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About The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current | View Entire Issue (May 16, 2016)
May 16, 2016
THE ASIAN REPORTER n Page 7
President Obama urges Asian
Americans to stand up to bigotry
By Darlene Superville
The Associated Press
ASHINGTON — President Barack Obama this
month urged Asian Americans and Pacific
Islanders (AAPI) to fight bigotry and to press
congress to update U.S. immigration policy.
Obama said America’s tradition is to welcome
newcomers because it was founded by immigrants. He
said that tradition also makes it difficult to understand
why some people are blocking efforts to overhaul U.S.
“We don’t simply welcome new immigrants. We are
born of immigrants,” Obama told hundreds attending the
annual awards dinner of the Asian Pacific American
Institute of Congressional Studies (APAICS). The
nonpartisan, nonprofit organization promotes AAPI
participation and representation in politics.
Comprehensive immigration legislation cleared the
senate in 2013, but house leaders did not bring the bill up
for a vote. Obama has used his executive authority to
shield some immigrants living illegally in the country
from deportation, but more than two dozen states, led by
Texas, challenged his action in federal court.
The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in the
case and a decision is expected by the end of June.
In his remarks, Obama said: “The actions I’ve taken on
my own can’t take the place of what we really need, which
is congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. ...
You have the power to push congress to do it.”
He said the AAPI community is the fastest-growing
minority group in the U.S., but is also significantly
underrepresented at the ballot box.
In a reference to Donald Trump, the likely Republican
presidential nominee, Obama urged the audience to push
LIFTER OF THE CENTURY. In this May 17, 1958 file photo,
Tommy Kono of the United States competes in a weightlifting match be-
tween the U.S. team and a visiting Russian team in New York. Kono, who
took up weightlifting in an internment camp for Japanese Americans and
went on to win two Olympic gold medals for the United States, has died.
The U.S. Olympic Committee announced that Kono died in Honolulu at
age 85. His daughter, JoAnn Sumida, told The New York Times the cause
was complications from liver disease. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler,
champion Tommy Kono
dies in Hawai‘i
HONOLULU (AP) — Tommy Kono, who took up
weightlifting in an internment camp for Japanese
Americans and went on to win two Olympic gold medals
for the United States, has died. He was 85 years old.
Kono died in Honolulu, the U.S. Olympic Committee
announced. His daughter, JoAnn Sumida, told The New
York Times the cause was hepatic encephalopathy caused
by cirrhosis of the liver.
He was born Tamio Kono in Sacramento, California in
1930. Kono was a frail, asthmatic 14-year-old when a
neighbor first gave him a dumbbell at the Tule Lake
internment center in Northern California, where he lived
with his family for most of World War II.
He packed on 15 pounds of muscle by the time he left the
camp in 1945.
“I didn’t want to be a weightlifter,” Kono said in 1960,
according to the Times. “I just want to be healthy.”
Before his weightlifting career, Kono went to high
school and college in Sacramento and was drafted into the
Kono would become one of the sport’s greatest
champions, winning golds in Helsinki in 1952 and
Melbourne in 1956. He also won a silver medal at the 1960
games in Rome and six straight world championships in
the 1950s. At various times he held 20 world records,
according to the International Weightlifting Federation.
That organization named him “Lifter of the Century” on
its 100th anniversary in 2005.
In the same period, he competed as a bodybuilder,
winning the title Mr. Universe three times.
Kono said Arnold Schwarzenegger once cited him as an
“He told me he was a 13-year-old boy in the audience
that day and was so inspired he ran home and started
working out,” Kono told the Sacramento Bee in 2005.
Kono later became a coach of Olympic weightlifting
teams for three different countries, including the U.S.
team that competed in Montreal in 1976.
With Hiroshima, Obama goes
where predecessors stayed away
Continued from page 16
forces have always been
trying to whitewash the
country’s cruel, heartless,
and reckless role as an
invader during World War
II,” the Global Times, a
nationalistic tabloid, said
in an editorial, criticizing
Obama for allowing Japan
to play victim.
That view is shared by
some in South and North
Korea, where resentment
lingers from Japan’s brutal
35-year colonial rule of the
peninsula. Hundreds of
thousands of Koreans were
conscripted to fight for
Japan, consigned to slave-
labor conditions, and forced
or deceived into prostitu-
nuclear attack,” South
JoongAng Ilbo newspaper
Moritsugu reported from
Tokyo, Chris Bodeen con-
tributed from Beijing, and
Hyung-jin Kim reported
from Seoul, South Korea.
TALKING STORY IN
Polo’s “Talking Story”
column will return soon.
back against anti-immigrant sentiment, especially from
people who stoke such feelings for political gain.
Trump has called for barring Muslims from entering
the country, and also has pledged to deport the estimated
11 million people living illegally in the U.S.
Obama said that just as the U.S. has moved beyond “No
Irish need apply” signs, questioning the loyalty of
Catholics, persecuting Chinese immigrants, and its
treatment of Japanese Americans and immigrants during
World War II, “we are going to move beyond today’s
anti-immigrant sentiment, as well.”
“We will live up to our ideals,” said Obama.
My Turn: History makes a difference
Broadway Books (1714 N.E. Broad-
way Street, Portland) on Monday,
May 23 at 7:00pm.
The importance of Asian history is
also the reason Theatre Diaspora,
Oregon’s first and only AAPI theatre
company, is staging a reading of
Philip Kan Gotanda’s After the War
The play, which takes place June 4
and 5 at Portland State University’s
Lincoln Performance Hall (1620 S.W.
Park Avenue, Portland), explores the
aftermath of Japanese-American
internees returning to their neigh-
borhoods to find new immigrants and
Continued from page 6
Asian American, including columns
I’ve written as part of My Turn, into
a book called The Letting Go
Trilogies: Stories of a Mixed-Race
The book will be introduced at
6:30pm on May 20 at Wilson High
School (1151 S.W. Vermont Street,
Portland) during the school’s Asian
Heritage Month celebration, which
will also include a free screening of
Mei Mei, a short documentary film
based on my 1989 radio documentary
Mei Mei, A Daughter’s Song. The
official book launch takes place at
CRC holds appeal hearings of police misconduct
investigations; listens to community concerns;
periodically serves on the Police Review Board,
an advisory body to the Chief of Police that makes
recommendations as to findings and disciple of sworn
police members; reviews Police Bureau policies;
and advises IPR on complaint handling processes.
CRC members are appointed by Portland City Council
to serve three-year terms. Candidates must be
Portland, Oregon, residents or business owners, and be
impartial and objective in regards to law enforcement.
Instructions: Fill in the grid so that the digits 1
through 9 appear one time each in every row, col-
umn, and 3x3 box.
Puzzle #83132 (Hard)
All solutions available at
African Americans who have also
been displaced. Theatre Diaspora is
bringing Gotanda to Portland for
post-show discussions with commu-
nity members so they can learn more
about Asian history and explore
relationships between other cultures
I’m not sure if my past works have
made a difference in changing the
cultural landscape of public radio or
Portland theatre, but my hope is that
it has filled some of our missing
moments of history. Learning about
AAPI history is a never-ending quest
for me; I hope it is for you, too.
The Portland City Auditor’s Independent Police
Review (IPR) is responsible for the civilian
oversight of the Portland Police Bureau (Police
Bureau). The Citizen Review Committee (CRC)
is an advisory body to IPR and the Police Bureau.
URGING ACTION. President Barack Obama speaks at the Asian Pa-
cific American Institute of Congressional Studies (APAICS) awards dinner
in Washington, D.C. At the dinner, Obama urged Asian Americans and Pa-
cific Islanders to fight bigotry and to press congress to update U.S. immi-
gration policy. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Applications are available at
or the IPR office: City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue,
Room 140, Portland, OR 97204.
Return applications by 5:00pm, Thursday,
June 2, 2016, via fax (503) 823-4571,
mail, or hand-delivery to IPR.