David Henry Hwang, three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony-winning playwright, and director Leigh Silverman join former policy director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, and U.S. policymaker and now NSA Jake Sullivan and journalist, media consultant, author, and “Asian Pop” columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle Jeff Yang to discuss the musical-within-a-play SOFT POWER. The show illuminates the merits and pitfalls of democracy, the American electoral system, the American campaign system, U.S.-China relations, cultural appropriation, racism and hate crimes in America, soft power itself, and more.
This episode of WHY WE THEATER focuses on democracy, voting rights, and appreciating Asian-American perspectives and culture. Is democracy the best system of government? How do we improve our electoral system now? What must we keep in mind for the November 2020 Presidential Election and beyond? What is soft power and how do we wield it responsibly? Do Americans have a say in how we interact with foreign nations? How? Listen to find out.
Referred to in this episode
- What Donald Trump and Dick Cheney Got Wrong About America by Jake Sullivan
- The Citizens United Supreme Court Case
- What Is Ranked Choice Voting? From FairVote.org
- What is the Single Transferable Vote?
- Why Was the Electoral College Created? by Dave Roos
- Jeff Yang’s podcast “They Call Us Bruce” (co-hosted by Phil Yu)
- What is the “model minority” myth?
- Building the Transcontinental Railroad: How 20,000 Some Chinese Immigrants Made it Happen by Lesley Kennedy
- The history of Asian American for Equality and the Asian American Movement of the 1960s
Create the change
- Research and support Automatic Voter Registration
- Check your voter registration status and deadlines for registration by zip code
- Research your what’s on your ballot and who your candidates are
- Contact your representative to support voter rights – SUPER easy with 5calls.org
- Watch “We’re Doing Elections Wrong” from Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj
- Read Jeff Yang’s Op-Ed “Mr. President, you don’t speak for Asian Americans”
- Check out this interactive timeline to understand the history of the U.S. and China’s relations
- Read Cathy Park Hong’s poetry and writings on her experience as an Asian American: Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
- Read Peter N. Kiang’s “Understanding Our Perceptions of Asian Americans”
- Stop hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
- Watch panels from the Rise: Asian Pacific America digital conference
Why We Theater is a product of part of the Broadway Podcast Network, edited by Derek Gunther, and produced by Alan Seales.
Our theme music is by Benjamin Velez. Hear more at BenjaminVelez.com.
Our logo is by Christina Minopoli. See more at MinopoliDesign.com.
Special thanks to Dori Berinstein, Leigh Silverman, Patrick Taylor, Tony Montenieri, Elena Mayer, Wesley Birdsall, and Suzanne Chipkin.
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