Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Don't let our children feel ashamed of our heritage

   Nothing is more dangerous to us than having our own civil rights organizations (CROs) taking positions contrary to our rightful interests.

   Has that happened? You be the judge!

   98% of the Asian Ams preferred "race-neutral" admissions. Indeed, AsAm students sensing discrimination against them in college admissions, often refused to check the "Asian" box under race on their application. See USA Today article, "Some Asians' college strategy: Don't check 'Asian'". The Supreme Court apparently agrees with us and instructed the lower court to apply "strict scrutiny" to see if "race-neutral" college admissions can be accomplished while also achieving diversity.

   Yet, Tom Hayashi, Executive Director of OCA (Org. of Ch-Ams), issued a press release against our rightful interests, stating:

       "We ardently hope that the Court of Appeals will uphold the University of Texas' admission policy. Race-conscious admission policies create a more equitable educational landscape for APA students, . . .(emphasis added)"

   Now is the time for a FRANK discussion of how such a weird and sad situation could have happened. Don't be so quick to blame OCA. 
Understand the cause first!

   (1) We Don't Invest In Ourselves! Our community has never been willing to financially support our own CROs such as OCA, JACL, AAJA AALDEF, & APALC. Consequently, they mostly obtain their financial needs from outside of our community, namely Fortune 500 corporations and liberal foundations.

   Fortune 500 corporations spend money supporting the civil rights INDUSTRY (yes by now it is no longer a movement but an INDUSTRY) with at least one pragmatic, non-altruistic, aim -- to get NAACP on their side, if possible, since NAACP is the icon of civil rights. At the least, each of the corporate "Diversity Managers" in charge of dispensing money to the civil rights industry wants to make sure that the financial support of OCA & other AsAm CROs does NOT get the NAACP mad at his/her corporation, which would endanger his/her job. Under such an atmosphere, will AsAm CROs want to support an admissions policy which NAACP strongly opposes?

   MONEY TALKS! We are not willing to provide the money. So other people's money is talking!

   (2) We Lack Political Wisdom! We want good people to work for our CROs. Good people want good careers. Where can young, ambitious AsAm civil rights workers' CAREER advance to? AsAm CROs are small and few. So smart AsAm CAREER CR workers from day one know that they'll eventually work for either black or Hispanic CROs or for agencies of Democratic Administrations. That requires AsAm civil rights workers to always get along with NAACP.

   As a result, on a rare issue like college admissions, when the interests of the Asian Am community are in conflict with those of NAACP, they'll support NAACP.

   Don't blame OCA or NAACP! Wise up, FIRST!

   80-20 wants to be 100% loyal to AsAm's rightful interests. Hence we accept only AsAm money, resulting in a shoe-string operation for the last 15 years. Our volunteers and staff often work more than 60 hours /week.

   How to remedy this SAD, SHAMEFUL & DANGEROUS situation?

   80-20 loves to work with all Asian Ams, including the Committee of 100, and public-minded, wealthy AsAm individuals, OCA and the other AsAm CROs, former government officials to together protect our community's rightful interests. Step up & act! Don't let our children feel ashamed of their heritage.

   As a community, we are BELOW PAR IN INVESTING IN OURSELVES.

   FORWARD this e-newsletter to your friends. Post your comments on 80-20's Poster Board .

S.B. Woo, a volunteer
President, 80-20 National Asian Am Educational Foundation
Also the National President of OCA in 1991