These Comedians Are Shaking Up the Stand-Up Scene

Female comedians are blending progressive politics and social justice into their routines — and pushing the boundaries of mainstream Bay Area stand-up.

“When there are six male comedians, they don’t point out that they’re male. That’s just a comedy show,” added Dobbins, who lives in Oakland. Similarly, when female comics make fun of men, “they get stereotyped as men-bashing. But there’s no equivalent for women-bashers. That’s just comedy,” said Dobbins, who has touched on topics such as reproductive rights, pay equity, and police brutality in her routines.

For starters, socio-political comedy means the jokes generally aren’t at the expense of marginalized communities, which is so often the case in mainstream comedy, Dobbins explained. That won’t be a problem at The Formula, because the comics they recruited are so diverse — mostly LGBT performers and people of color.

A Police Story Unravels: How Did the NYPD Break an NBA Player’s Leg?

White America’s racial illiteracy: Why our national conversation is poisoned from the start

The author of “What Does It Mean to Be White?” examines the ways white people implode when they talk about race

This systemic and institutional control allows those of us who are white in North America to live in a social environment that protects and insulates us from race-based stress. We have organized society to reproduce and reinforce our racial interests and perspectives. Further, we are centered in all matters deemed normal, universal, benign, neutral and good. Thus, we move through a wholly racialized world with an unracialized identity (e.g. white people can represent all of humanity, people of color can only represent their racial selves).

A birthday salute to an Asian American hero — Gordon Hirabayashi, An American Freedom Fighter

By Maria Batayola and Gary Iwamoto
Northwest Asian Weekly

Hirabayashi’s legacy of justice is now more relevant than ever.  Extensive calls for Black Lives Matter against police racial profiling and targeted hate crimes against Arab American and Muslim communities after the 9-11 terrorist attacks tell us to be vigilant and remember the lessons of the past.

Go on? Why did Japanese Americans get reparations? Model minority privilege.

The Costs of Racism to White People

Reprinted from Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice.

Copyright 2002 by Paul Kivel

There are many ways that racism affects our interpersonal relationships. We may have lost relationships with friends, family members, and co-workers to disagreements, fights, and tension over racism. At the same time we may have lost relationships with people of color because the tensions of racism make those relationships difficult to sustain.

Their stories: Americans’ children left behind in Vietnam

The Washington Post
Published: April 18, 2015

Sandy: Tran Thi Huong

Her name is Tran Thi Huong. But she calls herself Sandy.

That’s the name her American father gave her before the Army sergeant shipped out of Cam Ranh Air Base in 1969 and left his girlfriend and their infant daughter behind. He had been excited about Sandy’s birth, even having a special picture taken with her. But he left without saying goodbye.

That photo, all that remains of her parents’ love affair, was carried like a kind of holy relic to the United States by relatives, where it finally ended up last year in the hands of Sandy’s energetic American cousin, Anh Tran, an event planner in Philadelphia. Tran last year set out to try to find Sandy’s father.

She knew the soldier’s name but little else about him. With the help of a volunteer group that links veterans and their children,, she located the father after about three months. He was still alive and living in Cleveland.

Although the soldier’s American daughters eventually confirmed that the man in the photo was their dad and have welcomed the idea of a half-sister in Vietnam, the gruff, aging veteran has so far had little to say about it and has not contacted his child.

Such outcomes have been common for Amerasians; only about 3 percent of those who have immigrated to the United States were able reunite with their fathers, according to one government estimate. Many fathers don’t want to be found or just want to forget about their traumatic time in the war zone.

Back in Vietnam, Sandy, 45, typically rises early in the morning to harvest snails from the ocean bottom at low tide. She cooks the snails in a small restaurant in front of her home in Cam Ranh that has become a neighborhood gathering spot. Friends come by to sit in the open air, gossip, pick the meat out of the tiny bluish shells or sample one of her other specialties, sticky rice and pork fat wrapped in banana leaf.

Her mother, with whom she remains close, lives nearby.

Sandy is aware that her cousin has found her father, but little has changed in her life since the discovery.

“I really want to see my father again,” she says quietly. “Maybe they can come to meet me?”