Cover image for Yellow journalist : dispatches from Asian America
Yellow journalist : dispatches from Asian America
Wong, William, 1941 July 7-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : Temple University Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xvi, 272 pages ; 23 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E184.O6 W66 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



For three decades, William Wong has been America's most energetic and entertaining chronicler of the Asian diaspora and its effects on politics, culture, business, sports, dress, diet, and language. Like other great humorists, he exposes the painful absurdities that plague each new wave of immigrant families as they enrich the national character, from Wong's own adventurous parents to Tiger Woods. Some of these pieces offer surprising insights on geopolitics and others explore the legal and social consequences of racial discrimination, but my favorites are the playful essays, including the classic 'So That's Why I Can't Lose Weight.' --Jay Mathews, Washington Post reporter and columnist, and author of Class StruggleWho are Asian Americans? Are they the remnants of the yellow peril portrayed in the media through stories on Asian street gangs, unscrupulous political fundraisers, and crafty nuclear spies? Or are they the model minority that the media present as consistently outranking European Americans in math scores and violin performances?In this funny, sobering, and always enlightening collection, journalist William Wong comments on these and other anomalies of the Asian American experience. From its opening tribute to the Oakland Chinatown of Wong's childhood to its closing tribute to Tiger Woods, Yellow Journalist portrays the many-sided legacies of exclusion and discrimination. The stories, columns, essays, and commentaries in this collection tackle such persistent problems as media racism, criminality, inter-ethnic tensions, and political marginalization. As a group, they make a strong case for the centrality of the Asian American historical experiences in U.S. race relations.The essays cover many subjects, from the personal to policy, from the serious to the silly. You will learn a little Asian American history and a lot about the nuances and complexities of the contemporary Asian American experience. If there is an overriding theme of these stories and essays, it is the multi-faceted adaptation of ethnic Asians to the common American culture, the intriguing roles that they play in our society, and the quality of their achievements to contribute to a better society.Bill Wong's high school journalism teacher took him aside during his senior year and told him he would have to be twice as good to succeed at his chosen profession. Succeed he did, and twice as good he is. As Darrell Hamamoto remarks in his Foreword, 'Chinaman, ' Chinese American, Asian American; any way you slice it, Bill Wong is one straight-up righteous Yellow Man.One of the advantages of having a writer of Bill Wong's talent around is that we don't have to depend upon intermediaries and go-betweens to give us insights about issues affecting Asian-Americans. He is often entertaining, and ironic, but underneath it all is a serious mind devoted to shattering myths about one of our fastest growing minorities.--Ishmael Reed, author of The Reed ReaderIt is about time that America meet William Wong--an icon in journalism whose experience as a second generation Chinese-American has given him a unique lens through which life in America can be examined. For almost two decades, his columns in the Oakland Tribune and other San Francisco bay area newspapers have captured a different kind of reality about some of our most important social, cultural, and political moments. Wong's readiness to share his family, his community, and his conscience allows readers to cross a bridge into the world of Asian America. Whether it is an analysis of the 1996 campaign finance scandals or a perspective on how parent pressures and bi-cultural conflicts can play out in a young Asian American teen's life, Wong's skillful weaving of humor, irony, and poignant portrayals of the circumstances make each story linger long past the final sentence of his essay.--Angela E. Oh, Lecturer/Former Advisory Board Member, President's Initiative on anthology of Wong's best writing from the last

Table of Contents

Series Forewordby Darrell Y. Hamamoto
1 Hometown: In the Shadow of San Francisco
American Dream, Chinatown Branch
A "Manong" with Magical Hands
2 Family: From Agrarianism to Cyberspace
Finding Sacred Ground
Traditions: Old and New
"Rock On, Mr. President"
3 History: From Exclusion to Confusion
Conquering Frontiers and Barriers
Wong Is an American Name
The "Forgotten Holocaust"
Healing Wounds, or Opening Them?
The Price of Memories
4 Immigration: Huddled MassesStill Searching for Gold Mountain
Second-Class Citizenship
Downsize Your SUV
Se Habla English
5 Identity and Acculturation: Visibility Invisible
A State of Mind
So That's Why I Can't Lose Weight
Yellow Chic
A Tumultuous World in Transition
"We Lost a Country"
Who's a Bonehead Now?
Paradise Lost
Minnesota Chow Mein
Best Friend or Best Meal?
Violating the Crustacean Creed
Parenting, Chinese Style
The American Nightmare
6 Anti-Asian Racism: Forever Foreigner
"The Boat People Own Everything"
Learning from the Vincent Chin Case
Escaping Racism: No Way Out
The Golden State of Bigotry
Swastikas in the Sunset
Un-American Christians
I Am a Gook
7 Class: Yin and YangPicking on the Most Vulnerable
New Global Capitalists
An Obnoxious Status Quest
The Rich Can Be Nice Too
Exploiting Our Own
8 Affirmative Action: The Myth of Meritocracy
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Calling for Magician Administrators
The Selfish Versus the Altruists
When Values Collide
9 Gender: He Said, She Said
The "Hottest" Dating Trend
Special Assets
Hiding Behind a Cultural Defense
The Hero of Asian Men
10 Race Relations: Why Can't We All Get Along?
Just Who Is the Victim Here?
Playing Together
Plenty of Blame to Go Around
Middleman Myopia
Yellow Pride Versus Multiculturalism
Beyond Black and White
11 Politics: A Seat at the Table
Right Man, Wrong Time
Race and Ideology: Bumping into Each Other
An Asian American "Mr. Fixit"
Riding a Yellow Wave
A Common Human Affliction
A Question of Loyalty
Trolling for the Big Fish
Scientific Scapegoat
12 Crime: Bang, Bang, You're Dead"It Makes You Feel Special"
The Model Minority Criminal
Born to Kill
Boyish Appeal
13 Stars: I AM Somebody
Colorblind Casting
Forbidden in More Ways Than One
The Connie Chung Syndrome
Kowtowing to the Queen
Disposable Commodities
The Politics of a Bond Film
Money Talks
The News Media: Only Getting Part of It
Everybody's Child
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