It’s Monday again — WHICH IS JUST RUDE.
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As you know by now, on Tuesday, March 16, a 21-year-old White man shot and killed eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent, at three different massage parlors in the Atlanta area. At the present time, it is not being treated as a hate crime because … the murderer says it wasn’t? The short version is the killer claims he was motivated by his struggle with sexual addiction and that the women he murdered were sources of “temptation” and for some reason, that precludes him from having murdered them because of their race (even though it absolutely does not).
Also, I should note that the Cherokee County sheriff’s captain Jay Baker told reporters that the murderer was “fed up” and had a “bad day” because we must never underestimate White people’s ability to empathize with their fellow White people even when they’ve committed an inexplicable, monstrous crime.
It’s insane to me that the Sheriff just casually says “He was fed up, at the end of his rope…yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did" about the killer pic.twitter.com/fNFMrvfoST
— Wu-Tang Is For The Children (@WUTangKids) March 17, 2021
Racism and misogyny are so deeply intertwined that they cannot be disentangled. We really can't talk about one without talking about the other.
— Celeste Ng (@pronounced_ing) March 17, 2021
Now, l am not the person to untangle the long sordid history of how Asian women, in particular, have been sexualized in horrifically dehumanizing ways in our culture — and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s long past time to educate yourself — but to dismiss their race in favor of their gender is ignorant at best, willfully hateful at worst. It can not be overlooked that this monster targeted Asian businesses — how is that not racially motivated?
The Atlanta shooter blamed a specific race of people for his problems, and then murdered them because of it. If that’s not racism, then the word has no meaning. pic.twitter.com/4gIKN5hM28
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 18, 2021
The bottom line is whether or not the horrific shooting will be prosecuted as a hate crime, it came at a moment when hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased by 149% even while hate crimes overall have decreased by 7%. This piece written by Simu Liu decrying violence against Asians was published in Variety a week before this mass shooting. And In fact, the day after the shooting, a 76-year-old woman was punched in the face by some random dude in San Francisco (but the joke was on that fucker when she grabbed a two-foot stick and fought back, ultimately sending him to the hospital. This brave, powerful woman is donating all of the funds that were donated to a GoFundMe in her name to organizations combating Asian-American hate).
Just came upon an attack on an elderly Asian woman on Market Street San Francisco. Effort I got more details pic.twitter.com/5o8r0eeHE2
— Dennis O'Donnell (@DennisKPIX) March 17, 2021
It is no wonder that the Asian-American Pacific Islander community is furious and scared and demanding that we all PAY ATTENTION.
"Is this patriot enough?" West Chester, Ohio, trustee Lee Wong lifted his shirt at a town hall meeting Tuesday to bare vicious scars from his service in the U.S. military, as he called for an end to racial discrimination and violence against Asian Americans. pic.twitter.com/UB34pupeA7
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 27, 2021
If people loved Asian people as much as they love bubble tea, anime, mochi, sushi, matcha etc… Imagine profiting/enjoying things that come from a culture and then attacking/diminishing the ethnic group that created it.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) March 27, 2021
Part of our problem is that unlike racism against Blacks or Latinos, there seems to be some weird reluctance to acknowledge that prejudices against Asians even exist in our culture.
Some of these failures have come from the people closest to us. So many white friends, family members, colleagues, partners, in-law relatives, and teachers have brushed away, minimized, or entirely ignored our growing alarm. One of the first white men with whom I brought up rising anti-Asian racism replied by asking if this racism was really even happening. I had just told him it was. The silences this week ring loud, in the texts we haven’t received, in the absences on social media, as the people who say they deeply love us, who have heard us talk about this, fail to wonder if we’re okay, fail to see if in this time of great collective sorrow it might be a good time to offer us some of that love.
And while it’s easy to point to the previous administration and its despicable use of terms like “China Virus” and “Kung Flu” as a means to deflect attention from their own shambolic response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have to acknowledge that anti-Asian stereotypes and tropes have long existed in our culture, and racism against Asians began as soon as they arrived in America.
People are speaking out, using their platforms to demand we acknowledge this violence and hate and do something to stop it.
Just a few examples: Sandra Oh spoke at a protest the weekend before last; Daniel Dae Kim pointed the finger at congressional Republicans for failing to back a resolution denouncing Asian hate; Suchin Pak revealed a hideous incident that occurred while she was at MTV; Riverdale‘s Charles Melton reflected on his own fear of standing up for his people and heritage; Emily in Paris star Ashley Park admitted she tried to hide the fact that she was Korean-American out of fear of being attacked; Kat Anh, an actress who appeared in the “A Benihana Christmas” episode of The Office is calling out the show’s depictions of Asians; and Olivia Munn, who has been sounding the alarm about this issue for a while now, pleaded for help.
“Right now there is a mental health crisis with Asian Americans. We are being targeted, we are living in a country that is attacking us simply just for being us.”@Oliviamunn speaks with @NicolleDWallace on @MSNBC about the rise in Asian-American hate crimes across the U.S. pic.twitter.com/dVJm1xOUgL
— MSNBC Public Relations (@MSNBCPR) March 17, 2021
There has been some hard-earned self-reflection from some corners:
Jay Leno apologized for jokes he made about Asians for decades — even as recently as 2020 on the set of America’s Got Talent, which Gabrielle Union called out at the time.
The recently hired Teen Vogue editor Alexi McCammond has resigned after racist tweets she wrote about Asian people were discovered.
And Little Miss “MY FATHER!” herself apologized for defending Former Racist-in-Chief’s use of inflammatory language (after John Oliver ripped her a new asshole on Last Week Tonight).
I condemn the reprehensible violence and vitriol that has been targeted towards the Asian-American community. There is no doubt Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric fueled many of these attacks and I apologize for any past comments that aided that agenda.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) March 22, 2021
Saturday Night Live‘s Bowen Yang — the first Asian cast member of a show that has been airing for 46 YEARS — spoke about this violence this weekend and tried to find any humor he could in a painful, heartbreaking situation.
The “joke” of the bit is that he gives suggestions that would help him specifically, but if you are looking for real ways to help, I found this good piece on Time magazine that suggests you can report hate crimes and take bystander intervention training to learn how to respond and de-escalate a situation.
And of course, you can always donate:
- The Atlanta chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice has created a donation page for the shooting victims and their families
- GoFundMe has launched #StopAsianHate along with the organizations Gold House and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE). Funds support hate crime victims and increase security in affected areas
- The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Stop AAPI Hate
- The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) supports AAPI women through policy change and legal advocacy
- Red Canary Song is a Chinese massage parlor worker coalition that is fighting for labor rights
- Heart of Dinner delivers meals to elderly Asian Americans in New York City
You can also support your local Chinatown communities which have been so hard-hit by this virus. This sounds like such a small — even selfish — thing, but order takeout from your local Asian restaurants, and as soon as you get that vaccine, go patronize their businesses. As soon as I get my second poke, the first place I’m going to is Bellaire’s HK Dim Sum. And the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth places will be One Dragon, Korea Garden, Wanna Bao, Hyunh, and Fung’s Kitchen (as soon as it reopens) …
And, obviously, reach out to your Asian friends and let them know you’ve got their backs.
And because racism doesn’t take a day off, a few other important stories that were buried by my trying to play catch-up last week:
The Derek Chauvin trial in the death of George Floyd began today. It’s being broadcast on multiple cable news channels. The prosecution opened the trial with the now-infamous video, and not having seen it in a while, oof, it’s heartbreaking and horrific.
A group of top Hollywood publicity firms has advised their clients to not work with the Golden Globes organization, HFPA until they put into place some sort of plan to address their diversity issues, and NBC was like, “We’re going to speak very sternly to them, too.” Shonda Rhimes and Ava DuVernay also called out the organization.
In response, HFPA promised that they “plan to put in the work,” and soon after announced that they will increase their membership to 100 people, 13% of which they SWEAR will be Black journalists.
Sesame Street is introducing their first Black Muppets family, father and son Wes and Elijah Walker.
Peacock is scrubbing racist WWE segments from their archives.
The Weather Channel is no longer going to use the term, “Dixie Alley,” in describing the area in the South vulnerable to tornados.
Days after apologizing for being an asshole, Meghan McCain returned to her throne of assholedom. McCain, the conservative commentator on The View who got her job entirely based on the fact that her father was the much-admired United States Senator and war hero, John McCain, had the gall to attack “identity politics” in hiring practices, warning about the dangers of hiring people based on their gender or race instead of their qualifications. The fucking audacity.
The opposite of imposter syndrome is called Meghan McCain.
— Susie Meister (@susie_meister) March 24, 2021
Hilariously, McCain inadvertently made one good point in her hypocritical rant about “meritocracy:”
“The View is 25 years old next year and we’ve only had one Asian-American host co-host this show. So does that mean that one of one of us should be leaving at some point because there’s not enough representation? Is identity politics more important than the qualifications of a job, and I think that’s a question going forward that the progressive left is going to have to reconcile.”
Girl, give me five minutes and I can come up with an entire list of Asian women more qualified than you who could — SHOULD — take your spot.
And finally, NOT NOW, CHET HANKS.
Even the best comedian in the world could never come up with a joke as funny as just a normal thought Chet Hanks has. His brain belongs on a museum https://t.co/87OrXsl96s
— DJ Horse Jeans (@Horse_Jeans) March 27, 2021
All Other TV News
And just one last story about racism in the business: Sharon Osbourne is officially out at The Talk, WHICH, I SHOULD HOPE SO. Obviously, Piers Morgan is making this whole story about him, because he can’t help himself. OH, SHARON MANAGED TO DIG THIS BIG RACIST HOLE ALL ON HER OWN, HONEY.
William Shatner and I have something in common. Actually, I have seen more Star Trek movies than he has.
MSNBC is rebranding its daytime programming, changing it from “MSNBC Live” to “MSNBC Reports,” to help differentiate it from the primetime opinion programming.
Prince William was named “The Sexiest Bald Man in the World” in some dubious “poll.” LOL, OK. (sound on — trust me)
SOUND. ON. https://t.co/GpoiPqq2wW
— thereseodell (@thereseodell) March 27, 2021
We are slipping again: cases numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths are going back up again as people begin traveling, states are flinging themselves open and people, tired of living like this, are letting their guard down. Y’all, we are so close to beating this. Keep wearing your masks, get your vaccines, and don’t kid yourself: we’re not done with this yet.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky goes off script with an emotional plea to the public about an “impending doom” following rise in COVID cases:
“Right now, I’m scared.” pic.twitter.com/UKjrRhr7He
— The Recount (@therecount) March 29, 2021
On the good news side, President Biden says that 90% of adults will be eligible for vaccines within three weeks and that 90% of Americans will be within five miles of a vaccination site. AGAIN: GET IT AS SOON AS YOU CAN. IT’S SAFE, EFFECTIVE, BEEN DEVELOPED OVER DECADES, NOT MONTHS, AND WILL KEEP YOU AND THOSE YOU LOVE ALIVE. THIS IS A NO-BRAINER, FRIENDS.
REPORTER: Do you believe some states should pause their reopening efforts?
BIDEN: Yes pic.twitter.com/64ggT1WuYG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 29, 2021
New York is planning on introducing the “Excelsior Pass,” a voluntary vaccine/negative test passport program. As you might imagine, people are freaking out.
San Diego Comic-Con believes that after having missed Thanksgiving with your friends and family you’re going to want to skip seeing them again this year to go hang out with a bunch of other nerds. And maybe you will! I’m not judging!
- The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo has been renewed at HBO Max for a second season.
- Who Killed Sara? has been renewed for a second season at Netflix.
- Miss Scarlet and The Duke has been renewed for a second season at PBS.
- A Court of Thorns and Roses is being developed into a series at Hulu.
- Our Kind of People has been given a script-to-series order at Fox.
- George R.R. Martin has signed a five-year deal with HBO.
- Peter Berg has signed a first-look deal at Netflix.
- Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie are joining the cast of Obi-Won Kenobi on Disney+.
- Amanda Seyfried is your new Elizabeth Holmes.
- Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, and Jake Lacy have joined the cast of Being the Ricardos at Amazon.
- Reylynn Caster is joining the cast of The Young and the Restless.
- Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Chris Perfetti, Lisa Ann Walter, and Sheryl Lee Ralph have been cast in The Untitled Quinta Brunson pilot at ABC.
- Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Billy Barratt, Orson Hong, and Thomas Boyce have been cast in Crater at Disney+.
- Sarah Ramos is joining the cast of the L.A. Lakers series on HBO.
- Lara Trump is joining Fox News as a contributor, because of course she is.
Mark Your Calendar
- Lucifer is returning on Netflix on May 28.
We know that more episodes are what you truly desire. Season 5B arrives on Netflix May 28th. pic.twitter.com/TXP2WFZwNh
— Lucifer (@LuciferNetflix) March 29, 2021
- Wahl Street will debut on HBO Max on April 15.
- Your Attention Please: Initiative 29 will debut today on Hulu.
- Sexify will debut on Netflix on April 28.
- Night in Paradise will debut on Netflix on April 9.
- Painkiller will debut on The CW on April 12.
- Home Before Dark will return on Apple TV+ on June 11.
- Pit Bulls & Parolees will debut on Paramount+ on April 3.
Beverly Cleary, Beloved children’s author
Deshayla Harris, Star of Bad Girls Club
Truly Texas Mexican: This film explores the history and legacy of Texas Mexican women and their food — it ain’t about TexMex, babies. 9 p.m., PBS
Running Wild with Bear Grylls: Bear challenges Marvel hero Anthony Mackie in the season premiere. 8 p.m., NGC
Race to the Center of the Earth: Four groups of adventurers from different parts of the globe compete around the world for a $1 million prize. Series premiere. 9 p.m., NGC
- Jimmy Kimmel Live: Lil Rel Howery, Wyatt Russell, Jazmine Sullivan
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