Dear Fellow Asian Americans:
The following is an earnest, sincere and final attempt to reach Senator Obama. Please read it carefully to understand the issues. If 80-20 decides to engage in a great struggle, it will be to defend YOUR rights to equal opportunity in workplaces and equal justice in Federal courts. We already have iron-clad commitments, signed by Senators Clinton and Edwards. We cannot risk having such commitments possibly replaced by vague, non-measurable promises from “The Obama campaign,” not signed by anyone.
Dear Senator Obama,
This is an earnest, final attempt by 80-20 Educational Foundation to reach out to you and ask for your hand of friendship and support. I promise to dutifully relay your response to the leadership of our Asian American community by 12 noon Central Time on 1/15/08. Depending on your response, our community may be forced to choose sides in the Democratic primary. We had not planned on that. If we hear from you affirmatively, we will remain neutral.
You are a candidate for change. Is it reasonable for us to hope that the change will include us? Here are the main grievances of the Asian American community.
Believe it or not, Asian Americans have the least opportunity to enter management when compared with Blacks, Hispanics and women; the slowest rate of progress toward equal employment opportunity in spite of having the highest educational attainment. Our comprehensive study covered private industries, universities and the Federal government. Our data and calculation have been independently verified by the EEOC.
In addition, only 0.6% of our Title III Federal judges are Asian Americans. Not even one of the 179 federal appellate judges is an Asian American— this in spite of the fact that 5% of legal professionals are Asian Americans, many from nation’s top law schools!
To remedy the above are the specific goals of our questionnaire. We are not seeking political favors. We are seeking civil rights. Senators Clinton and Edwards have replied with all yeses. Each wants to help make us become equal citizens, when she/he becomes the president. Since you are the candidate for change, why are you hesitant to commit to give us equal opportunity?
As a skilled lawyer, you know that an agreement is worthless if conditions and terms are not measurable. The statement sent to me by your campaign has non-measurable promises to “advance the interests [of Asian Americans]…”; non-specific statements that you are “committed to appoint.[AsAm].” or “build upon your work as a civil rights lawyer.” These sweet words are not measurable and are routinely uttered by politicians that will satisfy only the naïve, and gullible. I believe you are not that kind of leader.
Your staff publicly claimed that they were “unable to reach agreement with leadership of the 80-20 Educational Foundation over concerns with the wording of the questionnaire.” That is false. No specific proposal to change the wording was EVER made to me. You may want to instruct your staff to find that proposal or failing to find it, to immediately draft one and send it to me as the proof of good-faith from the Obama campaign.
We want very much to work with you, Senator Obama, and the ball is in your court. The opportunity is yours to take, and history yours to make.
SB Woo, President
80-20 Educational Foundation, Inc.