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WNYC News

Death of Asian-American Soldier Prompts Debate About Army Culture

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The death of an Asian-American soldier has prompted considerable debate about Army culture and the problem of racial discrimination. Eight soldiers have been charged in the death of Private Daniel Chen, who died of a gunshot wound to the head after allegedly being subjected to abuse and ethnic slurs.

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The Takeaway

Brian Leung on Chinese Americans in the Wild West

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

When we look back on the wild west of American history, we frequently celebrate cowboys and Indians, wild buffalo and wide open country. But what we often leave out are the thousands of Chinese-Americans who worked on the Union Pacific railroad, lived in the many coal-mining towns, and struggled against the prejudices of their white neighbors and employers.

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The Takeaway

Race and Identity in 'The Last Airbender'

Friday, July 02, 2010

“The Last Airbender” is the live-action feature film based on the highly successful animated series on Nickelodeon. It’s also the center of a growing controversy about casting and race. The series features Asian settings, costumes, architecture, and character and location names that incorporate Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian phonemes — such as “Aang,” “Fong” and “Sing.” And yet, when casting the motion picture, the studio chose four white actors to play the leads. When one of the actors dropped out, he was replaced by Dev Patel of “Slumdog Millionaire” fame, but it’s still the case that three of the four leading actors are white.

 

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