Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Powerful Voice Is Forming

A Powerful Voice Is Forming

    My heart was filled with pride, when I saw a draft letter to Attorney General Lynch being discussed (and likely to be adopted) by a group of scientists in another state.  

    The short letter (1) speaks out firmly against abuse of government power, (2) requests an independent investigation - to put fear in those law-violating government employees who practice profiling, (3) shows political maturity by appealing to fellow scientists to unite and take concerted action, and (4) shows deep concern for our nation's best interest.  

    America should feel fortunate to have such good citizens.  When A.G. Lynch eventually listens to these scientists, our nation shall take another small step towards "a more perfect union."   See excerpts from that draft:

   "Dear Attorney General Lynch: 

     We  . . . are writing to express our serious concerns over the recent wrongfully indicted espionage cases involving  . .  Dr. Sherry Chen of National Weather Service and Dr. Xiaoxing Xi of Temple University.

     We request that the Department of Justice authorize an independent  investigation to find out  . .   whether race, ethnicity or national origin played a part in these cases.  Until such an investigation is authorized, we will appeal to Chinese-American professors, scientists and engineers in all major universities and research institutions in the nation to join us in making such a request.

      . . . There appears to be a pattern and practice of singling out Chinese-            Americans by federal law enforcement and prosecutors in the name of fighting against espionage.   . . .

      If this pattern continues, it is going to create not only a chilling effect on Chinese-American lives but also a negative impact on this nation's science and engineering research communities  . . . Although Chinese-Americans make up for a small portion of the US population, they account for a large percentage of scientists and engineers across major research universities, national labs, and other research institutions. In early 2000, because of the injustice Dr. Wenho Lee, a Chinese-American scientist at the Los Alamos National Lab, suffered in the hands of the government (a very similar case as Chen and Xi's), a national boycott of the national labs was called, urging Asian American scientists to stop applying for jobs at the national labs. Consequently, new applicants to the national labs dropped off  significantly and many Asian-American senior staff left for non- government sector or took early retirement. We are certain that if the current practice of unlawfully targeting Chinese-American professors and scientists continues, many Chinese- and other Asian-Americans will avoid working in technical areas that are vital to the success of this country's civilian and military industries, which will surely undermine this country's competitiveness in the long run."

   What a powerful message!  Will Attorney General Lynch have the wisdom to hear us?  

   To make sure that A.G. Lynch will hear us, let us all organize a "professors and scientists group" in every university, research institution and national lab and speak out in unison.   Let our indignation and our voice of reason spread like the prairie fire!  Election is coming around.  Politicians will listen if we all speak out.

S. B. Woo
President and a volunteer for the past 17 years
80-20 Initiative, Inc.

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