Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Little Things We Can do to Erase the "Foreigners" Image

What if people see a sea of American flags on Memorial Day and Independence Day, when they drive through Chinatown/Little Saigon/Japantown or a residential area known for concentration of APAs? Will it change a lot of minds that APAs are foreigners?

You bet your life, it would.

Why not go buy a flag for $10 and hang it in front of your residence or shop on July 4th, our upcoming Independence Day. Katy and I always hang a flag in front of our house on such days.

Thursday, May 24, 2001

Beware. C-100 survey results cut both ways

Beware!  The Comm. of 100 survey results could cut both ways.  At its worst, it could simply reinforce our compatriot's negative attitudes  towards Chinese Americans and Asian Americans.  The bigots could simply be emboldened by knowing that so many others share their views.  At its best, 12 million Asian Americans could be spreading the powerful facts provided below to wipe away the prejudice, now that we  know it is there.  

How do we counter unjust negative attitudes towards Asian Americans?

Build up our own political clout.  Learn from American history!   White immigrants such as Irish, Polish and Italians; Jewish Americans, Caucasian women, blacks and Latinos were all viewed negatively by other Americans once upon a time.  They all labored to build their own political clout so as to get the immense resources of the federal and state governments to help combat the prejudice and discrimination against them.  We must do the same.  Each of us need give a little and sacrifice a little for that historic mission.

How do we counter doubts that we are more loyal to our "old country" than to America?

Tell our non-Asian compatriots these facts.

1) Twenty one (21) Japanese Americans won Medals of Honor fighting for America in Europe, while their family members were kept in concentration camps in America as "enemy aliens."

2) The campaign finance scandal of 1996 was characterized by NY Times columnist William Safire as the "Asian Connection." The media made it seem as if the entire Asian American community was involved. Actually, it involved no more than a dozen Asian Americans.

During that period, the Senate Comm. on Governmental Affairs, chaired by Fred Thompson of TN (R) open with the sensational claim of "hard evidence" of a Chinese scheme to influence the presidential election. The hearing closed without presenting information to substantiate the claim.

3) The Cox Congressional Committee Report in 1999 fanned suspicion of Chinese Americans by charging that China had stolen U.S. secrets that helped it to miniaturize nuclear weapons for use in intercontinental missiles. The report was debunked by a report by Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation entitled "The Cox Committee Report: An Assessment." Recently, Danny B. Stillman, an American who probably knows more about China’s nuclear weapons program than any other American, questioned it. In a front page article in Washington Post (5/16/2001), it reported that "Stillman said in an interview that he believes the Chinese nuclear program made its important advances without resorting to espionage."

4) Dr. Wen Ho Lee was refused bail before his trial and kept in solitary confinement for 9 months because he was convicted by the media as a spy stealing the crown jewels of our nuclear weapon for China. The presiding judge, however, discovered that an FBI agent presented false testimony. The judge apologized to Dr. Lee. The NY Times did a self analysis of why it didn't sufficiently check the facts before publishing its articles. The government dropped 58 of 59 counts against Dr. Lee, keeping only one count of illegally retaining national defense information, and set Dr. Lee free.

The collective weight of sensational but inaccurate statements by politicians and reporters against Asian Americans beats down on us and our children. We must fight back with skill and unity.

Help spread the above powerful facts. You are one of 430,000 receiving this message. If each of us spreads it to 10 Americans, imagine the total impact! With your help, 80-20 will help make lemonade out of lemons.

Thursday, May 03, 2001

Very Negative Perception of Chinese Americans/ Asian Americans

"Study Finds Persistent Negative Perceptions of Ch. Ams." -- Los Angeles Times
"25% of U.S. View Chinese Ams Negatively, Poll Says" -- Washington Post

What are the articles all about? They are about a poll commissioned* by The Committee of 100 that was released on 4/25 surveying American attitude towards Chinese Americans. Its major finding is:

25% have "very negative attitudes" toward Ch. Ams. Another 43% have "somewhat negative attitudes."

One may note that the survey was completed before the US-China plane accident. If the survey were done today, the "Very Negative" will probably increase greatly. However, the sum of "Very Negative" and "Somewhat Negative" is not likely to increase much. One should also note that the study confirmed what Asian Ams. have always known. That is, Americans do not distinguish between Chinese Americans and Asian Americans. For the complete poll, visit www.80-20initiative.net .

How do we counter the severe negative image?

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Think of the groups that had image problems in the past, and how they solved their problem. Such groups include the Jewish, Irish, Polish, Italians, blacks, and women. Here are the facts.

"All men are created equal" was declared in 1776. However, for 87 more years, Blacks remained slaves; for 144 more years white-women were not allowed to vote. White women won their equal opportunity only recently, after they organized N.O.W. and Emily's List; Blacks began to make progress after organizing the NAACP, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Rainbow Coalition, etc.

Would white males, who could be stereotyped into groups that were without political clout, be exempt from discrimination? No! Read American history or visit the Kennedy Library in Boston. You'll learn about the rampant discrimination against Irish-, Polish- and Italian- Americans when they first immigrated to America. How did they combat discrimination? They organized bloc votes to build the necessary political clout to win equal opportunity.

How about the Jewish? They too combated prejudice and discrimination with bloc votes.

How about Hispanics? Bloc votes.

How about Asian Pacific Americans? 80-20 is the only APA organization that advocates a swing bloc vote. 80-20 also succeeded in delivering a bloc vote in year 2000. For evidence, visit our web site. See the poll funded by the National Science Foundation.

Join & help us. 80-20 is currently organizing a coalition to fight against APA bashing, and raising a war chest, called The Anti-Bashing Fund (ABF). Please do your share.

Send a check to
Professor Chun Wa Wong
3780 Keystone Ave.
Suite 106
Los Angeles, CA 90034-6363

Make it payable to 80-20. Maximum contribution allowed by FEC is $5000 per person per year. Corporate checks are not allowed. Partnership checks are ok. Only citizens and permanent residents may contribute. If your donation exceeds $200.00, please provide occupation and employer. Your giving is not tax deductible.

Your name will be on permanent display on our website http://www.80-20initiative.net/donors.htm , if your cumulative donation to 80-20 reaches $500 or more. When it reaches $10,000, your name will be in The Founder's Circle. Go take a look. Your name may just be there.

*The poll was done by Yankelovich, a very reputable firm that has done similar surveys to measure American attitudes toward Jewish Americans since the 1960s.

*** Paid for by The 80-20 Political Action Committee ***