So I’m making a documentary. Gulp.
It’s about Wong Chin Foo and Yan Phou Lee, two Asian-American resistance heroes who were the first to speak out against the oppression the Chinese experienced during the Exclusion era (1882-1943). Between them, they were the first Asian-Americans to publish books and newspapers, first to testify in front of Congress, start civil rights organizations and simply just fight back. Their Malcolm vs. Martin relationship in the late 1800’s is the first documented account of the inner and outer turmoil of what it means to be Asian-American.
I’ve lived with this story since I was 16, and it’s time to tell it. The stereotypes of Asian-Americans as quiet, obedient foreigners betray our actual history - full of stories of resistance that are similar to other communities whose heroes sit in the pantheon of great Americans. To rob Asian-Americans of our resistance history is to rob us of our dignity as human beings. Because we didn’t just sit there and take it. Every oppressed community fights back. It’s simply human to do so.
So I’ll be posting updates throughout the next year, and I hope you don’t get too sick of them. Even if you aren’t Asian-American, these are essential American stories of resistance and civil rights.
Really tired of the media piling on web developers for the problems with HealthCare.gov. It’s just not a nuanced look at an unprecedented event - when technology and UX/UI matter greatly in federal policy implementation. The people who coded HealthCare.gov were given 6 months to build out a massive website. The specs couldn’t move out of HHS for over 2 years because of a Supreme Court challenge, states obstructing federal law in a way they haven’t since Jim Crow, and an election that might’ve killed everything if Mitt Romney won.
So blame Republicans, blame election politics. But giving any team 6 months to build a scaled out website ready for millions of applications is unprecedented. This is a moment when the nature of the digital age collides with how federal law is written. When the law says this must happen at a certain time, it doesn’t take into consideration the execution of that technology. Combine that with the public’s expectations of how websites should just magically function, then voila.
I’m sure that the next time we pass another law that requires this kind of technology, we’ll learn from it. But please don’t think that web developers screwed up Obamacare. It’s much more complicated than that.
"A Bold, Emotional Ad." - MSNBC
As Virginia gets ready to vote next month, please remember that there are 372,000 Virginians who’ve served their time and have had their right to vote stripped - including 1 in 5 black Virginians.
We’re helping out with video advocacy for the Advancement Project's campaign to help people take back their vote. We know all too well the connection between mass incarceration and voter disenfranchisement. Let’s help reclaim our democracy - one vote at a time.
Let’s be real we all know Aminatou had dibs. #CreativeDreamTeam
Made these right after VRA/DOMA week. That’s the truth, Ruth.
Hit me up if you want a poster.
I’d like to receive a “Trayvon Martin” “Asian-American” Google news alert.
I’d like to read just one post about Trayvon in Disgrasian, Angry Asian Man, Hyphen, or any of my favorite Asian-American outlets.
I’d like to see more than a blog post and a press release voicing support for Trayvon from my community’s advocacy groups. See Asian Americans Advancing Justice put their statement about Trayvon on their website, maybe.
I’d like for us to act like we exist. To be actual stakeholders in the American conversation about race.
This didn’t happen to us. We’re the unsuspicious minority. We might not like to be labeled sexless, nerdy foreigners but we sure aren’t being chased by the police for being just us.
It is not our responsibility to lead. But it is our responsibility to show support and be partners in the face of racial injustice. Because when the next Vincent Chin happens, I’d like to see people from other communities rally beside me.
Thanks Emil Guillermo for keeping the light on.
Inspired by Wendy Davis and Leticia Van De Putte last night. Created some graphics for Aminatou and she BLEW IT UP.
Friends, my old boss Henry Fernandez is running for Mayor of my hometown - New Haven. What kinds of values and experiences will help shape him for this job? Just take a look at the infographic below. One City. Let’s get it! Sign up and donate today at FernandezForMayor.com.
Recently, we launched a new brand, website and series of infographics for Terry McAuliffe's campaign for governor of Virginia. Since the 2012 campaign, we've set two goals: help political campaigns 1) embrace data visualization and 2) see the digital space as the origin of campaign creative. Terry's embrace of this approach has proven he's the type of forward-thinking, outside-the-box manager who can break the mold.
Here are some highlights from the campaign: Tablet-friendly websites. Compelling infographics to explain ideas. Animated brands. We believe that’s the future of political messaging.
For the rest of the infographics, go to Terry’s issues page - they are embedded into each issue.
Donate to Terry here. Remember who he’s running against.
Today was full of unforgettable moments. Hearing the President say the words half-slave & half-free, Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall. Hearing him denounce obstructionism, and making a clarion call for confronting climate change, stopping gun violence and advancing immigrant rights. Hearing the name Alex Haley come out of Lamar Alexander’s mouth was hilarious in of itself. But to me, I almost lost it listening to Myrlie Evers. 50 years ago she held her bloodied husband in their Mississippi driveway, dying from the bullet that pierced his chest and was found later in their kitchen, shot in cold blood by a Klansman who thought he could get away with murder, and almost did. Seeing Myrlie address the nation on this stage, talking about everything from Emancipation to I Have a Dream. There are moments that make you believe. That was one of them.
Our history lesson for today, as Elizabeth Warren officially becomes a U.S. Senator. Elizabeth, we’ve got your back.