sincerelyurskevichuu said: Chicago and u

Los Angeles for two more weeks then back to Connecticut for school!

This post was published on Monday the 18th of August in 2014  /  Permalink

An Open Letter to Arcadia High: Change Your Mascot

As the news broke today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office stripped the Washington Redskins of their trademarks of their name, the first thing I thought of was not really the Washington sports team, but my high school. I attended Arcadia High School in Arcadia, CA—just outside of Los Angeles, in the San Gabriel Valley. And we were the Arcadia Apaches. 

Our mascot, the Apache, is directly derived from the Southwest Native American Apachean tribes, and our school logo/seal/branding predominantly is made up of an illustration of an Apache (see image for reference).

I’ve never been comfortable with calling myself an “Apache” (but no shit, I’m not Native American so I shouldn’t be calling myself an Apache), but as we can see at the end of this lip dub video made this year at Arcadia High, when asked “who are we,” students are quick and proud to shout, “APACHES!”

No, stop. 

Arcadia High School, it’s time to seriously reevaluate what message you are sending to your students about cultural appropriation—and racism—by continuing to use the Apache as our school mascot. 

This is not the first time someone has questioned Arcadia High’s use of the “Apache” mascot. In the late 90s, Native American Activists threatened to sue the school over the use of the Apache as a mascot, taking offense also to the Pow Wow as the title of the school newspaper. Arcadia High unfortunately decided to continue using the “Apache” as our school mascot.

Today, Arcadia High sponsors an annual charity drive that benefits the White Mountain Apaches, as if that’s enough for it to be okay to continue using the “Apache” as the school mascot. It’s not. Let’s not even think about the fact that using the name of a Native American tribe is offensive to real people, but that this is a clear example of appropriating something that does not belong to this community. Even if members of the community in Arcadia have Native American ancestry are okay with this usage, it does not make it okay. 

It’s amazing to me that with the publicity and attention the Washington “Redskins” have been receiving as of late, this conversation has not yet begun. It’s decades too late, and we need to right this relic of a past time. 

Other schools also use the “Apache” as their school mascot. Vallejo High School in Northern California was one of them, until their school district recently voted to change the mascot from the “Apache,” agreeing “that the name mocks Native Americans.” 

The Vallejo City Unified School District made the right move. It’s time for Arcadia High, and the Arcadia Unified School District, to do the same. 

To all those who will say that we use the identity of the Apache “respectfully” or “to honor” the Native American tribe, I call bullshit. That’s just a thinly veiled excuse for inexcusable ignorance. 

Former Arcadia High School principal Martin Plourde is quoted to have said, ”The reason we keep Apaches as a symbol is that, when you look at these people, who have been through so much… despite it all, they are standing proud… What better symbol for our kids can there be?”

No. 

It is not okay to take someone’s identity from them because it makes for a nice “symbol,” nor is it okay to “repay” the White Mountain Apaches with charity.

It’s 2014. Let’s get with the times. 

This post was published on Wednesday the 18th of June in 2014  /  Permalink

Rest in Power, Yuri Kochiyama

becauseofyuri:

The intersectionality of Yuri Kochiyama’s activism constantly reminds me of the importance of looking across the racial and social boundaries still deeply entrenched in today’s society. Her work taught me the importance of fighting not only the oppressions you may face, but that of others as well—such as how she so fervently stood beside other people of color. She truly was a trailblazer that will continue to inspire generations to come—including that of my own—to inspire all to keep up the fight. 

Alton Wang is a current student at Wesleyan University where he chairs the Asian American Student Collective.

Yuri Kochiyama’s passing is a huge loss for not only the Asian-American community, but this country. Her dedication and activism inspires me constantly. 

This post was published on Tuesday the 3rd of June in 2014  /  Permalink
afamiswhy:

"It’s not fair that I still have been unable to take an AFAm course."#Isthiswhy #Afamiswhy

Our movement is taking off here at Wesleyan. I’ve been fortunate enough to be working with a group of fantastic individuals in support of African American Studies here at Wesleyan.
Check out our Facebook page, and the coverage from USA Today and Middletown Press!

afamiswhy:

"It’s not fair that I still have been unable to take an AFAm course."#Isthiswhy #Afamiswhy

Our movement is taking off here at Wesleyan. I’ve been fortunate enough to be working with a group of fantastic individuals in support of African American Studies here at Wesleyan.

Check out our Facebook page, and the coverage from USA Today and Middletown Press!

This post was published on Tuesday the 13th of May in 2014  /  Permalink
"My other advice is to always keep bringing up AAPIs behind you. Keep the doors open for all. Never have the attitude that you got to where you are simply because of yourself. Leaders fought for and continued to fight for parity for all."
Daphne Kwok, Chair of Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders 
This post was published on Sunday the 20th of April in 2014  /  Permalink