Asian American Woman Verbally and Physically Abused by Police

A lawsuit was filed in Chicago in 2013. Chicago police are accused of committing a hate crime for physically and verbally abusing an Asian American woman, Jianqing “Jessica” Klyzek, during a raid of her tanning salon/massage parlor.

According to the lawsuit, police came into the salon on suspicion that it was a site for prostitution. According to Huffington Post, the  5’2″ and 110-pound manager was not being very cooperative with police, however, Chicago police responded in an extreme and physical manner.

The officer can be heard asking to use his taser on the 32-year-old manager. According to the lawsuit, Klyzek was handcuffed and kneeling on the ground, but police still struck her and put their hands over her nose and mouth. Klyzek suffered from a number of scratches, bruises and abrasions.

When Klyzek tried to scream, the police began yelling racial and ethnic slurs at her. “I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the f— you came from,” the officer said, although Klyzek pointed out that she was a citizen of the United States.

“No you’re not! No, you’re not a citizen,” the officer yelled back. “You’re here on our borrowed time. So mind your f–king business before I shut this whole f–king place down. And I’ll take this place and then whoever owns it will f–king kill you because they don’t care about you, OK? I’ll take this building. You’ll be dead and your family will be dead.”

The exchange was caught on a surveillance camera. Allegedly, the officers tried looking for the footage once they realized they were being filmed.

“The alleged comments, if true, are reprehensible and completely intolerable in our police department,” Police spokesman Adam Collins told the Chicago Sun Times. “We have codes of conduct that apply to officers, and if the allegations are proven accurate appropriate action will be taken.”

CBS news recently reported that the officer in question has been stripped of police powers, pending the outcome of an investigation.

The video of the interaction can be seen below.

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ATTACK ON 4-YEAR-OLD ASIAN GIRL AT WALMART DEEMED A HATE CRIME

Story by Julie Ha. 

In an episode authorities described as “every parent’s worst nightmare”—and now, also a hate crime—a 4-year-old Asian girl was attacked by a tire-iron wielding woman at a San Jose Wal-Mart earlier this week.

The girl and her father were shopping at a Wal-Mart in the Little Saigon district of East San Jose on Tuesday morning, when Maria Garate walked up to the girl and struck her on the head with a tire iron, authorities said. The girl’s father then tried to cover his daughter with his body and was also struck with the tire iron. On-site security personnel detained the woman until police arrived and arrested her.

On Thursday Garate, a San Jose woman described by authorities as a transient, was in court facing attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon charges, as well as hate crime enhancements. She faces up to life in prison if convicted.

“Based on evidence we do have, the victims were targeted because they are Asian,” said Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Kalila Spain. “This is a premeditated, willful and deliberate act on her part.”

Spain said that the injured girl was taken to the hospital after the incident, but is now recovering at home.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that one source told the newspaper that Garate had expressed disappointment to authorities that she had not injured the girl more seriously.

Garate is being held without bail at Santa Clara County jail. Her next court date is May 23.

Photo via ABC 30 Action News.

This story was originally published on iamkoream.com

Avril Levigne Responds To Criticism About Offensive “Hello Kitty” Music Video

You may have missed the recent controversy surrounding Avril Lavigne’s new music video “Hello Kitty.” After all, the video was taken down the same day it was uploaded onto YouTube.

The video to Lavigne’s single “Hello Kitty” has received criticism left and right for its cultural appropriation. Simply put, it’s 3 minutes and 19 seconds of sushi, bright colors, expressionless Asian back up dancers and random Japanese words. All of this prompted Billboard to call the video an “embarrassment in any language.”

Even some of Lavigne’s most loyal fans (who wouldn’t even necessarily call the video intentionally racist) definitely saw why it was problematic to use a culture as a prop. They were certain that Lavigne would release an apology. Were they right?

Well, 21 hours ago, Avril responded to all the criticisms and allegations of racism.

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Now we can all let out a collective sigh and eye roll. Is this an apology for a lapse in judgement? Absolutely not. In fact, it sounds like the cop-out excuse: “I have an Asian friend so I can’t be racist against Asians!” Yup, we’ve all heard that one before. If she had noticed that she offended people and sent an apology because that was not her intention, our feelings would be different. Despite an overwhelming amount of people shaking their head at the video, Lavigne, as well as a number of fans, still don’t see the problem.

To reiterate what we said early, the reason people are upset over this video is because “it uses Asian culture as a prop. Even the expressionless back up dancers are simply a backdrop. There is a very big difference between embracing a culture and using it as an accessory. It is not appreciation to trivialize an entire way of life.”

Avril, why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?

 

 

Wong Fu Shines Light on “Accidental Racism”

Last year in May, a video called “What kind of Asian are you?” made its way into viral fame. With over 6 million views, this video portrayed something that many of us have had to experience.

In the video, an Asian woman is approached by a White male who comments on her perfect English and asks where she’s from. After telling him that she’s from San Diego, he responds, “Oh no. Where are you from?”

Truth be told, we’ve all probably gone through this. Admittedly, many of us aren’t actually bothered when someone inquires about our culture, but there’s definitely reason to be peeved with statements about English being “so good” even if English is a person’s first language. Let’s not even get into some of the obviously insulting statements that many of us have received such as “It’s great that you’re not like other Asians. You’re so American.” Right. Because that doesn’t sound like an insult at all.

 

While it’s easy for us to roll our eyes at some of the insensitive statements thrown at Asians, we have to remember that Asians and other people of color are certainly capable of making ignorant statements as well.

Wong Fu Productions has decided to highlight this with their new short “Accidental Racism.” The short is able to remind us of two things: everyone can work on being more culturally aware and sometimes, though they may need to work on the way they phrase their statements, some people are just genuinely curious about a culture.

 

Cruel & Racist Statements Told To Asian Adoptee Children

Kim Kelley-Wagner never married, but she always knew she wanted children. So when she saw a story in Time Magazine about Chinese adoptees, she suddenly found herself looking into adoption.

After taking some time to be sure of her decision, she made the leap. In 2001, Kelley-Wagner adopted 10-month-old Liliana. Later, in 2008, she adopted 2-year-old Meika.

Adopting two daughters didn’t make Kelley-Wagner feel any less of a mother than the women who gave birth to their children. Being adopted didn’t make Liliana or Meika feel less like daughters. Unfortunately, many others didn’t seem to share their sentiments.

“The comments began right from the start,” Kelley-Wagner says. “We would be shopping, and cashiers or store clerks would say things like, ‘How much did she cost?’ or ‘You could have bought a car for what it probably cost to adopt her.'”

Some were so insensitive that they began attacking the younger daughter Meika who had a bilateral cleft lip and palate when she was born. People openly questioned why Kelley-Wagner didn’t choose a “perfect” child.

Rather than allow these comments to anger her and her daughters, Kelly-Wagner decided to turn this into a project. Hoping to teach other people about their hurtful comments while simultaneously providing an outlet for her daughters to express themselves, she came up with a photo project where her daughters hold up the comments that were thrown at their family.

Both of her daughters agreed to the project and agreed that it could help bring awareness to how hurtful  statements can be.

Rather than respond with anger, Kelley-Wagner encourages her daughter to instead make people realize what they’re saying. “My advice to them is, leave your offenders speechless,” she says. “I think people are curious and don’t know any better.”

The daughters seem to be following their mothers footsteps. Kelley-Wagner recalls a woman who said she could not truly love someone she didn’t give birth too. Liliana then responded, “Oh, did you give birth to your husband?”

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RACISM ALERT: University of Illinois Chancellor Gets Cyberbullied For Not Giving Students A Snow Day

People are now starting to call the University of Illinois one of the world’s most racist, sexist and spoiled universities. How did something like this happen? It all began this past Sunday evening when the university chancellor Phyllis Wise sent an email to the students saying that Monday, January 27th, would not be a snow day.

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With temperatures reaching 30-below, we can understand why some students may have felt a bit grumpy about their missed snow day, but we certainly didn’t expect students to begin cyber-attacking chancellor Phyllis Wise.

The hashtag #fuckphyllis quickly began trending as the students poured all the blame on their chancellor. Because blaming your chancellor for the cold weather is logical right?

Although mean-hearted, the tweets began rather innocently. The students simply seemed aggravated that they had to attend class in such conditions. This quickly escalated to cyber-bullying.

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Much to our annoyance, the tweets began targeting her race and gender. Here are just a few.

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A number of fake twitter accounts were made for Chancellor Wise in an effort to further her cyber-bullying attack. Luckily, as the #fuckphyllis tag got more and more intense, the amount of people sighing in disappointment increased as well. Many people pointed out that if the students were so upset about the lack of a snow day, why not just skip class? Why do they have to publicly insult an individual using racist and sexist words? Others have pointed out that the students are privileged to attend and afford a college education. The uproar simply seems childish.

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The student body president Damani R. Bolden has released an apology on behalf of his fellow students. Unfortunately, the university has not been able to avoid the public backlash towards their insensitive comments.

Racist frat parties, blackface music videos, racist youtube rants and now this? Can anyone really say racism is only something of the past?

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Did HIMYM Go Too Far OR Have Asians Become Hypersensitive?

By now, you’ve probably heard about the controversial episode of How I Met Your Mother. If not, lets get you caught up.

The newest episode “Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra,”  continued an on-going joke throughout the show where Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel) humorously slaps Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris).

Segel’s character explains that he went through training in Shanghai, China to perfect his slapping skills. The show then reveals his three “masters” who turn out to be the other main characters sporting Asian attire, hair accessories, and even a  Fu Manchu mustache.

As you can expect, most of the Asian American community felt that all the “yellowface” used was a personal slap to our face. The episode angered so many viewers that  the hashtag  #HowIMetYourRacism blew up on twitter.

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In response to the massive backlash,  How I Met Your Mother co-creator Carter Bays tweeted his apology.

Hey guys, sorry this took so long. @himymcraig and I want to say a few words about #HowIMetYourRacism. With Monday’s episode, we set out to make a silly and unabashedly immature homage to Kung Fu movies, a genre we’ve always loved. But along the way we offended people. We’re deeply sorry, and we’re grateful to everyone who spoke up to make us aware of it. We try to make a show that’s universal, that anyone can watch and enjoy. We fell short of that this week, and feel terrible about it. To everyone we offended, I hope we can regain your friendship, and end this series on a note of goodwill. Thanks. @CarterBays@HimymCraig

— Carter Bays (@CarterBays) January 15, 2014

This is the point where opinions begin to divide. Some of the Asian community pointed out that while the apology is appreciated, something so obviously offensive never should have been aired. They have pointed out that we have had to hear this apology too many times and you would think that people would know to not use a culture as a costume. Angry Asian Man spilled out his sentiments by writing:

I appreciate apologies that acknowledge wrongdoing and avoid placing blame on the offended. People make mistakes. But this apology sounds a lot like the really really nice guy who hates it when people are mad at him. We get it, you feel terrible that we were offended. You feel terrible that you messed up. So how about actually addressing what you did to mess up? Aw, hell. I’m nitpicking at lackluster apologies.

Really, you just wish they’d had the sense to avoid this bullshit altogether. Obviously, as usual, that was asking too much. Now we all have that image of fu manchu’d Ted Moseby seared into our souls.

But then others in the Asian American community are disagreeing with the backlash all together. They claim that the apology is sincere, they acknowledged their mistake, and as a community, we are slowly opening the eyes of others. They point out that it’s a process and we need to allow people to see, acknowledge, and change their mistakes. This opinion can be seen with CNN host Don Lemon interviewing the popular Vietnamese comedian Dat Phan on his thoughts towards the controversy. Watch it below.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGU4BGBzpqw&feature=youtu.be

 

So now we turn towards the real question. Did How I Met Your Mother go too far? Are we tired of hearing all the excuses given to us when all we’re asking for is respect for our culture? OR is Dat Phan correct in saying that we have become hypersensitive and not everything concerning Asians should cause offense?

Watch the How I Met Your Mother clip below and tell us what you think. 

 

Audrey’s Top Ten Stories of 2013

2013 was quite the year for Audrey Magazine. Not only did it mark our ten year anniversary, it was also the launch of our revamped website. While we’re more than excited to kick off this new year, let’s take a moment to look back on all the stories of style, beauty and inspiring Asian Americans of the previous year.

Ranked by which stories were the most popular of the year, we bring you Audrey’s Top Ten Stories of 2013!


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1) Breaking The Asian Myth | Asian Hair
“If there’s one Asian stereotype we’re all very familiar with, its Asian hair. No one knows when this actually happened, but at one point people began thinking that all Asian women had the same kind of hair…”


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2) Not For Weak Stomachs: Removal of a 25-Year-Old Blackhead 
“In September we showed you the results of sleeping with makeup on for an entire month and called it a horror story. Now we take that back. We take it all back. Apparently, that wasn’t a skincare horror story at all. This is…”


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3) Korean Twin Sisters Unrecognizable After Plastic Surgery 
“It’s no secret. In Asia, plastic surgery is becoming more and more common. In fact, double eyelid surgery is so typical that many girls have been known to receive the procedure as a graduation gift. Aside from these minor procedures, just how far has surgery entered Asian culture? According to some, surgery has become a very serious ordeal…”


2013 d4) World’s 15 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter 
“1. Indonesian entertainer Agnes Monica (@agnezmo) — 8,326,171 followers
2. Japanese-Swiss-Polish Brazilian TV personality Sabrina Sato Rahal (@sabrinasatoreal) 3. Indonesian singer Sherina Munaf (@sherinamunaf)…”


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5) Korean American K-Pop Star Embroiled in Nude Photos Scandal
“Korean American singer Ailee has been receiving enormous attention from the Korean media after nude photos of the K-pop star surfaced on the Internet. Allkpop, a popular New York-based K-pop website, published censored versions of the photos last night, igniting a firestorm of controversy…”


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6) The Ultimate Guide to EXO
“EXO is separated into two subgroups, EXO K and EXO M, which promotes in Korea and China respectively. But together? This boy band totals to 12 members. Overwhelming? Just a bit. As much as we wanted to get to know the line-up for KCON, was learning all 12 members worth it? YES. The answer to that question is a very enthusiastic yes…”


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7) False Rumor: Philippines Disqualified From Pageants For The Next Two Years 
“In the midst of all this good news for the Philippines, a strange rumor has begun to spread. According to The Adobo Chronicles, the  Association of Beauty Pageant Franchise Holders (ABPFH) has disqualified the Philippines from international beauty pageants for the next two years claiming that Filipina candidates had an “enormous advantage” this year…”


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8) Asians in Fashion | EXO-K for Ivy Club Autumn 2013
“With the rise of EXO’s popularity, we can confidently say that  Ivy Club made quite a good decision to have the boys model and endorse their Autumn 2013 look…”


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9) Extremely Racist Responses to Olympus Has Fallen
“Its no secret that we still face racism today. Every time I start to believe that I live in my ideal/equal world, acts like this bring me back to the reality that we still have a long way to go…”


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10) Where I Went and What I Bought: Seoul
“I took a dream vacation last month. Not to some tropical hideaway surrounded by crystal clear waters. Not to a romantic European capital overflowing with crumbling palaces and fine wine. No, I went on a shopping vacation. To Korea…”

 

Racist Cyberbullying Over Lorde’s “Scrawny Asian” Boyfriend

Much to our dislike, racist cyberbullying appears to be alive and well. Today’s victim is none other than New Zealand singer/songwriter Lorde and her rumored boyfriend, James Lowe.

Why the attack on the Grammy nominated, “Royals” singer? Apparently, a rumor has spread that the 17-year-old singer called Justin Beiber and the members of One Direction “ugly.” These statements were never actually confirmed, but that didn’t stop the teens who were angered by these rumors. Beiber and One Direction fans were quick to retaliate and focus their attacks on Lorde’s personal life.

Last week, bikini photos of Lorde embracing 24-year-old Lowe exploded on tabloids and the angry teens were quick to post their opinion of the couple on twitter.

Many of the tweets focused on Lowe’s race and pulled in a number of negative stereotypes towards Asian men. The tweets that didn’t focus on Lowe’s Asian descent were equally rude and shallow.

Lorde has not yet responded to her cyberbullies.

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Does Reverse Racism Exist? Comedian Aamer Rahman Has The Answer

Reverse racism. It’s the infamous term that has people everywhere disagreeing with one another. Some believe reverse racism grants minorities an unfair “pass” for any racist acts/words simply because they are minorities. Other believe that under the circumstances, its hardly possible to be racist when they are simply pointing out the differences in privilege.

Comedian Aamer Rahman has his own stance. The Bangladeshi Australian stand-up comedian is normally paired with Nazeem Hussain to create the comedy duo, Fear of a Brown Planet. For this piece, however, he takes the stage on his own.

After being criticized for his jokes about white people and after being accused of reverse racism, Rahman decided to speak his mind about the topic.

“I could be a reverse racist if I wanted to.,” Rahman jokes. “All I’d need would be a time machine, and what I’d do is get in my time machine and go back in time to before Europe colonized the world and I’d convince the leaders of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America to invade and occupy Europe, steal their land and resources… In that time I’d make sure I’d set up systems that privileged black and brown people at every conceivable social, political and economic opportunity…”

 

Rahman had just put the stand up act on Youtube a few days ago and it has already generated well over 155,000 views. Clearly, Rahman is catching all sorts of attention. Check out the full piece below.