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The President of the United States said “South Korea” 6 times in his State of the Union address tonight ^^
“In South Korea, teachers are known as ‘nation builders.’ Here in America, it’s time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect.”
Booyeah. I want to be a nation builder…
“Our infrastructure used to be the best – but our lead has slipped. South Korean homes now have greater internet access than we do.”
South Korea has long had more computers and internet access per capita than the US.
“And last month, we finalized a trade agreement with South Korea that will support at least 70,000 American jobs… That’s what we did with Korea, and that’s what I intend to do as we pursue agreements with Panama and Colombia, and continue our Asia Pacific and global trade talks.”
Wait… as long as it’s not sending 70,000 American troops to Korea…
And finally: “And on the Korean peninsula, we stand with our ally South Korea, and insist that North Korea keeps its commitment to abandon nuclear weapons.”
Inevitable to discuss the North Korean threat and America’s position against it.
From an article in the Boston Globe:
Parents do these things to help instill in their children pride in who they are, and where they came from, but also to prepare them in case they want to return to their homeland and search for their birth family. What perplexes me is when parents say things like they are sorry for removing their children from “their culture.”
And yet the demand is still so high.
But focusing on a museum view of culture can ignore – or become a way to ignore – the reality of life as a racial minority in America.
Being Asian American is not about celebrating the lunar new year, wearing a hanbok, painting a mask, or banging a drum. Yeah, we do those sometimes, but there’s more to it than that. For example, today someone asked me if I was from the US. It was much nicer than asking “So what country are you from?” but the implication is there: I don’t look American. That is something you don’t get from the “museum view of culture” that Hopgood writes of.
This is a danger, I think, in presenting the birth country and family in an overly romantic way, and in raising a child’s expectations that they will and should fit in. Adoptees can end up feeling bad not only because they don’t fit in, but because they disappoint their parents.
There is also a danger, I think, in presenting the birth country and family in an overly romantic and unmodernized, backwards way; that the birth parents are poor farmers from rural areas and unable to raise a child. Unfortunately, I can name more than a few children’s books that do that. Likewise, I can name more than a few children’s books that romanticize adoption itself; the rescue, the colorblind love, the trivial misunderstandings from society that adoptees should brush off. Right.
I realize that adoptees will all come to their own view of culture and adoption, but I imagine many international adoptees and children in multiracial families share this wider, more global view of themselves. Our blended family backgrounds, beliefs, and practices – as diverse, complicated, and dissonant as they might seem – are as authentic as any. We are another version of the immigrant story, with a culture is just as rich as the one we might have had.
Read the rest of it here. Thanks to Ji-Yeon Yuh for the link.
Obama and Ozawa
Jerry Kang / Special to The National Law Journal
March 31, 2008
Next to his 2004 convention speech, Barack Obama’s speech on race was his most important. It was the most honest and complex analysis of race made by a candidate seeking political office I have ever heard. He did what he needed to do — meet head-on the hardest criticisms, with substance, context, humility and analytical clarity.
As a legal academic who studies race, I was delighted to see Obama reject simplistic tales. He discussed both individual and structural causes of how things came to be. In other words, he spoke of individual choices (both good and bad) but reminded folks that they are always made within a historically and materially situated menu of options. He rejected demonizing one side as racists and making virtuous victims of the other, and instead identified core similarities and basic human needs. He spoke of the young white woman, Ashley, and the elderly black man who realized that he was working beside her on the campaign “because of Ashley.”
The greatest challenge, of course, was addressing Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor who spewed fire and brimstone against American racism. Obama once again denounced these comments, but still refused to disown him. As Obama explained, it would be like disowning the black community or his white grandmother, in all their complexity and imperfection.
Read the rest of the article here.