" for each person. He was the first and only Vietnamese American law professor at Georgetown University.

Among the top 300 Bush appointees, the National Journal analysis found that 26 percent were women and 3 percent were Asian American.

Twelve Asian Pacific Americans are expected to be appointed to senior positions in the Bush administration, a move that shows President Bush's embrace of Asian American talent and ability.

Native Hawaiians, while mourning the loss of their culture are constantly fighting to reclaim their rights - as seen in the recent Rice v. Cayetano decision and reversal.

This is while Hawai'i has been called a "laboratory of race relations" based on its carefully cultivated image as a place where people of different cultures have historically lived together and "fused." This image has a certain amount of validity when Hawaii's racial "fusion" is contrasted to that found in most of the continental United States.

For Native Hawaiians, the fusion has been forced at times and cultural domination is a reality etched in daily existence.

Montreal Expo pitcher Hideki Irabu was suspended for drinking himself into a stupor before a scheduled rehabilitation start. Irabu was supposed to pitch for the Triple-A Ottawa Lynx last Sunday, but he was so drunk that he had to be taken to a hospital,

The Expos are not expected to pick up the option on Irabu's contract for next season and, if they do not recall him, Irabu's injury-plagued, two-year stay in Montreal might be over. Irabu, obtained from the New York Yankees for three prospects in 1999, has had knee and elbow surgery since he last pitched for the Expos on June 13.

East West Bancorp, whose banks cater to the Asian American community, are entering into a 10 year agreement with 99 Ranch Market to offer supermarket banking. Agreement will include joint promotions and shared marketing costs.

Buena Park-based 99 Ranch Market, which also caters to the Asian American community, has 20 California stores, a Seattle store and affiliates in Hawaii, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona. East West, based in San Marino, has $2.7 billion in assets and 30 branches, most of which are in Southern California.

She, an accomplished operatic singer (mezzo-soprano), was engaged and longtime companion to the recently deceased Troy Donahue.

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