Shows: March 31, 2009

Photo for 'Richard Aoki: Remembering the Asian Black Panther'
Richard Aoki

Americans on Hold: Racial Profiling in U.S. Naturalization

ZUHAIR MAHD became a citizen today, but only after a naturalization battle in which his application was held up for five years—even after he successfully took the FBI and Homeland Security to federal court. We'll talk to MAHD about how the FBI’s ineffective National Name Check Program caused years of delay at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. And we’ll speak to CECILLIA WANG of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project about how Mahd is one of many Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, or South Asian applicants whose naturalization has been held up due to the FBI's name check process. The process, she says, has resulted in years-long delays for tens of thousands of deserving naturalization applicants, even though the government has never demonstrated that the name check adds any national security value, despite being called to account in almost a dozen class action lawsuits.

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Richard Aoki: Remembering the Asian Black Panther

Richard Aoki, who died on March 15 at the age of 70, was a field marshal in the Black Panther Party, and along with Panther leaders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, wrote the Panthers’ famous 10-point platform. He was a founding member of the Asian American Political Alliance—one of the country’s first Asian American political organizations--a leader in the Third World Liberation Front Strike at UC Berkeley and a coordinator for the first Asian American Studies program at that university. We’ll remember his life with his longtime friend and comrade HARVEY DONG, as well as biographer DIANE FUJINO.

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The Kominas: South Asian Muslim Punk

At the vanguard of the nascent "taqwacore" scene, the tongue-in-cheek South Asian Muslim punk rock band, the Kominas, came through Brooklyn this past weekend, and they'll be back in town this July. With edgy shock and identity politics at the core of their lyrics, they have made a splash in the mainstream press, garnering coverage early on from mainstream media venues like The Boston Globe and Rolling Stone. We'll talk to BASIM USMANI, their lead singer, about the inspiration behind songs like "Suicide Bomb the Gap" and "Walqaeda Superstore," and why the mainstream press is paying attention. We'll also ask Basim about his efforts to take punk rock to Pakistan.

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This program is brought to you by Amna Akbar and Andrew Hsiao of the APF collective.

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