Categories
The Coronavirus Reality

ARE ASIAN AMERICANS THE TARGET OF INCREASED HATE?

An analysis of police department statistics has revealed that the United States experienced a significant hike in anti-Asian hate crimes last year across major cities.

The analysis released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, this month examined hate crimes in 16 of America’s largest cities. It revealed that while such crimes in 2020 decreased overall by 7 percent, those targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150 percent.

Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder and director of demographic data and policy research nonprofit AAPI Data, told NBC Asian America that while the uptick cannot be entirely attributed to the Trump administration’s incendiary, racist rhetoric about the coronavirus, he believes former President Donald Trump’s wielding of the fact that the virus originated in China and repeated elevation of the “China virus” rhetoric did play a part in fostering hate.

“What Trump did is that he weaponized it in a way,” Ramakrishnan said. “Trump’s rhetoric helps set a certain narrative in place — and presidents have an outsized role in terms of shaping narrative. They don’t call it a bully pulpit for nothing, and especially Trump, the way he frequently used Twitter as well as press conferences and off-the-cuff remarks to campaign rallies to frame the narrative in a particular way, it likely played a role.”

The analysis revealed a surge in cities such as New York, where anti-Asian hate crimes rose from three in 2019 to 28 in 2020, a 833 percent increase. Los Angeles and Boston also experienced notable rises, from seven to 15 and six to 14, respectively. Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., experienced a decline from six to three anti-Asian hate crimes. Chicago remained unchanged, with two crimes each year.

Though New York accounts for a sizable portion of the increase, Ramakrishnan said the increases in other cities are significant.

“We also know that first-generation immigrants tend to underreport acts of racial discrimination and hate crimes, but the fact that we are talking about change data suggests a meaningful shift that likely means not just greater reporting, but actually greater occurrence,” he said.

According to the analysis, it’s likely that overall hate crimes declined due to the pandemic and a subsequent lack of interaction in public areas and other gathering places including public transit, commercial businesses, schools and houses of worship.

The first spike in anti-Asian hate crimes occurred in March and April last year. However, it occurred alongside a rise in Covid-19 cases and ongoing negative associations of Asian Americans with the virus, the analysis noted.

Ramakrishnan explained that research on Trump’s use of racist language in reference to other groups shows that his language did have a profound impact on how people behave toward marginalized groups.

He said a 2020 study that examined Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants during his presidential campaign — when he referred to them as “rapists” and declared that “when Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best” — found that the inflammatory remarks emboldened certain members of the American public and gave them license to express deeply held prejudices. Researchers dubbed this the “Trump effect” or “emboldening effect.”

“Trump’s rhetoric on Latinos in 2016 actually changed people’s attitudes and behavior towards Latinos,” Ramakrishnan, who worked on the study, said. “So they were more likely to be punitive towards Latinos in the workplace.”

A separate study revealed that the use of “China virus” language to refer to the coronavirus, particularly by GOP officials and conservative outlets, has already resulted in a shift in how many people in the U.S. perceive Asian Americans. The significant uptick in discriminatory coronavirus speech that occurred on March 8 — the day Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., tweeted about the “Wuhan virus,” which coincided with then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s interview the day before on “Fox and Friends” in which he referred to the “China virus” — was followed by a rapid reversal of a decadelong decline in anti-Asian bias.

“Research suggests that when people see Asian Americans as being more ‘foreign,’ they are more likely to express hostility toward them and engage in acts of violence and discrimination,” Rucker Johnson, a public policy professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of the study, previously told NBC Asian America.

The new report, however, compares figures from 2019 and 2020, which does not include recent graphic attacks on Asian American elders earlier this year that have prompted significant media coverage in recent weeks. Many outlets have attributed the attacks to rhetoric that Trump used during his tenure. But Ramakrishnan cautioned against defaulting to a “simplistic understanding of what’s going on.”

“There’s a complex variety of factors, but the fundamental reality is that there’s an increase in the number of Asian Americans who feel unsafe,” he said.

He said more data on the current situation will become available in another year, and until then, it’s difficult to definitively declare that there’s been an increase in hate crimes of late. It’s possible, Ramakrishnan said, that what Asian Americans were going through a year ago was just as bad or worse but failed to receive the kind of media attention they’re getting now.

He also said there’s likely a confluence of factors that have contributed to the recent attacks on elders, and it cannot be neatly summed up by solely the heightened anti-Asian sentiment witnessed throughout the pandemic.

Ramakrishnan said there could be a combination of the effects of poverty and financial struggle as well as opportunity at play.

“Not everyone reacts to economic deprivation in the same way. And even if someone wants to do something, they might not find the opportunity to do it. So in some ways, Asian elders seem to be softer targets than others for this activity,” he said.

The availability of vaccines for older people, along with Lunar New Year festivities and shopping, could have contributed to more older Asian Americans being out in the community, Ramakrishnan said. And many of the older victims were attacked in areas that had already struggled prior to the pandemic and were hit particularly hard by the economic impacts of the virus.

“Many of these Chinatowns are in places that are low income and also suffering economically. So that might be one set of explanations as to why this phenomenon is taking this particular shape,” he said. “On top of that, we live in an age of viral social media, and … especially the shock value of some of these videos increases awareness and maybe anxiety in the community.”

Categories
ENTERTAINMENT HEALTH

HOUSTON’S GROWING BIKING COMMUNITY!

Categories
ENTERTAINMENT

A LOOK AT JAMES HARDEN’S NEW RESTAURANT IN HOUSTON!

James Harden’s new restaurant Thirteen
Tobias Dorzon – Head Chef at Thirteen

James Harden’s new restaurant Thirteen Houston in Midtown was open for a select few in the public Tuesday night…

Members of the news media were given a sneak peek at the new high end dining facility located at 1911 Bagby in mid-town Houston.

We were also introduced to Tobias Dorzon. He’s is a former NFL player who transitioned into a professional cook. Dorson will serve as head chef at Thirteen.

We’re told the grand opening is set for March 2nd and Harden is expected to be there even though he no longer calls Houston and the Rockets home.

James Harden is heading to Brooklyn, joining old teammate Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to give the Nets a potent trio of the some of the NBA’s highest scorers.

The Nets acquired the three-time scoring champion from the Houston Rockets on Wednesday in a move he has sought for weeks. The trade also involves the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In the trade, the Nets send center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince to Cleveland, and guard Caris LeVert and forward Rodions Kurucs, as well as three first round draft picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) and four first round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027) to Houston.

The Rockets also receive guard Dante Exum and a 2022 first round draft pick from Cleveland (via Milwaukee), and Brooklyn acquires a 2024 second round draft pick from the Cavaliers to complete the deal.

The deal will reportedly include a fourth team, the Indiana Pacers, but that aspect of the deal has not been made official yet. Per multiple reports, the Pacers would acquire LeVert and a future second-round pick from the Rockets in exchange for All-Star guard Victor Oladipo.

Categories
ENTERTAINMENT

CHASEN PARKER OF THE WOODLANDS MAKING MAJOR HOLLYWOOD MOVES!

The Woodlands native Chasen Parker starts major film venture
John C. Hall of Cardinal Trio Pictures

EXCLUSIVE:  Universal EVP of Distribution and Marketing John C. Hall has recently exited the studio after 25 years and he’s launching Cardinal Trio Pictures with Lokal Media co-founder Nick Scherma, and filmmaker Chasen Parker.

The production company immediately has a number of projects in development:

—The untitled Enron Project which is written and will be directed by Parker. In a revisionist’s history 1999, an employee at Enron starts to figure out what the crooked real-life executives are up to and attempts to blackmail them, but upon humiliating him, he leaves with a plot of revenge.

—Killer will be directed by Michelle Cutolo and is written by T Zhang. The story follows two unlikely sleuths, bound together by a dark, shared past, as they pursue a serial kidnapper to Colombia. Upon arrival, the hunters become the hunted, and our heroes realized that the true enemy lies within.

—The Token Groomsman is written by Hall. Logline: Scott Lambert is having one of the worst sales pitches of his career when he receives a last-minute invitation to be a groomsman in an all-expenses paid, elaborate weekend wedding. After arriving, he quickly realizes that not only is he a stand-in groomsman, but he also has the most token role in his extremely wealthy, yet insignificant, college buddy’s wedding. With the help of his girlfriend, Teresa Boyd, Scott discovers that not only is the bride after the groom’s family money, but she is also after Scott. Suddenly, Scott finds himself changing from a reluctant groomsman to unexpected best friend to save the gullible groom.
Start of production for each these features is scheduled for early 2021. The Cardinal Trio principals will serve as producers for each film. Financing for the films will be funded through independent financing and co-productions.

Scherma, who is the son of Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma, will continue in his capacity with Lokal Media. Both companies will enter into a strategic partnership where Lokal will handle physical production of the projects developed and distributed by Cardinal Trio. Lokal will also bring original projects to Cardinal Trio to help facilitate distribution, marketing, and development.

“I’ve spent half of my life working at Universal Pictures and leaving the studio was a very tough call to make. I’ve loved every minute of working on the distribution and marketing campaigns for hundreds of titles as a senior executive but moving into production was a step I’ve always wanted to take and partnering with Nick and Chasen to make movies is something I couldn’t resist,” said Hall.

“The opportunity to form a team that complements each other’s skill sets, shares the same collaborative love for film, and has developed the trust we have, is a filmmaker’s dream come true and creates the structural foundation for something truly special. I’m very proud to be moving forward together into the next chapter of our careers,” said Parker.


“To partner with a seasoned industry veteran like John and an incredible creative like Chasen is something that only comes once in a lifetime. I am extremely grateful and humbled to be starting this venture with the both of them and look forward to the amazing collaborations that Cardinal Trio Pictures and Lokal Media will create together,” said Scherma.


The company’s name, Cardinal Trio Pictures, was born from the trio’s like-mindedness in their approach to film-making. The Cardinal symbolizes loyalty and confidence, which are the firm’s tenets of business in their creative endeavors.

Categories
CRIME

HOUSTON MAYOR RELEASES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICE REFORMS!

The Mayor’s Task Force on Policing Reform today released a highly anticipated 153-page report with a list of recommendations proposed by the 45 member citizen group.

LINK FOR FULL REPORT!

Led by Chairman Larry Payne, the task force spent months listening to Houstonians and organizations about the type and kind of police department they desire and demand. The task force engaged in extensive research on issues and best practices around the country and received more than 7,000 responses from a community survey. 

“In the events of recent months, it is clear in Houston and across the nation that our community, mayor, city council, police chief, officers, and the union must all work together to protect and serve the constitutional rights of all citizens,” Chairman Payne wrote in the report’s introduction. 

The recommendations are divided into six categories: Community Policing, Independent Oversight, Power dynamics, Crisis Intervention, Field Readiness, and Clear Expectations.

“We have worked hard on this being a document that is not going to sit on a shelf. It has actionable items that can be implemented,” Payne said. “We are also going to stay committed to the mayor. As a task force, we are not going away.”

Categories
CRIME

THEY TRIED THEIR BEST TO GET THE MONEY!

WANTED BY POLICE!

Crime Stoppers and the Houston Police Department’s Burglary and Theft Division need the public’s assistance identifying the suspects responsible for an Attempted Theft of an ATM. 
 
On Thursday, July 2, 2020, at approximately 5:20 a.m., two unknown suspects attempted to steal money from an ATM located in the 12100 block of Hempstead Road in Houston, Texas. During the incident, the suspects used a stolen vehicle, tools, and chains in an attempt to force open the ATM. The suspects were unable to open the ATM lockbox and fled in an unknown direction of travel.  
 
Crime Stoppers may pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, charging and/or arrest of the suspects in this case. Information may be reported by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477), submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org or through the Crime Stoppers mobile app. Only tips and calls DIRECTLY TO Crime Stoppers are anonymous and eligible for a cash reward.   

Categories
The Coronavirus Reality

BLM HOUSTON SAYS HARRIS COUNTY CONSTABLE SHOULD RESIGN FOR BLACKFACE PHOTO!

Ashton P. Woods with Black Lives Matter Houston says the Constable in Precinct 5 should resign.

This is after an old photo of Constable Ted Heap was released showing him in blackface.

Heap says the photo is nearly 40 years old and he was simply portraying a TV character.

Woods says there is no time limit for those who show signs of racism especially law enforcement officers.

What do you think?

Categories
The Coronavirus Reality

FREE SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR THE KIDS!

Our distribution is aimed towards helping kids get ready for virtual schooling. Through our partnerships, we will serve 3,500 children with dignity and compassion. We distribute items according to the needs of our beneficiaries which contain school supplies, uniforms, masks, hygiene kits, story books, toys, and groceries items.

We are distributing above listed items through our various partners:

  • Interfaith Ministries 
  • 5th Ward Houston with Masjid-At-Tawhid 
  • 3rd Ward Houston with The Census Bureau
  • Outreach in the Barrio
  • Al Mahdi Group
  • Olive Branch
  • Refugees in Gulfton
  • Residents of our neighborhood

Please join us on one of our COVID 19 Relief – Back to School Supply Distribution.

When:  Saturday, August 22, 2020

Time:  9 AM until 1 PM

At:   MASJID- At- TAWHID

 5514 Hirsch Road, Houston, 77026

Contact person:    Hareem Shahzad: 832-906-1540

 Hashmat Effendi: 832-545-7773

Categories
The Coronavirus Reality

DID YOUR FAVORITE BAR OR NIGHTCLUB SHUT DOWN?

PRESS RELEASE: Dozens of bars in the Houston area have been forced to close for good as a result of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order shutting down the bars across the state. Dozens more bars across Texas have been forced to close for good as well.

A growing list on the Children of Liberty Facebook page details the dozens of bars already forced to shutdown forever due to strain from the governor’s order, including Wild West Houston. Members of the group, who own or work at a Texas bar, are adding more closures to the list daily. Governor Abbott has yet to announce a date for bars to reopen, leaving the statewide shutdown in place with no end in sight and bar owners in limbo.

Bars across Texas are reopening to save themselves despite the governor’s mandate before the statewide shutdown forces their doors closed for good. Governor Abbott’s mandate has put hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Houstonians and Texans out of work in hopes of controlling the spread of COVID-19. The Texas Department of State Health Services has not released information as to where the virus is spreading.

Below are bars across the state that have closed their businesses permanently due to the ongoing stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and government mandates. Each represents a Texan betrayed and put out of work by their governor. See the damage for yourself:

Alibi’s (Groveton)

Alice’s Tall Texan (Houston)

Ancora (Kemah)

Beer Garden (Midland)

Big Texas (Houston)

Bimbo’s (Houston)

Blind Tiger (Humble)

Boozer’s (Granbury)

Christie’s Sports Bar (Dallas)

Chugging Monkey (Austin)

Crossroads Cocktails & Karaoke (Denton)

Dallas Comedy Club (Dallas)

Dead Horse (San Angelo)

Eastbound and Down Icehouse (Dallas)

G and L (Houston)

Gypsy Bar (Lampasas)

Horny’s (Mathis)

J’s Bar (Somerville)

Johnny B’s Outlaw Saloon (Houston)

Jolly Fox (Huntsville)

Junior’s Ice House (Baycliff)

Kelvin Highlander (Houston)

Linda Nell’s Bar (Waco)

Lizard Lounge (Dallas)

Lucky’s Pub (Houston)

Playmaker’s Sports Bar

Red Rock Steakhouse (Red Rock)

Redneck Heaven (Multiple Locations)

Rendezvous (Sherman)

Rickochet’s (Lake Jackson)

Roy’s Sports Bar (Grand Prairie)

Scoreboard’s Sports Bar- (Houston)

Shakespeare Pub (Houston)

Sundowner (Houston)

The Barr (Longview)

The Barrel House (Llano)

The Jailhouse (Kyle)

The Lott (Dallas)

Tiki Hut (Baytown)

TNT Sports Page (Dallas)

TNT Sports Page (Houston)

Tomcats (Ft. Worth)

Twisted Wrench Saloon (Barker Heights)

Two Dogs Saloon (Pearland)

Uncle Gary’s (Hutto)

Uncle Gary’s- (North Austin-Pflugerville)

VFW Post 2410 (Harlingen)

W.W. Fairfields (Plano)

Wild West (Houston)

Categories
The Coronavirus Reality

PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE STORM!

Tropical Depression Fourteen is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm later today and will impact parts of Central America and Mexico before reaching the western Gulf of Mexico, where it faces an uncertain future, but could affect parts of the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts next week.

This system is in the Caribbean Sea, centered less than 50 miles east of Nicaragua and Honduras. It’s located well to the west of Tropical Depression Thirteen, which is a separate system tracking through the Atlantic.

Its initial position is a bit uncertain and an Air Force reconnaissance flight will investigate this system later this morning.

Tropical Depression Fourteen is generating widespread showers and thunderstorms along with gusty winds in the western Caribbean Sea, occasionally wrapping into Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Honduras and Nicaragua.