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In the comments on the Asian Week debacle, a commenter named Franky notes:
I read your post about Latinos calling you chinito. Just for the record that just means Chinese. When you put -ito on the end it usually is an affectionate term. I don't think you should regard that as racist the way blacks making fun of your eyes is.
I was about to leave a comment in response, but thought it better to address my thoughts on 'chinito/a' separately. I spent seven years of my growing-up in Central America, as the hapa daughter of foreign service officer, with a Salvadorean stepmother and extended family. 'Chinita' became the bane of my existence.
A picture of Seva Cafe @ Royal Cup Coffee House in Long Beach (pix courtesy of Be The Cause)
Last year, while I was at the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in India on behalf of Project Ahimsa, I was introduced to an incredible concept of serving and giving that elevated the way I perceive food and my relationship to food.
It’s been five days since AsianWeek published Kenneth Eng’s racist screed. (Read about it at our original post here.) And, well, it’s kind of hard to top that news. The controversy has made it into national media. Here’s a story in CBS from the Associated Press. If you believe in the adage that any publicity is good publicity, then a little-known local rag called AsianWeek is doing quite well for itself.
I'm speaking at a panel tonight at 826 Valencia. It's called How to Start Your Own Magazine. For those of you know don't know, 826 Valencia is a literary nonprofit that helps students develop writing skills. They have free drop-in tutoring, workshops, and storytelling for youth. They also have seminars for adults, like this one, which are not free, but the money raised from the adult events go to supporting the youth programs. It you've heard about them before, it's probably because they've got literati Dave Eggers on board teaching there.