Category Archives: News

Chauvin, Rookie Cops Sentenced in Floyd Murder

Minneapolis — Officials convicted ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who pleaded guilty of suffocating George Floyd by kneeling on his neck and back for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Trial officials convicted Chauvin on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Floyd, along with Breonna Taylor, were two African Americans murdered unjustly by police in America. 

According to CNN’s Omar Jimenez, the officers committed a crime of “deliberate indifference to [Floyd’s] serious medical needs.” 

Jimenez stated in his article that three less experienced officers accompanied Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd. 

Officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane were all charged with civil rights violations in the fatal incident. 

According to Eric Levenson of CNN, the graphic description of the incident was documented.

“Lane and Kueng were the first responding officers on the scene when the Cup Foods store called police about a man using a suspected fake $20 bill. The two officers then went to a vehicle with Floyd sitting in the driver’s seat. Lane pulled out his firearm and pointed it at Floyd, yelling at the 46-year-old Black man to show his hands, according to their body camera footage.

A video recording, according to Levenson, showed that the officers being chaperoned by Chauvin tried to pull the resistant Floyd toward the police vehicle to arrest him. Chauvin, without hesitation, dragged Floyd away from the vehicle and onto the ground.

Levenson reported that Chauvin put his knees on Floyd’s neck and back, as Lane held Floyd’s legs and Kueng held his torso. Floyd, with whatever breath he had in him, exclaimed “I can’t breathe” and called for his “mama.” He was held to the ground for approximately 9 minutes and 29 seconds, as the video recording portrayed. 

Lane suggested multiple times that they should roll Floyd onto his side, but Chauvin instructed as a senior officer to “staying put where we got him.” The officers allegedly murdered Floyd after Kueng checked for a pulse unsuccessfully after the supposed ‘arrest.’

According to Levenson, in addition to this relatively ‘minor’ charge, all three rookie police officers were convicted by state prosecutors of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

According to the census bureau of police killings, Taylor and Floyd were unfortunately not the only subjects to the main killer for African-American men — violence. In the 1,127 police killings recorded in 2020, only 16 of those cases — 1.4%, resulted in charges against those officers. Of the officers identified by Mapping Police Violence, at least 14 officers were guilty of shooting or killing someone in the past.

These police killings affect communities nationwide such as Poughkeepise, New York, where a teacher assigned students a prompt for an essay to assess the incident and come up with a verdict of Derek Chauvin by their own argument. 

Many parents and faculty questioned the assignment, including Sakinah Irizarry, a mother of two younger children in the same school district. She says she’s been advocating for diversity and inclusion within the district for several years and felt she should speak up as a Black mom of two children.

“There have been some calls saying, ‘People shouldn’t be having these discussions in school,’ and I’m like, schools are exactly where these discussions need to be had, but they need to be had in a constructive and forward-thinking way and absolutely not with lies,” Irizarry said. “When facts become up for debate, then we’ve really lost the focus of what all of us, the children, educators and community are there to do.”

These discussions revolving around violence against minority communities are necessary to discuss the actions needed to achieve justice.

Chabot Professor of Law and Paralegal studies, Cheryl Mackey, mentioned that despite the verdict of Chauvin being guilty, justice may not have reverberated throughout Floyd’s community. Black America is still debating on what real imprint the conviction of Chauvin might have on police departments across America and around the world.

Daniella Frazier recorded this event and discussed the anxiety she has from witnessing the traumatic death of Floyd. Frazier’s recording not only amassed a non-filtered perspective on the incident about the brutal and unforgiving behavior displayed by the Minneapolis police, but condensed the habitual targeting of the Black community and many other minorities by authority figures. 

This shows that not only is Black America a powerful community but a paradigm for justice worldwide and a powerful allocation of voices for reform from outside of the government.

“It’s been nights I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life,” Frazier said. 

Frazier added, seemingly referring to Mr. Chauvin, “But it’s like, it’s not what I should have done, it’s what he should have done.” This entails the excessive violence practiced by officers that is not regulated or controlled allowing them to not take responsibility for their actions. Protests have been calling for the reform of police and justice served for hate crimes by authority figures.

According to Eloy Oakley, Chancellor of California Community Colleges, California schools look to assimilate the intention of students statewide in California to reorganize the policing system. 

 “We have asked as part of the call to action, which was initiated after the murder of George Floyd, for all districts to review all their agreements with their police or security details and ensure we are taking steps to provide culturally relevant training to security and police.” Oakley said.


In a statement released on May 6, Oakley said, “Some have their own security, some have their own police.” He said it was up to the district to determine their relationship with police and to determine their own policing system explaining that students and faculty should, from now on, be included in consensus decisions when officiating and controlling the police system before dangerous incidents happen.

“We have asked as part of the call to action, which was initiated after the murder of George Floyd, for all districts to review all their agreements with their police or security details and ensure we are taking steps to provide culturally relevant training to security and police, we are opening up a dialogue with them, ensuring that our student leadership have access to police and security … to remove any policing practices that are either discriminatory in nature or can cause harm to anybody who was being detained.” Oakley said. 

A substantiation of police affairs is governed within an organized system, but the reform for better policing will begin with the voting of students, faculty and staff and not just internal decisions made by the board or even the campus officers themselves. 

Oakley said, “What we have asked from the Chancellor’s office is that every district review its policies and procedures and that we ensure that students, faculty and staff are at the table and that they have the ability to engage in a dialogue with the police and security officers to determine how policing and security is done at each campus.”

There is a saying at the top: “More Love. Less Hate.” Underneath are five different colored hearts. The first heart is broken.

What is the Equality Act?

On Feb. 25, the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, a landmark piece of legislation that would strengthen and expand the existing Civil Rights Act of 1964 to broaden its range of sex discrimination to protect LGBTQ people. 

This Act makes it explicit that existing federal statutes prohibiting sex discrimination also prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. In many state and local governments, there is discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, and receiving federal financial assistance. 

The bill is currently awaiting Senate approval, where 60 votes are needed for its passage. That means every Democrat, and at least 10 Republicans must vote in favor of this act. 

Currently, there are no federal anti-discrimination laws for LGBTQ people. At least 27 states lack a state anti-discrimination law, something that is sorely needed. A 2020 survey from the Center for American Progress found that 1 in 3 LGBTQ Americans, including 3 in 5 transgender Americans, experienced discrimination in just the past year alone. 

In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark case, Bostock v. Clayton County, that it is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to not hire, fire, or plainly discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Equality Act would solidify this interpretation into the country’s civil rights laws by defining existing sex discrimination protections that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Under the act, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) would also be amended to clearly classify sexual orientation and gender identity protections, firmly prohibiting housing discrimination against LGBTQ people. This would include the prohibition of differential treatment in renting, selling, pricing, eviction, and other activities.

Within federally funded programs, like shelters, schools, community health centers, adoption agencies, and law enforcement, LGBTQ individuals face a higher amount of discrimination in these programs. The Equality Act would protect LGBTQ people and women from discrimination, mistreatment, and or refusal by any of these programs. 

The act would also benefit LGBTQ students in federally funded schools, ensuring that students have the right to use sex-segregated facilities and participate in sex-segregated activities in keeping with their gender identity. It also adds protections for transgender and nonbinary students from the widespread misgendering and harassment that many face. 

The Equality Act would establish provisions that businesses, such as restaurants and pharmacies, would face accountability if they were to discriminate against, mistreat, or refuse service to LGBTQ people. Women would also no longer be charged higher prices than men for the same services or be denied service by institutions that provide health care. The expansion of public accommodations under the Equality Act would ensure protections for race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in public spaces. 

While on the campaign trail, President Biden championed this bill, saying it would be one of his top priorities for his first 100 days in office. However, he has since fallen short of that goal. During his first joint speech before Congress on the eve of his 100th day of presidency, Biden urged Congress to pass the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ people against discrimination. 

“I also hope Congress will get to my desk the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ Americans,” Biden said. “To all transgender Americans watching at home, especially young people who are so brave: I want you to know your president has your back.”

A report from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that a survey of more than 10,000 Americans shows strong support for LGBTQ protections — more than 80% of Americans — against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing across every subgroup of Americans. Even groups least likely to support nondiscrimination protections show majority support — 62 % of Republicans and 62% of white evangelical Protestants support nondiscrimination policies. 

While the bill has received a lot of public support, many Republican representatives fear the bill may infringe on religious objections. The bill explicitly states that it overrules the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which gives people the right to air their grievances against something that infringes upon their religious freedom. 

Under the Equality Act, the RFRA could not be used to challenge the act’s provisions, nor could it be used as a defense to a claim made under the act. Ensuring that religion cannot be weaponized as a permit to discriminate — including against people of another religion. 

Opponents of the Equality Act fear that it would threaten businesses or organizations with religious objections to serving LGBTQ people, forcing them to choose between operating their business or following their beliefs. 

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney told the Washington Blade that he won’t support the Equality Act, citing religious liberty. 

“Sen. Romney believes that strong religious liberty protections are essential to any legislation on this issue, and since those provisions are absent from this particular bill, he is not able to support it,” his spokesperson told the Blade.

Previous arguments against the notable Equal Rights Amendment in the 70s argued that the adoption of the bill would undercut existing legal protections for girls and women, echoing a similar sentiment to the Equality Act. 

However, advocates for the LGBTQ community praised lawmakers for extending legal protections to include LGBTQ individuals around the nation. 

GLAAD called the House passage of the Equality Act “a victory for all Americans and for our country’s core values of equal treatment under law,” continuing to say, “ This landmark civil rights law secures those protections for every LGBTQ person, to live without fear of discrimination.”

The National Black Justice Coalition also applauded the Equality Act, adding that “it also fills in significant gaps within existing civil rights laws for women, people of color, immigrants, religious groups, and those of us who live at the intersections of those identities.

How Californians Get COVID-19 Vaccines

The covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer, Modena, and Johnson has now been used across the United States. All Americans can be vaccinated and protected in a variety of ways.

Starting from the first dose of vaccination on December 14, 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has begun a large-scale coronavirus vaccination program. It aims to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 by injecting all eligible residents of the United States and participating countries with the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of June 3, more than 297 million doses have been administered, fully vaccinating over 136 million people or 41% of the total U.S. population. At present, the complete vaccination rate for the entire state of California has also covered 51.6%.

The new coronavirus vaccine is gradually opening up in California. According to the recent update COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Guidelines published on California Department of Public Health, beginning May 12, 2021, every Californian age 12 and older will become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Front-line workers such as healthcare workers and emergency services, as well as people over 65 years old, were the first to be vaccinated.

Vaccinations are provided in many places. Most of them need to make an appointment online in advance. Some pharmacies and schools can get the vaccine directly without making an appointment. Detailed information on how to obtain vaccines in your area can be found on the official website of the government or local health department.

For example, at the website https://www.vaccines.gov/ you can find the nearest vaccine site and make an appointment by entering the relevant information.

The United States currently uses three covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Modena, and Johnson. According to clinical trials and the actual situation of the people after vaccination, there will be various side effects such as pain, fever, chills, tiredness, and headache after vaccination.

My aunt Tina Wu is an employee working in a massage parlor. She said, “My second vaccination was in April. Two days after the vaccination, I developed severe physical discomfort and had to spend my time in bed all day. I feel really bad.”

“I have finished the vaccination. After that, I felt dizzy and weakened, and some mild fever,” Catharine Yu, a sophomore in Laney College, said in May, “I think vaccination can help people get antibodies against the coronavirus. Vaccination is helpful to the entire community and ensures that you and everyone are safe.”

Detailed descriptions of different types of vaccines and possible side effects, as well as some ways to relieve them, can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html.

For the latest news about the COVID-19 in Alameda County and the latest announcements and plans of Chabot College, it could be found at http://districtazure.clpccd.org/urgentalerts/index.php.

The US CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in 2020 that the entire process of vaccination for the American public takes about “six to nine months”, and the United States is expected to have enough vaccines to allow Americans to return to “normal lives” by the third quarter of 2021″.

Japan Decided to Release Nuclear Wastewater into the Pacific Ocean

On April 13, 2021, Japan held a relevant cabinet meeting and officially announced that nuclear wastewater after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident would be discharged into the Pacific Ocean after treatment and dilution. It is expected that more than 1 million tons of nuclear sewage will be gradually discharged into the ocean in 2023 for a period of 30 years.

After the Fukushima nuclear power plant leak, the nuclear reactors were damaged and melted. In order to cool them down, Japan adopted a water cooling method, which produced a lot of nuclear wastewater. Ten years have passed since the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. Today, the status quo of nuclear pollution in Fukushima is still not optimistic. Regarding how to dispose of these nuclear wastewaters, the Japanese government has previously proposed five schemes, among which the cost of discharging into the sea is the lowest.

According to data from TEPCO, as of March this year, the radioactive nuclear wastewater used to cool nuclear reactors has reached 1.25 million tons. At present, all nuclear wastewater is stored in storage tanks of nuclear power plants. It is estimated that by the autumn of 2022, about 1,000 storage tanks with a total capacity of 1.37 million tons prepared by TEPCO will be fully filled, and it is no longer possible to build new storage facilities in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Previously, TEPCO had stated that after purification treatment, most of the radioactive materials in nuclear wastewater can be removed, but the radioactive material “tritium” cannot be removed. Before discharging the nuclear wastewater treatment water into the ocean, they will dilute the concentration of “tritium” to one-fortieth of the Japanese national standard. Japan also claims that the treated water fully meets safety standards.

Japan’s decision was strongly opposed by countries and organizations around the world, especially its neighbors South Korea and China. According to the New York Times report on April 13, Eunjung Lim, an associate professor of international relations at Kongju National University in Gongju, South Korea, specializes in Japan and South Korea.

Whether their worries are rational or not, many people in the region “are going to be very, very anxious about what would happen if this radioactive material came into our near seas and contaminated our resources,” she said.

Even under the best of circumstances, Japan would find it “really difficult to persuade its neighbors to accept this kind of decision, because obviously, it’s not our fault. It’s Japan’s fault, so why do we have to experience this kind of difficulty?” she added.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China strongly condemns the decision made by the Japanese government on April 13, 2021, and stated that the nuclear wastewater discharge plan is extremely irresponsible, and pointed out that the Japanese government has acted in spite of domestic and foreign voices.

Local residents in Japan firmly opposed such a decision, especially the Fisheries Association expressed serious concerns. The local fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture have endured fishing restrictions for ten years, and the industry has always hoped to usher in a rebound after ten years of self-restriction. The government’s decision made them very disappointed.

According to a poll conducted by the Japanese daily “Asahi Shimbun” in January 2021, 55% of Japanese people oppose the discharge of nuclear wastewater, and 86% of Japanese people are worried about international acceptance.

Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, a marine research institute in Germany has previously warned that it would only take 57 days for the radioactive materials from Japan’s contaminated water to spread to most of the Pacific Ocean. Shaun Burnie, a nuclear power expert at Greenpeace Japan Office, pointed out in a media interview that decontamination technology is limited and radioactive materials will damage human DNA.

Amid the opposition, the United States expressed support for this. An article published by CNN on April 13 mentioned a statement from the US State Department, “In this unique and challenging situation, Japan has weighed the options and effects, has been transparent about its decision and appears to have adopted an approach. in accordance with globally accepted nuclear safety standards,” the statement said, “We look forward to the (Japanese government’s) continued coordination and communication as it monitors the effectiveness of this approach.”

Some experts pointed out that, in general, the discharge of nuclear sewage into the sea would have an impact on humans. Experiments have shown that long-term consumption of radioactively contaminated seafood may cause excessive accumulation of radioactive substances in the human body, causing various damages to the endocrine system and nervous system and causing diseases.

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale occurred in the waters of northeastern Japan and triggered tsunamis. The nuclear power plant located in the Fukushima Industrial Zone in Japan was affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The hydrogen and air leaked into the reactor reacted and exploded, causing radioactive materials to leak to the outside of the nuclear power plant.

Reopen of Restaurants in the Bay Area

The Bay Area officially announces the reopening of indoor businesses from March 2021. Many indoor businesses such as restaurants have reopened, and the economy is gradually recovering.

Since August 2020, California started using a color-coded risk level assessment to determine a county’s reopening status, which could be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/. Whether to open indoor businesses depends on the risk level of the county. classified as “minimal” (yellow), “moderate” (orange), “substantial” (red), or widespread” (purple).

With people complying with effective measures such as social distancing and large-scale vaccination, the Bay Area has dropped from the initial purple tier to the less restrictive yellow and orange tier starting in March 2021, the Bay Area officially announced the reopening of indoor businesses.

Soon after the Bay Area announced the reopening of indoor businesses, some formerly lively business districts in San Francisco are recovering. At six p.m., on a certain eating street, many restaurants were already full of customers who came to have dinner, most of whom did not wear masks.

“It seems that the bustle here has returned to the past,” said Michael Xu, a man who lives a few blocks away from this street, while eating, “I often come here to eat. In the past few months affected by the pandemic, It’s always been very deserted here, and few people come to eat.”

Fusion Delight, a popular Chinese restaurant in San Leandro, only a ten-minute drive from Chabot College, is full of customers coming to dine at dinner time. There are also some customers waiting in line outside the restaurant.

It can be seen that despite a large number of customers, the restaurant still stipulates that each table must be separated by a certain distance to ensure compliance with social distancing under the pandemic.

A waiter in the restaurant said on April 9, 2021, “Although business is not as good as before the pandemic, there are still many people who come to dine. Our desserts have all been delivered.”

Prior to this, many restaurants only offered to order food through phone or mobile app and did not allow dine-in.

In the past year, many restaurants were affected by the pandemic and suffered cruel financial interruptions. Many companies closed down as a result, and a large number of restaurant employees faced unemployment.

According to the California Restaurant Association, thousands of California restaurants close permanently, estimated 30% of restaurants that have permanently closed statewide. Before the pandemic, 1.4 million Californians worked in restaurants. Since March, between 900,000 to 1 million of these workers have either been laid off or furloughed, and many continue to wait on an unemployment payment that never comes.

If you want to know which restaurants in your area have reopened for dine-in, you can use the local website or go directly to the restaurant website or call to check. According to the most recent update, On June 15, capacity and distancing restrictions will be lifted for most businesses and activities and California is preparing to get back to normal.

Online Learning

Since March 2020, Chabot College students and instructors have been taking online classes for eleven months, full of challenges for everyone. Chabot College has taken corresponding measures to deal with the online environment and better help students achieve their academic success during the pandemic.

In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics from Johns Hopkins University, as of June 2, 2021, there have been 33.3 million confirmed cases and 595.8k deaths in the United States. 

The data is still coming in. California has the most cases in the United States. Affected by this, people’s work and study transformed into online mode, as people needed to observe safe social distance to deal with the rapid spread of the COVID-19.

According to statistics from the Entangled Solutions website, as early as May 2020, there were 4,234 universities and colleges affected by the coronavirus in the United States. The total number of affected students exceeds 25 million.

“Since biology is intended to be a hands-on endeavor, moving labs to an online setting has been challenging,” Said Megan Jensen, on Feb 25, 2021, a biology instructor at Chabot, “Each class is approaching things differently, but I have found that using a blend of virtual labs and sending home materials in the form of lab kits has worked to some extent.”

According to Professor Jensen, students must visit digital products and virtual labs provided by some textbook publishers (such as McGraw-Hill) to complete part of the classroom experiment content. “In general, I think the virtual labs by themselves are not sufficient but can be one tool in a broader assessment plan to help contextualize the learning.”

Professor Jensen also talked about her online teaching style, “I have chosen to teach my lectures synchronously, so students have the opportunity to connect and talk about content in breakout rooms, and ask clarifying questions in real-time. I also think having a biweekly class provides some structure to the week and helps keep students on track.” 

As for how the students are being impacted, Yanqing Ye, a Chabot student, said on Feb 24, 2021, “I went to school last week and borrowed a computer and hot spot. There is too much homework and too many things to study by myself. Studying at home is slow and difficult. I don’t think I have enough time every day.”

To help solve the difficulties encountered by students in accessing technology, Chabot College provides computers available to rent out and hotspots during distance online learning. Students can email Cheree Manicki ([email protected]) to get specific information about the loan program.

Besides, almost all school services have been transitioning to online forms. Students can browse the school’s official website (http://www.chabotcollege.edu/) to obtain services like consulting, tutoring sessions, and access to the library, etc.

According to Thomas Lothian, an instructor from the mass communication department at Chabot states that Chabot College will conduct 25% in-person learning for each course from the term of 2021 in summer. Based on the latest updated information on CLPCCD (http://districtazure.clpccd.org/urgentalerts/index.php). At that time, part of the students will return to the campus for in-person learning. Masks and social distances are still required on campus.

Rise on Asian-American Hate Crimes

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a surge of Asian-American hate crimes have risen throughout the United States, with incidents centering in the Bay Area and New York. 

On Jan 28, 2021 in San Francisco, 84 year-old Thai immigrant Vichar Ratanapakdee was aggressively shoved to the ground by an unknown assailant in front of his own home. He later succumbed and died from a brain hemorrhage in the hospital. Authorities have since arrested 19 year-old Antione Watson and was charged on suspicion of murder and elder abuse. 

The senseless attack on Mr.Vichar became the beacon call for action against Asian-American hate crime all over the Bay Area. Local residents fear for the safety of their eldery family members and demand for an increase of police presence in the downtown area. Many believe the crimes are rooted in the racial backlash of the pandemic towards Asian-Americans. 

Moreover within that same week, in San Jose, CAa 64 year-old Vietnamese woman was attacked and robbed by two men. She was assaulted  while withdrawing money at an atm for Lunar New Year and was left beaten on the ground. 

In New York, a 61 year-old Filipino man was brutally slashed across the face with a box cutter on a subway and barely escaped with his life. 

 
In Oakland, CA, a 91 year-old man was pushed and thrown to the ground by an identified man and went into a coma. 

These crimes have only increased and up to twenty attacks have been reported since January. Attacks consist of racial slurs, physical attacks, being spat on and so forth.

Furthermore, the shortage of news coverage and headlines about these attacks created a lack of awareness among communities locally and across the country. An interview with Barangay Chabot, a Filipino-American club at Chabot college, revealed that even among young college students, the news of these attacks were unforeseen and sudden.

“I just felt disappointed and heartbroken that it wasn’t getting the same coverage as a lot of other stories do and it sucks that it’s being downplayed. a lot of people even know about the hate crimes going on, unless you’re on social media [like] instagram.” expressed club member Rebecca Swain. 

The club members also voiced their opinions about how police are handling these investigations and their trust in higher authority is being shaken. Gerald Mayupao says,

“I think those in power, they don’t want people to see this as an issue and gather together and try to start movements again… I just feel like when it comes down to trying to investigate hate crimes and try to get publicized, there’s definitely people out there who try not to leak out this information so it doesn’t stir up a commotion.

 A lot of activists are fighting against what has happened, and I feel like these people [higher authority] didn’t want that to happen.” 

More than half of these crimes have not been investigated as hate-crimes due to insufficient evidence that may conclude it as a  “hate crime”. According to Cythia Choi, Co-Executive Director of the Chinese for Affirmative Action, the National Data on Anti-Asian Hate Incidents have summed up that;

  • Most crimes are considered “incidents” and not hate crimes
  • There are crimes reported from all 50 states, includin the District of Columbia
  • 56% of the incidents took place in either California or New York
  • Women are likely to encounter hate 2.3x more than men
  • 6% of the victims are seniors (ages 60+) 

Choi expresses, “It’s very disturbing to see that 70 percent of our respondents are women. And it isn’t surprising to women…
“to women of color, that we encounter much more street harassment… we encounter more sexualized, misogynistic, racist kinds of experiences…these are stories we are getting and younger women are experiencing this at a higher rate.” 

There are also the issues of fear among Asian communities or the lack of information to report incidents, making it difficult to get a real estimate of hate crimes happening in the nation.

 “We know that this is just the tip of the iceberg, we know there are a lot of people who don’t know about a reporting center, [or] don’t want to go to a site and describe the trauma that they’ve encountered…we really see this as the canary in the coal mine.”says Choi. 

The roots of xenophobia have greatly damaged many communities and right now, it is making waves within Asian communities, that perhaps it may be the catalyst for denying help from organizations such as AAPI. For club member Isabelle David, being part of the Filipino-American community, she has one message for her elders, “You don’t have to be resilient, we often glorify this idea of resilience…just getting through it in the face of struggle prevents a lot of us from getting the help that we need. [It] allows us to accept things that happen to us that we should not be accepting. I just want people to know that vulnerability is okay… 

We deserve help.” 

In that sense, the label “Model Minority ” comes to light and how much harm it does than good. The label stereotypes Asian communities as the “perfect” minority; silent, intelligent, and obedient as long as they are allowed to excel under the terms of the American dream. Hard-working in the face of diversity and never needing any assistance from other groups around them. It is the biggest misconception to describe Asian communities. It largely affects how Asians behave towards each other and how they expect treatment from other communities. 

Ms.Choi emphasizes the importance of it’s negativity by stating, 

“We don’t see [Model Minority] as positive, it erases part of our community and to know it was an intentional attempt to deny that there is structural racism…if Asians can pull themselves up by the bootstraps, then there must be something wrong with other racial or ethic groups, that somehow they’re not intellectually or culturally capable…that there is something wrong with their culture and values…as Asian-Americans, we have to wholeheartedly reject that [idea].” 

The effects from the rise of hate against Asians has created a rift in the safety net and trust that communities have built with each other, especially for their local authorities. The shift has been prominent and ongoing, ever since the Civil Rights movement to the Black Lives Matter movement and now, through the Stop Asian-American and Pacific Islander Hate movement (Stop AAPI). 

During March 2020 to March 2021, Stop AAPI reported 6,603 hate incidents spanning across the United States targeting Asians and Pacific Islanders. There have been increasing counts of violence and hate speech geared towards Asian communities, from the eldery down to young children experiencing hate in their schools. 

  • Children(17 and younger) targeted at 11%, while elders (61 and older) 6.6%.
  • Physical assaults increased form 10.2% in 2020 to 16.7% in 2021
  • Online hate incidents increased from 5.6% in 2020 to 10.2% in 2021

These “incidents” are only increasing in number each day and in order for an accurate account of these crimes, citizens are encouraged to report any crime they witness or experience to these reporitng sites;

New York State Hate Crimes Task Force: 1-888-392-3644 or text “Hate” to 81336

NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force: 1-888-440-HATE or email: [email protected]

Stop AAPI Hate: Report hate crimes; incident forms are available in Chinese, Korean and other languages

Stand Against Hate: Report hate crimes via Asian Americans Advancing Justice (this page is available in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese)

There have been too many casualties stemming from these hate-crimes that if there is a time to stand up against them, towards all and any races, that time is now.

Seeing the Rights of the Transgender Community

June is Pride Month. As the Democrats retake office, many hope to see advances and support for the LGBTQ+ community. Though there have been setbacks, State and House officials have been more publicly open surrounding the community’s rights this year. 

“To all the transgender Americans watching at home, especially the young people who are so brave, I want you to know that your president has your back,” President Biden stated in an address to a joint session of Congress on Apr. 29. 

Transgender Visibility Day was on Mar. 31, and the Biden administration has made progress to ensure that there is a push for protecting and respecting the community’s rights. 

On May 10, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) released the following statement:

“The Office for Civil Rights will interpret and enforce Section 1557 and Title IX’s prohibitions on discrimination based on sex to include: (1) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in covered health programs or activities.”

“It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.” as stated by HHS Secretary Xavier Barreca. 

Cases can now be investigated again in which individuals have been discriminated against due to sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Ricardo Alonzo-Zaldivar of LA Times described it as an act by the Biden administration to “strengthen and protect the rights of gay and transgender people across society, in such areas as military service, housing, and employment opportunities.” 

Alonzo Zaldivar’s article posted on Monday, “Biden Administration Restores Healthcare Protections for Transgender People,” refers back to when the Trump administration had tried to block protection against transgender people in health care, military aid programs, and homeless housing. 

The Trump administration tried to issue specific rules that “narrowly defined “sex” as biological gender,” Trump submitted a policy (which has now been withdrawn) that would have allowed taxpayer-funded homeless shelters to turn away transgender people. 

As Alonzo-Zaldiva put it, “(Biden) officials (will) unwind the actions taken in the Trump years.”

On Mar. 23, 2016, North Carolina signed House Bill 2, stating transgender people are banned from using public restrooms with the gender they identify with. The bill came to a compromise the following year, but it’s just the beginning. 

A video went viral back in Mar. 3 of a Missouri citizen, Brandon Boulware, speaking on behalf of his transgender daughter and the rights she deserves as a human being. Boulware was present at a hearing surrounding whether or not to ban transgender students from participating in girl’s sports. 

“I had a child who did not smile, “Boulware stated in front of Missouri Lawmakers, expressing the pain his daughter went through when having to be someone she wasn’t.

Boulware’s daughter was compromising her identity to be treated like any other kid, “I was teaching her to deny who she is.” Boulware stated that wearing boy’s clothes was the only way she was allowed to interact with other kids. 

“Let them have their childhoods. Let them be who they are.” 

Boulware admits that while trying to protect his daughter and family, he was also trying to protect himself from dealing with others’ judgment. Boulware showed up to court on his daughter’s birthday to ask that she and many other girls be allowed to continue to play on their school’s sports teams. 

That day Missouri House representatives, in a 100-51 vote, proceeded with adding this provision to a bill prohibiting transgender girls from participating in girl’s high school sports teams. This doesn’t make it official until 2022, when Missouri voters decide this issue.

Representatives, House officials, and many other members of Congress are speaking out on the relationships of their loved ones and the injustice they faced due to their sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Pushbacks cannot stop people from expressing who they truly are.

In Dec. 2020, award-winning actor Elliot Page came out on his Instagram page as a transgender male. Page was overwhelmingly happy to express himself and grateful for those who have supported him along the way.

“I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.” Page commented.

Oprah Winfrey sat down with Page to discuss his journey in an interview presented by Apple TV last month. Page described his time in isolation during the pandemic as an opportunity to separate himself from the world’s views and allow himself to come to his acceptance of his true identity. 

Page emphasized the importance to many, including himself, the ability to undergo top surgery as being lifesaving. He calls out the current state of transgender health care and the Missouri case taking away transgender girls’ right to play school sports. He calls lawmakers liars for their portrayal of health care for the trans community. 

“Children will die,” Page stated simply as a result of denying a generation their right to be who they know they are.

California Washed in Purple

From the beginning of March of 2020, businesses have experienced lockdown and quarantine due to the widespread of the COVID19 pandemic, resulting in mass restrictions and closures. 

Business owners all over the nation have had to reluctantly close their businesses for the sake of health safety. Moreover, those that remained open have had to follow strict guidelines on how they operate during the pandemic. 

There are 4 tier-level color coded systems used to track the lockdown that ranges from purple, red, orange and yellow. Purple, representing widespread cases, was a fixed veil over the State of California. In this tier, schools, businesses, and activities that promoted large gatherings were restricted to maintain social distancing. Moreover, social-distancing required people to stay 6 feet apart from each other. Most importantly, masks are mandatory to go inside a business or building that acquires many people. 

During the lockdown employers and employees, especially within the food industry, felt the impact heavily. While they were allowed to open for business, they were not able to accept customers inside their restaurants. 

Christine Aguado, a former employee at Gerry’s Grill, a very popular and often frequented Filipino restaurant in Union City, explained, “The restaurant I worked for had to close at the beginning of the pandemic [and] two months after we started to operate on a take-out only basis. This meant that only 20% of our staff got back on the payroll; just the kitchen staff and the host who were in charge of answering the phone…it was hard to keep up with the increasing demand.”

The biggest problem we had to deal with was the lack of staff willing to go back because they were scared of getting exposed to Covid.” 

Counties all over the state shut down effectively and swiftly following the announcement from Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 12,2020. However, many businesses and residents alike posed immense displeasure at the inconvenience and loss they were experiencing. 

Throughout the summer months of 2020, multiple protests against mask wearing popped up all over the United States, with people declaring  their individual rights and liberties against wearing a mask. An article from Forbes Jul 2020 highlighted one protestor, Tara Hill, an avid anti-mask Florida activist, quoting, “This is a virus that is very well contained. Everyone is responsible for their own healthcare decisions…We want our choices respected as well.” 

Despite ongoing backlash from anti-mask wearers, the majority of the US residents abided by the guidelines and followed restrictions. Workers, such as Lupe Hernandez, who continued to work through the pandemic shared her experience as a restaurant host and cafe employee, “When the pandemic first initially hit, the coffee shop that I work at had to close for a few months. When a few coworkers did test positive for the virus, we closed again for almost two months. It was hard not knowing when would be a safe time to return to work.” 

Small businesses were hit the hardest by the pandemic and their survival counted on daily foot traffic, but because of the lockdown they barely made ends meet. Most owners made the drastic decision to file bankruptcy and close permanently. These types of measures are what business owners and employees hope to prevent and while they are obedient to the guidelines, they hold bitterness towards lack of government aid and programs to help them stay afloat.

The wait for vaccines seemed to rile up the most anxiety upon workers who desire to get back to work.

“I think the government has tried, but it’s never enough, especially when it comes to small business.” Hernandez expressed,  “There wasn’t much that could have been done except wait for the tests and vaccines to emerge. The gov’t needs to continue to provide access to the tests and vaccines, and also healthcare to low-income families in order to make sure people can stay healthy and go to work.”

With an increase in vaccine distribution and healthcare organizations and citizens rushing to get their vaccinations, hope for a safer environment is on the rise. As of May 2020, California released news of counties switching to Red and Orange zones meaning, business and outdoor activities may now be observed in limited capacities, mandatory mask wearing and being fully vaccinated. 

Hernandez exclaims, “Now that there’s a vaccine I definitely feel safer in my work environment. My current job is at the coffee shop and all my coworkers including myself have gotten the vaccine. We definitely feel like we can move forward working together with a little less stress.

In light of recent events, slowly but surely, California and the rest of the nation is coming back to their “normal” daily lives with the ease of restrictions and guidelines. Businesses who have had to close down and employees who were laidoff are now have a chance in renewing their hopes in restoring what they lost due to the pandemic. All we may do now as a society is to keep up our patience and teamwork in opening up our counties once again. 

Hopefully, we will see California in the “yellow tier” soon.” 

2021 Chabot College Graduation!

Chabot College Graduates will be honored on May 29 in a virtual ceremony. A drive-through reception will also be offered. 

This is Chabot College’s 59th commencement ceremony. The ceremony is for students of the fall 2020 semester, 2021 spring, and students completing requirements for the 2021 summer semester. The virtual ceremony will start at 10 a.m., while a drive-through ceremony will start at 3 p.m.

The drive-through deadline for students to sign up is May 20. Chabot’s website states, “Graduates will drive around the campus for congratulatory greetings, a professional graduation photo will be taken, and grads will receive a special graduation gift.” There are three time slots to sign up for. 

Students can have family/friends in the car or another vehicle behind them as long as everyone remains in the vehicle. They also note that the photo op is ONLY for the students graduating. Guests are to stay in the vehicle. 

For graduates arriving on public transportation, there will be vehicles provided. “Come to the check-in table by the bookstore in parking lot B.” instructed on the website. 

An additional gift will be given to those who signed up for the Alumni Association. For questions, email [email protected] 

The coronavirus brought an immense amount of stress to the college’s faculty and students. This is Chabot’s second virtual graduation, but many students are thankful they’re still able to be honored for all the work they powered through the pandemic. 

Lucia Belloso is graduating this weekend, like many other graduates she’s ready for this day to finally come. “Even though it is online I still want to be able to celebrate this part of the journey in my education along with my family.”

Belloso also stated that she will be the first in her family to graduate and accept a degree. 

Belloso also mentioned that when first attending Chabot, she didn’t really know what to expect out of a community college. Although at first frightening, “ I think that a lot of teachers at Chabot were really understanding and compassionate which improved my experience” However, things changed when COVID-19 came into the states. 

The campus closed last year and the transition to online classes wasn’t an easy one. For Belloso being a music major, the setup of classes was a little tricky. “ I learn the most by being in-person in class where distractions are minimized,” The online classes took some time for many “hands-on” types of classes, and Belloso expressed that after a year, things became a bit easier. 

Belloso was grateful to the Chabot teachers that were more lenient with the work and deadlines, she felt there was lots of encouragement from them to keep going. At one point (2020 Spring semester) she even believed schools were going to cut the semester short due to the intensity of the pandemic.

For upcoming graduates, Bello advises students to try to stay on track as much as possible. “Senioritis is real” As much as you may be anticipating that last day, she emphasizes for them to remember this chapter of their life.