For almost 15 years, Emil Guillermo wrote his "Amok" column for AsianWeek, which was the largest English language Asian American newsweekly in the nation. "Amok" was considered the most widely-read column on Asian American issues in the U.S.

His thoughtful and provocative social commentaries have appeared in print in the San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate.com, San Francisco Examiner, USA Today, Honolulu Star Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and in syndication throughout the country.

His early columns are compiled in a book "Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective," which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 2000.

Guillermo's journalistic career began in television and radio broadcasting. At National Public Radio, he was the first Asian American male to anchor a regularly scheduled national news broadcast when he hosted "All Things Considered" from 1989-1991. During his watch, major news broke, including the violence in Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of dictatorships in Romania and Panama. From Washington, Guillermo hosted the shows that broke the news.

As a television journalist, his award-winning reports and commentaries have appeared on NBC, CNN, and PBS. He was a reporter in San Francisco, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

After NPR, Guillermo became a press secretary and speechwriter for then Congressman Norman Mineta, the former cabinet member in the Bush and Clinton Administrations.

After his Hill experience, Guillermo returned to the media, hosting his own talk show in Washington, D.C. on WRC Radio. He returned to California where he hosted talk shows in San Francisco at KSFO/KGO, and in Sacramento at KSTE/KFBK.

Guillermo's columns in the ethnic press inspired a roundtable discussion program that he created, hosted, executive produced, resulting in more than 100 original half-hour programs. "NCM-TV: New California Media" was seen on PBS stations in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles, and throughout the state on cable.

Guillermo also spent time as a newspaper reporter covering the poor and the minority communities of California's Central Valley. His writing and reporting on California's sterilization program on the poor and minorities won him statewide and national journalism awards.

Guillermo, a native San Franciscan, went to Lowell High School, and graduated from Harvard College, where he was an Ivy Orator and class humorist, a distinction shared by fellow Lampoon members like James Downey (Saturday Night Live) and Conan O'Brien.

Find out what he's up to at www.amok.com.
Emil's Other Posts
For a change, there's a movement to restore affirmative action, and not to end it.Unfortunately, because of some short-sighted Asian Americans, SCA 5 may die before it can get to the electorate.SCA 5 is Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 5, which...

"12 Years a Slave" won an Oscar for Best Picture, but don't think that we've entered some enlightened period of post-racial bliss. You saw proof of that if you caught the Oscar-worthy performances for "best racist smear campaign, in a supporting...

Arthur Chu won't be on "Jeopardy" this weekend. Like most of America, he'll be watching the Academy Awards.Just don't ask him a hypothetical question like "Oscar Nominees for $2000."I stumped him. Chu doesn't know. "'12 Years a Slave' nominated?" he...

By now, you should know that Asian Americans are the xenophobes' delight. And if I didn't have the "Day of Remembrance" to recall the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, my binge watching of "House of Cards" confirms...

I don't grouse anymore about the lack of diversity in the Winter Olympics and how it's still essentially a whiteout. That's because despite the retirement of nine-team medalist Apolo Anton Ohno, there are still some truly great competitors like Shani Davis,...

The start of the Lunar New Year is as good a time as any to consider the real State of Asian America. Judging from some recent events, it's not nearly as perfect as you Tiger Mom lovers out there might...

I hope my Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) colleague Randy Gener is well enough to watch the Super Bowl.This year, the Super Bowl will have an Asian American of Filipino descent headlining the halftime show---pop icon Bruno Mars. Mars, who...

Sunday will be a regular community-type day in the Silicon Valley district of Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), even though he finds himself fighting for his political life.Honda shares the marquee as "special guest "and internment camp survivor at the Korematsu...

I don't know whether Justin Bieber, driving his rented yellow Lamborghini, saw himself as a thug, but his arrest for alleged DUI and drag racing in Miami certainly makes him "thug-like," and with a newly minted record, he is definitely...

Pardon me for being late to the party, but I see and hear too much about modern slavery, hate, and injustice in today’s world—-toward all beings and species. So when the movie first came out, I was in no rush...

I confess I'm probably one of the few in this country ever to own a pair of Dennis Rodman Converse basketball shoes. You know, the ones with the funky sun signs on the ankles. In white. High-tops. (They had to...

I won’t go into what I thought the top news stories were this year. Instead, I want to say goodbye to 2013 by thanking you readers for telling me what matters to you the most.At the top, by a large...

I am not immune. The holidays mean movies, and I thought I'd begin the season by indulging in the massive promotional juggernaut that is Anchorman 2.I expected it to be silly and stupid. But racist too? That caught me by...

On December 17, the 40th day after Super Typhoon Haiyan, the world has moved on.In the U.S., we debate the race of Santa Claus. Breaking news is elsewhere. News of the broken remains in Tacloban and the Central Philippines, where Filipino Catholics...

The most revealing thing about Julie Chen on the Letterman show the other night was not her off-the-shoulder black dress, or the high-heeled shoes that give her an awkward waddle, or even the phony "fly-by" wave to the audience that...

In 1977, I was too late for Vietnam. The war's end made my draft lottery number obsolete. It was also too early to talk about the shortcomings of civil rights in America. But there was one moral eyesore in the world all...

I just came back from Asia, so I have Asia on the mind. What do you know--on Monday night football, there was the NY Giants' Justin Tuck doing the prayer-bow Thai move after sacking RGIII.  It was the wai, the...

I've played basketball at the Chinese Rec Center in San Francisco's Chinatown as a kid, but this was a one-on-one game no one would have expected. An undocumented Asian student in America, Ju Hong, 24, a DREAM activist from San...

I just came back from Asia, where I felt like a white guy. And I am not.I’m an Asian American of Filipino descent, but when I was over there, it was clear I was the foreigner. Most of the people...

Called Yolanda in the Philippines, Haiyan internationally, by any name, the super typhoon has heaped on a sense of despair and helplessness.Though we all knew it was coming from the warnings in both old and new media, there was still...

Lorne Michaels is a comedic genius, sure. But from what I know from people who have worked at "Saturday Night Live," Michaels rules his comic fiefdom with an iron hand.So what's he got against a little diversity?The lack of African...

On the weekend of his 100th birthday, it was the next best thing to having Larry Itliong there. We didn’t have a special Ouija board, just a cassette tape with his voice. At a symposium in his hometown of Stockton,...

Asian Americans, dutifully trying to meet early decision college deadlines last week, may have found themselves--like my daughter---on the Common App website.After the experience, I'm not sure if any of the apps got to the colleges to which she applied.But...

"You go to the United States where they pick money on trees," Larry Itliong, the Filipino American labor leader and the equal to Cesar Chavez, says on a special tape recording of a classroom talk at Debra Panganiban Louie's Asian...

Bullies had their way with the public last week in Congress and on a highway in New York City. I thought that for inspiring real rage, there could be nothing quite like watching video bits of the Sen. Ted Cruz...

It's hard not to think of the final episode of "Breaking Bad" right about now, because its recent shutdown is all very natural. The federal government's isn't. And in the interest of our democracy, it is worth a spoiler alert....

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler saved an awkward Emmy show opener with a few well-timed twerk jokes. But then Fey stumbled onto the stage throwing her cleavage out of alignment, and the show never quite regained its footing.No matter how...

For those of us who scan mainstream American culture for blips of Asian American life, it was quite a wild weekend when the two biggest stories in our universe--Julie Chen's secret revelation of double-eyelid surgery and the unprecedented Asian American...

It was practically the impossible dream, to think that President Obama could match the oratorical greatness of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech---even on the 50th anniversary of its delivery at the March on Washington. I would...

As the speeches ended, Asian Americans were at the start of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.I was in front of the march banner and took this photo. I could see Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. John Lewis....

If you’re a card-carrying member of the Model Minority, the ones always vying to be first, then why aren’t you at the front of the line for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington?The historic march in 1963—that galvanized...

Too bad law enforcement agents never seem to profile the likes of Whitey Bulger and James Lee DiMaggio.For some reason, the white bad guy stereotypes just don't stick like the black, Latino hoodie hood.But this week, we got lots of...

If you haven't noticed, in one week the anti-Asian/Asian American meter was off the charts and maxing out in the red.But it's likely that you, like everyone else, probably didn't even notice. Asian American cultural slights? Are you kidding? Who takes...

If you’re a CNBC watcher, chances are you barely have the attention span for a stock ticker. So here’s an executive summary: The phrase “Chink in the Armor” shouldn’t be used—unless you’re complaining about how Guinevere screwed up your dry...

Three mid-level managers at KTVU-Oakland, CA were fired over the broadcasting of fake Asian names in the coverage of the Asiana Airlines crash Wednesday, according to reports on SFGate.com.   It was first reported on Rich Lieberman’s 415 Media website.Years ago,...

If the George Zimmerman verdict doesn’t feel like justice, it’s because his legal team in the Trayvon Martin killing focused on a self-defense strategy. Nothing wrong with that; it proved to be a good one for Zimmerman. Especially when the prosecution...

Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia, the two 16-year-old Chinese school girls who died in the Asiana Airlines crash this weekend, aren't around to experience the kind of knee-jerky modern racism toward Asians the tragedy inspired in both mainstream and social...

Sandra Hernandez and Mailee Wang finally got their June wedding--to each other.So did Nick Montesa and Adrian Chang--after 20 years of partnership.San Francisco got the jump on history, opening its City Hall for business over the weekend with the Supreme...

It was like an early Independence Day celebration.Pride parades took place in New York, Houston, and San Francisco over the weekend. As a straight male, I witnessed the scene in all three cities in the past. (I remember going to...

To me, Supreme Court rulings always tend to be so Solomonic.But in Fisher v. University of Texas, SCOTUS, in its wisdom, actually found a way to cut the baby in half without cutting up the baby.Instead of using Fisher as...

The Supreme Court has a flair for the dramatic. But it's not quite "Waiting for Godot." We do know all the critical decisions people have been waiting for will be decided before the Court's summer recess. Besides, those robes need...

If you've had time to let it sink in this weekend as you touched and manipulated your second brain--a/k/a your smartphone--then you know Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old CIA operative out of Hawaii, really shouldn't be in hiding.   He should be...

Hipsters are so hip, but apparently they are not too hip for racism.How else can anyone explain the blatant racial slur on the May 25 episode of “Maron” on IFC, the Independent Film Channel?Just so you don’t think I’m some...

My 17-year-old daughter came into the living room the other night while I watched HBO's "Behind the Candelabra," the Liberace biopic based on the tell-all book by his chauffeur/lover/victim/plaintiff Scott Thorson."What are you watching?" my daughter asked."A movie about Liberace,"...

In the immigration vote this week, the new political pecking order was laid out in the Senate Judiciary Committee.Corporations, si. (Especially the hi-tech ones like Facebook and Friends, and all their lobbyists.)Families, no. (Not if you want to petition for...

This just in--well, not really, but you may not have heard it in the news since it has nothing to do with the IRS, the AP, Benghazi, or Angelina Jolie's voluntary double mastectomy.A bipartisan group in the House revealed late...

In case it slipped your mind, it's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Come on, get AAPI!If you're non-Asian, let's hope someone of Asian descent goes amok and greets you in an atypically loud, outlandish, and celebratory way. Sort of...

I've given funny, satirical speeches before. And while a steady stream of laughs is the objective, it's like baseball. Stringing together some titters and chortles is like bunting your way to victory. It helps if you can hit a few home...

This was the dark-skinned suspect that turned the world upside down last week.As the media takes its time to catch its breath after the coverage of the Boston blasts, it's interesting to review how race played a major part in...

The sweeping new Senate immigration bill finally unveiled this week was delayed because of the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15. But because Boston is on everyone's minds, it's unlikely anything will happen to it for awhile.  So let's begin...

If you have ever wondered why "No.1" in newspapers is spelled that way instead of "#1," or "Number 1," or "Number One," well, that's AP style.And the No.1 reason it exists is to enable the Associated Press's cookie-cutter approach in...

If you relied on an e-mail notification on your admission to college last week, you may or may not have been accepted--or rejected--by the college of your choice.   A faulty e-mailing program is being blamed for thousands of e-mails...

With snow in Washington, the "Deck the Halls" phrase, "Don we now our gay apparel," comes to mind.  It's 2013 and already we've seen a former detractor, GOP Senator Rob Portman, persuaded to come out for same-sex marriage in support of...

Waiting for the Supreme Court ruling in Fisher? Forget it. The fix is in. Affirmative Action for Whites is coming as more colleges use class to trump race in college admissions.Didn't you read the front page of the New York...

Shucks. There's no ban on over-sized sugary soda in New York after all. But that's OK. I ban soda all on my own. I don't drink soda anymore. Not through these lips. When I have to slake a thirst, I keep it...

Last week's SCOTUS hearing on the Voting Rights Act provided us with yet another reminder about an important factor to consider in voting for president: the quality of Supreme Court justices our top office holder is likely to appoint. Presidents,...

As we go into Oscar weekend, the favorite for Best Picture seems to have cheering agents in everyone's medicine cabinet.They have scary medicinal names like amoxapine and ariprazole, but are better known by their patented brands like Asendin and Abilify--names...

For Asian Americans, the best thing about the 2013 State of the Union may have been that outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu was given a somewhat left-handed parting gift by the president, who named Nobel Laureate Chu "designated survivor." He...

If you just got the invite to that racist Asian-themed party last week at Duke University (I know it was in your spam box), don't worry. You didn't miss anything. It was the same old racist fare, standard ching-chong stuff--people...

Immigration advocate and AALDEF 2013 Justice in Action award honoree Jose Antonio Vargas tweeted from the Super Bowl: "Can't find an electrical socket to charge iPhone here at Superdome! More tweet soon."I tweeted back: "No wait, you'll blow a fuse!"It...

At the Fred T. Korematsu Day celebration in San Francisco on Sunday, most of the honorees had passed on and were represented by their scions.But I managed to sit next to one of the originals, 98-year-old Mabel Fong.If you're Asian...

The mug of my first cup of coffee on this day reads "Ebenezer Baptist Church--where the dream began." I got it while in Atlanta recently when I visited Dr. King's church and the eternal flame that marks his gravesite. So...

I was floored this morning when I happened to see former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (Asian America's governor?) plugging his new movie on "FOX and Friends." Given the big stories of the day (the Lance Armstrong interview, Manti Te'o, the...

With the Obama administration mirroring the Bush administration when it comes to the extension of wiretapping and surveillance laws, it seems that any die-hard believer in democracy must add to his or her list of New Year's resolutions.   In...

The formal name for it is the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012," but I don't know anyone who feels all that relieved after what informally should be named "The Imperfect Compromise to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff of 2012."The president...

So how does anyone really understand the GOP's side on the Fiscal Cliff talks? I wouldn't get too wrapped up with it, if I were you. Imagine John Boehner as Grandmaster Flash rapping, "Don't push me cause I'm close to...

As the details of Newtown come trickling in, now is the time for a little perspective and personal reflection.Once upon a time, I wrote a satirical piece on gun violence in America.I'm a typical common sense American. (You can tell...

This week, President Obama said right-to-work laws were actually "the right to work for less money."I can relate.Emil For Real knows the power of right-to-work laws.That was my DJ name circa 1974 in Texas, a classic right-to-work state.But I wasn't...

If a picture tells a thousand words, maybe it's good that we have that photo of Ki Suk Han desperately trying to pull himself off a New York subway track as a train approached him.It's really all you need to...

California's Asian Americans seem in synch with an approach that would tax the wealthy. A new post-election poll this week showed that 65 percent of Asian American voters supported an initiative that would raise taxes on those over $250,000 in...

If you're one of the fantasists out there salivating over the Thanksgiving trailers of the upcoming film, "The Hobbit," then you're probably turning a blind eye to the news that 27 animals died in the production of the movie.Twenty-seven. That's...

Hmmm....Petraeus rhymes with "Betray us"? I don't think he did, but it sounds like the mindset of the highly decorated, super-achieving general who found himself undressed in e-mails. It's reported he's so guilt-ridden for his lack of discretion that he...

For the GOP, election night on Tuesday was like a political version of Hurricane Sandy.It left a Romney-led party trounced and bewildered, staring at a brand new landscape it had failed to prepare for --a totally new American electorate, rich...

If you are suffering from what I call "pollsy," the state of being bombarded by one campaign poll after another, do yourself a favor. Ignore most of them. Save your energy for the only one that counts. On Tuesday, November...

Baseball is still America's pastime, though the final game of the World Series on Sunday may have been eclipsed by the fear of Hurricane Sandy, as well as the public's love of that other game, the brutish football. Indeed, Sandy's...

I'm still not a fan of how Saturday Night Live portrayed Chinese factory workers with black wigs, black-frame glasses and ching-chong accents two weeks ago.But the program may have redeemed itself by unveiling a tour-de-force performance by the unbelievably talented...

I called it the "New Charlie Chan-ism" when it surfaced on Saturday Night Live two years ago with its depiction of Chinese President Hu Jintao at a mock press conference.  But this past weekend SNL's "Charlie Chan" style is back,...

After the Supreme Court hearing earlier this year on the Affordable Care Act and this week's hearing on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin and affirmative action, I have a new appreciation for tea leaves.They have far greater predictive...

If you're one of those undecided Asian Americans out there (32 percent nationwide, according to the recent National Asian American Survey), you really only have one question that should tip the scales for you: Where do the candidates stand on...

Who is the choice of Asian Americans in the 2012 presidential election?Forty-three percent of likely Asian American voters support President Obama while just 24 percent back Mitt Romney, according to the new National Asian American Survey, the most comprehensive political...

If the Democrats had answered the Republicans' Clint Eastwood star-turn by going Gangnam-style at its convention (imagine a hybrid donkey-horse dance and the repetitive phrase "Hey, Sexy Lady"), who knows the kind of bounce the president would have had.As it...

How good was President Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention? In many ways, he's hurt by the same thing that hurts all exceptional people of color who have done extraordinary things. You're always hampered by such high expectations....

Everything the Republicans did last week, the Democrats appear to be doing better than their counterparts in just about every way this week.From day one, the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina seemed to have a different energy and...

You can add "Eastwooding" an empty chair as a new phrase in the political lexicon, but did Clint Eastwood make Mitt Romney's day? The GOP's? Obama's? (Uh, sorry, I can't do that to myself.) This was intended to be a...

Are you watching the Republican National Convention?  Or does the sight of Chris Christie make you want to go on a diet from politics?I've covered my share of GOP conventions and have been scarred by having witnessed such diversity moments...

Ever read a poll and ask, "Did they bother to ask any Asian Americans?" I've been asking that for as long as I've been in journalism. I remember one so-called "comprehensive" poll taken years ago about sex. Everyone was represented...

Abigail Fisher seems to have done remarkably well for someone who claims to be so victimized. From a receptionist, she's risen to a financial analyst position at Xerox. Far from destitute, she's a young person with a decent job. A success. And if...

On Twitter, I saw pictures of the national day of solidarity with Sikhs on Wednesday night, just days after the temple shooting in Wisconsin.The best sources? Once again, it was the social networks, Twitter and Facebook. I didn't see any...

This morning as I drove to my office, I saw turbaned Sikhs out for a morning walk in my neighborhood. When I arrived at my destination, I saw our mailman drive by in his UPS truck.  He was also a...

Like the Olympics, it happens every four years. But you won't see a lot of spandex at the convention of minority journalists called Unity, happening this week in Las Vegas.   You won't see a lot of black journalists...

Get a good look. On Monday, the Joker appeared. James Holmes, the alleged gunman at the Aurora Batman viewing, made his first appearance in court and through the media, the world stage.He was silent, except for his red-dyed hair, and a...

What's up New York? In two weeks, the most marketable and best known Asian Americans in the country--hoop star Jeremy Lin and TV anchor Ann Curry--are given the boot from their Big Apple perch and we're not supposed to take...

It's one thing to celebrate patriotism and freedom on July Fourth. But by July 13th, patriotism has all the currency of your fireworks' spent gunpowder. When the boom, the beer, and watermelon are gone, for most of us, our Fourth...

After 30 years, the killer of Asian American icon Vincent Chin told me in an exclusive interview that the murder known as a hate crime, wasn't about race, nor does he ever even remember hitting Chin with a baseball bat. Incredible...

Call it a cosmic coincidence that Rodney King--a victim of the most infamous police beating caught on video tape--died on Sunday. His death comes just a few months after the 20th anniversary of one of the main outcomes of his...

My pre-Father's Day Giant

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While Sunday will be for us dads, I always do a pre-Father's Day on June 14 to remember my own late father.June 14, 1978, was the day my Dad and I had our best moment ever: We took in a...

In 2009, Manny Pacquiao came into AT&T Park like a rock star to throw out the first pitch at a Giants game. It had to be San Francisco's first all-Filipino battery with Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, himself half-Filipino, behind...

Oy vey! Did you hear the one about how Asian Americans are the new Jews?The idea has actually been kicking around for a few years now but has resurfaced in the preliminary stages leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court's...

That off-again, on-again morning meeting in San Jose between President Obama and a roundtable of Asian American business leaders represents the stark undemocratic reality of today's politics.Not only is it closed to the media, but the participants' names are part...

"I disenchanted both sides," said New Jersey Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman, as he wound up the sentencing hearing of Dharun Ravi, the 20-year-old Rutgers student who was convicted of bias intimidation for spying on his roommate Tyler Clementi.Whether you...

It's cap and gown time, and along with it come thoughts that threaten to break apart Asian America. You'll notice it when you are at your child's commencement this graduation season (my Jillian, the rock star, gets her B.S. in...

The Asian American community has an umbrella problem. And maybe President Obama is the one to fix it.If Toni Morrison can call Bill Clinton "America's first black president" in 1998, then surely we can dub Barack Obama our nation's "first...

As the weekend began, I had the good pleasure of talking to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee in a social setting (the Asian Law Caucus 40th anniversary dinner). I'll say this for the Mayor. He's far more charming and charismatic...

Racial profiling anyone?

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I guess U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. thought racial profiling just wasn't sexy enough for the Supreme Court.Or maybe it was too obvious. And then I suppose when you get to the high court, you want to impress the justices...

Here's a trend I call "false hope" for xenophobes:  What if all the foreign-born and their offspring actually pick up and go home? Well, it's not quite happening in such massive numbers that the Tea Party will choke on its good...

Modern racism has evolved with the eruption of D.C. Councilman Marion Barry. Can one still say overtly racist things about Asian Americans and get away with it?Sure you can. And Barry's exhibit A. As he celebrated yet another landslide primary victory with...

Next time a stupid disc jockey makes a joke about an Asian American's accent or when someone goes to the buck-tooth "ah-so" route to describe an Asian immigrant, please don't laugh and say, "Where's your sense of humor, bud?" Instead, remember...

My dear mother hated broccoli. She was healthy without it. She lived among the hipsters in San Francisco's SOMA district, only her perch was the senior housing at Clementina Towers. Mom never had much money. But boy, did she have health...

After the Dharun Ravi verdict, suddenly I'm nostalgic for the days when a noose was a noose, a hood was a hood, and a hate crime was a hate crime.Was there ever a doubt in that grand old formula? Add...

It's not exactly the southern headline the Romney campaign wanted to wake up to the morning after. But a win is a win in--American Samoa, where it's not true Romney got to count the big Samoans twice.At least now maybe...

Lady Gaga is all gaga about bullying, which she's trying to elevate in our consciousness as tantamount to human rights abuse.A bit far-fetched for some, but not for me.What is bullying but racism without color?To a bully, race doesn't matter....

Leaping to Super Tuesday

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The most hateful rhetoric of Tuesday night came from the mouth of a white male, probably late 20s-mid 30s, who was part of a CNN focus group in Ohio, a key state in next week's Super Tuesday voting.The man seemed...

Once again I watched the Oscars waiting for a Sacheen Littlefeather moment. You'll remember her (unless you think Christopher Plummer is the name of someone to call to fix that problem in the bathroom).  Littlefeather is the Native American activist...

We were all having so much fun, too. But that's no excuse for racism.I was wondering when someone would use a "Chink in the Armor" reference.I'm sure many Asian Americans thought about it too. But only the most screwed up...

Linsanity? Call it Linphomania.

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Maybe they should take down all the "NO MSG" signs in Chinese restaurants around New York.MSG officially stands for Madison Square Garden, and MSG is saying "YES!" in a big way to our new national Asian American hero, Jeremy Lin.Playing...

A prior engagement on the West Coast meant I couldn't get to the AALDEF dinner in New York City last week. So let me give my own award to AALDEF honoree Fareed Zakaria for an excellent interview Sunday with George...

A Super Bowl victory means New York is now home to a world-class football team. (It's primarily in Jersey, but who's to quibble?)Coach Tom Coughlin, the man everyone wanted fired mid-season, is now seen in a new light--as a victorious...

In politics, when the going gets rough, the tough get dirty and divisive. Even though voters say they don't like to see it, when a campaign is desperate to have a victory, going negative really works.  Florida was so nasty, ...

Obama's Fair or Foul?

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After all the countless GOP debates, last night we really needed to see someone act presidential and remind us why this whole campaign process is important.And who else but a president can reassure a nervous country about its well-being, its...

I don't care about Romney's taxes. If H&R Block didn't do them for him, he made too much money, and he likely paid less tax proportionately than any of us.Indeed, to make $43 million over two years, paying $6.2 million...

Now that we are in primary season, it's pretty clear: The GOP doesn't have a real answer to President Obama.The party's once and future front-runner Mitt Romney is imploding. His hair is in place, but he's imploding.And the new momentum...

Jerry Yang, Chief Yahoo and quintessential Asian American internet entrepreneur, is no longer wildly shrieking the brand.Instead, the words from Yang's lips are whatever you say when something doesn't work out, or you don't find something.What's the opposite of "Eureka"...

The first GOP primary was a bit like musical chairs, except when the music stopped, there were still the same number of chairs and the same number of candidates.No one wants to leave, though surely the gig is up.Mitt Romney's...

An 8 point win in Iowa as we approach the Year of the Dragon would only be a good omen for an Asian American.Just not for Mitt Romney.Romney, the candidate who could be anchorman, hardly can be called a winner...

I've always thought it strange that the two bellwether states that really begin the political season are Iowa and New Hampshire.Bellwether for what? Certainly not diversity.In Iowa and New Hampshire, it may as well be America in the 1950s, impregnable...

With the death of Kim Jong-il comes a sliver of hope. Will the family franchise of famine and daredevil nuclear gamesmanship continue? Or, for the sake of its people, is there any chance of real change in North Korea?In other...

As of this week, I'm not buying my screws from Lowe's anymore, though there must be a surplus of loose screws back at the home office. The home improvement chain sure has a strange way of celebrating America's diversity.  "Duck...

December 7th will live in infamy for a different reason in the history of the Occupy movement.In San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee gave the OK for a brutal pre-dawn raid of the OccupySF encampment, with police moving in around 1...

Who would have thought the person to jumpstart an all-but-dead national immigration debate would be none other than the gringo's gringo, Newt Gingrich?Gingrich, the ethically challenged politico, proud philanderer, and insistent historian (never a--gasp--lobbyist), is truly someone to whom, say,...

It was the spritz heard round the world. Or rather, make that spritzes, unfortunately. There were way too many of them.But I think it couldn't have come at a better time.I had just been yearning for the halcyon days of...

Before we get on to juicier matters, it's still worth trumpeting Ed Lee's victory as the first elected Asian American mayor in San Francisco and what it means to our country, isn't it?I admit, it would be a much better...

If it weren't for Ranked Choice Voting, we'd have a runoff in San Francisco between the top two vote getters, interim Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor John Avalos.How conventional.Instead, Lee gets to drop the "interim" tag, becoming the "presumptive" mayor...

If you are one of the 17.3 million Asian Americans living in the U.S. with even a slight interest in any kind of politics, besides the Herman Cain sexual harassment allegations, it's hard to imagine you don't have at least...

For nearly 24 hours, Occupy Oakland had contributed another chapter to the ongoing national Occupy Wall Street movement with mostly peaceful demonstrations on Wednesday, powered by a general strike, the city's first since 1946.  More than 7,000 people joined in...

San Francisco's mayoral election was supposed to be a showcase of Asian American political empowerment never before seen in the continental U.S.A bevy of Asian American politicians to choose from may be old hat in a place like Honolulu, where...

While watching this week's Western Republican Debate in Las Vegas via CNN, I kept looking for Asian American faces, if not content.After all, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing minority group in Nevada, rising 116 percent since...

When Democracy Meets Diversity

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Sometimes I think the biggest barrier to democracy is the franchise itself, voting.I mean everything from the physical act of casting a ballot (whether it be using a black marker, an old fashioned voting machine, or the infamous pinpricking of...

Watching on TV this weekend, I saw a video clip of the 700 arrests made on the Brooklyn Bridge. In a quick five-second shot, I saw at least one Asian American face among the protestors. Was it yours?Prior to this...

Texas Governor Rick Perry's blessing and curse is he's George W. Bush's protege.If you liked the cowboy boots on W., you'll love them on Perry. He's got real dung on those Tony Llamas.On the other hand, if you regret eight...

Any time government-sanctioned discrimination ends in America is cause for celebration.That's the real reason for the big hurrah over the official death of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. But the military is trying to undersell it. "I will...

Where's the Flip Cam when you need it? Imagine this scene: 78-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sliding down an emergency chute as she evacuates a troubled jet at D.C.'s Dulles Airport. On her way down, do you think...

I had dinner there a number of times. I'd seen the view. I just can't imagine people leaping from the World Trade Center towers.For me, that's the lingering and most horrific image of 9/11.  A distressed person in silhouette, taking...

There's a hard way and an easy way.And in the end Goodwin Liu took the easy way.Who could blame him after the nearly two years of being a political football in Washington?Today, Liu, the embattled yet eminently well-qualified Asian American...

This week began with rebels taking Tripoli. From the sound of it, President Obama loves a revolution:"Your courage and character have been unbreakable in the face of a tyrant," Obama said to the Libyan people on Monday. "An ocean divides...

David Chiu, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, is in New York Friday to seek funds for his San Francisco mayoral run.I'm actually surprised he's doing it.He's already raised more money than any other candidate to date by...

If you're depressed over the debt downgrade from Standard & Poor's, relax.America needn't act like an Asian American student who got her first B in math.You still got into Brown, right?  See, it's not even that bad.  And you're still...

Bad Deal, Still Bad Economy

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After the debt ceiling deal was announced, I kept thinking about a phrase that is said about Asian Americans, a minority in every sense of the national political calculus, especially after our concerns aren't addressed.That phrase: "Where are they going...

Farewell to Tigger Wu

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Asian Americans as a group are known both for their political anonymity and scarcity. So anyone who can claim to be the first Chinese American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives is a big deal.Someone should have told...

Rupert Murdoch's in a fog. These days, at least from his testimony, the guy can't tell the difference between a phone hack and a hack writer.  But we do know for some time now he's been suffering from a kind of...

To this day, affirmative action as public policy--giving qualified minorities a chance to compete for college admissions, public jobs, and contracts--is not just a sentimental throwback. It remains the noble, magnanimous, and right thing to do. But in a time...

Vargas, the Undocumented

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As I set off my Chinese fireworks on the Fourth of July, thinking about freedom and independence and what it means to be American, I also had Jose Antonio Vargas on my mind.I hope he was celebrating the freedom of...

My 14-year-old daughter marched with the PETA float in San Francisco's Pride parade Sunday, wearing a "Vegan Pride T-shirt" and passing out stickers and pamphlets to the thousands of onlookers. Not all of them were gay, of course. But most...

President Obama seems intent on stretching the limits of our Orwellian disbelief. So here comes the $1 billion dollar question ($1 billion being the projected cost by September this year for whatever it is we're doing in Libya):  Are we...

I've got my call into Ronald Madis Ebens. I've found him, heard his voice, and left my message on his answering machine. And when he calls me back, maybe he'll say something to make us all feel better.I'm not holding...

Scott Pelley, Anchorman

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Scott Pelley begins his tenure this week as the anchor of the show that bears his name, "The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley." But I'm wondering, what if his name were Scott Pellicito or Scott Pelley Woo? I do congratulate...

If only Shaquille O'Neal could have announced his retirement during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May. Then we could have really ended the month with a bang!O'Neal is in all likelihood the biggest perpetrator of an Asian American slur...

Whooping cranes are endangered, but there are still more of them than there are federal judges of Asian American descent, of which there are just fourteen. Asian Americans, 17 million strong and five percent of the U.S. population, aren't merely...

The month of May is more than half over, and if you haven't boisterously greeted the next available warm body (of whatever sex, race or ethnic origin) with a loud and celebratory "Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month," what's your...

Previously on CSI: Osama

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As we pick up the pieces, here's a sense of life inside Casa Osama. If you're a guy, you'd have been doing his dirty work---tending the goats. If you're a woman, you'd be lucky to be one of his four allotted...

When you're told to stand by for breaking news from the White House on a Sunday night, you know you're not about to get a standard garden-variety press release.What could possibly interrupt a night reserved for watching America's masterpiece theatre--that...

Without doubt, the Tyler Clementi story is a tragic one.  The Rutgers University student committed suicide last year, plunging to his death from the George Washington Bridge. It was just days after his roommate allegedly displayed live video on the...

In recent years, Southeast Asian families in Minnesota and California were bombarded by this come-on: Win two free tickets to Laos.Not Disneyland. Not DisneyWorld. Laos. The homeland. Let's go! The catch? Just refinance your home with a new variable rate, interest...

I'm shocked that the National Association of Black Journalists has decided to pull out of Unity, the coalition of media professionals that always reminded me of the true purpose of being a journalist of color.As always, dollars are at the...

Simon Tam is both the manager and the bass player of a rock group known as The Slants. Are you offended yet? Tam, 30, came up with the idea for an Asian American, 80s dance-rock band four years ago. With...

Is there anything more ridiculous than the notion of war as a humanitarian mission? I suppose it depends on if you're the bomber or the bombed upon. As I heard President Obama lay down his justification for military action...

I wish they hadn't taken down that YouTube video of the now ex-UCLA coed who created a Sheen-like commotion last week with her anti-Asian rant.It was so perfect as the look of fresh, modern unconscious racism. It was the girl...

As a senior host for NPR's "All Things Considered" from 1989-1991, I was one of the first Asian Americans to regularly anchor a national news program when I co-hosted the weekends with Lynn Neary.  Some of my favorite memories involve...

While the media was all agog giving airtime to Charlie Sheen last week, you had to look pretty hard to find coverage of something far more important to society:  the gross and unfair treatment of federal court nominee Goodwin Liu.Liu...

Full disclosure right up front: Years ago before the first tech crash, I worked with David Chiu at Grassroots.com. I was a mere VP of webcasting.  One of the big benefactors said I would be the next Larry King.I guess...

If you've been following what's going on in state houses in Wisconsin and New Jersey, it's just the beginning of a major catastrophe that will soon spread to my home state, California. There used to be red states and blue states. Now...

Flying into New York last week on a jet enabled for TV, it was a treat to watch democracy in action throughout the world. On one channel, Egypt was in full democratic eruption seeking a new modern future.  On another...

Missing the Boat on Limbaugh?

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Asian Americans usually never miss the boat. But maybe we have when it comes to Rush Limbaugh. (That would be a big boat, too.)If you haven't heard Limbaugh try to sound like your Asian ancestors, that's good.  You've been spared...

As an Asian American and the longtime writer of a column called "Amok," I felt a strong spiritual obligation to be at the inaugural celebration of Fred T. Korematsu Day held last Sunday, Jan. 30, in Berkeley.Now here's a guy...

If you feared that this State of the Union address would be a sharp right turn from hope and change, relax.It was the best speech our first bi-racial president searching for middle ground could make.President Obama was purposefully in the...

The last word on Tiger Mom: Hu?

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The final list isn't official yet. But if San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan are among the guests at tonight's state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao, then surely someone in the Obama administration can make...

It's official. And in Asian American history, it's a big deal.San Francisco's new mayor is named Lee---Ed Lee, the first Asian American of Chinese descent to hold that position.Anyone who jokes that he's mayor because they lowered the height requirement,...

In California, with 4.4 million Asian Americans--the most Asian state in the nation--Jerry Brown is once again the chief executive. Are you ready for the pain?Previously a two-term governor at age 36, Brown is back for a third term at...

I don't know about you, but I'll be watching Sunday night football on Tuesday and feeling happy that Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania will be out of office on Jan. 18.  It couldn't come soon enough.He may not like it...

Legislation and Real Life

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Too many historic votes in the Senate this past weekend. Some good. Some bad. So maybe it's appropriate that my week began by attending a funeral of a young Asian American. My nephew Brian Francisco was just 31, an American...

When Barack Obama gets in trouble, he usually rallies with a rousing and passionate speech. But his compromising ways have turned him into just half the man we thought he was.So as the hot talk in Washington turns to tax...

Who's Still Dreaming the Dream?

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This week when Congress is expected to finally vote on the so-called Dream Act, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will vote to kill it.And what of his one-time role as a lead sponsor of the original bill many years ago?  It...

For all  journalists, this I know to be true: We all love a good leak.It's the sexy part of the news game, to reveal something that heretofore was so off-limits and so verboten. That makes it one lucky day when...

In the last few weeks, airport security has gone X-rated in the hunt for terrorists. A new era has arrived when airline passengers are being quoted in the New York Times saying, "I didn't really expect her to touch my...

Nineteen years ago, the musical Miss Saigon first came to Broadway with a white actor augmented by eye prosthesis and bronzing cream to make him look more Asian.Sound a bit too Charlie Chan-like for the modern day? It seemed that...

George W. Bush smiled and chatted up Matt Lauer on the Today Show Wednesday. "I'm enjoying selling the book," Bush said. "My debating days are over."Yes, with his memoirs out now, Bush is all about retail. And I certainly understand...

So Democrats lost the House, but the Republicans couldn't win the Senate.It means on the national level, we are in for two years of "incremental nothing," when things only seem to be happening but aren't.  We've seen gridlock before. And...

Asian American Tea Party?

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Even before the results are in, the Tea Party has impacted this year's mid-terms. But have you seen any Asian Americans in its ranks? I haven't noticed any. Which leads me to wonder, how can you call yourself a TP...

Hate Crime For Rutgers Outers?

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While we wait to see if New Jersey prosecutors will pursue hate crime enhancements against Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei in connection with the outing of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, is there anyone out there in the community who may...