It is directed by Chinese film director Zhang Yimou. While it does feature a diverse cast, including Pedro Pascal, Jing Tian, Willem Dafroa and Andy Lau, Wu and many internet commentators were still outraged at the choice of Damon in the lead role.
Constance Wu on Facebook:
It cuts off, so the rest of the text is:
Why do you think it was so nice to see a nerdy white kid have a girl fall in love with him? Because you WERE that nerdy white kid who felt unloved. And seeing pictures in Hollywood’s stories made it feel possible. That’s why it moved you. That’s why it was a great story. Hollywood is supposed to be about making great stories. So make them.
The backlash is only the latest in mounting criticism Hollywood has faced for its lack of diversity.
Have you seen this video, Safe, that Dumbfoundead made in reaction to #OscarsSoWhite?
After the last Academy Awards and the regular whitewashing of Hollywood roles, I wrote this song and made this video to add my piece to the conversation. If you have any experiences or stories about this issue join the discussion at https://www.facebook.com/dumbfoundead/
Mom, Dad, Uncle, Auntie, Grandfather, Grandmother:
We need to talk.
You may not have grown up around people who are Black, but I have. Black people are a fundamental part of my life: they are my friends, my classmates and teammates, my roommates, my family. Today, I’m scared for them.
This year, the American police have already killed more than 500 people. Of those, 25% have been Black, even though Black people make up only 13% of the population. Earlier this week in Louisiana, two White police officers killed a Black man named Alton Sterling while he sold CDs on the street. The very next day in Minnesota, a police officer shot and killed a Black man named Philando Castile in his car during a traffic stop while his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter looked on. Overwhelmingly, the police do not face any consequences for ending these lives.
This is a terrifying reality that some of my closest friends live with every day.
Even as we hear about the dangers Black Americans face, our instinct is sometimes to point at all the ways we are different from them. To shield ourselves from their reality instead of empathizing. When a policeman shoots a Black person, you might think it’s the victim’s fault because you see so many images of them in the media as thugs and criminals. After all, you might say, we managed to come to America with nothing and build good lives for ourselves despite discrimination, so why can’t they?
I want to share with you how I see things.
It’s true that we face discrimination for being Asian in this country. Sometimes people are rude to us about our accents, or withhold promotions because they don’t think of us as “leadership material.” Some of us are told we’re terrorists. But for the most part, nobody thinks “dangerous criminal” when we are walking down the street. The police do not gun down our children and parents for simply existing.
This is not the case for our Black friends. Many Black people were brought to America as slaves against their will. For centuries, their communities, families, and bodies were ripped apart for profit. Even after slavery, they had to build back their lives by themselves, with no institutional support — not allowed to vote or own homes, and constantly under threat of violence that continues to this day.
In fighting for their own rights, Black activists have led the movement for opportunities not just for themselves, but for us as well. Black people have been beaten, jailed, even killed fighting for many of the rights that Asian Americans enjoy today. We owe them so much in return. We are all fighting against the same unfair system that prefers we compete against each other.
When someone is walking home and gets shot by a sworn protector of the peace — even if that officer’s last name is Liang — that is an assault on all of us, and on all of our hopes for equality and fairness under the law.
For all of these reasons, I support the Black Lives Matter movement. Part of that support means speaking up when I see people in my community — or even my own family — say or do things that diminish the humanity of Black Americans in this country. I am telling you this out of love, because I don’t want this issue to divide us. I’m asking that you try to empathize with the anger and grief of the fathers, mothers, and children who have lost their loved ones to police violence. To empathize with my anger and grief, and support me if I choose to be vocal, to protest. To share this letter with your friends, and encourage them to be empathetic, too.
As your child, I am proud and eternally grateful that you made the long, hard journey to this country, that you’ve lived decades in a place that has not always been kind to you. You’ve never wished your struggles upon me. Instead, you’ve suffered through a prejudiced America, to bring me closer to the American Dream.
But I hope you can consider this: the American Dream cannot exist for only your children. We are all in this together, and we cannot feel safe until ALL our friends, loved ones, and neighbors are safe. The American Dream that we seek is a place where all Americans can live without fear of police violence. This is the future that I want — and one that I hope you want, too.
With love and hope,
About this Letter This is the first letter in the Letters for Black Lives project, a set of crowdsourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware resources aimed at creating a space for open and honest conversations about racial justice, police violence, and anti-Blackness in our families and communities.
Since its conception on July 7th, 2016, this open letter has been drafted collaboratively by dozens of contributors on a public Google Document — and translated by hundreds more into 20+ languages. The original intent of this letter was to serve as a multilingual resource for Asian Americans who wanted to talk to their immigrant parents about anti-Blackness and police violence, but the project has since expanded to include messaging for Latinx and African immigrants as well as people living in Canada and Europe.
All contributors to this project are united around one common goal: speaking empathetically, kindly, and earnestly to our elders about why Black lives matter to us. As many of us are first- and second-generation immigrants ourselves, we know first-hand that it can be difficult to find the words to talk about this complex issue, especially in the languages that resonate most with our elders. Our hope with this letter and its translations is to make it easier for people to craft their own starting points, and serve as a first step towards more difficult intergenerational conversations about race and police violence.
We are not looking to center ourselves in the conversation about anti-Blackness, but rather to serve as responsible allies — to educate, organize, and spread awareness in our own communities without further burdening Black activists, who are already doing so much. Please visit the #BlackLivesMatter site for more information on the core movement.
We wanted to write a letter — not a think piece or an explainer or a history lesson — because changing hearts and minds in our community requires time and trust, and is best shaped with dialogue. We know that this letter is far from perfect: it’s a bit homogenized, not comprehensive, and even excludes perspectives. Most of the important work of the letter is not being done in the English version, which was meant to be a basic template for translators, but in the translations themselves. Because we view translation as a cultural and not just linguistic process, many of the translations have changed portions of the letter to better address particular experiences, whether it’s the role of imperialism in their immigration or specific incidents in their community. Even beyond that, we encourage each individual to adapt this letter to their own needs to best reach their families. Every family has a different experience, and this is merely a resource for you to use. That’s why this letter, and its translations, are published with a CC0 Public Domain waiver — anyone can use any part of it, though we’d appreciate a linkback.
Our hope with this letter is to make it easier for people to start difficult conversations, build empathy and understanding, and move us forward to real change.
Letters for Black Lives is a a set of crowdsourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware resources aimed at creating a space for open and honest conversations about racial justice, police violence, and anti-Blackness in our families and communities. Learn more about the project and get involved.
It’s been just over a year blogging at JadeLuckClub and I’ve enjoyed this experience tremendously. I’ve met such interesting Asian Americans including the folks at the White House who work on the Asian American Initiative. But since this is my THIRD blog, the pace of blogging is killing me. If I don’t blog at least 5 days a week, I can’t seem to get any traction for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on Google.
So … I’m taking the summer off. I want to use the time to work on a middle grade novel with an Asian American theme. Wish me luck on that. Please email me with any ideas for posts. When I return in September, I might change this blog direction slightly to focus more on Asian American children’s and young adult literature but still mulling that one over.
Have a wonderful summer!
p.s. If you want to read my blog posts, please come to Pragmatic Mom where I blog excessively on children’s books and I Love Newton, my micro blog on Newton, MA.
For many Americans, holidays brings to mind traditional meals including ham, roast turkey, gingerbread houses and dozens of cookies. These are definitely part of my Taiwanese-American family’s holiday repertoire. But as with other American customs and holidays, my family also included distinctively Asian food in our celebrations. During holidays and other special occasions, my family would break out an electric skillet and prepare for a meal of what my mother Americanized for us as “tabletop cooking.” I didn’t know until years later that this already had an English name, hot pot. It is still a meal my family enjoys when we get together, though now that my parents are getting less enthusiastic about all the prep work, we are more likely to enjoy this communal meal at a restaurant than at home.
Chinese hot pot or huo guo literally translates as “firepot.” It has existed for over 1000 years in China, and is thought to be of Mongolian derivation. This is probably a myth, as hot pot is not a part of modern Mongolian cuisine. It originated somewhere in Southern China, and spread to Northern China during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-906). From China, this meal has spread in many variations in different Asian cultures. I grew up eating the Taiwanese version, which involves a clear pork or chicken broth as a base, and various meats, seafood, tofu, vegetables and noodles as the ingredients. Similar versions are Japanese shabu-shabu and what is called Steamboat in Singapore and Malaysia. Hot pot is basically a meal of choose-your-own-ingredients, which each diner/cook adds to the bubbling communal broth. The best part is making your own dipping sauce. In Taiwan, a raw egg is combined with Sa Cha sauce (a soy and seafood flavored “barbecue” sauce) and/or soy sauce, but you can also add chilies, minced garlic, cilantro, scallions, and any other variety of savories, to your taste. People can get very creative with the sauce making.
The most distinctive variation of hot pot is served in Southwestern China, in Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces. I worked for some time in Sichuan, and during my first week there was treated to the local specialty, Ma-La (numb-spicy) hot pot. Rather than a clear broth, this is a thick, puree-like sauce which reminds me of Mexican mole (with chiles and ground sesame seeds common to both), and gets its name from the Sichuan hua jao (flower pepper), which leaves a not unpleasant numb sensation on the tongue. Aside from the cooking sauce, the meats offered to me on that visit were also memorable. I was presented with a platter of interesting animal parts including pigtails (curly!) and rabbit ears, among other offal. I realized that these tidbits were prized, expensive, and offered to me only because I was an honored guest, but I still couldn’t manage to try them. Because everything is community property around a hot pot, nothing went to waste; my dining mates were more than happy to partake of these special tidbits.
Thankfully, you don’t need exotic ingredients to enjoy hot pot cooking. My favorite aspect of eating hot pot is neither the individual ingredients I have chosen, nor the sauce I have created, but how the broth tastes at the end, when the flavors of each person’s choices have simmered together into an unimaginably rich, fragrant broth. The complexity of this flavor is the product of the contributions of the many cooks who created this group meal, the ultimate expression of communal cooking.
* * * Taiwanese Hot Pot Ingredients
A variety of thinly sliced meats (hint: slice while frozen to make paper-thin slices), such as chicken, pork, meat and lamb
Fish balls or fish cake
Shrimp, sliced squid
A variety of Chinese greens, chopped (I like whole leaf spinach and Napa cabbage in my hotpot)
Cubed taro root
Sliced lotus root
Noodles, such as udon, egg noodles, mung bean noodles, rice noodles
Broth, chicken or pork are used most commonly
Condiments: Sa Cha sauce, soy sauce, minced garlic, chilies or chili sauce, diced cilantro, chopped scallions, raw eggs for stirring into the sauce
Traditionally, a large wok over hot coals.
Modern home cooks can use a large, covered electric skillet. (My parents still use the covered electric skillet they received for a wedding gift in 1967– used only for this purpose.) Technique
Bring the broth to a boil.
Each guest/cook selects a variety of ingredients to add to the communal hot pot. Based on cooking time, meat is usually added first, vegetables just briefly, and noodles at the very end, because they absorb a lot of the broth. Make sure to have extra broth or water on hand to replenish the broth throughout the meal. Adjust the temperature to keep the broth at a gentle simmer. While the food is cooking, each guest/cook makes her own dipping sauce of a raw egg mixed with the condiments of her choosing.
Linda Shiue is a doctor and food writer who believes in the healing power of chicken soup. You can read about more of her food and travel adventures at spiceboxtravels.com and follow her on Twitter @spiceboxtravels. Her work has appeared in Salon, The Asia Magazine, The New York Times, andRemedy Quarterly.
I was a cooking school for kids called Create a Cook because my girls were invited to a birthday party. Though I’ve been there in the past for the occasional party, I realized that I never actually stepped inside before. There was a huge 2 sided wall display of gorgeous cook books, better than any book store and I purused a pile of them while the party finished up. This inspired me to pull together my own Top 10 List of Best Asian Cook Books from their selection and my own stack at home.
p.s. Thank you to my mom friend Nathalie for reminding me about this one. I have it too!
The Foods of Vietnam by Nicole Routhier
10. The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook: Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens by Patricia Tanumihardja
This is exactly the kind of food that I want to eat so I guess I better learn how to make it. I
I read this email newsletter for search engine marketing (SEM) called Search Insider. It’s true that SEM is a kind of new, wild, west frontier that is an ever very rapidly changing landscape. This article by Gord Hotchkiss encourages digital marketers to embrace failure/screwing up/mistakes. He gives good advice that applies well beyond search engine marketers. Embrace your inner “screw-up” because it’s the most efficient way to learn and also has the biggest payoff. Risk = Reward. And it’s a fun ride too if your stomach can take it.
p.s. If you want to know what the pundits think children should be learning NOW to prepare for the next 10 years, here’s a great article from Xeconomy to get a “view into the future at a time of breakneck technological change and increasing economic uncertainty. Their answers paint a picture of the world that is fascinating, and occasionally, sobering.” Let me put it this way, Tiger Mom Amy Chua’s strategy was to memorize and regurgitate. This doesn’t fly in the new economy if you want a front seat.
Humans hate making mistakes. But the fact is, making mistakes is an essential part of being human. Somehow, we have to learn to live on the edge of this paradox. For digital marketers, our entire industry is balanced on this particular precarious precipice.
There are a few rules of thumb to “screwing up” successfully:
You Can Only Learn from Others if You’re in the Middle of the Pack
If you’re a digital marketer, you’ve decided to travel at the head of the herd. Congratulations. But here’s the thing. You’ve volunteered to make mistakes. The mark is on your forehead and it’s your job to poke the bushes and test the waters, flushing out danger for others to take heed of.
Humans have a long history of leveraging the principle of safety in numbers. But in that dynamic, some have to live on the edge and let others learn from their mistakes. The advantage of that position is that you’re also the first to take advantage of the unchartered wins that come from conquering new challenges. The risks are greater, but so are the rewards. If this balance doesn’t appeal to you, move back to center and follow the leaders. Just realize it’s a lot more crowded there, and there might not be enough perks to go around.
The More Unstable the Environment, The More Important it is to Make Mistakes
You don’t need the safety of a herd in safe and stable environments. We call it civilization. It’s on the frontier, where things get precarious, that you need safety in numbers. Ironically, it’s on the frontier where the herd thins out and you often have to go it alone. That really leaves you no choice. There is no beaten path to follow. You’re going to have to be the one that forges it. And that means you’re going to make mistakes. Get used to it. Embrace it. Take solace in the fact that while taking action may cause mistakes, not taking action pretty much guarantees you’ll end up as somebody’s lunch.
If You Can’t Get Comfortable, Get Courageous
I often tell aspiring digital marketers that this is not a comfortable career. If you want security, become an accountant. But if you want a challenge, you’ve found the right niche. Digital marketing takes courage. It means trusting your gut and betting on long shots. It means embracing opportunities without a mound of evidence to rely on. To succeed in this business, first you need passion — but courage runs a close second.
Mistakes = Learning
I don’t know where making mistakes got such a bad rap from, but I shudder to think where humanity would be without them (read Ralph Heath’s excellent book, “Celebrating Failure”). You can’t learn without making mistakes. You can’t gain ground without occasionally falling down. I’ve spent the majority of my life as an entrepreneur, which pretty much means the regular making of mistakes, so perhaps I’ve become used to it. But I honestly don’t know why screwing up has been stigmatized to the extent it has.
Learn to “Do It Wrong Quickly”
My friend Mike Moran wrote a book a few years ago calling “Do it Wrong Quickly,” which uncovers one of the essential elements of successfully screwing up: to build learning into the process. Understand that failure is an essential part of the equation (especially in digital marketing), and go in using it as an opportunity to learn quickly, adjust and iterate your way to success. By going in anticipating failure, you won’t be surprised when it happens and can quickly move beyond failure to learning and adapting.
Realize You Don’t Have to Be Perfect — You Just Have to be Better than the Other Guy
Finally, this is a game of percentages. If you bump up the level of activity, you’ll make more mistakes, but you’ll also win more battles. You’ll “fail forward” — and soon you’ll be looking at the competition in your rearview mirror.
My brother-in-law who is not Asian sent this to my husband after he sent him Sh** Surfers Say. My brother-in-law is a surfer so this was in retaliation but it’s hilarious! This is from Just Kidding Films.