Thursday, July 17, 2008

GCAA grass roots activists flex political muscle

Dear officers and friends of Asian American communities,
Recently, a racist article about China appeared in the Herald Tribune, a publication of the New York Times Media Group. The Gulfcoast Chinese American Association (GCAA) spearheaded a letter writing campaign to the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the paper and it result in a quick and public retraction and publication of a lengthy rebuttal to the original column (Letters to the Editor is normally limited to 250 words). Please see the attached. It included a letter from Dr. Carolyn Bloomer, who is a board member of GCAA.
This incident highlights the power of collective action and reminds us how important it is for all of us to work together to fight prejudice and ignorance. Some of our best allies are enlightened Euro-Americans who (like the early Euro-American civil rights leaders who founded the Southern Poverty Center and fought alongside the African Americans for their right to vote and public education) are well positioned to provide support to our cause to end racial hatred and bigotry. Let’s reach out to them and, together, work for a better, more equitable America.
At the national level, there is no other organization like 80-20 Initiative, which is making landmark progress in the fight for equal opportunity and justice for all Asian Americans. We have won iron-clad written commitment from Senator Obama to enforce Executive order 11246 to lift the glass ceiling for Asian Americans, to appoint more Asian American Federal judges, and to nominate an Asian American to the supreme court. We continue to try to achieve the same with Senator McCain.
80-20 needs your support as much as we all need 80-20. All 80-20 officers work for no pay and regularly dip into their own pocket for their hundreds of hours of pro bono services. We must feed and take care of our work horse. When you send in a membership check for $50 to 80-20 as Eric Man of Tampa Bay did yesterday, you are saying with conviction that you must do your part to change history for the better, and you are committed to walk the talk. Thank you, Eric, for stepping up to the plate. I hope many more will join you in setting leadership examples for the rest of our communities.
Warm regards to all,
Dr. Edward Lin
80-20 Initiative (
Equal Opportunity and Justice for ALL Asian Americanse-mail:

Columnist does a disservice to Chinese-Americans

Columnist does a disservice to Chinese-Americans

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 7:20 a.m.
Morgan Stinemetz's column of July 14, "Polluted sailing water not the only reason to avoid trip to Olympics," began: "Maybe I'm just too conservative in my old age, but the mere thought of going to the Olympics in China this summer brings up mental images I care not to contemplate."
Related Links:
Note to readers regarding sailing column
Alas, what followed soon revealed Mr. Stinemetz not to be too conservative but rather too ignorant and bigoted to bother with the truth. He urged readers to conjure up images of things in China that he himself admitted he had not seen or even read to be so. Drawing liberally from unidentified Internet sources that he reasonably ought to know are either untrue or only highlight rare extremes, he proceeded to embellish and multiply myths about China in his writing, which not only reflected poorly on Mr. Stinemetz, but also on the newspaper that irresponsibly approved this ill-concocted piece of "journalism."
Is the world to believe that America is a nation of polygamists just because they exist in parts of the country? Or that mountain oysters, squirrel brains and chitterlings reflect mainstream tastes?
If Mr. Stinemetz had limited his criticism to the coastal pollution and sailing conditions, that'd be one thing. However, he ranted about many other issues in a biased and broad-brush approach that merits a rebuttal.
If the United States had the crushing population and the manufacturing and agricultural burdens that China had, it is very doubtful we'd have done as well in terms of environmental pollution and waste reduction. Are we so quick to forget the decimation of fish in the Great Lakes, the burning of the Cuyahoga River from oil slicks, Love Canal and numerous other toxic waste dumps, dead zones in our Gulf waters from fertilizer overuse (one nearing the size of the state of Massachusetts)?
We are the only developed nation that exports its hazardous electronics waste (mostly to China). As a nation comprising 5 percent of the world population but consuming 30 percent of its resources, with a per capita carbon footprint 12 times that of China, perhaps we Americans might indulge in a little introspective humility before pointing a finger at another nation.
According to the Center for American Progress, 37 million Americans live below the poverty line (as of April 2007), an increase of 5 million since 2000. In contrast, the International Monetary Fund in 2006 credited China with pulling 300 million people out of poverty in the past two decades and adding $2 trillion to the global GDP. According to the report: This is "like adding a country the size of Portugal every year to the world economy, creating as many new jobs each year as Australia's total labor force, and eradicating poverty from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia combined."
The inability of our government to do justice to Hurricane Katrina victims three years post-disaster speaks volumes. China is far from perfect or blameless, but for a not-so-wealthy nation that has had to deal with socio-economic and environmental problems of far greater magnitude than those of any other nation in history, it has done remarkably well and deserves fair recognition instead of ignorant, off-base condemnation.
On behalf of the Gulfcoast Chinese-American Association, I express our dismay and profound disappointment that both Mr. Stinemetz and the Herald-Tribune have failed the community in their journalistic responsibility to present balanced and factual information.
Dr. Edward Lin is chairman of the board and past president of the Gulfcoast Chinese-American Association, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide educational, cultural service and charitable support to the community. Web site:
Editor's note: Please see statement in today's sports section.This story appeared in print on page A10_OPED
Note to readers regarding sailing column
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 7:21 a.m.
A column Monday on the front page of the Sports section, "Polluted sailing water not the only reason to avoid trip to Olympics," included comments that had nothing to do with sailing or China's Qingdao Olympic sailing venue. The comments do not reflect the opinion of the Herald-Tribune and should not have been published.
Related Links:
Columnist does a disservice to Chinese-Americans

Sailing column is irresponsible

Sailing column is irresponsible
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 5:50 a.m.
Where was the journalistic responsibility when Morgan Stinemetz's tasteless column of July 14 crossed the sports editor's desk? Stinemetz's gross ignorance of China and his invocation of racist mythologies harking back to 19th century fears of the yellow peril are truly shocking in a 21st-century newspaper.
Intelligent Internet users recognize that numerous sites capitalize on sensationalized, often fabricated representations. Anyone gullible enough to believe them should not be writing newspaper columns.
I am a cultural anthropologist who regularly spends time in China and who speaks and reads Chinese, so I can tell you the Internet pictures of "street food" are, for the most part, cherry-picked and inaccurately identified, and the "Chinglish" examples are purposefully atypical and bizarre. Beijing has embarked on a massive project to standardize menus and signage in preparation for the Olympics.
Consider how Chinese respond to mangled Chinese tattooed on American bodies, the Chinese word for "love" displayed upside down on a car bumper, shirts sporting Chinese writing in mirror-image, video titles printed upside-down, travel companies using Taiwanese fonts advertising trips to mainland China.
While committed to economic development, China has a national policy pushing renewable energy, reforestation and green building design.
Sixty percent of the world's carbon-reduction projects are in China (Foreign Policy magazine, March-April 2008).
Carolyn M. Bloomer The writer is on the liberal arts faculty of the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. She resides in Sarasota.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Awakening the New "Sleeping Giant"?

1.Awakening the New “Sleeping Giant”?Asian American Political Engagement
Paul Ong, Melany Dela Cruz-Viesca, and Don Nakanishi
1University of California, Los AngelesJuly 2, 2008Press Contact: Letisia
IntroductionSuper Tuesday of the 2008 Primary (February 5, 2008) was a milestone in the emergenceof Asian Americans as a factor in American politics. The national television newsnetworks openly discussed and analyzed California’s Asian American voters, whocomprised an estimated 12% of the state’s registered voters.
2. A CNN exit poll indicatedthat Asian Americans in California voted for Senator Hillary Clinton by a 3-1 margin (71percent), allowing her to win the popular vote by 8 points through an Asian Americanand Latino voting bloc.
3 To a lesser extent, newscasters took note of the Asian Americansin other primary elections. The focus has been on the Democrat race because more AsianAmericans are registered with that party than any other party. A report by the AsianAmerican Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) on the 2004 PresidentialElections surveyed Asian Americans in 23 cities in 8 states: New York, New Jersey,Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. AALDEFaffirmed that 57% of Asian Americans were registered Democrats, over a quarter werenot enrolled in any political party, and 15% were registered Republicans.
4 Similarly, astudy by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) found 35% of Asian1 The analysis in this analytical brief was partially supported with grants from Russell Sage Foundation andCarnegie Foundation. Additional support was provided by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, theUC AAPI Policy Multi-Campus Research Program, and LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics)..............(More).