7/10 Research

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-State-to-mark-40th-anniversary-of-strike-3264418.php This article reflects on the 40th anniversary of the student strike at SF State. It talks about the political climate of the time and the lead-up to the strike, as well as explaining the gains/changes made as a result of the strike. One thing I really liked was that it provides multiple viewpoints on the strike itself, from participating students to policemen. […]

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7/1 Research

This political cartoon from World War II depicts Japanese lining up along the west coast en masse, with one in a hut with the sign “Honorable Fifth Column” distributing explosives to the rest, so they can take down the United States from within. A fifth column is a group of people who infiltrate and undermine a larger group, in this case […]

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On "Primary Reader #01"

Not to mention that guy who served his sentence, got back to his life for a few years, started a family, then when he went to apply for citizenship they suddenly deported him. I felt bad for him.

On "Primary Reader #03"

“Spaces of Mobilizations” is an introductionary essay to a larger book on the same subject, so it makes sense that it would be mostly informative and summarizing. That said, with the way it’s structured, I felt like to some extent its argument is “here are some of the many ways Asian Americans have been involved in social justice in both the past and present, but today there are people who are convinced it never happened, doesn’t matter, and isn’t needed anymore.” I found “The Four Prisons” to be very thought-provoking with regards to what the protests and movements of the 60s were about and how they’re interpreted. I can't remember if I already knew that Asian Americans were involved in politics, but if I did know I rarely heard about it, or them, at all, when I read about social movements.

On "Primary Reader – Racial Capital, Racial Hierarchy"

Coolies did indeed have an awful lot in life. Organized labor was still fighting for workers' rights back then (but not for Asian Americans), but the only thing distinguishing coolies from slaves was that they were paid *next* to nothing. And if anyone cared about this, it wasn't because of how coolies were treated but because their presence in the US was essentially slavery all over again. 1. Do we still see Asian Americans being questioned of their identity as American due to their race? Well, seeing as I spent my elementary and middle school years being teased for not being from America and being asked why I couldn't go back to Asia, I would have to say yes. And I'm half-white to begin with. Also, their parents couldn't tell Asians (as in, my mother and the music teacher) apart, and if told they were really different people, assumed she just didn't want to talk to them. But really, what else do you expect in a racially homogenous, isolated place like lower Manhattan. 2. In what instances can we improve Asian American presence and recognition as full citizens with a full set of rights? In what instances? Um... politics? I'm not good at this.

On "First Reading – Shah and Said’s Asian/Oriental “Other”"

After SF Chinatown was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, the city jumped on the opportunity to rebuild it somewhere far away where they wouldn't have to look at it. The merchant community stopped them by rebuilding Chinatown as a tourist attraction, which is why it's so famously pretty today. I read that it's mostly populated by poor immigrants who don't speak English that well, though it's still definitely not as bad as it was in the time Shah described. It's interesting, how Asians are affected and in some ways shapes by how Westerners perceive them. In this case they managed to exploit it: by hiring white architects to design a new place that looks "Chinese" (it's not culturally accurate and was never intended to be) they gained some semblance of acceptance in the city.