ECAASU Statement on Recent Safety Concerns in North Carolina

ECAASU is committed to protecting our conference attendees and creating an inclusive space for all identities. In recent months, North Carolina has become a battleground for marginalized communities and people may feel unsafe coming to our conference located in Raleigh. With issues ranging from HB-2 to voter restriction laws to talks about a Muslim registry, North Carolina has created a political climate aimed to suppress and silence our voices. Comprised of a diverse group of students within the state, the conference team has experienced and witnessed the oppression and discriminatory actions of the state government. With that understanding of concern for our fellow attendees, the conference team has implemented several safeguards and strategies.

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ECAASU Commends the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s Decision to Reaffirm the University of Texas at Austin’s Undergraduate Admissions Policy

The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) commends the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s decision to reaffirm the University of Texas at Austin’s undergraduate admissions policy that uses race as a factor. This decision ensures diversity, which is integral for the learning experience on college campuses.

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"Kill All Chinese" Comment on Jimmy Kimmel

Written by Diane Wong

ECAASU commends ABC News for issuing a formal apology following the “Kill all the Chinese” comment aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live during its “Kid’s Table” skit on October 16th, 2013. The unscripted jab from a 6-year-old suggested that in the face of the recent government shutdown, we should “kill all the Chinese” to avoid paying our debt to China. The comment was repeated by Kimmel, and reiterated in a group discussion with other children parodying US politicians. This distasteful, offensive rhetoric has outraged numerous Asian-Americans, as well as Chinese communities around the world.

“We would never purposefully broadcast anything to upset the Chinese community, Asian community, anyone of Chinese descent or any community at large,” read a statement signed by ABC Entertainment executive vice-president Lisa Berger. Tim McNeal who is in charge of ABC’s talent and diversity branch made note that ABC has removed the particular section of the segment from all social media platforms and that the comment has been edited out for all future airings of the episode.

While publicly apologizing to 80/20 protestors in person and during his show on October 28th, Jimmy Kimmel made it clear that he did not intend to appear in agreement with the “Kill all the Chinese” comment. He apologized for any hurt feelings that were caused by the remark and expressed deep remorse for the incident. Although Kimmel and ABC Network apologized, we hope that going forward, the show will provide culturally sensitive material and take heed many of the sound suggestions that have been made from fellow organizations and individuals.

Justice for Trayvon Martin

Written by June Kao

The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) stands in solidarity with Trayvon Martin, his family, and the many others who have called for his killer to be brought to justice. George Zimmerman’s acquittal is reflective of a system that, time and time again, has failed to protect the rights of individuals targeted as a result of discrimination. It is a reminder that we need to continue to work harder to ensure that prejudice has no place in our legal system and society.

While some have claimed that this case has nothing to do with race, we do not live in a post-racial society. Trayvon’s story plays into a larger narrative of discrimination and racial imbalance across the country today, as racial profiling is institutionalized through biased application of “stand your ground” and other laws. Trayvon’s death and the failure of the legal system to bring him justice are not isolated incidents, but symptoms of a pervasive problem in our society.

As advocates for the AAPI community, we are responsible for challenging prejudice and racial profiling within our society regardless of whom it is leveled against. We will not forget Trayvon Martin, and will do our best to ensure that his fight for justice is not over.

For the whitehouse.gov petition calling for prosecution of George Zimmerman by the Department of Justice, follow this link: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/civil-rights-prosecution-george-zimmerman-united-states-department-justice-death-trayvon-martin/LkGHz0VH

For the NAACP petition for the Department of Justice to file charges against George Zimmerman, follow the link below (Currently crashed due to heavy traffic, will update if it is back up): http://www.naacp.org/page/s/doj-civil-rights-petition

 

Voting Acts Rights Decision

The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) is deeply saddened by the Supreme Court Decision to strike down key a provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In a 5-to-4 vote on Tuesday, the Supreme Court effectively invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act which now allows states and local governments to pass voting laws without federal approval.

As evidenced from the recent election cycles, a number of state and local governments have introduced restrictive voting laws that include mandatory photo identification procedures, massive voter purges, shortened early voting periods, proof of citizenship mandates, and other preventative measures veiled in an attempt to prevent voter fraud. It is undeniable that these restrictive voting laws disproportionately impact the elderly, minority, low-income, disabled, and other traditionally underrepresented groups. We encourage our advocates to continue to educate our communities to ensure that all voters are protected.

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Decisions

The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) applauds the Supreme Court’s historic decision on June 26, 2013 to strike down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples who are legally married in states they reside. We also applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down California’s Prop 8 ban on gay marriage. Both of these decisions reverberates the dreams and promises of justice, civil rights, and equal treatment for all people to be treated the same–regardless of whom they choose to spend their lives with. ECAASU hopes that these decisions stand firm as a landmark precedent for continued support and recognition of same-sex marriage and couples and LGBTQ rights. Now is the time to stand in solidarity for marriage equality and to continue pushing forward this critical movement.

Supreme Court Decisions on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) applauds the Supreme Court’s decision to send the case Fisher v. University of Texas Austin back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In an nearly unanimous decision (7-1), the Court argues that the admissions policy of University were not assessed properly by the lower court, and therefore must be re-evaluated. ECAASU hopes that with this re-evaluation, the lower courts can deem this policy as being essential to promoting diversity, and breaking down social boundaries on campus. Since our founding, ECAASU has stood in solidarity with traditionally underrepresented communities to support affirmative action.