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.