Thursday, April 26, 2001

Call to Action -- Stop The APA Bashing

Conflict between the US and China, unfortunately, leads to bashing of Chinese Americans and the Chinese people.  Its consequence, however, spills to all Asian Pacific Americans since we are not, in general, physically distinguishable. Recall that Vincent Chin was killed by two unemployed Detroit autoworkers who mistook him for a Japanese American.

If such bashing is left unchecked, damage to our lives creeps in and exacerbates, including psychological pressure and career obstacles. It seems impossible now, but the internment of Japanese Americans began in this same manner.  What could happen if, God forbid, the conflict escalates?

80-20 is determined to nip the bashing in the bud.  This e-mail is a call to action!

Yesterday, 80-20's Steering Comm. resolved to take on the anti-bashing fight.  We'll help organize a grand coalition of APA organizations.  Separately, 80-20 is setting up its own Anti-Bashing Fund (ABF). 
If you want to see bashing stopped, send a check to

       Professor Chun Wa Wong

       3780 Keystone Ave.

       Suite 106

       Los Angeles, CA 90034-6363

Make it payable to 80-20 but specify for ABF .  Citizens and permanent citizens may contribute, personal checks only.  Your giving is not tax deductible. Please state your occupation and employer if your donation exceeds $200.00.  Please e-mail S.B.

to let him know that you are helping.  If you total contribution to 80-20 since its foundation exceeds $500, your name will be on permanent display on our web site: http://

The rest of this e-mail contains (A) What is bashing, (2) How to stop
bashing, and (3) How you can help?

(A) What is bashing?

Criticizing policies of a foreign nation or specific acts of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community or its subsets is not bashing.  

Stereotyping the supposed comical physical features of Asians, e.g. slant eyes, buck- teeth, and thick glasses is bashing.  A recent example is a cartoon by Patrick Oliphant published in a national circulation.  A cartoon is to ridicule the politics, not the people.

Demonizing is bashing.  You may recall that 80-20 mobilized the APA community and the mainstream media on 10/27 of last years to compel the pulling of a Republican TV ad imitating the infamous "Daisy" TV ad fanning the fear of "yellow peril."  The ad was pulled within 24 hours.

Castigating all persons of Asian descent on account of our nation's conflict with any Asian country is bashing.  Recent examples in various radio and TV broadcasts include: the boycott of Chinese restaurants, the barring of "Chinese" from the Erron baseball field in Houston, putting "Chinese" in concentration camps, and sending "Chinese" back where they came from. 

Such advocacy makes no difference between Asian nationals and American citizens of Asian descent.  Even supposing a distinction is made and the attack is centered on specific Asian nationals only, it is still too indiscriminate and hateful.  First amendment 
right has limits.  The first amendment does not give a person the right to shout "Fire" in a crowded theater; joke "I am carrying a bomb" in an airplane; or express hate towards a race or ethnic group.  

Even in less obvious cases, we must speak out.  The first amendment may protect the right of a skit actor to utter "Ching, ching, chong, chong." imitating how an Asian talks in order to draw a cheap laugh.  However, the same first amendment protects our right to protest against the insensitivity of that skit.

(B) How to stop it?

When there is concrete evidence involving a significant media personality and/or a major media outlet that has clearly crossed the line, the proposed Coalition will pounce.  National attention will focused on our protest giving landmark significance to the subsequent corrective measures taken by the offending personalities
/media outlet.

Thereafter, the news will spread among media workers that bashing APAs is no longer a free shot.  

(3) How you can help?

Help tape the offending broadcasts and report them to 80-20.  Get you recorders ready. Give financially to ABF.  We are only as strong as you are.  Tell us that you are strong.

*** This mailing is paid for by The 80-20 PAC ***