Ateez’s San addresses alleged racism at Dolce & Gabbana show

Ateez member San has spoken out about the racial discrimination fans allege he faced at the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda show in Milan on July 2.

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Filipino grandma tops university entrance exam for journalism

Lola Lolita, a 67-year-old grandmother in the Philippines, made local headlines after placing among the top five scorers in a university entrance exam. The incoming freshman is set to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a journalist.

Never too late to learn:  Lola Lolita, who finished elementary school decades ago, revealed in an interview with GMA News that she was forced to stop her education after she was assaulted by her employer. Now, driven by the memory of her late child, she's returning to school to make a mark in journalism.

Overcoming obstacles: Lola faced doubts from those who questioned her age and mocked her return to school. She maintains a positive outlook, noting that, “as long as one is alive, life goes on.”


Study finds anti-Asian racial bias in AI grading

Table from Matt Johnson & Mo Zhang “Using GPT-4o to Score Persuade 2.0 Independent Items” ETS (June 2024 draft)

A new study by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) has raised concerns about potential racial bias in AI essay grading systems. In the study, shared with the nonprofit The Hechinger Report, researchers compared human grader scores with those of a ChatGPT-based AI model, GPT-4o, on over 13,000 anonymized essays written between 2015 and 2019.

Discrepancy found: GPT-4o consistently scored essays lower than human graders, averaging 2.8 compared to 3.7. This discrepancy was most pronounced for Asian American students, who received an average of 3.2 from GPT-4o versus 4.3 from human graders, a difference of 1.1 points. The gap for white, Black and Hispanic students was smaller, averaging 0.9 points.

Cause of bias unknown: Researchers are unsure why the AI model exhibited this racial bias, attributing the discrepancy to the model's complex algorithms. ETS researcher Mo Zhang called for caution in the use of AI grading systems in classrooms, noting that “there are methods for doing this and you don’t want to take people who specialize in educational measurement out of the equation.”


Asian senior brutally attacked in Oakland

A pedestrian reported to be an elderly Asian woman was viciously attacked in Oakland, California, on Friday. The incident, which was caught on surveillance footage, follows a recent surge in unprovoked attacks on senior Asian residents in the city.

What happened: As seen in the video, the victim, who was walking with a bag and a piece of luggage, was punched in the head by a man she had just come across. The perpetrator, who was wearing a dark-colored hoodie with “WILD BOYZ” printed on the back, also struck another individual who appeared to be the woman’s companion after an attempt to intervene.

The big picture: The attack follows similar assaults reported over the past month involving 13 elderly Asians near Westlake Christian Terrace, a senior home along 28th Street near Lake Merritt. Facility leaders, however, say they documented nearly 30 cases in under a week. The incidents reportedly come amid Mayor Sheng Thao’s claims that “violent crime and overall crime have decreased in a significant and sustained manner” since her introduction of Operation Ceasefire, an anti-violence program that uses data to identify individuals that are likely to commit or become victims of crime. Critics argue that she has failed to crack down on crime, resulting — among other reasons — in a recall election in November.


AANHPI are less likely to seek mental health help

Mental health challenges affect Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) communities disproportionately, yet they are less likely to seek help, a recent University of California, Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research study found. The research, which analyzed mental health experiences of these communities in California, found that half of respondents reported daily discrimination, and a fifth of Asian Americans experienced hate crimes.

Stigma and discrimination: Despite the disproportionate rates of discrimination and instances of mental illness, 16% of Asian American and 24% of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander adults desired mental health assistance, similar to the state average. Fear of gun violence was also significantly higher in AAPI communities. 

Culture of silence: Experts point to stigma, lack of awareness and limited resources within AAPI communities as contributing factors why they are less likely to seek help. National data shows AAPI patients receive less inpatient care during mental health crises. The researchers suggest culturally competent providers could improve access and comfort levels.


Ateez’s San addresses alleged racism at Dolce & Gabbana show

Ateez member San has spoken out about the racial discrimination fans allege he faced at the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda show in Milan on July 2. Concerns arose after observers noted that his seat lacked a cushion and that he was given a genderless outfit, which some claimed to be racist toward Asians.

On his outfit: San addressed the allegations during a livestream with fans on Monday. Regarding the outfit, he said he chose it himself from a selection of 10 pieces. “It was an opportunity to showcase different looks, and considering the show's identity of haute couture and Alta Moda, I wanted to challenge myself. I thought it was a modern and artistically wonderful outfit,” he said in part.

On his seating: As for his seating, San said he chose to sit without a cushion. “First of all, I sat like that myself. The person next to me had a large build. I also have a large build, don't I? I'm naturally introverted, and sitting in a narrow space made me feel sorry, so I sat slightly forward,” he explained.


Nigerian teacher in Japan called “monkey,” “N-word” by student


#fixafrica #livingabroad #nigeria #nijiatiktok🇳🇬 #nigeriantiktok🇳🇬 #fyp #foryoupage

A Nigerian woman teaching in Japan tearfully recounted on TikTok how one of her students called her a slur. User @gamezu3, who graduated from a Japanese university, shared the incident in a video uploaded to her account on Friday.

What happened: “On this day, my student called me a monkey and the N-word,” the teacher wrote in the on-screen caption, adding in Pidgin that she is tired of life abroad. The TikTok user’s post, which has a hashtag calling for “Fix Africa,” has been viewed over 58,000 times.

Standing up to racism: Thousands of activists marched in Tokyo at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to fight against racism towards the Black community in Japan. “Racism is there and sometimes it can be subtle. It can be confusing whether what you are facing is racism or it's just people being ignorant,” Bongekile Motsa, a Swati student at a Japanese college, said in a panel at the “Kokujin Experiences” in Tokyo in February 2021.


California woman’s $100 DNA results goes viral

Shirley Huang, a 25-year-old administrative assistant, shared her surprise on TikTok after her DNA test results from 23&Me revealed she is 100% Chinese. Huang, who was born and raised in Hawaii to Chinese immigrant parents, told Newsweek she "didn't know it was possible to be 100 percent anything on a DNA test."

Unexpected surprise: In her lighthearted TikTok video, Huang jokingly implied that the $100 spent on the test was a waste but noted she is glad she took the DNA test. The results not only traced back all of her ancestry to Guangdong province but also indicated she doesn't carry the genes linked to her father's recent Parkinson's and diabetes diagnoses.

Social media buzz: Huang's video, which has since been viewed over 2.4 million times, sparked reactions from commenters who shared their own DNA test experience. “Bro same, the first thing my parents said was ‘I could've told you that for free,” a commenter wrote.

More Asian News

Early adulthood stress linked to cognitive decline in middle age: Using data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco tracked inflammation levels of 2,364 participants four times over a period of 18 years, followed by cognitive performance five years after the last measurement. They found that consistently high or increasing levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker, were linked to poorer performance in processing speed and executive function in middle age. This study, published in the journal Neurology this month, highlights the importance of addressing inflammation early, suggesting that lifestyle choices such as physical activity, diet and smoking cessation can have long-term impacts on brain health and dementia prevention.

Chinese university holds graduation ceremony for one student: Jingdezhen Ceramic University held a special solo ceremony on June 14 for a student who underwent a stem cell donation the day before his graduation. Xie Zhilong, a physical education student who enrolled in 2020, was informed by the Jiangxi Provincial People's Hospital in May that they had found a match for his donation: a patient with a blood disease. In a letter thanking him, the recipient wrote, "Your kindness has filled me with warmth and hope. May your good actions be recognized and respected by more people, and may your life be filled with joy and happiness."

Burbank’s “Elephant Parade” supports Asian elephant conservation: The city of Burbank, California, is currently hosting an “Elephant Parade” featuring 25 hand-painted, life-size baby elephant sculptures, displayed across the city until Aug. 31. Created in 2007, the parade was inspired by “Mosha,” the first elephant to receive a prosthetic leg after a landmine injury. Celebrities, including Khloe Kardashian, Katy Perry and Ricky Gervais, designed the sculptures, which will be auctioned off at the end of the exhibition to benefit Elephant Family, an international NGO that works to protect Asia’s wildlife. For more information and a map of the sculptures, head over here.

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