Why Is Courage Crucial to the Asian Am. Community?
Courage is particularly important to the Asian Am. community. Read
what a US senator told me decades ago, "Your community needs to act
with more gusto. Even your activists, when ignored long enough or told to
go away, would quietly go way. Both political parties and the national
media knew that. The US is a nation where the squeaky wheel gets the grease."
Why So Few Asian Am Orgs. showed Courage?
When leaders of Asian Am. organizations fight for our community, they
unavoidably displease the powers they are fighting against. As a result, the
invitations, favors & appointments from the governors, cabinet officials &
the president may stop going to those leaders.
If our community honors such leaders for their dedication, as is the
tradition in the Jewish community, the psychological compensation
may be enough to keep our dedicated activists going. However, our
community is neither politically mature nor cohesive enough to
reward our community servants. That punishing combination makes leaders
of many Asian Am. orgs. attend to the mundane rather than the
unique needs of the Asian Americans. Mundane is safe, requiring no
courage and no extraordinary effort.
There are noteworthy exceptions. To name a few, they include 1)
organizing to redress US government's internment of Japan Ams, 2)
outcries against the injustice shown in the death of Vincent Chin.
Perhaps the defense of Dr. Wen Ho Lee may be another example.
For sure, a lot of our orgs have protested against racist disc jockey of
radio stations, and celebrities who cracked bad racial jokes. While these
actions were called for, they required no courage. There would be
no repercussion against individuals leading such fights.
Our better future Requires Courage
The Asian Am. community has unique needs. There are irrefutable
statistics and government reports that Asian Americans have been
severely discriminated against in workplaces. While 80-20's expose` of
such systemic discrimination, and its political actions have begun to get
government attention to corrective measures, the length of our
government's attention and the strength of the corrective measures are
as yet uncertain.
Only a UNITED Asian American community can assure truly equal
opportunity for the 15 million Asian Americans and their children.
We look to leaders of Asian Am orgs for guidance and cooperation
and together get the job done.
What YOU Can Do To Deter Meekness?
YOU can do a lot. You can speak out publicly, if you agree that our
community has been too meek, and that too many of our community
leaders are seemingly addicted to "being the big fish in a small pond"
and attending to the mundane! Your voice will have impact. Public
scrutiny is effective.
Please post your comments at
Negative comments are welcome too. We want to learn from you.
S. B. President, 80-20 Educational Foundation, Inc.