- tumbling as a note to myself…contemplating what, knowing this, one can infer about the state of APIA coalition now and if the term is still effectively useful/applicable?
Yes, my ancestors made it in this country, but they made it against the odds…Many who came the hard road of our ancestors didn’t make it. Their bones are still in the mountains by the tunnels they blasted for the railroad, still in the fields where they stooped over the short-handled hoe, still in the graveyards of Europe, where they fought for a democracy that didn’t include them. Asian success was success with a dark, painful price.
To use that success to discount the hardship facing poor and working people in this country today is a sacrilege to the memory of our ancestors. It is an insult to today’s Asian-American immigrants, who work the double-triple shift, who know no leisure, who crowd two and three families to a home, who put children and old-folks alike to work at struggling family businesses or at home doing piece-work until midnight. Yes, we take pride in our success, but we should also remember the cost. The success that is our pride is not to be given over as a weapon to use against other struggling communities. I hope we will not be used to blame the poor for their poverty.-
I could copy and past paragraphs of this speech in awe until I’ve done the whole thing, to be honest. It’s seriously a must-read.
By Mari MatsudaMemo to Bush: We Will Not Be Used
Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
Asian American Pacific Islands Law Journal
©1993 Regents of the University of California; Mari Matsuda
Based on an April 1990 address to the Asian Law Caucus, first published February 1993
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