Author: charles koon
Date: 08-13-12 07:10
When I read the following article, I inadvertantly thought of the running chow chow why and how could he turn against his own ethnic brothers and sisters adding more sufferings than they had already endured.
Qiao Bao, a U.S.-based Chinese-language newspaper, recently said in a signed article that after setting foot in the United States, Chinese immigrants immediately find themselves deeply puzzled by a simple question – “Who are we?”
An unavoidable question facing Chinese immigrants is how they can integrate into the mainstream culture in the United States while still maintaining their own cultural identity. Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? Chinese immigrants must find their own answers to these ultimate questions.
First, the United States has a long history of discrimination against Chinese immigrants. The two houses of U.S. Congress did not apologize for the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act until recently. Therefore, Chinese immigrants must make continued efforts to combat discrimination, and say loudly, “I am Chinese, but also American.”
The Danny Chen hazing case is the latest example of discrimination against Chinese. Instead of being killed by enemies, the Chinese-American soldier stationed in Afghanistan died after being abused and tortured by his own comrades. More shockingly, the sergeant who directly led to Chen’s death was sentenced to just 30 days in a military jail, fined nearly 1,200 U.S. dollars, demoted one rank, and was even allowed to remain in the service. The light punishment for the loss of a life is just like a pat on the shoulder saying, “Make sure it does not happen again,” which is terribly unfair.
Private Harry Lew, nephew of Judy Chu, a Chinese-American congresswoman from California, shot himself to death after undergoing military hazing. One of the three defendants was sentenced to only 30 days in jail, and the other two were found not guilty. Just as Chu noted, the death of Chen and Lew is only the tip of the iceberg. Under such circumstances, Chinese immigrants should strengthen efforts to combat discrimination.
The participation of Chinese immigrants in U.S. politics is crucial to protecting their rights and interests. Chinese immigrants need their own spokespersons in the U.S. political circles. Chinese Americans had called on the U.S. government to apologize for the Chinese Exclusion Act for many years, but achieved little progress. It was only after Judy Chu was voted to the House of Representatives and made great efforts in this regard that the two houses of the U.S. Congress passed a resolution apologizing for the discriminatory law. However, Chinese participation in U.S. politics is still in its infancy. Seldom have people from the Chinese mainland, especially Chinese students studying in the United States, participated in U.S. politics.
Chinese immigrants should try to avoid narrow-mindedness and “Chinese supremacy” when participating in U.S. politics. Chinese should certainly support Chinese candidates, but should also respect the Chinese immigrants who have made different decisions. They should not hold the narrow-minded view that Chinese should only vote for Chinese candidates.
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