Compiled by Staff
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
2018 was an amazing year for Asian and Pacific Americans. To celebrate and to welcome the New Year, we look back on the top 10 most-read stories of 2018, as determined by views on our website.
These stories are not breaking news. Rather, they are the stories that you, our readers, decided were important.
10. Chinatown’s new beat cop
Seattle Police Officer Young Jun Lim is one of three additional officers assigned to the redrawn boundaries of the West Precinct, which now includes Little Saigon. In her announcement of the expanded precinct, Chief Carmen Best indicated one of the new officers would be Asian American.
Born in Portland, Ore., of immigrant parents from South Korea, Lim applied to be a cop after seeing a Seattle Police Department recruiting brochure. Lim covers the King 1 beat, which encompasses just north of the Safeco Field and CenturyLink area. He also responds to the newly added Little Saigon area in the King 3 beat when needed.
9. ACLU-WA sues for man who was denied citizenship
The ACLU of Washington (ACLU-WA) filed a lawsuit on behalf of Army Specialist Do Hoon Kim, a decorated active-duty service member stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The suit said the government failed to process Kim’s naturalization application “within a reasonable time.”
Kim was brought to this country from South Korea by his parents in 2006. He enlisted in the Army in 2014 under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program — established to recruit non-citizens with skills critical to the needs of the U.S. military.
The ACLU-WA won the suit and Kim was naturalized in November.
8. Anti-Blackness & Asians
In the wake of high-profile incidents including the Black men who were kicked out of Starbucks in Philadelphia for sitting in a store and not ordering anything, our reporter took a look at continued tensions on anti-Blackness and pan-African/Asian solidarity.
“It seems that the majority of anti-Black prejudice stems from white and Asian people,” said Yolanda Yang, who identifies as Taiwanese American. “My family was raised with a distinct intolerance for Black people.”
“I would like Asian and Asian American people to educate themselves on how the model minority myth is used to build wedges between Asians and Blacks and ‘prove’ that racism isn’t really a thing,” said Shamay Thomas, who is Black.
7. Joe Nguyen runs for state senate
Joe Nguyen made a successful run for the 34th district seat in the Washington state senate. He became the state’s first Vietnamese American legislator and the district’s first person of color to hold that seat.
Nguyen said he ran “because representation matters.”
The son of refugees, Nguyen said after he won the election, “To think about where I started, growing up in public housing in White Center, working as a janitor in high school to help my family make ends meet, washing dishes at night to help pay for college, to now being a state senator is proof that anything is possible.”
6. A-Pop column
Our March A-Pop column titled, “Think all Asians look alike? You’re racist! — (JK, but you def need more Asian friends)” took the number six spot.
“Star Wars” actor Kelly Marie Tran and Olympic figure skater Mirai Nagasu were mistaken for each other at the Oscars. Critics accused The Washington Post, Getty Images, and other outlets of racial insensitivity for captioning pictures of Tran, a Vietnamese American actor, with Nagasu’s name, and vice versa. Nagasu is Japanese American. The two women, both Asian, and both wearing blue dresses, apparently looked alike.
5. Paolo Montalban in Seattle production of ‘Mamma Mia!’
Filipino-born and New Jersey-bred Paolo Montalban starred in Mamma Mia!, which ran at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in February.
Montalban was that high-achieving student on his way to becoming a doctor.
While at Rutgers in 1993, a talent agent scouting conservatory students spotted Montalban, and the would-be-doctor turned into an actor.
In Mamma Mia!, he played Sam Carmichael, an Irish American architect played by the Irish-born Pierce Brosnan in the movie version.
4. Filmmaker Long Tran attacks Hollywood’s deep-seated stereotypes
Vietnamese American Long Tran edited a short film he directed titled “Jap,” which sets an Asian-man-white-female romance against the backdrop of Japanese American internment in Seattle in 1942.
An Arts, Media, and Culture student at the University of Washington Tacoma, Long received a grant to create the film, for which he gathered a diverse crew and professional SAG-AFTRA actors.
3. Alaska Airlines Torchlight parade pictorial
Thousands of people showed up to watch the 69th annual Alaska Airlines Torchlight parade — with more than 100 parade units.
The parade highlights and celebrates communities from the greater Seattle’s diverse cultural landscape, including Sikhs of Washington and many more.
2. Need a job? Forget about a 4-year degree
A report published in 2017 by the Washington State Auditor suggested that schools and parents are steering most kids toward bachelor’s degrees, without exploring other opportunities that cost less, result in more pay, and, at least in some cases, may be a better fit.
What’s more, Asian Americans are often underrepresented in these types of jobs. In Washington’s apprenticeship programs, which includes everything from lashes and massage to aerospace manufacturing, Asians account for only 2 percent of participants.
Meanwhile, Asians makeup about 9 percent of Washington’s population and are the state’s largest and fastest growing minority group.
1.Justice Yu: don’t be fooled by Asian sounding name
Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu penned an op-ed titled, “When Voting for Judges, Don’t Be Fooled by the Name — Vote for Justice Steve Gonzalez.”
Yu wrote that most voters opt out of voting in judicial races due to a lack of information about candidates. Or they vote based on name familiarity. She urged people — especially the Asian American community — to vote for Gonzalez, instead of Nathan Choi, a Bellevue attorney.
Yu wrote about Choi’s lack of qualifications, campaign violations, and bar association violations.