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🍵 No progress seen from Biden AAPI bill

To: SharkBites Readers

Date: February 3, 2023


Hello, everyone! 

A report from USA Today argues progress could be better on Biden’s initiatives to root out crimes against AAPIs. 

President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in 2021, aimed at addressing the underreported hate crimes against Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The act was also designed to improve hate crime reporting and provide resources for state and local law enforcement. 

USA Today's report revealed that the FBI’s report on hate crimes targeting the AAPI community were inconsistent with data found from state authority reports and nonprofit organization Stop AAPI Hate. Additionally, state-run hate crime hotlines and promised federal funding in the bill have not been implemented. The Department of Justice is set to award $1.125 million grants to two states to run the hotlines starting Mar. 1, however, the department did not disclose which states would receive the grants. Meanwhile, a handful of states and a non-profit organization have started their own hotlines. 

Spotlight 💡
  • Novelist Julie Otsuka and journalist Ed Yong have won the Carnegie Medals for Excellence, presented by the American Library Association. Otsuka's novel "The Swimmers" won the fiction medal, while Yong's book "An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us" won the nonfiction medal. Both awards come with a $5,000 cash prize. Otsuka, 60, has also received a PEN/Faulkner award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, while Yong, a Malaysian native, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2021 for his reporting on the coronavirus pandemic.
Race in America 🌎
  • Racist reviews: Yelp removed 2,000 racist business reviews in 2022, a nearly ten-fold increase from the previous year. The largest increase was in reviews targeting Asian Americans and Asian American-owned businesses, according to Yelp's annual trust and safety report. The sharp spike in negative reviews coincides with a new uptick in anti-Asian racism and sentiment. Yelp has been fine-tuning its efforts to identify and remove racist content since the COVID-19 pandemic began.


  • An artist and his portraits: Jonathan D. Chang is a Taiwanese immigrant and artist based in Los Angeles. Chang has gone viral for his artistic portraits on Instagram of the Monterey Park shooting victims. Chang says he has received kind messages from the surviving family members of how much his work means to them. Chang said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, “After the media has gone, and then this is no longer the news cycle, these families have to deal with this stuff for life. It’s really important to humanize our community and to show that just because it’s not your family, it could have been. We never know.”  
A portrait of Ming Wei Ma
Jonathan D. Chang @jdschang
In Other Asian News 🗞
  • Canadian niceness: Canada's Parliament has passed a motion to accept 10,000 Uyghur refugees who are facing pressure to return to China. In February 2021, Canadian lawmakers labeled China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims as genocide. At least 1 million Uyghurs and other mostly-Muslim minorities are believed to be incarcerated in internment camps in Xinjiang. Parliament aims for resettlement of 10,000 Uyghurs in Canada over two years starting in 2024.


  • Activist honored: The U.S. State Department named Ding Jiaxi, a Chinese dissident, as one of its Global Human Rights Defender Award honorees. Ding is a former engineer-turned-lawyer and a high-profile target of China's crackdown on human rights lawyers and legal scholars. He has been a member of the New Citizens' Movement for over a decade, advocating for the exercise of constitutional rights, supporting independent candidates, and pushing for financial transparency and educational equality. Ding has been repeatedly jailed and indicted for "subversion of state power" in 2021. The award is part of the State Department's effort to raise the profile of activists in the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Entertainment 📺
  • Bollywood docuseries: Netflix will pay homage to the late Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra and his studio Yash Raj Films with the release of a star-studded four-part documentary series, “The Romantics.” The series will examine the impact of the studio on Bollywood over the past 50 years and feature 35 leading figures in the Hindi-language film industry. The streamer will release the series globally on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, in honor of Chopra, who is recognized as the father of romance in Indian cinema. 


  • “Strawberry” in season: South Korean hip-hop trio Epik High are back with a new EP titled “Strawberry.” The EP, which shares its name with the lead track, features two collaborations: “On My Way,” featuring Jackson Wang, and “Catch,” featuring Hwasa. Meanwhile, B-sides “Down Bad Freestyle” and “God’s Latte” round out the EP.  All three Epik High members — Tablo, Mithra Jin and Tukutz — had a hand in either producing or writing for the EP. The EP’s release coincides with Epik High’s “All Time High” tour, which starts in Manchester, England, on Feb. 6 and ends in Las Vegas in April. 
Epik High
What else is on our minds? 🧠
  • A young Chinese American woman is suing her adoptive New Hampshire parents for treating her like a slave for years.
  • Musician H.E.R. recently revealed her favorite Filipino foods.
  • “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding is the ninth most handsome man in the world, according to a new analysis based on the Golden Ratio of Beauty Phi.
  • South Korean actor Nam Joo-hyuk is set to join the military in a few months.
  • Panda Express threatened to sue a local California restaurant called Panda Panda. 
Resources 💝

GoFundMe Monterey Park: Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL), in partnership with The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF), Stop AAPI Hate, Gold House, Stand with Asian Americans and Chinatown Service Center, has organized a GoFundMe page for the benefit of the victims. As of this writing, the campaign has raised over $904,000. 

GoFundMe Half Moon Bay: The GoFundMe for the victims and surviving families of the Half Moon Bay Mass shooting. The funds are organized by several Bay Area organizations and others including Stop AAPI Hate, The Asian American Foundation, Hate Is A Virus, and Stand with Asian Americans. It has over $16,000 raised at the time of writing.  

GoFundMe for Tyre Nichols Memorial Fund: The memorial funds for Tyre Nichols. It has raised over 1 million at the time of writing. 

Mymy Nhan’s GoFundMe: Individual page for Mymy Nhan’s funeral funds. 

Xiujuan Yu’s GoFundMe: Individual page for Xiujuan Yu’s funeral funds.  

Ming Wei Ma’s GoFundMe: Individual page for Ming Wei Ma’s funeral funds. 

Memorial and resource center: A memorial honoring the lives lost and survivors has been established at Monterey Park City Hall located on 320 W. Newmark Avenue. A resource center is open at the Langley Senior Citizen Center in Monterey Park.  

Asian Mental Health Collective: A list of mental health and other great resources. 

Yellow Chair Collective Therapy Sessions: Yellow Chair Collective are offering six free trauma-informed therapy sessions available in English, Mandarin Chinese and Korean.  

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California hotline: Confidential hotline available in seven Asian languages.

Do you have a favorite Bollywood film?

Not off the top of my head, but I want to watch the documentary to learn more. 


Daniel Anderson

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