BLM Occupation, Tofu, Asian POCs, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on Black Politicians, and Guest Dae Shik Kim, Jr.


Hello from the American rebellion!

A packed episode on the BLM protests from our vantage point as cynical Asians and former Seattle residents. (Yes, Mukilteo counts.) We discuss the evolving Capitol Hill Occupied Protest both at the top of the show and in the second half, when we interview special guest Dae Shik Kim, Jr., a Seattle-based journalist and activist.

We also get into the latest controversies on Asian American twitter, including a “chewy and bland” tweet about tofu and a handful of viral videos featuring racist Karens. On a more hopeful note, we talk about a writer we admire, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and her recent piece on the generational divide in black electoral politics.

1:06 – The ongoing occupation of Capitol Hill in Seattle and whether the city can successfully balance its focus on racism-specific issues with more general economic grievances (think “Tax Amazon”; her name is pronounced “Sha-ma”). Bonus: a bizarre Philly DSA statement.

15:02 – Bloomberg Asia’s bizarre tweet hating on tofu (screengrab because Bloomberg has since deleted it):

Also, why food seems so central to Asian American outrage, the timeless “cultural appropriation” debate, and how much we’d pay for an “authentic” Asian meal (not a lot!).

27:35 – This week, a couple videos of white women in California harassing Asian people went viral. Are these videos an appropriate way for Asians to link up with racial-justice struggles? Plus, a hobbyhorse of ours: Asians and the category “POC.”

39:56 – We unpack a recent piece by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor titled, “The End of Black Politics.” Tammy recently hosted a teach-in with Keeanga and Marc Lamont Hill.

47:25 – Seattle-based journalist and activist Dae Shik Kim, Jr. explains the ongoing Capitol Hill Occupied Protest. Why the name change from “autonomous zone”? What are the demands of the “decriminalize Seattle” group? Finally, how Dae Shik has processed this moment as a mixed-race (Korean and Black) person.

Also, a quick announcement: Andy will be participating in a webinar on Thursday (June 18, 7-830P US ET) hosted by a group of scholars of China who want to stake out a left politics against both US and Chinese nationalism. If you’re interested, please register here:

Below, a brief description and poster:

Viral Politics: Left Perspectives on the World and China, Part One
by Verso Books

The COVID-19 pandemic has become the latest locus of growing US-China tensions, opening crucial conversations for the international left related to the principles of anti-capitalism, anti-authoritarianism, anti-racism, and anti-imperialism.
As critical scholars of China, we will take up these issues in a two-part webinar series.
We begin with the questions: How can we move from scapegoating China to developing an analysis of capitalism, authoritarianism and imperialism as global systems that produce crises and injustices? How can we address proliferating social inequalities, political oppression, and environmental degradation amid geopolitical tensions? How do we counter China-bashing abroad without sidelining the legitimate concerns of Chinese citizens and social movements in China? How do we address rising xenophobia, racism, and nationalism in pandemic times? And, what is the role of China scholars in producing critical knowledge and engaging with political questions?

Co-sponsored by:
Haymarket Books, n+1, Made in China Journal, The Nation, New Politics, The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), Spectre Journal, and Justice is Global