Happy (late) Chinese New Year! 恭喜发财 (gong xi fa cai)! I hope that everybody’s new year will be prosperous and full of luck.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, xenophobia and anti-Asian hate crimes have run rampant, rising by 1900%. However, these attacks haven’t been publicized and aren’t talked about in the media. This has to change. With Lunar New Year, Asians were specifically targeted in violent attacks and robberies across America. The link that I posted down below includes a list of anti-Asian hate crimes and attacks that happened in two weeks. The link below that includes more attacks and a list of ways to help.
Another way to help is by supporting Chinatown! A ton of small, family-run businesses have taken a toll because of COVID-19 and would love to be your takeout for tonight. Below is a link to a company that provides relief efforts to small businesses in Chinatown NYC.
Also, I have recently opened a shop on instagram called @/_creationsbyjenny where I make crocheted creations (linked below)! If you buy one of my bao plushies for $15 (not including shipping), I will donate the profits to Stop AAPI Hate which tracks and responds to xenophobia and anti-Asian hate crimes. Just send me a DM on instagram and specify that you want to donate to Stop AAPI, and I will make you one!
Another way to help is to share what is happening and ways to help to anybody and everybody. The world needs to know.
February 1st marks the start of Black History Month! Black History Month is an annual celebration of Black achievements and contributions to society. We celebrate Black History month because the contributions of Black Americans have been downplayed, overlooked, and misrepresented. This month, and every day of the year, should be spent celebrating the achievements of Black inventors, scientists, activists, civil rights leaders, artists, musicians, and more.
To justify the injustice done the Negro, individuals…resort to malicious falsehood in saying that the Negro is an inferior race which has never developed a civilization…During Negro History Week attention is invited to the Negro in all parts of the world showing that even when in bondage the record made is not to be despised
Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950)
The first person I want to highlight this month is historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson, known as the Father of Black History. Born to formerly enslaved parents who could not read, Dr. Woodson worked on a family farm and in West Virginia coal mines while learning sporadically. He attended high school during his 20s and and obtained his BA degree from the University of Chicago and received his PhD from Harvard University.
Through the years, Dr. Woodson realized that the world needed a better understanding of the contributions done by black people onto society to counter racist misperceptions about their abilities. He devoted himself to teaching about Black History by various means. He founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which presently is known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and created the first journal of black history, The Journal of African American History, alongside his colleagues.
He started the first Negro History Week in 1926 to ensure students would learn Black history. Schools and communities across America held events celebrating Black history. Teachers revised lesson plans to include Black history in their curriculums. From there, it grew exponentially into Black History Month which officially made its start in 1976. He had chosen February for the observance because February 12th was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and February 14th was the accepted birthday of Frederick Douglass.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson died in 1950, but his legacy still lives on. Help promote his legacy by educating yourself on Black history! I will be including links to museums and online resources that might interest you. Also, I will be including a link to a list of documentaries about Black history.
True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.
Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)
Today, the third Monday of January, January 18th, marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day and honors the life and accomplishments of Dr. King. In the face of oppression, he never gave up in the country that he called home. The celebration of this day reminds us that the fight is not over, and we must advocate for equal rights and opportunities of all racial ethnic groups alike. MLK Day symbolizes progress and unity, for together, our actions will spark change and hope for the future. Through the history of Martin Luther King Jr., we need to realize that we have suffered through times of trials and tribulations and have emerged victorious.
On this day, I want to encourage all of you to pursue some sort of act that will honor his name safely and hygienically. Whether it be from sending a letter to your representative to petition for a new Voting Rights Act or participating in webinars like University of Michigan’s Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium, I want you to help someone today.
There are only ~4 days until oil companies will bid on destroying the arctic, harming the land of indigenous peoples (the Gwich’in) and animals (the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge houses 200 species of birds).
In early December, the Trump administration announced it would auction off drilling rights in the US Arctic. By doing this, it puts an entire habitat in peril, a habitat which animals like the porcupine caribou, polar bears, and whales call home. It will also hinder the waters that Arctic animals and indigenous communities depend upon. Alaskan Natives rely on the caribou that migrate to this land, and by drilling into the land, the caribous’ route will change and leave people hungry.
Also, drilling releases tons of carbon dioxide which is terrible as it becomes poisonous when there is too much of it in the air. Moreover, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and will cause more thermal energy to be trapped by the atmosphere causing the planet to become warmer than it would be naturally. The arctic is already warming at 2 times the rate of the rest of the earth. That rate might double, or triple if we do not do anything to stop it. So, please sign the petition below!
PROTECT THE ARCTIC, SIGN THIS PETITION! IT WILL ONLY TAKE A COUPLE OF MINUTES AND YOUR IMPACT WILL BENEFIT THE WORLD IN THE FUTURE TO COME.
HOW CAN I HELP?
SIGN THE PETITION
SEND IN A HANDWRITTEN LETTER TO THIS ADDRESS: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS‒R7‒ES‒2020‒0129, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.
SPREAD AWARENESS USING THE HASHTAG #PROTECTTHEARCTIC
Hello World! I know that I had said that I was going to post regularly for Native American Heritage Month, but life got in the way, and I needed to step away from this blog for the sake of my well being. I hope you guys understand! Of course I will try to finish the rest of the posts, but they will be more sporadic as school consumes my life.
This past week was Thanksgiving, and I know how emotionally complicated this holiday can be for people. So, I wanted to come on here and say everything you are feeling at this time is valid and that you are loved. Difficult thoughts and feelings are part of being human and do not take away from your value. No one is perfect. You should not feel pressured to be perfect. What’s important is you! You are a living, breathing human that has traits that make you unique and should be embraced! You are important. You matter. Thank you for being you!
Below, I have listed some ways you can practice self-care during this time!
Step outside for some fresh air!
Listen to a song that makes you smile! One of my favorite songs is Renee by SALES.
Check in with yourself! Ask yourself how are you feeling, what do you need, and reflect on yourself
Put yourself first
Cut off any toxic relationships
Say no to the things you don’t want to do
Ask for help
Do something that you enjoy! What makes you happy?
Here’s a little frog tiktok that might make you smile 🙂
Today is Thanksgiving. I hope all of you can celebrate with your family whether it be virtually or in person. Reminder: the virus does not stop just because it’s a holiday! This holiday can be emotionally complex as it is a day of mourning for Indigenous and First Nation Folks. Here are some ways we can honor Indigenous folks, disrupt erasure and tokenization, interrupt false narratives and move towards reparations.
Decolonize your historical lens. Check out my last blog post or do your own research about the real history of Thanksgiving and the Wampanoag tribe
Support Indigenous Business and Buy Indigenous Goods
Verbally acknowledge the land you are on and which tribe inhabits it
Raise awareness of the current disenfranchisement and racism facing Indigenous peoples to family and friends who may not be educated on the subject
If you want to check out some Indigenous artisans and artists, please check out @kinsalehues on Instagram! Her insta highlights have plenty of resources to support artists and her community. I have linked her account down below.
The Nigeria Police was first established in 1820. Over a century later, the northern and southern police forces merged into the first national police force— the Nigeria Police Force. Later, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, commonly known as SARS, was created in order to combat armed robbery and other serious crimes.
However, since their creation, SARS abuses its power through unlawful arresting, harassing, kidnapping, theft, murdering, raping, extorting the very citizens they should be protecting. They go about profiling youth with nicer cars and clothes or are in possession of an iPhone by assuming that they partake in fraud and engage in crime to get their nice things. They accuse these people of being “online fraudsters” or of cybercrime because they own electronics and then demand excessive bail fees to let them go. They have been known to stop people, go through their phone, and force them to withdraw money from the ATM while threatening to beat/kill them.
Philomena Celestine, 25, had experienced the brutality of SARS first hand. In 2018, she and her family had been travelling home from her university graduation ceremony when their car was pulled over by SARS officers who forced her two brothers out. She recalled, “My four-year-old niece was in the vehicle but they cocked their guns at our car and drove my brothers into the bush where they harassed them for over 30 minutes, and accused them of being cybercriminals. They could see my graduation gown but that did not deter them. My sister was trembling and crying in fear.”
Activists in Nigeria have been protesting to #EndSARS for a while now. Since 2017, protests have been building momentum across Nigeria. These protests have resulted in the Nigerian government announcing that it would disband the unit. But this is the fourth time it has said this, and the other three times had not been executed in a way sufficient enough to deem it better than before. Restrucutring the unit, changing its name, and redeploying its officers to other units is not engough. Reform must translate into accountability and justice.
“In 2006 and 2008, presidential committees proposed recommendations for reforming the Nigeria Police.
In 2009, the Nigerian minister of justice and attorney general of the federation convened a National Committee on Torture to examine allegations of torture and unlawful killings but made little headway. In October 2010, the then Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, allocated 71 billion naira ($196m) for police reforms.
In 2016, the inspector general of the Nigeria Police Force announced broad reforms to correct SARS units’ use of excessive force and failure to follow due process.”
The amount in cases of unlawful killings and police brutality are growing and yet, not a single SARS officer has been found responsible for torture, ill-treatment of detainees or unlawful killing.
To help #EndSARS
Learn about the situation and educate others about the situation in Nigeria
Use the hashtags #EndSARS (this hashtag had been created in 2017 and has since caused the government to reevaluate SARS multiple times)
Be an ally to your friends who might be experiencing turmoil because of the events going on in Nigeria, whether it be by protesting or just being there for them!
Halloween is approaching fast, and this means it is time to start thinking of a costume to wear (for your virtual zoom party or around the house of course). So, this post is a reminder to everyone that one should not appropriate someone’s culture as a costume! This is Cultural Appropriation. The definition of cultural appropriation is “the adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity.” This could mean taking intellectual property, cultural expressions or artifacts, history and ways of knowledge, parts (symbols, artifacts, dress, practices) or any instance that is commonly associated with and/or perceived as belonging to another. A common result to cultural appropriation is commodification. Commodification is the process in which the dominant culture has the freedom and/or power to take objects or artifacts from other cultures. Through this process, the relationship between these objects or artifacts and their intrinsic value is lost.
Some examples of cultural appropriation:
simply being “a different race for halloween”
Some ways that you can address this issue:
Reflect on yourself – ask yourself, do you know what is cultural appropriation and have you done it before?
Talk to your friends and bring up the subject – what do they think of it?
Reflect on your costume this year – is your costume based on someone’s race, ethnicity, or culture? Does my costume use stereotypes to make a joke or to be sexy? Is it exploiting another culture?
A good resource that I found that touches on this subject is University of Denver’s “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” photo campaign that aims to raise awareness and create a respectful and inclusive community for the students. What do you think about cultural appropriation? I have researched this topic and have found that there is a fine line between cultural appropriation and appreciation.
In light of the death of Chadwick Boseman, a black man most famously known for his role in Black Panther and other Marvel movies (may he rest in power), we must realize the racial disparities that occur in colon cancer. Colon cancer is the third-most common cancer in all adults in the USA. Colorectal cancer affects men and women and impacts people of all nationalities and ethnic groups. However, they are not impacted equally.
15 to 20% more likely to die from the disease than patients of any other race
higher chance of being diagnosed at a later stage and with a higher morality rate
recommended to be screened at 45 instead of 50 because of genetic factors (“African Americans with colorectal cancer are more likely to cope with an aggressive subtype fueled by a mutation in the KRAS gene, which drives cancer growth“ )
affected by socioeconomic barriers (low income, difficult to find transportation, lack of health insurance, lack of medical literacy, and access to care)
52% of Asian American adults between 50-75 have not been screening for colorectal cancer
colorectal cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in Asian Americans
risk of colorectal cancer increases greatly upon immigration to the United States
many Asian Americans are unfamiliar with colorectal cancer as disease rates in native countries are very low
47% of Hispanic adults between 50-75 have not been screening for colorectal cancer
also affected by socioeconomic barriers
cultural barriers (misconceptions about western medicine, language barrier in communicating with medical personnel)
talking about disease and death is culturally taboo
American Indians and Alaska Natives
fewer than half are current with colorectal cancer screening
colorectal cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer and second deadliest cancer in American Indians and Alaska Natives
they live in rural and isolated communities so it is hard to find screening
higher burden of cancer risk factors
socioeconomic barriers (lack of funding for tribal health clinics, high rates of poverty, lack of health insurance, etc. )
SYMPTOMS OF COLON CANCER
changes in bowel habits and stomach pain (diarrhea/constipation)
unexplained or unintentional weight loss
cramping pain in the lower stomach
rectal bleeding with bright red blood
blood in the stool
Symptoms of colon cancer mimic other GI disorders, so doctors are less likely to screen patients under 50 with these symptoms. If you have access to healthcare and you are experiencing any of these conditions, please see a doctor!
In honor of Chadwick Boseman, please consider donating to organizations like the Colon Cancer Coalition that raises awareness for early colon cancer detection and effective treatment for colon cancer patients.
Yesterday, August 23rd, a police officer shot Jacob Blake 7 times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin. While his 3 children were in the car watching. Attorney Benjamin Crump, a civil rights lawyer retained by Blake’s family, said Blake was attempting to de-escalate a fight between two other people when officers arrived at the scene, drew their weapons, and tased him. Currently, he is alive and in the ICU fighting for his life. However, he shouldn’t have been in this situation in the first place. His kids should not be traumatized from watching their own father being shot repeatedly in the back by the police. We must have an immediate and transparent investigation and the officers involved should be held accountable for their actions. We must demand justice. #JusticeForJacobBlake
Here are some resources to help demand justice for Jacob Blake:
Sign the petition calling for justice for Jacob Blake here.
Donate to the official gofundme for Jacob Blake’s family here
Donate to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund which is assisting protestors in Kenosha with bail funds here