KAC Media – The Silent Exodus October 13, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in Asian Americans, Korean Americans.
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KAC Media is a nonprofit organization reaching out to the 1.5 and second generation Korean American community which is leaving the church in droves. They call this event the “The Silent Exodus.” They use the forum of media arts to reach this demographic. I found out about this group a couple of months ago and have gone to their website frequently. I’ve been pretty impressed by what I’ve seen so far.
Magnetic North: We Will Not Be Moved October 11, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in Asian Americans, race, racism, stereotypes.
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Am I crazy? September 18, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in Asian Americans, race, racism.
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Recently, I’ve been thinking about how the issue of race and racism is so complex. Every possible slight, perceived condescension, and numerous acts of disrespect make you wonder if and how race played a part in the incident. You never know for sure sometimes. But you always have it as a possibility. Then when you try to process it with other people, especially people you think would relate, and the response is of resistance, dismissal, confusion, or indifference, Then you wonder if you’re just plain crazy or on crack. The easy thing to do is not think about it and just act like things are ok. In our society, there are so many rewards for those who just assimilate and just go with the flow. But if you decide to actually think deeper about race and racism, there is definitely ways you don’t feel supported and just feel lost in translation. Even though I feel crazy, which leads to me feeling even more insecure about myself, it’s a still worthwhile effort to wrestle with and act on issues of race and racism, or at least I keep telling myself that.
2008 Spanish Federation Cup Tennis Team Picture August 14, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in Asian American, Asian Americans, Beijing Olympics 2008, China, race, racism, Spanish basketball team, Spanish Federation Cup Tennis Team Picture.
Looks like it’s not only the Spanish Olympic basketball team doing the racist “chinaman” pose. The 2008 Spanish Federation Cup Tennis team did the same thing. Hmmm… maybe we’re seeing a pattern here?
Spain photo exposing NBA double standard? August 13, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in Asian American, Asian Americans, China, Olympics, race, racism, Spanish basketball team.
I’m tired of all the excuses the Spanish are making about the racist photo they posed for in an advertisement. If they don’t get why people are angry about it, then what can I say. This is the same crap that has always been tolerated in Europe. This is the same continent that allows people to openly utter racist chants and proudly display swastikas at soccer games. Many of my friends on the left love to talk about how we should be more like Europe. Excuse me, if I vomit the next time they tell me that.
Spain photo exposing NBA double standard?
Yahoo! Sports; by Adrian Wajnarowski; August 13, 2008
BEIJING – When Jason Kidd logged into a laptop to see the Spaniards with his own eyes on Wednesday morning, the photo appeared just as described to him: Here were National Basketball Association players giggling like schoolgirls as they posed with fingers pressed against their temples in a squinty-eyed pre-Olympic salute to China.
Before long, Kidd considered the consequences had those giddy European faces been substituted with those of Team USA.
“We would’ve been already thrown out of the Olympics,” he told Yahoo! Sports. “At least, we wouldn’t have been able to come back to the U.S. …There would be suspensions.”
And for his European peers, well, Kidd suggested, “They won’t do anything to them. It’s a double standard.”
For Spain, there are several NBA players, including the Lakers’ Pau Gasol and Toronto’s Jose Calderon, in this unnerving team photo. They wore Spanish uniforms and had the federation’s seal on the floor. It ran as a full-page advertisement in a Madrid newspaper, an advertisement for a national team sponsor. This wasn’t an impromptu shot, but a carefully calculated choice.
Gasol is too smart, too sophisticated, to have let this happen. After practice Wednesday, he suggested that he wasn’t troubled with the photo on the merits of longstanding racial implications as much as he thought it wasn’t funny. The sponsor pushed and pushed them to pose, he said. They broke him down.
“It was supposed to be a picture that inspired the Olympic spirit,” Gasol said.
And how’d that work out, Pau? Just imagine what would’ve happened had that explanation come out of the mouth of Carmelo Anthony? Here’s what: Stern would’ve been on the next plane to China to work the damage control.
The Spaniards made a deplorable circumstance worse with dense justifications and a sense that they had done nothing wrong and nothing offensive. When they were hemming and hawing, digging a deeper ditch, Kidd talked at Team USA’s practice. He was curious how the Spanish players were spinning this.
“They have some explaining to do,” he said. “They’ll come up with something good.”
Gasol and Calderon aren’t just accountable to Spain on this Olympic stage but the global corporate entity that pays them more than $130 million in pro contracts. The NBA could’ve delivered a ready rebuke on Wednesday and there was none.
They’ll dock you $50,000 for ripping an incompetent official, but you can get a pass on an orchestrated racial slur? Gasol is kidding himself to say that he was pushed into it. Do you think Kobe Bryant would’ve been pressured to pose this way? LeBron James? Gasol is a serious, sensitive player with the prestige and clout for Spain to step up and say: Forget it, fellas. This isn’t happening. Only he didn’t.
As much as anything, this episode feeds a prevailing feeling among African-American NBA players that they’re the constant scapegoats for whatever issues – real or perceived – plague the sport. Without the public demanding a pound of accountability for European players, do they get a pass?
“The simple question is, ‘Would Stern and the league hold the American players accountable?’ And I think the answer to that is yes,” one NBA general manager said. “So why wouldn’t he hold the ‘other’ NBA players accountable – unless the rules only apply to the American players.”
So far, there’s nothing out of the league office. Rest assured, unless there’s an outcry over that photo, the NBA will wish this story away. Maybe the league will even issue a mild rebuke. It won’t be enough. Maybe this doesn’t rise to a suspension, but there should be significant fines and a bold condemnation. There needs to be a message delivered to NBA players everywhere: When you earn your money with us, you are always on the clock. Kidd, Kobe and LeBron understand it. It’s time the rest of the league does, too.
As some suggest he’ll do, Stern can’t dismiss this as the business of a federation team. These are NBA players returning to NBA cities this year. Never mind the host country and millions of fans here, but consider the Asian-American season ticket holders in cosmopolitan cities such as Toronto and Los Angeles. One of the reasons the New Jersey Nets traded for Yi Jianlian was to market him to a large Asian-American base in Metropolitan New York.
The NBA is a global league, so understand: Whatever the summer uniform, it’s the players who are forever representing the logo. The idea that Stern shouldn’t act on this behavior because it falls under FIBA and Spanish rule is ridiculous.
“We could say that too, but at the end of day, we are still representing the NBA,” Kidd said. “No matter if we’re saying (the actions) have nothing to do with it. At the end of day, we have to go back home, and our jobs are there.”
Stern is walking a slippery slope here, balancing relationships and partnerships in China and Europe. Already, there are jealousies developing in Europe over the way Stern is fawning over the Chinese market. Some European teams have told American marketers and agents that they’ve felt neglected in Stern’s wanderlust for Asia. FIBA is the governing body for European basketball and they’ve already dismissed this as a non-issue. That’s FIBA’s right, but the NBA has a different responsibility here. It has to take the higher ground.
“It would start an international riot if we did it, but they aren’t us,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “It’s low-rent stuff, but FIBA won’t do squat, so (the) NBA would show them up with any punitive action. I would be shocked if the NBA does any more than condemn (the) action.”
These Games have been a fascinating illustration in the complexities of the NBA’s globalization. The Americans have been treated like rock stars in China. Team USA has handled everything with grace and good humor. After too many trips overseas when this wasn’t the case for America’s national team, it sure is now.
Yes, there are different attitudes in the world, different sensibilities in Europe and North America. But for the NBA, there can be just one set of right and wrong. There should be only a strong voice and strong action now. No one should have to call for accountability from the Spaniards – the way that they would for Americans. Once and for all, David Stern has to be clear that there aren’t rules and responsibilities for different athletes, and different backgrounds – just those for an NBA player.
20th Anniversary of the passage of the bill which gave Japanese Americans an apology and reparations for internment August 11, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in Asian Americans, internment, Japanese Americans, race, racism, reparations.
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Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which gave Japanese Americans who were interned because of Executive Order 9066 an official apology and reparations for their illegal and racist detention by the US government. It’s a tribute to the courageous and persistent fight for justice by the nisei and sansei, amongst others, who helped to make possible that historic moment on August 10, 1988. No words or any amount of money can ever make up for the physical, psychological, and economic damage that was done to the Japanese American community. However, the signing of that bill gave those wronged because of interment a certain sense of dignity and also a somewhat redeemed sense of faith in our American system. From all this may we learn from the past and never repeat this evil ever again.
Crouching Voter, Hidden Direction August 8, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, 80-20, Asian American, Asian American vote, Asian Americans, Asian Americans for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, John McCain.
Newsweek; by Megan Shank; August 7, 2008
Youth Action Team volunteer John Yoon
On a clear-skied Sunday in New York City’s Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, a dozen Asian American teenagers scarf down hot dogs, fly kites and do their bit for the U.S. presidential race. Over the din of a crowd cheering rowers at the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, the students, part of city council member John Liu’s Youth Action Team, call out to passersby in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, “Have you registered to vote?”
For Asian Americans across the nation, it’s an important question. Their numbers might be small compared to other ethnic groups—only 5 percent of the total population—but they’ve been growing nine to 10 times faster than the general population, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census. That could swing the ballot in key states, according to “Awakening the Sleeping Giants?,” a recent report by researchers at UCLA.
The broader significance of Asian American voters was evident in 2006, when U.S. Senate candidate Jim Webb garnered 76 percent of Virginia’s Asian American and Pacific Islander votes, a factor in helping him to secure a narrow victory (less than 0.5 percent) over Republican incumbent George Allen and tipping control of the Senate to Democrats.
Asian Americans also played a significant role in helping Hillary Clinton win the California Democratic primary earlier this year. Comprising an estimated 12 percent of the state’s electorate, an overwhelming majority of Asian Americans—some 71 percent, according to a CNN exit poll—voted for Clinton. Other politically powerful states with large Asian American populations include New York and Texas, and, in a tight race, Asian American voters could swing Florida, says the UCLA report.
Although both Webb and Clinton are Democrats, Asian Americans don’t possess deep party loyalties, because as immigrants they don’t inherit familial ties to one political persuasion, says Paul Ong, a co-author of the UCLA report and a professor at the university. Beyond being “Asian,” voting preferences also depend upon a citizen’s age and country of origin. Vietnamese Americans who escaped from the Communists, for example, have served as a reliable Republican bloc, but their children tend to vote along more fluid lines.
Nationwide, aside from Obama’s childhood turf of Hawaii, Asian Americans nearly unequivocally supported Clinton’s bid; her loss of the nomination left Asian American voters divided over which candidate to support in November.
Clinton likely resonated with Asian American voters in part because she worked within cultural norms, giving “face,” or respect, to their communities and working through what Chinese refer to as “guanxi,” or connections. “We felt loyal to Hillary and guilty when she lost,” says John Liu, New York’s first Asian American city councilman.
Chris Wang, director of the Queens Nan-shan Senior Center, which operates under the auspices of the Chinese-American Planning Council, says the center’s 4,000 naturalized citizen members don’t vote based on a candidate’s platform as much as on whether “that candidate has spoken directly to them and recognized their validity as citizens.”
And as with many Americans, citizenship does not automatically ensure active political engagement. Both naturalized and U.S.-born Asian Americans have lower rates of voter registration than do non-Asians. Language barriers and a lack of understanding about the parties prevent competent participation. “’Democrat’ sounds like ‘democracy,’ which is great—it’s what people signed up for when they came here—but the word for ‘Republican’ in Chinese sounds a little too close to the word for ‘Communist party,’” says Peter Koo, a naturalized American citizen running as a Republican candidate for New York State Senate in 2009.
There are efforts to eliminate these problems: Under the Voting Rights Act, non-English ballots may be provided to voters. In addition, Asian-language media have given extensive political coverage and Asian immigrant support centers throughout the country offer classes on voter registration. But there are more insidious psychological obstacles. Coming from nations where democratic engagement has been actively discouraged or eliminated, where politics has wrecked fortunes and ruined families, many Asian American voters remain reluctant to get involved.
Zhou Ling, a naturalized American citizen from Taiwan who wears an Obama pin with the Chinese characters for “hope,” says Asian American citizens must abandon fear and cultivate courage and civic duty. For her, both were inspired by the Obama campaign, for which she now volunteers. The challenge in rallying Asian Americans for Obama has been that, among certain voter blocs, “there’s uneasiness in the image of a black president, particularly among naturalized citizens who have grown up in monocultures,” says Zhou.
The Obama campaign clearly recognizes the need to reach out to the Asian American community. Last month, California Rep. Mike Honda addressed an Obama fundraiser sponsored by a coalition of Asian American political groups. Obama’s part Indonesian half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, has also contributed as a spokeswoman. Their efforts may bear fruit. According to “New Voters, Old Fears,” by News 21, a journalism initiative of the Carnegie and Knight Foundations, Asian Americans increasingly lean toward Democratic candidates.
McCain, for his part, has long courted Vietnamese Americans, despite once using a racial slur to describe his Northern Vietnamese captors. During the 2000 run for president, he promised Asian American journalists that if he won, he would name an Asian American to his cabinet. Van Thai Tran, Republican member of the California State Assembly and the first American of Vietnamese descent to serve there, has endorsed him; on a more personal note, McCain has an adopted daughter from Bangladesh. McCain’s Web site, however, lists no Asian American coalition.
Ong, the UCLA researcher, says another report due out in October will show that “young Asian Americans have become dramatically more involved in the 2008 presidential campaign. Obama can take a lot of credit for that.” But even the candidate who has made change a central part of his campaign cannot uproot long-standing social values, such as deference to elders and respect for experience. One example: Wen (he declined to provide his first name), an “80-something-year-old” naturalized citizen and resident of New York says he will vote for McCain. “I like a tough guy who can get the job done,” says Wen in Mandarin. As a veteran who fought in the Korean War with Chinese troops in 1952, Wen relates to McCain’s political experience in Vietnam and says, “America has scarier enemies now.”
Perhaps so, but from the looks of the group gathered in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, America also has a muscular new political vigor.
Asian-Americans and affirmative action May 9, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in affirmative action, Asian Americans, race, racism.
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By Harvey Gee – Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 05/06/2008 07:29:41 PM MDT
In February, law professors Robert Nagel and Melissa Hart debated about affirmative action in a panel discussion at the University of Colorado at Boulder Law School , and remarked about Initiative 31 and Initiative 61, two alternative ballot measures that will be included on Colorado’s ballot in November.
Initiative 31 seeks to ban all “preferential treatment” by the state and mirrors anti-affirmative action initiatives that have passed in California, Michigan and Washington in recent years. Similar initiatives are being brought in Arizona, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Initiative 61 seeks to offer a Colorado alternative that will eliminate illegal preferential treatment, but preserve the state’s authority to offer modest equal opportunity programs consistent with the U.S. Constitution.
To be sure, the divergent opinions about affirmative action began as soon as the programs were implemented. During the 1960s, affirmative action combined past discrimination and diversity rationales to garner broad support for the limited principle that white male institutions should be dismantled to ensure inclusion of women and previously excluded minorities.
Caste systems developed based on both race and sex to exclude African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and other groups on a wholesale basis at various times and places.
The civil rights movement won broad support for the principle that these exclusions were wrong, and that remedying the problem required “affirmative action” — at least until individuals could receive equal consideration of their relative merits. However, by the 1990s, opponents of affirmative action began to argue that affirmative action had achieved its purpose, and was no longer necessary.
They contend that most institutions now include women and minorities, and will continue to do so, and that, to the extent that remaining institutions discriminate in ways reminiscent of a caste-like system, anti-discrimination laws should be the answer, rather than any affirmative action policy. Furthermore, opponents allege that the continuation of affirmative action creates a racial “spoils” system.
As discussed during the debate between Professors Nagel and Hart, Initiative 31 would likely have the greatest impact in higher education admissions at highly selective programs like CU Law School.
The initiative comes at a time when the Denver Bar is pushing forward with its commitment with the Colorado Pledge to Diversity. As Colorado voters consider the two ballot measures in the fall, it is becoming clear that Asian Americans will play a pivotal role.
When most Americans hear the term “affirmative action,” they tend to think of remedial programs implemented for African Americans and Latinos to address past discrimination. But rarely do Americans think of Asian Americans as being in need of affirmative action to compensate for past discrimination.
University catalogs and minority scholarship programs that mention minorities — except Asian Americans — substantiates this lack of consideration. In addition, many government programs that target poverty exclude Asian Americans from receiving benefits. There is also a tendency to exclude Asian Americans as parties in class actions involving employment and housing discrimination.
It is apparent that under the guidelines of these programs, Asian Americans are not seen as sufficiently disadvantaged or under-represented to warrant the same consideration offered to African Americans and Latinos. The virtual absence of Asian Americans from affirmative action analysis is troubling and demonstrates the need for the Asian American voice to be heard.
This tendency to exclude Asian Americans from the affirmative action debate is disingenuous. Perhaps it is reflective of the erroneous belief that Asian Americans do not or should not benefit from affirmative action.
This skewed vision is compounded by the inaccurate portrayal of the affirmative action debate by the media, which simplistically projects affirmative action as increasing opportunities for African Americans and Latinos and decreasing opportunities for whites.
In reality, Asian Americans are no different than other minorities who have suffered from racism and discrimination. Asian Americans can benefit from affirmative action and should be included as active participants in the debate.
Making the argument for including Asian Americans in affirmative action programs is a daunting task. Like African Americans and Latinos, they are victims of both past and present discrimination. Asian Americans easily meet the evidentiary standard required for a showing of “past discrimination” and should therefore qualify for remedial or preferential treatment.
Indeed, the history of institutionalized discrimination against Asian Americans in this country is well documented, and this anti-Asian animus continues to the present day. However, unlike African Americans and Latinos, Asian Americans are being punished “not for their vices but for their virtues.”
Today, a great deal of anti-Asian sentiment exists, serving as a foundation for the lingering xenophobia often manifested in anti-Asian violence, the existence of “glass ceilings” in the workplace, and the imposition of quotas on university campuses, especially in California.
A recent example of anti-Asian animus was the supposedly satirical editorial column on Asian students, titled “If it’s war the Asians want … It’s war they’ll get,” written by a CU staff editor and published on the school newspaper’s web site.
Since affirmative action can be both harmful and helpful to Asian Americans, it is imperative that we be included in the debate. Affirmative action is helpful to Asian Americans in providing employment and business opportunities that otherwise would not be available to them.
Conversely, the current affirmative action scheme is harmful in that it constructs quota systems which prevent Asian American students from gaining admission to top universities based solely on merit. Regardless, Asian Americans have not had the opportunity to decide for themselves whether affirmative action is appropriate, or to determine in what forms the programs should be implemented.
Moreover, Asian Americans are not afforded the benefits and opportunities that whites have been traditionally afforded, nor are Asian Americans able to benefit as a “preferred minority” in affirmative action programs.
Unfortunately, a dual standard presently exists in the application of affirmative action because there is one standard for African Americans and Latinos, and yet another for Asian Americans. This dual standard is inconsistent with the intent of affirmative action as a universal cause for all persons who have been historically discriminated against and under-represented in society.
The primary reason why Asian Americans are not considered active players in the affirmative action arena is because most Americans have accepted the idea of the “model minority myth.” The model minority myth has created a stereotype of Asian Americans as one monolithic ethnic group that has achieved success though education and hard work without the assistance of governmental benefits.
Such a myth is disingenuous, and masks the reality that Asian Americans are still affected by discrimination. The problem with this myth is two-fold: it obfuscates the fact that Asian Americans are still in need of affirmative action, and it is often used by opponents of affirmative action to show that affirmative action is not needed to help minorities. In its most extreme form, the model minority myth rhetorically shows that other minority groups should be able to succeed, without governmental assistance, because Asian Americans have.
Today, Asian Americans still need affirmative action in areas such as employment and public contracting. For instance, Asian Americans are severely underrepresented in corporate sector managerial positions.
Although the statistics show that Asian Americans in the aggregate have done well in higher education, certain Asian American groups still need some type of assistance. For example, some Southeast Asian groups rely on financial and educational assistance.
Undoubtedly, the role of Asian Americans in the affirmative action debate and racial stereotypes of them as foreign has demonstrated that a meaningful dialogue about race relations in America is much more complex and nuanced.
The Asian American experience, and in fact, the unique cultural experiences of all individuals of different racial backgrounds, reveal that a stratified racial hierarchy has always existed in the United States . As such, I propose that only when Americans consider the issue of race in new ways will race relations ever improve.
For instance, racial issues should be studied in their social, historical, and political context in order to obtain insights about how social barriers were overcome, and what additional hurdles have yet to be cleared.
Accordingly, I am hoping that the brief points made in this essay brings attention to the unfortunate manner in which Asian Americans are still perceived as “foreign,” not American. I hope also to dispel perceptions that Asian Americans are apolitical and, at most, ambivalent about being involved in the affirmative action controversy.
Despite some incidences of opposition to affirmative action, it is clear that the discrimination suffered by Asian Americans due to stereotypical and false perceptions justifies the continuation of including Asian Americans in all conversations about the viability of such policies.
Only by inviting Asian Americans and other nonwhites into the conversation about civil rights, and by openly addressing the more subtle discrimination that continue to disadvantage them may the goal of improving race relations in America become closer to achieving a practical reality.
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Slant Eye For the Round Eye
That’s a winner: APA Heritage Month Statements from Clinton and Obama
Monday, May 05, 2008
I was reading the APA Heritage Month statements that both Clinton and Obama put out last week and the two are really quite different.
What was interesting to me was that Obama’s statement – the candidate with the Asian lineage – was clearly more of a simple press release that really didn’t have much to do with anything specific about the APA community – you could really just plug and play pretty much any ethnic group into the statement and it wouldn’t matter, while Clinton’s statement was directed specifically towards the APA community.
Check Obama’s statement for release:
The month of May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – a time to honor and celebrate the extraordinary contributions of the nearly 13 million Asian and Pacific Americans (AAPI) who have helped build a strong and vibrant America. The APA community represents many ethnicities and languages that span across generations, and their shared achievements are an important part of the American experience.The APA story and community are also personal to me. Members of my family are of Asian descent and it is a community that I became a part of while growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia and living in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. APA Heritage Month reminds us of our commonalities in history, the values that bring us together and how Asian Pacific Americans will shape America’s future.
Beyond acknowledging the contributions of the APA community, APA Heritage Month is also an opportunity for us to recognize the challenges we still face. Our nation is at war, our planet is in peril, and for increasing numbers of Americans of Asian and Pacific descent, the American dream is in danger of slipping away. As President, I will work with the APA community to ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable and portable healthcare that will also reduce the language and cultural barriers that limit access to our medical system. We will make sure the global economy works for APAs by fixing our public education system, making college affordable through an annual $4,000 tax credit, and equipping our workers with the skills and training they need to compete. We will invest in renewable energy, which will ease our rising fuel costs while also saving our planet. We will do more to support small businesses, including strengthening programs that provide capital to minority-owned businesses. We will develop comprehensive immigration reforms that strengthen our security while affirming our heritage as a nation of immigrants, and reach. We will restore our Constitution and the rule of law, including our commitment to human rights abroad and civil liberties at home. Finally, we must forge a more effective regional framework for collective security in Asia and the Pacific to promote political and economic stability, confront transnational threats like terrorism and influenza, and collectively address environmental concerns.
With your support, I am confident that we can address these challenges. I am thankful to the many leaders, campaign organizers and grassroots volunteers of Asian and Pacific descent across the country, who have registered thousands of new voters, conducted phone-banking, organized canvassing trips, hosted political events, translated campaign materials into numerous Asian languages, and much more. By reaching out directly to the APA community, we can ensure that APAs are well represented in this national conversation about our future and the movement to write our destiny.
So, as we celebrate APA Heritage Month, let us honor the achievements of Asian Pacific Americans who have contributed so much to the success and prosperity of our nation, and who must be a part of our effort to change America.
The story of the APA community is quintessential American story about drawing strength from our diversity to achieve extraordinary things. With your continued energy, enthusiasm, passion and activism, the change we seek is within reach.
Now juxtapose that with Clinton’s, who talks about the model minority myth, how the APA community isn’t a collective, specific legislation and why it’s important to the APA community, and immigration reform and how it relates to Asian American issues like family visas – and more:
It is with great enthusiasm that we celebrate May as Asian Pacific Heritage month – Lighting the Past, Present and Future. Since the late 1700s, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have come from all over Asia and the Pacific Islands with the hopes and dreams of building a better life for themselves and their families. AAPI have played an important role in building our nation and I am pleased to celebrate the leadership, diversity, and harmony of this community and extend my gratitude to AAPIs for their sacrifices and contributions to enriching the lives of all Americans.
This year, Americans of all backgrounds, including AAPIs, have become engaged in the political process in record numbers. Through my travels around the country, I have had the fortunate opportunity to meet with AAPIs around the country from Iowa to Texas to California, Nevada and Pennsylvania. I have been honored and grateful to have the support of the AAPI community, especially many elected officials, business, and community leaders.
While AAPIs have achieved much for their families and the communities in which they live, I recognize there are still many issues confronting this community. That is why I have worked so closely with the AAPI community to promote policies that address the community’s needs. Just last week, I was proud to be on the Senate floor to cast a vote for legislation that would restore veterans’ benefits to the brave Filipino veterans who were called into service and fought under the United States flag during World War II.
It is also important to acknowledge and honor the fact that, like the fabric that makes up America, the AAPI community is not monolithic – not only is it the fastest-growing community in the country, it is one of our most diverse. Like many Americans, many in the AAPI community face tremendous challenges due to a lack of access to quality, affordable health care. That is why I have proposed a truly universal health care plan that is based on the principles of shared responsibility and choice and address the issues of health disparities, cultural competency, and language barriers. Under my health care proposal small businesses would receive a tax credit for providing health care to their employees. This is important to the AAPI community that has one of the highest numbers of small business owners.
The state of the economy is important to all Americans, including the AAPI community, and we need to do more to help middle class families struggling to pay for everything from increased gas prices to college costs. That is why I have proposed tax cuts that would save families thousands of dollars who are struggling to pay for health care, college costs, or the care for an elderly parent or disabled child. It would also help families who are saving for a secure retirement. The cuts would provide middle class families with at least $100 billion in tax relief per year. I also have a plan that would create millions of new, good-paying green collar jobs that would not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil but strengthen our economy.
But we can only make our economy stronger with an educated workforce. While many AAPIs have succeeded in attaining higher education, I am fully aware that others in the AAPI community continue to struggle to reach these same achievements. For that reason I will continue to strongly advocate for making college affordable and accessible and propose universal pre-school education for all our nation’s children.
During APA Heritage month we are reminded that we must fix our broken immigration system that is separating AAPI families. Last year, during the debate on comprehensive immigration reform, I offered an amendment to address the backlog of family visas. I will continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform legislation that brings families together.
I recognize that many Americans including AAPIs continue to face discrimination in society and at the work place. Throughout my career, I have hired staff members who reflect America’s diversity, including AAPIs. I am proud that over 20 percent of my campaign staff is AAPI. As President, I will ensure that AAPIs have a strong voice and role in my administration.
Finally, I will strive to restore America’s standing in the world, and part of that is standing up for human rights and combating human trafficking.
While we celebrate the contributions and the achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders this May, let us remember those among us who continue to struggle and commit to address the challenges facing the AAPI community and all Americans.
APA Heritage Month: Clinton 1, Obama 0
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May 1, 2008
“It is with great enthusiasm that we celebrate May as Asian Pacific Heritage month – Lighting the Past, Present and Future. Since the late 1700s, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have come from all over Asia and the Pacific Islands with the hopes and dreams of building a better life for themselves and their families. AAPI have played an important role in building our nation and I am pleased to celebrate the leadership, diversity, and harmony of this community and extend my gratitude to AAPIs for their sacrifices and contributions to enriching the lives of all Americans.”
“This year, Americans of all backgrounds, including AAPIs, have become engaged in the political process in record numbers. Through my travels around the country, I have had the fortunate opportunity to meet with AAPIs around the country from Iowa to Texas to California, Nevada and Pennsylvania. I have been honored and grateful to have the support of the AAPI community, especially many elected officials, business, and community leaders.”
“While AAPIs have achieved much for their families and the communities in which they live, I recognize there are still many issues confronting this community. That is why I have worked so closely with the AAPI community to promote policies that address the community’s needs. Just last week, I was proud to be on the Senate floor to cast a vote for legislation that would restore veterans’ benefits to the brave Filipino veterans who were called into service and fought under the United States flag during World War II. “
“It is also important to acknowledge and honor the fact that, like the fabric that makes up America, the AAPI community is not monolithic – not only is it the fastest-growing community in the country, it is one of our most diverse. Like many Americans, many in the AAPI community face tremendous challenges due to a lack of access to quality, affordable health care. That is why I have proposed a truly universal health care plan that is based on the principles of shared responsibility and choice and address the issues of health disparities, cultural competency, and language barriers. Under my health care proposal small businesses would receive a tax credit for providing health care to their employees. This is important to the AAPI community that has one of the highest numbers of small business owners.”
“The state of the economy is important to all Americans, including the AAPI community, and we need to do more to help middle class families struggling to pay for everything from increased gas prices to college costs. That is why I have proposed tax cuts that would save families thousands of dollars who are struggling to pay for health care, college costs, or the care for an elderly parent or disabled child. It would also help families who are saving for a secure retirement. The cuts would provide middle class families with at least $100 billion in tax relief per year. I also have a plan that would create millions of new, good-paying green collar jobs that would not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil but strengthen our economy.”
“But we can only make our economy stronger with an educated workforce. While many AAPIs have succeeded in attaining higher education, I am fully aware that others in the AAPI community continue to struggle to reach these same achievements. For that reason I will continue to strongly advocate for making college affordable and accessible and propose universal pre-school education for all our nation’s children.”
“During APA Heritage month we are reminded that we must fix our broken immigration system that is separating AAPI families. Last year, during the debate on comprehensive immigration reform, I offered an amendment to address the backlog of family visas. I will continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform legislation that brings families together.”
“I recognize that many Americans including AAPIs continue to face discrimination in society and at the work place. Throughout my career, I have hired staff members who reflect America’s diversity, including AAPIs. I am proud that over 20 percent of my campaign staff is AAPI. As President, I will ensure that AAPIs have a strong voice and role in my administration.”
“Finally, I will strive to restore America’s standing in the world, and part of that is standing up for human rights and combating human trafficking.”
“While we celebrate the contributions and the achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders this May, let us remember those among us who continue to struggle and commit to address the challenges facing the AAPI community and all Americans.”