Category Archives: English

The First Korean American Women in Congress

Starting in January 2021, I have been a part of Passionfruit, a multilingual online non-profit publication centered around social justice. I have written a number of different opinion pieces for Passionfruit that I will be reposting. The posts were intended for bite-sized consumption, which challenges me to be as succinct as possible while still conveying important concepts. The original post with full credits can be found here.


April 20, 2021

From 1789 through 2020, no Korean women had ever served in the U.S. Congress; in January 2021, there were three. Michelle Eunjoo Steel and Young Oak Kim–Republicans from California–and Marilyn Strickland–a Democrat from Washington state–were all elected in November 2020. South Korean media covered these historic elections, and even has reported on subsequent actions taken by the congresswomen. If these politicians are poised to receive coverage in the Korean press, it is important to know who they are and what they stand for. Continue reading

Who Is: Kamala Harris

Starting in January 2021, I have been a part of Passionfruit, a multilingual online non-profit publication centered around social justice. I have written a number of different opinion pieces for Passionfruit that I will be reposting. The posts were intended for bite-sized consumption, which challenges me to be as succinct as possible while still conveying important concepts. The original post with full credits can be found here.


March 5, 2021

Mere minutes before Joe Biden became the forty-sixth President of the United States, Kamala Harris was sworn in as the country’s forty-ninth Vice President. The child of Jamaican and Indian parents, Harris worked her way up through the ranks of California politics to now hold the second highest office in the nation. No one knows if Biden will run again in 2024. If he chooses not to, Harris seems to be an obvious strong contender for the White House–which makes it all the more important to understand who she is and what she stands for. Continue reading

11 ways that your Democratic Town Committee can be more effective

When you think of “local politics,” what image is conjured in your mind? Maybe it’s a candidate talking to people in a local diner, or perhaps debate night being held in a public gymnasium. For the more cynical among us, maybe it’s “debates” in local Facebook groups, or politicians making deals in smoky backrooms. While there may be truth in each of these stereotypes, the answer I fall back on comes from my time in Connecticut: political parties’ town committees. Having recently moved to New York, I have spent some time thinking about my experience with Democratic Town Committees, specifically what tactics brought them success – and which did not. Continue reading

Ignore the naysayers: Why the protests for Black lives did not boost COVID-19 numbers

On July 13 of this year, the Twitter account of Prager University (which is actually a conservative YouTube channel, not a real educational institution) posted a photo of a protest for Black lives accompanied with the following caption:

There’s a lot to unpack here. While this is only one tweet from one account, many in the conservative media have echoed its claims. I could certainly write a lengthy article concerning this single tweet, but I want to focus specifically on a trope that has become common in right-wing discourse: In this post I will explore the validity of the claim that protests for Black lives have spread COVID-19, and what these repetitions of the claim say about the political discourse of the United States.

Continue reading

The ‘War on Christmas’ is annoying – but it’s a window into the conservative movement

When you think of Donald Trump’s policy positions, you likely think of his anti-immigration stances, tax cuts for the wealthy, and, of course, the infamous unbuilt border wall. But there’s another policy that Trump speaks about with surprising frequency: saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy holidays.” Think I’m joking? I’m not: he says it all the time, and you can check out this montage if you don’t believe me.

You’re likely rolling your eyes right now, and I don’t blame you; honestly this is a pretty pathetic issue to get riled up about. But Trump’s fixation on Christmas exemplifies an oft-overlooked tactic among U.S. conservatives: self-victimization. Continue reading

Uber and Airbnb are convenient, but at what cost?

Remember Napster? In the late 1990s, Napster was the go-to place to download free MP3s. I have fond memories of downloading *NSYNC and Blink 182 songs before Napster was shut down by a court injunction. In retrospect, it’s hard to imagine why someone thought they would get away with so blatantly ripping off the music industry, but the reality is that institutions not keeping up with technology allowed for tech-savvy folks to exploit the slow-moving legal system to provide people with a cheaper alternative.

It may seem like this happened eons ago, but we’re going through the same thing today. Only instead of free MP3s, we’re experiencing that same dynamic with Uber, Airbnb, and similar applications–but with much worse consequences. Continue reading

Why you should already care about privacy

After seeing the title of this post, many readers have already judged what I am about to say. Perhaps after rolling their eyes, these readers imagine me wearing a tin foil hat, muttering to myself about “them” watching my every move, and writing this article on an internet-less computer running only MS-DOS. But in reality, I’m not a conspiracy theory-peddling recluse, and I use the same technology and apps that many people do. I haven’t even deleted my Facebook account in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal! But, recently I’ve been increasingly concerned about my privacy rights–and there’s a good reason why everyone should. Continue reading

Reforming U.S. elections won’t happen overnight – but let’s start the discussion

In part one of what has become a series of postings, I wrote about what the Democrats can do to improve their party structure. In part two, I wrote about how the Democrats can improve their politicking. While these two articles touched on how the Democrats can improve their own party, this coverage avoided any focus on the structure of the political system, and how that affects Democrats’ ability to campaign and govern. Gerrymandering, money in politics, and voting procedures are key institutional factors that prevent good candidates from winning and enacting decent policies.  Continue reading

Democrats still have a lot to learn from Bernie Sanders – even if some don’t like him

In my previous article, I touched on some broad ideas that could help the Democratic Party. In short, I argued for fighting corruption, strong messaging, and restoring trust. However, shortly after publishing the piece, I felt that something was missing from my suggestions: actual politics. If the Democrats are unable to deliver strong policies and political strength, then what’s the point? Continue reading

The unsexy truth: three structural reforms the Democratic Party needs to survive

Before reading this article, please do me a quick favor. Don’t worry, it will only take a second. Go to your calendar app and check the date. If it says 2016, then your device is likely malfunctioning. The year 2016 has come and gone! I say this because too many people in the Democratic Party have not moved beyond their squabbles from the 2016 primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

It is hard to avoid seeing this bitter divide playing out online, and with Sanders looking into a 2020 run, these feuds will only intensify. But all this fruitless bickering could not come at a worse time: the Democrats control no branch of government and the 2018 midterm election is only 273 days away. If the Democratic Party wants to have a fighting chance in the future, people need to move beyond the 2016 primary and implement real reforms to the party apparatus. Continue reading