Thursday, November 18, 2010

In Between

Greetings, my Hip Hapa Homeez! Welcome back to Watermelon Sushi World, dude.

While the majority of interviews posted on this blog involve biracial people, we also like to include stories of transracial adoptees and those who promote crossing cultures. In other words, we are all about mixing it up.

Like multiethnic folks, this week's guest has also experienced a sense of not belonging. But instead of ethnicity causing her discomfort, it’s generational. Pei Ju Chou considers herself “in between” two generations. Among Asian Americans, those who arrive in the U.S. from another country are referred to as being “first generation”. Their children who are born here are called “second generation”. But, sometimes, families migrate to America after their children have been born and raised in their birth countries. Those kids arrive in the U.S. steeped in their original country's culture and speaking English with accents because their first language was that of their parents. For them, developing a new identity is a complicated process. And, the older they are when they move here, the more adjustments they must make to fit in.

Below, Pei Ju Chou explains what she means by the term “1.5 generation” and the documentary film, Stuck on the Boat, she made about the subject. That's the filmmaker in the photo, below.

Q: What's a nice “1.5 generation” girl like you doing making a documentary about the “1.5” generation experience?

A: I wanted to provide some sort of explanation, or even affirmation, to other struggling “1.5 generation” kids. Growing up, it was always tough for me to find a place to fit in. I was never quite "American" enough to my friends in the U.S., but in the eyes of Taiwanese people, I was too American. What is this identity of being “in between”? What the hell am I then? That was the question I would ask myself everyday when I looked in the mirror during high school. Through talking to a few friends while going to the University of Washington, I started to notice a pattern of experiences for people like me. It was a shared pain and a shared confusion. And, there was my inspiration. I wanted to share this collective voice and experience with others who did not understand. I wanted to use this documentary almost as a shout-out to those other “1.5 generation” kids out there and say to them, "Hey, it's alright to be stuck in between...We are the ‘1.5 generation’ and proud of it!"

Q: Who are your parents and how did you grow up?  

A: My parents are both Taiwanese. I was born and raised in Taiwan until I was 10-years old. It’s kind of funny to think about it. I remember when I was eight, I found out I had a whole bunch of aunties and cousins that lived in the U.S. I remember asking my dad, "We have American relatives?!" After that, we flew over for a few visits over the next couple of years. Finally, my dad decided to move us all there. Both he and my mom believed that it would give my brother and me better educations and better opportunities. That's my grandmother, mother and me above. And, in the photo below, I'm with my father.

Q: Why do you refer to yourself as “1.5”?

A: I wasn't born in the U.S. so I'm not considered second generation. But I'm not quite like my parents--they were born and raised completely in Taiwan and are first generation. So, I felt like I was stuck in-between just like the title of my documentary, Stuck on the Boat. The boat has arrived in America, but the people are still stuck on it. I wanted to be proud of this uncertain identity, and I am comfortable with who I am. The “1.5 generation” is a title I have chosen to claim as a form of empowerment and statement of who I am. Here I am with my brother and cousins in the picture below.

Q: There are mixed-race people, people who are first generation, and people who cross cultures that all experience isolation. What makes it so difficult to be “1.5”?

A: I believe in “intersectionality”. We all come from different backgrounds. All of those specific backgrounds make our experiences as a group unique, and we have our own struggles and difficulties. The “1.5 generation’s” struggle is different in the way that we were once accepted by our home country, and all of a sudden we went from the "in-crowd" to being an "outcast". It is this shift that makes it difficult for most people to accept. Think about it; you grow up thinking and knowing you are one thing, and one move within a short period of time shifts the whole reality around. What you think you know is no longer valid or true. You're kind of stuck in this third space--what I call "cultural limbo"--where you don't really know how to be nor act. It's a tough place to be. I think a lot of mixed-race people and those who cross cultures can resonate with this "limbo" experience one way or another. Like I said, each group has a unique place in society that makes all our experiences different. We all struggle. I'm not saying anyone is struggling more or less. It's a matter of sharing and understanding these pains.

Q: Who were some of your interviewees?

A: Most of them were my personal friends who agreed to share their stories after I told them about what I was doing. Most of them were happy to learn about the “1.5 generation” as a term, and happy to be able to identify themselves as part of that group. 

Among them, Areum Chong, with me below left, was the girl who first told me about “1.5 generation”. She and I shared very similar backgrounds. She moved here from Korea when she was 14, and grew up in Olympia with her aunt and uncle. She told me how the “1.5 generation” was a special generation. She said that we are the only ones that can still absorb the best of both worlds. We have a foundation in our roots because we grew up in Asia, and we learned to absorb western concepts as we grew up in America.

Another interviewee I had was actually born here, but he felt so strongly connected with his Asian roots he personally requested to be part of the documentary. This was how Derrick convinced me: He said, "It's not necessarily 1 is 1, 2 is 2. The 1.5 is everything in between as a matter of a continuum. It is also about a shared experience that makes a person 1.5." Even though Derrick was born in the U.S., he always felt like an outcast at school and among his peers. This is the experience that convinced me to interview him. That’s me with Derrick below.

Q: What is the most significant thing you learned from making this film?

A: We all have some form of struggle to belong somewhere growing up whether we're part of the “1.5 generation” or not. But it’s really what’s in your mind that makes you or breaks you. One common pattern that kept recurring when I was making this film was how the interviewees all said something about "acceptance". There will always be this uncertainty with our identities, and there will always be a struggle between our American peers and our Asian parents. Eventually, we just get used to it and accept it as what it is. It's about embracing ambiguity and being comfortable with who we are. I really hope this theme will resonate with other “non-1.5 generation-ers”. It's about embracing our identity and finding our places.

Q: What are your future plans with Stuck on the Boat?

A: I haven't thought all that much about it. I just want to move forward and capture more genuine Asian American experiences on film and share them with the world. Like my tagline on Pookii (my blog), I want to depict Asian America one story at a time. I’m finishing up my next film about my family restaurant experience, which I think will be a more upbeat and fun documentary. I just hope my “1.5 generation” film has made a difference to someone out there, even if it's just one person.

Thank you, Pei, for enlightening us about “1.5 generation”.

Below are Pei’s links:

And that, Hip Hapa Homeez, is going to be it until January 2011. Your Hip Hapa is taking the next month off to reorganize and regroup. We’ve got multiple projects in development, so please stay tuned to learn more about them.

Please “like” our Watermelon Sushi Fan page on Facebook to keep up with the latest on our film. You can also support us by buying a Hapa*Teez t-shirt, like the one worn by Cassie, below. Besides showing us love, you’ll also earn a rear crawl credit. Just make sure we have the correct spelling of your name once you make your purchase. While you’re on Facebook, please join our Hip Hapa Homeez Group page where we post news of interest to our multi-culti community. You can also follow our sporadic tweets on Twitter.

Along with partner Robert L. Taylor, Your Hip Hapa now hosts a biweekly YouTube show called Sexy Voices Of Hollywood. You can follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and watch the Event page to stay up to date.

Until January 5, I will still be…

Your Hip Hapa,

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Being Blended

Hey, Hip Hapa Homeez! Many, many thanks for your unending support.

One of the best ways to keep our multiethnic agenda alive and on the table is by joining and supporting organizations that represent us. Unlike a biweekly blog with its limited reach, these specialized groups can often spotlight our particular issues and educate people en mass. In the Q&A below, one of the founders of BPA (Blended People of America)—Chris--discusses how that group nurtures and upholds our multicultural and mixed-race existences.

Q: What was the motivation for creating the BPA website?

A: BPA was founded by a group of five people. We initially created the site to fulfill a gap in informative news directed towards the mixed-race and/or multiracial, multicultural audience in the United States. Later on, we added a blogging section where everyday people can share their own experiences or discuss topics of any kind related to the mixed-race and/or multiracial, multicultural experience. This blogging section, which we now call Chameleon, serves to connect people with a more realistic approach from opinion writers throughout the community.

Q: Please share the ethnic backgrounds of your staff.

A: The main founders of the site are Jenn, Joe, Shaka, Chris and Reisling. Jenn and Shaka are both a mixture of black and white. Jenn has strong family roots in the United States with her ancestry being based here from way back in the Colonial period. Shaka's father is African American and his mother is of white German descent. Joe is Eurasian (white and Asian mix) with roots from here as well as in China. Reisling is blasian (black and Asian mix) with strong cultural roots here, but also elsewhere. Her father is of Caribbean descent while her mother is of Chinese/Mongolian descent. Chris is a tri-racial mix of white, Asian, and black with roots not only here but also that of the Caribbean, Philippines, China, England, Spain and Scotland.

Q: What have you discovered about your contributors and readers that has really surprised you, disappointed you, or moved you in some way?

A: I'm sure your readers are accustomed to reading about surprises. Unfortunately, this hasn't been the case for us. When we created the site, we knew there could be reactions of all sorts due to the nature of it. After all, topics centering on mixed-race matters are still considered somewhat sensitive by the general public. With that said, we've received all sorts of reactions from our readers and contributors--some more "elegant" than others. Overall, the reaction to the site since we launched in late 2009 has been fantastic. We continue to make gains in our readers, traffic, and overall support. There isn't anything like having an email forwarded to you from a high school freshman thanking your organization for creating a website that not only informs and allows people of mixed races and multicultural backgrounds to interact, but is also there to support and enrich their own personal experience.

Q: Your site says "...of America", but it appears you have a broader audience. Are mixed-race issues fundamentally different or the same worldwide?

A: Though there are similarities globally, ultimately mixed-race issues are unique in each country. Of course, some countries are more similar than others in the issues they face. Take for example, the United States and the U.K. In this example, it's no surprise that BPA gets a lot of contributors and readers from the U.K. On the other hand, there are many cases where situations are very different--the U.S. and Brazil, for example.

Q: In your opinion, are things changing for blended people? Is humanity evolving to the point where we will no longer need to identify ourselves by ethnic group some day?

A: Overall, yes they are positively changing for blended people. Just a while back in the 1990's, it was almost taboo for some people to discuss or share their experiences as a mixed-race person in America, especially those mixed with black to some degree. These days, it's like a walk in the park in many places. Regardless, there are still many obstacles that mixed-race Americans need to overcome--much of which is highly attributed to the uniqueness we face.

Q: What are some future plans for the site?

A: At this time, we are satisfied with how things continue to unfold. At some point, however, we would like to expand upon it in many different ways beyond informative news content or opinion blogs. We continue to create partnerships with others in the community adept in a number of skills, from radio to podcasting and so on. It's our goal to, hopefully, be a premier provider of rich content and media to the mixed-race and multicultural community in the United States.  

Thank you, Chris and Blended People of America!

Remember, dear readers, when you buy a Hapa Teez t-shirt, you support our Watermelon Sushi film. You also get a rear crawl credit, so please drop us an email after your purchase so that we can spell your name right. You can also follow Watermelon Sushi on Twitter and “like” our Watermelon Sushi fan page on Facebook to stay updated about the latest on the film. And, join our Hip Hapa Homeez group page for more blended and mixed news. Finally, Watermelon Sushi producer Robert Taylor and Your Hip Hapa have recently launched a new YouTube show called Sexy Voices Of Hollywood. Check us out:

‘til we touch in cyberspace again, please stay hip, my hapa homeez!

Your Hip Hapa,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hip HaHa-pa Homee!

Aloha Hip Hapa Homeez! Tell me if you agree or not, but haven’t you experienced moments when you’ve felt like the whole issue of race was just an unbearable burden? You know, those times when you have to explain to a so-called mono-racial person “what you are”. Or, how about when curiosity gets the best of a stranger and they demand you explain to them in detail what it’s like being mixed? Most of the time, I don’t mind answering questions if it’s for genuine educational purposes, but if it’s only to entertain someone I’ll never see again, I question his or her motive.

In any case, those are the times during our multiethnic experience that we really need to keep our sense of humor. This week’s Hip Hapa Homee has an incredible one! Meet comedian Ian Clark. The first time Your Hip Hapa watched his video about being mixed, she laughed so hard yet, at the same time, was completely captivated. The truth, it seems, is not only funny but entrancing, too.

Check out Ian here:

And, in the photos below.

Q: What’s a nice mixed-race guy like you doing being a comedy star, and how did you start?

A: I remember making a phony phone call at four. So I guess I was born with it. I loved anything funny as a kid—from TV to films to MAD magazine. It just became a part of who I was as a person. Plus, when you’re laughing, you’re happy. And, I think happiness is the goal of life.

Q: Who are your parents, and how did you grow up? 

A: My mom, Linda, is Swedish American and my dad, James, is African American. I grew up in Oak Park Illinois, right outside of Chicago. My folks raised me to just be myself. I never had issues with race until high school--where I could never be black enough, and was always too white. But it taught me that race, in all of its forms, is stupid. We are all humans, and have different color skin the same way we have different eye and hair color. The brain holds your identity, not your “race”.

Q: You do a variety of comedy shows--onstage, on the Internet, etc. Any preference? And, why?

A: I like filming things the best. It’s always there for people to enjoy at another date. Stand-up is wonderful in its own way because of the intimacy with the audience. So maybe my real answer would be a film of me doing stand-up.

Q: We Hip Hapa Homeez first became aware of you through your It's Good To Be Mixed video about the pros of being multiethnic. Since then, you're not as focused on race in your comedy shows. Is there a reason?

A: I found out that race is one of humans’ mental illnesses. It makes no sense to judge a person on the color of their skin. I’m not even talking about the moral argument. Even if you lack morals, it’s stupid. It would seem stupid to say you know something about a person based on eye color, but we do it with skin color. I will address these issues soon in my work. I just needed some time to figure out how to sell the idea.

Q: Do you envision a time when the world will truly be so-called colorblind?

A: Yes, I think we are close. The incentive to hold onto racist views diminishes everyday. And, today’s kids don’t seem to care.

Q: How do you feel comedy fits in with hot political topics?

A: I think it helps people see through the B.S.

Q: What are your future plans with your comedy act?

A: To keep them laughing.

Mahalo nui loa, Ian! Listen up, Hip Hapa Homeez. The Watermelon Sushi film has a new producer, Robert Lee Taylor, so check us out and “like” our Facebook fan page. While you’re there, please join our Hip Hapa Homeez group page where we post the latest news about multiethnic and trans-racial adoptee communities. Also, please show your support by purchasing a Hapa*Teez t-shirt, which will help get our film produced and give you a rear crawl credit, too. Robert and Your Hip Hapa have also launched a new YouTube show called Sexy Voices of Hollywood. Check us out at our Sexy Voices of Hollywood Facebook fan page.

Until we touch screens again, I will always be…

Your Hip Hapa,

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A Globally-Minded Man Of Many Gifts

Welcome back to Watermelon Sushi World, all you Hip Hapa Homeez. It seems that from time to time, I’m asked to explain why the word hapa is not exclusive to people who are half Asian. Hapa is how Native Hawai’ians (Kanaka Maoli) pronounced the English word 'half' to describe their children that were born with one European parent. Technically, anyone half is hapa.

One of my favorite hapas is Robert Lee Taylor, a record producer who is also producing the Watermelon Sushi film and co-producing a YouTube radio show with Yours Truly. Look for Sexy Voices of Hollywood coming to you soon! Robert has a very international following and below he explains how he developed his cross-cultural agenda. Check out Robert and the musical talent he manages in the photos following. 

Q: What's a nice hapa black and white guy like you doing speaking Korean?

A: Prior to working in the film industry, I worked for the U.S. government in Washington D.C., a couple of blocks from the White House. While in college, I studied Korean as a Second Language (KSL) and later worked as a cultural attaché for several companies. I have lived and worked in the Asian international community for over ten years. As a youth and as far back as I can recall, I was always drawn to Asian culture. My parents also worked for the U.S. government in different parts of Asia, and my father lived and worked in Korea for three years. Learning to read, write and speak Korean as a Second Language as well as learning Korean culture resulted in many different job offers for me.

In addition to the preceding careers, I taught English, math and science at a Korean private school for many years. Later, I was hired to work as an international project manager, worked for a Korean real estate company, was the official spokesperson and campaign manager for a Korean American political candidate in the State of Virginia and a 50/50 business partner of what later became an energy and aerospace LLC (Limited Liability Company). I worked on Embassy Row in the U.S. capital and have met with and visited representatives of the Russian and Korean Embassies in addition to foreign dignitaries.

Q: How did you grow up?

A: My mother is Caucasian and originally from the Pacific Northwest and my father is African American and originally from the South. My parents were both career Armed Forces service members. My mother worked at U.S. Embassies in different countries in the Cryptologic field of Naval Intelligence. She had been in the Army for four years before transferring to the Navy to complete her more than twenty years of government service, during which time she lived in Northern Virginia. It was when she was in the Army that she met my father. My father was a teacher of Sociology and taught race relations for the military back in the 1960s during times of heightened racial tensions throughout America.

My mother, a white woman from the mountainous region of Washington State, happened to be in one of my father’s classes. Originally, having been in a science-related program and studying microbiology, my mother earned her college degree in business administration. Later she studied codes, ciphers and military communications at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey.

In addition to living in Korea for three years, my father lived in Germany, Panama and some other places before he retired to the ‘windy city’ of Chicago. As with many military families, I moved around quite a bit during my youth. I have traveled to over twenty-five states, have lived in the Bay Area at the Naval Air Station in Alameda (literally a few blocks from downtown Oakland), have lived in Hayward California, Washington State, Chicago, Northern Virginia, Brandenburg Germany and many other places.

Q: How did you get into the music industry?

A: During high school, I followed through with my childhood plan to become an entrepreneur in the world of business, arts and entertainment, and other industries. When I was of the legal age, I drafted my first official business plan and applied for a business license with the city, state and federal governments. Earlier, I had been an athlete, played track and field and was a regional track star. I also played football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and was in gymnastics and studied martial arts. I had a goal to try out for the U.S. Olympics after ten years of gymnastics training. When I was in high school, I realized that despite having played sports for most of my life, I also had a proclivity for music and fine art. I decided to abandon my goal of becoming a famous sports star to become a professional artist and producer. Back in the very early 1990s and while still in high school, I enrolled in a business and computer training program so that I could figure out how to multitask as both an artist and a business manager who would be capable of handling his own bookkeeping and business affairs without having to depend on someone else.

Q: Who are some of the talent you manage?

A: Currently, I am managing a boy band/rap group called T.G.W.N. (Team Great White North) and an Asian American rapper named Koreon who was recently invited to work with the group. TGWN is slated to represent the next greatest boy band from North America. The single "Ain't Telling Me Nothing" by Doug Crawford of TGWN from Edmonton Alberta is now available across the Web and via dozens of companies such as iTunes and Interscope Digital Distribution. TGWN boy band members consist of Caucasian, Canadian, urban music artists, with the addition of an African American U.S. artist, who all have a long history of having worked with artists from Los Angeles and other parts of the West Coast. During the time that the boy band was signed to the independent label AONN Records of which I am the founder, they sold thousands of CDs and opened live, in concert and on tour, for over a dozen major (platinum) recording artists.

Q: How has being mixed impacted you as an artist?

A: Being biracial has provided me with a perspective of West Coast business, music and politics conducive to urban music marketing. For example, it has been said that Caucasians between the ages of 12 and 29 years of age tend to be the largest consumers of urban music, of which the latter has historically been made mostly by African Americans. As a mixed African American-Caucasian, I have seen both worlds, first hand, in a way that helps me produce advanced marketing strategies that seem to appeal to many African Americans and Caucasians alike. I know both markets.

Q: What are your plans as the producer for the Watermelon Sushi film?

A: My plan is to obtain multimillion dollar funding with which to properly produce Watermelon Sushi. I seek to transform the movie into a successful and well-respected, multinational enterprise. One of my goals is to create a full-fledged entertainment company comprised of, but not limited to, filmmaking, entertainment publishing, a radio and television show, merchandising, and so forth.

Q: What is Sexy Voices of Hollywood, and what is its future?

A: Sexy Voices of Hollywood is a biweekly Internet radio show featuring you (Yayoi) and me interviewing the sexiest voices of Hollywood. From its top stars to the people who keep the stars on top, we will feature them all.

I see Sexy Voices of Hollywood fast becoming one of the most popular shows for arts and entertainment on the World Wide Web supported by major, reputable sponsors.

Thank you and, by the way, Robert. You really do have a sexy voice!

Hey, Hip Hapa Homeez, don’t forget our Hapa*Teez shirts on CafĂ© Press. Your purchase helps support our Watermelon Sushi film. Check out effervescent Eva above in her Hapa Nation tee. Also, please “like” our Watermelon Sushi Fan page on Facebook. While you’re there, join our Hip Hapa Homeez Group page to stay updated on the latest news about blendies, mixies and transracial adoptees. 

Here's the link to Team Great White North on YouTube:

Oh, and one of Robert's first CD's is available below.

Until we meet again, I will always be…

Your Hip Hapa,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Damn It! Carolyn Battle-Cochrane Goes To Battle For Biracials

To all you Hip Hapa Homeez in the house, do we have a special treat for you this week! Perhaps you’ve already heard, but there’s a documentary about the biracial experience that is causing controversy on every side of the mixed-race experience. For one, the title “Biracial: Not Black, Damn It” has created huge debates. Below, we speak to director Carolyn Battle-Cochrane about her life and what inspired her to make this movie. Scattered below are photos of Carolyn along with promo pieces for the film.  

Q: Who are your parents and how did you grow up?

A: My father was a cotton-picking, cussing, pool hustling turned professional tailor black man from the South. My mother is a proper white woman from Boston who feels that certain etiquettes are always required. The extreme differences in their life experiences and/or lack of experiences made for an interesting behind-closed-doors-highly-dysfunctional reality show. I was one of the biracial folks who always knew I was walking the tightrope. My community constantly reminded me I had a white mother, and my father reminded me that "the white woman" was my mother.

I recently completed my memoir, "Private Conversations" telling the story of my extremely "different" parents (culturally) and my personal story about being biracial. Currently, I have two chapters on my website:

Q: What’s your filmmaking background?

A: When I decided I wanted to make films, my daughter still lived at home. It was a serious choice to fall back from making the kind of money I was at the time and take a lesser position so that I could go to school. As a single parent, I had a talk with my daughter about cutting back. She said she was down with my choice to work full-time weekends while I took independent studies at the New School for Social Research in New York, as well as workshops and classes at NYU and several other film outlets. I was fortunate enough to make a great student film, which opened doors shortly after I left film school. I got a job as a consultant at Disney and was able to make a film that was used for cross-platforming business units into working together. Before the Disney gig, I had been in and out of Hollywood from NY because of a few scripts I had written. I got a call from an NBA player at the time who had read my script. He thought it was a hit and wanted to get me connected. We took meetings and I realized I had a lot to learn. I was not willing to compromise the storyline when the executives running the show had no idea about the world I was trying to bring to the forefront. Not much has changed. As people of color, we have few storylines. My scripts are about chicks that might be mixed or might not be, but have lived beyond the stereotypes. So the scripts are dusty, but still stories untold. That led me to making my documentary series. I decided I was going to do a project that I bankrolled that no one was going to control, but me. The money ran out, so I started selling a life from the past: LV's, Pradas, mink coats, diamonds. $350,000 later, part 1 and 2 are complete, and I am $150,000 in debt--but, still shooting and editing, still self-financed. 

Q: What’s surprised you the most about the people you've interviewed for your documentary?

A: That almost everyone has the same exact answers, that everyone felt so alone, isolated, even when they had siblings. Often the topic, the confusion, was/is never discussed.

Q: What’s disappointed you the most?

A: I can't think of anything disappointing about the interviews I have done. The closest thing to a disappointment is one chick I interviewed went really personal, dropping info that was shocking. She matter of factly mentioned that feeling so alone being biracial had turned her into a heroin addict. The experience with her after she chose to unleash the demon was a disappointing saga. I have decided that will not be an interview that I will put into the series. I have probably 20-30 interviews I will never use; too dark, too sad. I don't want a series that is only about the blues.

Q: How about what pleased you the most?

A: Pleased me the most is how open, easy and free the flow is when we're talking about "our" story. The element of knowing each other even though often it is a new relationship, and how healing it is for almost everyone that does an interview. Usually what they have to say has been laying heavy on their chest and unloading that burden is amazing to watch. The transformation from being in pain and then not is mad cool.

Q: That title upsets a lot of people who are not mixed. Was that intentional?

A: The title came from a place of pure honesty and frustration. I was tired of the arguments about my identity: 'No, you're black, you look black, your father is black, yada, yada.' I had no idea the impact the title was going to have, both positive and negative. I'd like to say for the most part it has been a much more positive response than negative. I get letters and emails from monoracial folks both black and white that thank me for telling the truth and keeping it real. After really pinpointing who has the biggest problem with the title, I have found that it is a small group that is still living the One Drop lie. There are people who like things the way they are for a number of reasons, and they would still hate the project regardless of the title, but this title got folks talking and that is what is needed. If we are not talking, we are not learning about each other. I do find it hysterical when folks suggest I should change the title because I might possibly hit a broader audience. Part one of this project was done a year and a half before it got any love. It just had another title, and no one was interested. That title opened the door.

Q: You have a huge Facebook following. Is social media a good platform for mixed-race agendas?

A: Social media is good for any agenda, that's where the world lives and plays and learns, but, yes, mixed-race issues can have a platform without asking for permission. It is still a hard knock-knock to get the doors open in mainstream America so this allows the support, the conversations, the unity that wasn't available years ago.  Eventually, the doors in mainstream media will open. It's just still an uncomfortable subject for whatever reason. I personally do not get it, but I am told folks are still not ready. That's why they have deemed Obama the first "black" president. 'Bulloney' is all I can say.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your documentary? Any future plans?

A: Hit mainstream and turn it into a television series. Multicultural/multiracial America is huge (and growing) and the interesting, funny, heart-provoking stories need a forum to breathe, to be told in truth, to be heard, to be documented.

I have plans, blueprints, and I am in constant motion to bring them to light. There is always something on the horizon, but I do not want to shoot myself in the foot by running my mouth before its time. I most recently got my first syndicated film review, which got me on Rotten Tomatoes and that was a great feeling. When I saw the review on the same page as three studio films, it was a ‘wow’ moment.

Thank you, Carolyn. Check out the multiple trailers for the documentary series at the official website:

Also, remember to join our Hip Hapa Homeez group on Facebook where we post info about multiethnic and transracial adoptee communities. You can also “like” our Watermelon Sushi fan page which helps support our film, Watermelon Sushi. Purchasing a Hapa*Teez t-shirt will also assist in the production of our film, and you’ll receive a rear-crawl credit for your help. Just drop us a line a so we can spell your name right.

As always, it’s been real.

Your Hip Hapa,

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

RAW: Complicated, Controversial, Conspiracy Theorist

Your Hip Hapa meets so many interesting Hip Hapa Homeez everywhere she goes, and Sean Hardin is no exception. We bumped into each other several years ago at a website that promotes vegetarian living. Instantly, I became fascinated with Sean’s raw food lifestyle. While Your Hip Hapa eschews all animal products including suede and leather, taking that one extra step towards a raw diet feels a little intimidating. Below, Sean shares with us some of his other interests, which are numerous as well as complicated and controversial.

Q: What's a nice mixed-race guy like you doing making so much noise about the world?

A: My podcast series Truther is about global public affairs. Most of my podcasts are interviews. Sometimes, I’ll do one where I’m talking by myself, doing an editorial. As to why I deal with public affairs issues, it’s because I still have some hope for humanity. I want to get this information to people, as much as possible, to those who will listen. Most of my audience is people who have been in the truth and freedom movements for a long time. However, there are some mainstreamers, too, and I’m working to increase them because my main motivation for doing what I do is to reach out to them.

I deal with Conspiracy with a capital C. I’ve been investigating the global aristocratic class for about 13 years now, as well as alternative health, and an eclectic mix of other topics that are off the beaten path. I did an interview with Professor Anderlini from University of Puerto Rico who believes in sexual freedom. She’s an advocate for the Gaia mode, as well as Polyamory. I deal with health topics ranging from the AIDS scam, natural ways to reverse conditions like diabetes, and how to get and stay in good health. One of my favorite interviews this year is with Leah Salmon in Luton, U.K., who’s a natural health practitioner. She gives all kinds of eye opening information on how to be healthy. There’s nothing mystical about health, there’s no need for anyone to be in a diseased condition.

My podcast series is aired on one of two hosting providers I use--Blip TV and Vimeo--and I average about 8 podcasts per month. Here are the links:

Prior to my podcast series Truther, I was writing articles online. I’ve been an independent journalist since about 1995.

Q: Who are your parents, and where did you grow up?

A: My mother is Jewish and my father was black although I never got to meet him. I know his name is John Lewis Hardin and mom is Cara Nina Hardin. I have inquired about my father, but my mom always avoids the subject so I gave up inquiring.

I grew up in downtown Minneapolis in an apartment building on Hennepin Avenue, which is no longer there. It was torn down.

Q: Did you grow up with a lot of Jewish culture--customs, food, holidays, rituals and religion?

A: No, my mom was not into religious practice too much although she does believe in a God. I don’t because I’ve seen no evidence to support that theory. I did not grow up going to a synagogue. I don’t practice any religion and I don’t believe in any of the theories of the world’s religions because none of them have any evidence to support their theories. I’m a very clinical thinker and I always demand evidence to support a theory anyone presents. If they can’t support their theory with evidence, than I consider that theory worthless.

Q: How about on your black side?

A: I only know a couple of relatives on my father’s side; two cousins, Angie, and Cara (named after mom). I have not heard from either of them for a long time. I often think about Angie and Cara, and I hope they’re doing well. My mom always had a lot of black friends though, so I was surrounded by black people--mostly intellectual black people.

Q: When and how did you first become so interested in politics and the global picture?

A: I’ve been studying the global aristocratic (Illuminati) for about 13 years now. I got into this area of research because in the 1990’s I began to realize that things are not right with humans around this world. We are plagued with problems that virtually no other species has that I’ve ever heard of.

I met my friend, Brother Ptah, who’s a very intelligent brother from Kenya, who’s been studying this for longer than me. He turned me on to books by David Icke, Dr. John Coleman, Coast to Coast AM, and many other sources. From there, I intensely researched to verify as much of the information I was gathering as possible, and since then I have not been able to get away from this research. I have made my life following the Illuminati.

Q: You don't seem to focus much on racial groups, but on the bigger human race.

A: I do periodically delve into race issues when I deem it called for. I bring race up, for example, when I’m covering the AIDS fraud because I suspect that there are aspects of it that are racially motivated. There are more AIDS testing facilities in black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Western countries than in white neighborhoods by far. Those billboard and poster ads at bus stops and trains stations that says things like “AIDS, get tested, know your status”, etc.; you see those in black and Hispanic neighborhoods overwhelmingly and hardly at all in white neighborhoods in cities like London, Chicago, Paris, etc.

Since Canada became the first Western country to implement criminal laws based on this scientific fraud, nearly all of the people who have been convicted in court in Canada and sentenced to life prison terms are men, and of all the cases I’ve researched out of Canada, all except one are black. That leads me to suspect that this is racially motivated.

What, one might ask, is the purpose for something like this? A possible answer is the money interests from the pharmaceutical cartel. Here’s the ultimate answer though; control of sexual activity, which leads to population control (of the population of people they look down on, that is). Of everything this global cabal has perpetrated upon humanity, the AIDS fraud just about tops everything else. Western countries now have criminal laws predicated on this fraud. That’s right, criminal laws! A person can be locked up in a cage for life if they’re found guilty in a Kangaroo Court for giving their sex partners so-called AIDS.

One question that demands addressing pertaining to the AIDS scam is how in the world is a black woman 20 times more likely to get a positive result from those testing devices than a white woman. Is there a precedent for a pathogen behaving like that? No!

I’m in this to reach out to humanity, to help and benefit humanity; that’s what I will continue to do with my life unless I end up in a FEMA camp. My goal is to plant as many seeds as possible to hopefully make a better world for all humans in the future. As a member of humanity, I value all of it including mainstreamers although they’re dumbed down and gullible. Hopefully, that can be changed.

My hope is that with the efforts of myself and others in the alternative media who are doing all we can to expose the psychopaths, people will not only learn about the criminal global aristocratic cabal, but also learn to tap into the infinite knowledge of how things in the Universe work that we all have programmed in our DNA.

 Q: Why is having a raw vegan diet so important to your beliefs?

A: I’ll never forget in 2000, my friend Peter Arneson and I were at a wedding of a couple of mutual friends of ours. At the reception, I noticed that of all the kinds of food they had to offer, the only thing Peter was eating was the salad. I asked him why, and he said he practiced a raw food diet, and we started talking about that. Everything Peter said made so much sense that I decided at that point to give a raw diet a go, and have stuck with it ever since.

Humans are the only species that cook its food, and there are different theories about why that is. Not all raw foodists are vegan like me. There are some who eat flesh. However, the vast majority of people could never imagine eating flesh raw, so that demands a question: Should humans be eating flesh at all if it can only be palatable cooked?

Cooking fruits, vegetables, and seeds is no good because it destroys the life-giving properties in the food, and creates a lot of carcinogens. That’s what causes all of the disease problems we have because people, whether they realize it, are in a constant state of malnutrition. I’ve been practicing a raw-vegan diet for about 10 years now, and am not having any thought of going back.

Thank you, Sean. That’s some pretty heavy stuff to take in all at once and we appreciate you breaking it down for us.

On another note, remember to join our Hip Hapa Homeez Group on Facebook where we post info of interest to blendies, mixies and multi-cultis. You can also “like” our Watermelon Sushi Fan page on Facebook, which supports our Watermelon Sushi film. And, your purchase of a Hapa*Teez t-shirt, like the one Julia Baker wears below, gets you a rear crawl credit once our film is produced.

Until we meet again, here's a shout-out and big-up for being you!

Your Hip Hapa,