Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sotomayor & Identity Politics

Asian Ams often ask, "Is 'identity politics' necessary?"

Take a look at Chart 1 in 80-20's Washington Post full-page ad. Please see how Asian Ams' bars (at the extreme left) are shorter than those of all others? That means whether we practice "identity politics" or not, others saw a racial identity in us and discriminate against us.

Next, take a look at Pres. Obama's commitment to YOU through 80-20. It shows that when we practiced GROUP politics and spoke up as a GROUP for our rights, our grievances got addressed.

Another way to understand America's political reality is this. Ask yourself, "Will Judge Sotomayor be nominated as a Supreme Court Justice, much less confirmed, if it weren't for the Hispanic bloc vote?" Today, her confirmation is a certainty.

Is the answer to the necessity of "group politics" therefore obvious?!

Next, one may ask if "identity politics" is desirable? NO. Once equal citizenship is achieved, "identity politics" is neither necessary nor desirable.

Sadly, however, the days of a small minority like us, or the Arab Americans, to not suffer from the biases of the majority is still far far away, unless we nurture our GROUP political clout. Look at those very short bars describing the career destiny of Asian Ams., in Chart 1, again! Read Pres. Obama's commitment to YOU, shown in the last picture, again!

The "coolies" of the 19th century were not sufficiently educated to fight for their rights. Are we still in that stage? Fortunately not. 80-20 has achieved another record month in membership!

Using a credit card to join 80-20, go http://www.80-20initiative.net and click on the red button "JOIN 80-20." Or send a check to 80-20 PAC, PO Box 22509, Philadelphia, PA 19110. Dues from NEW members are matched up to $3,500. Thank you.

S. B. Woo (a volunteer)
Acting Executive Director, 80-20 PAC, Inc.