NAAPAC e-Newsletter No. 2021-06-14
- FW: TODAY: March on Manchin
- FW: [APIAVote] Volunteers Needed to GOTV in NYC!
- FW: too good a history moment not to share
- FW: Guy Jones tagged Munsup in a post on Facebook
- FW: [APA Justice] 06/07 Meeting Summary; WH/Hill Meetings; Anming Hu Trial; Government Transparency; +
- FW: The Cost of Being an ‘Interchangeable Asian’ – The New York Times
- FW: AAUC May/Jun 2021 Newsletter
From: Rev. Dr. William Barber and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: TODAY: March on Manchin
Join us online at 5pm ET/ 2pm PT to hear directly from the West Virginia Poor People’s Campaign Moral Monday March on Manchin.
Senator Manchin’s position on the filibuster is constitutionally inconsistent, historically inaccurate, morally indefensible, economically unsound, and politically unacceptable. Joe Manchin’s actions are not only hurting the 710,000 poor and low wealth people in his own state but millions upon millions of poor and low wealth voters of all races around the country.
Take action today by sending Senator Manchin a letter to let him know that that we are watching, and we won’t let him sell us out, and we won’t be silent anymore!
Subject: Volunteers Needed to GOTV in NYC!
Volunteers Needed to GOTV NYC!
June 11, 2021
NYC – Important Volunteer Opportunity (Open to Anyone, Anywhere)
We are actively recruiting volunteers to help us make phone calls and send text messages to voters in NYC. Our phone banks/text banks will start tomorrow, June 11th at 4:30PM EST. Will you join us? Sign up here! If you can’t join us, please do your part by forwarding this email to ten of your friends who may be interested in volunteering with us. We are looking for engaged and passionate folks to help us get out the vote, educate voters about Ranked Choice Voting, and promote our “Election Protection” hotline at 888-API-VOTE through phone and text. Although everyone is welcome and encouraged to join us, we have a special need for folks with spoken language fluency in Hindi, Gujurati, Bangla, Urdu, or any other South Asian language as we will mainly be calling and texting voters who are South Asian. Training will be provided.
Phone/Text banks will occur every day from this Friday, June 11th until Monday, June 21st. We are looking to get at least 5 folks to sign up for weekday evening shifts and at least 17 folks to sign up for weekend morning shifts.
If you have questions about this volunteer opportunity, please contact our National Field Director, Raymond Partolan, at email@example.com. Please share widely! While all people of all ethnicities are welcome to join us, volunteers who are not South Asian also have the option of signing up to volunteer with the MinKwon Center here or contact Sandra at firstname.lastname@example.org
ICYMI – Ranked Choice Voting is Here!
For the first time ever, NYC voters will be using the innovative “Ranked Choice Voting” system to cast their ballots. This means that, instead of selecting only their top candidate for each position, they will have the option of selecting and ranking up to five candidates for each elected office. Check out this short video about Ranked Choice Voting, produced by our partner at the Asian American Federation in NYC. APIAVote helped produce it in Bangla, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Tagalog.
ICYMI – GET TO KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES
Learn more about the candidates running for election in NYC by tuning into the series of virtual candidate forums featuring City Council districts with significant AAPI populations hosted by MinKwon and the APA VOICE coalition. Watch them here and participate in tonight’s forum. Sign up now!
YOU CAN HELP from wherever you are
- Share the Rank Choice Video
- Learn more about the candidates running for election in NYC by tuning into the series of virtual candidate forums featuring City Council districts with significant AAPI populations hosted by MinKwon and the APA VOICE coalition. Watch them here and participate in the June 10th forum. Sign up now!
- To help with local efforts, sign up to volunteer with us here. Contact Raymond Partolan, National Field Director, at email@example.com for questions.
- Sign up to volunteer with the MinKwon Center on Mobilize. If you have any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to support their multilingual GOTV outreach.
- Identify 10 of your friends and help them make their plan to vote. Use these Voting Plan PSAs to start the conversation.
Subject: FW: too good a history moment not to share
June 13 in 1967, President Lyndon Johnson named the first African-American justice, Thurgood Marshall, to the Supreme Court. Marshall argued and won his first Supreme Court case at 32, Chambers v. Florida, which dealt with undue police pressure on suspects. In 1954, his victory in Brown v. Board of Education overturned the ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson, which had set the “separate but equal” policy of school segregation. The Supreme Court unanimously agreed that, in practice, the facilities designated for black students were inferior in every aspect. He was right at home in the liberal-leaning Supreme Court of the 1960s, but over time the demographic of the court changed, and by the end of his tenure he was known as “the Great Dissenter.”
He once said, “I intend to wear life as a loose garment,” and described himself as a hedonist who didn’t have time for pleasure. He enjoyed poker and bourbon and pigs’ feet, and placing two-dollar bets at the racetrack, and never took himself too seriously. One famous anecdote tells the story about a white family, tourists, who accidentally got on the justices’ elevator in the Supreme Court building. Marshall was already on the elevator, and they mistook him for the elevator operator. They told him their floor, and he replied, “Yessir, yessir.” It was only when he got off with them that they realized who he was, and he watched their reaction in amusement.
He was a self-described “hell-raiser” in school, and his teacher used to send miscreants to the basement to study the Constitution. “I made my way through every paragraph,” he said. His was the dissenting voice at the 1987 bicentennial celebration of the Constitution; while other speakers praised the document and the founding fathers’ foresight, he said:
“The government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. When contemporary Americans cite ‘The Constitution,’ they invoke a concept that is vastly different from what the Framers barely began to construct two centuries ago. … The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 could not have envisioned these changes. They could not have imagined, nor would they have accepted, that the document they were drafting would one day be construed by a Supreme Court to which had been appointed a woman and the descendent of an African slave. ‘We the People’ no longer enslave, but the credit does not belong to the Framers. It belongs to those who refused to acquiesce in outdated notions of ‘liberty,’ ‘justice,’ and ‘equality,’ and who strived to better them.”
Although he had once said, “I have a lifetime appointment and I intend to serve it. I expect to die at 110, shot by a jealous husband,” he retired from the court in 1991 due to ill health. A reporter asked what was wrong with him. He answered, “What’s wrong with me? I’m old. I’m getting old and I’m coming apart.”
From: Guy Jone thmrough Facebook
Subject: Guy Jones tagged Munsup in a post on Facebook
Guy wrote: “Take a moment and listen… World Peace and Prayer Day 6-21-2021
Subject: 06/07 Meeting Summary; WH/Hill Meetings; Anming Hu Trial; Government Transparency; +
2021/06/07 Monthly Meeting Summary Posted
Summary of the June 7 APA Justice meeting is now posted at https://bit.ly/3kxkqxP.
In the meeting, Christina Lu provided an update on the “We Belong” Yellow Whistle Project since its official launch on April 19, Patriots’ Day, including the increased distribution to 200,000 whistles across the nation. Clay Zhu described the history, purpose, and direction of the Chinese American Legal Defense Alliance (CALDA) to fight against racial discrimination through litigation on behalf of the Chinese American communities. Jeremy Wu gave a briefing on the background leading to the letter to Commerce Secretary on the reported abuse of non-existent authority to target Asian American employees in the Department of Commerce. Gisela Kusakawa and Vivin Qiang reported on recent community meetings with Ambassador Susan Rice and Senator Mark Warner regarding racial profiling and the trial of University Tennessee Professor Anming Hu. Maryland Senator Susan Lee confirmed an upcoming House Subcommittee proceeding to be held on the racial profiling of scientists and researchers.
Read the meeting summary here: https://bit.ly/3cimZT6.
The next APA Justice monthly meeting is scheduled for July 12, 2021.
Meetings with Susan Rice and Senator Mark Warner
Under the organization and leadership of Advancing Justice | AAJC, experts, impacted persons, and advocacy organizations including APA Justice met with Ambassador Susan Rice and Christine Lhamon, Director and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House to share our concerns with racial discrimination and profiling of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants.
In this meeting, we pushed for a moratorium of the “China initiative” and a period of time that professors and scientists can go back and correct their forms. We also shared earlier asks of Ambassador Rice by the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus last month for a temporary halt on the “China initiative.”
In a separate group meeting with Senator Mark Warner, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, that included Dr. Michael Lauer, Deputy Director for Extramural Research at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Dr. Rebecca Keiser, Chief of Research Security Strategy and Policy at National Science Foundation (NSF), we cautioned NIH and NSF about the excessive entanglements with intelligence agencies and law enforcement, as well as many concerns that were raised in AAJC’s comments to NIH’s UNITE initiative https://bit.ly/3gKVHaL.
Two highlights from the meeting are:
- Dr. Michael Lauer reported that NIH conducted a survey of 45,000 researchers and the results were staggering with many Asian scientists concerned that the pandemic was going to have a negative effect on their career trajectory. It seems that NIH finds this to be particularly concerning, though they are more focused on addressing what they believe to be greed and dishonesty, and would like not to have their efforts be linked to any form of racial profiling or ethnic targeting, which he states goes against what they stand for.
- NIH and NSF mentioned that they are co-chairing a working group that specifically aims to harmonize requirements regarding disclosures, and how they use the information that is disclosed. Dr. Rebecca Keiser mentioned that she is personally committed to non-discrimination.
Advancing Justice | AAJC will continue to have more of these meetings with federal agencies and on the Hill.
Senator Warner was very happy that he had spoken with organizations such as Advancing Justice | AAJC before the pandemic, and thus had more foresight on this issue. And one of the most compelling points that he found coming from many of the speakers was that only five or six years ago the U.S. was encouraging a lot of these collaborations and now we have done a complete flip.
Trial of University of Tennessee Professor Anming Hu
The jury trial of University of Tennessee (UT) Professor Anming Hu started on June 7, 2021. He is the first case for a professor or academic researcher to go to trial under the “China initiative.” Like many scientists and researchers who were investigated and unjustly prosecuted under the “China initiative,” professors who were charged do not involve economic espionage or spying.
Over the past few weeks, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC has been working very closely with local community organizations such as the Tennessee Chinese American Alliance (TCAA), the Greater Memphis United Chinese Association, and the East Tennessee Chinese/Chinese American Care to mobilize members of the Chinese American and the Asian American community in Tennessee to attend the trial to show support for Professor Hu and to raise awareness on the racial profiling of Asian Americans and immigrants more generally.
Jinliang Cai, President of TCAA, stated in a press conference in front of the courthouse in Knoxville, Tennessee, that “the ‘China Initiative’ allegedly aims to combat economic espionage, but in reality, has singled out scientists and researchers of Asian and Chinese descent based on the misguided perception that their ethnicity, race, or ancestry make them prone to espionage, leading to racial profiling.”
“When the government fails to find evidence of economic espionage, it then opts to charge people for lesser offenses. Federal prosecutors are charging many Asian Americans and Asian immigrants with federal crimes based on administrative errors or minor offenses, such as making an error on a university form that are not normally treated as crimes,” Cai said.
“Surveillance and targeting of large groups of people based on race, religion or national origin is morally wrong, legally unconstitutional, and historically proven ineffective. Today, we are standing up against this injustice and violation of our civil rights. We hope and demand our justice system to fulfill its constitutional duty of equal protection under the law to Prof. Anming Hu and our scientists and researchers without prejudice and bias,” Cai concluded.
On June 8, 2021, Knox News reported that (UT) Provost John Zomchick acknowledged in his testimony that he had personally reviewed a packet of information Hu submitted in an attempt to secure tenure. That packet included several reference letters citing Hu’s work with Chinese students and Chinese researchers and his affiliation with the Beijing university.
Zomchick conceded no one at UT actually reviewed Hu’s conflict of interest documents before allowing him to submit funding proposals to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Prosecutors are hanging their legal case on those documents, claiming Hu intentionally omitted his Beijing work from his annual forms.
“We just don’t have the resources,” Zomchick said, explaining why UT did not review and investigate the veracity of all such forms submitted by the university’s faculty members.
For continuing media reports and developments of Professor Hu’s case, follow: https://bit.ly/APAJ_AnmingHu
Call for Government Data and Transparency
Clay Zhu is an attorney and President of a nonprofit organization called the Chinese American Legal Defense Alliance or CALDA, whose primary mission is to fight against racial discrimination through litigation on behalf of the Chinese American communities.
On June 9, 2021, President Biden revoked Trump administration executive orders that sought to ban TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese-owned apps. It was Clay and the predecessor of CALDA who raised more than $1 million and successfully obtained a preliminary injunction against the executive order to ban WeChat last year.
In the June 7 APA Justice monthly meeting, Clay described the initial focus of CALDA is to change the narrative that Chinese American professors are somehow spies for China’s government by getting the full picture on who are being investigated and how many Chinese American professors have been targeted. There is a strong case to be made, but right now we do not have such data from government agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Justice (DOJ).
On February 20, 2020, Reps. Jamie Raskin and Judy Chu made such data requests to the FBI (http://bit.ly/37G2oTq) and NIH (http://bit.ly/39TYdVo), but there has not been a meaningful response more than a year later. A number of like-minded organizations have filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, but few have received substantive replies.
In the ongoing investigation including the abuse of non-existent authority to target Asian American employees in the Department of Commerce, Senator Roger Wicker, Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, expressed his frustration to the DOC Inspector General Peggy Gustafson for her staff citing a 2017 DOJ advisory opinion that “effectively allows Ranking Member oversight requests to be ignored” and appeared to suggest that Senator Wicker’s requests should be processed under FOIA instead.
The cited opinion by the DOJ’s Office of Legal Council (OLC), titled Authority of Individual Members of Congress to Conduct Oversight of the Executive Branch, does not appear in the DOJ website: https://bit.ly/356vWKZ. In fact, entire volumes of OLC opinions have been posted annually since 1977, with the exception of the last four years (2017-2020).
Transparency and accountability are the core values that separate American democracy from authoritarian regimes. We call for the Biden-Harris administration to respond to the standing Congressional and FOIA requests and provide full data and information to justify the continuation of the “China Initiative” and related racial profiling policies and practices.
More Events, Links, and Activities
On June 12, 2021, the Chinese American Scholars Forum will host a webinar titled Fundamental Research Security, featuring Peter Fisher, Professor and Head of the Physics Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as speaker and Professor Xiaodong Zhang, Robert M. Critchfield Professor in Engineering, Ohio State University, as moderator. Register for the webinar here: https://bit.ly/2RCUx76.
Asian Pacific American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) and over 120 partner organizations hosted a National Unity Against Hater ally on on May 15, 2021. Thousands participated in over 20 cities in the US and 4 cities in other countries and blew the “We Belong” yellow whistles to symbolize self-protection and unity against hate. A video on the rallies is available here: https://bit.ly/3xgcx6F (3:14). Additional pictures and links are available here: https://bit.ly/2RDZMmB.
On May 26, 2021, the 1990 Institute published as part of its continuing series a short video titled Numbers Don’t Lie – Model Minority Myth Explained in 3 Minutes: https://bit.ly/3g8J5cP (3:11) Earlier on April 29, 2021, the 1990 Institute released a video titled Call It What It Is – Racism Against Asian Americans: https://bit.ly/3biXP6b (10:01).
On April 6, 2021, Wall Street Journal published Violence Spurs Many Asian-Americans to Activism for First Time https://on.wsj.com/3v6fzbX as the Atlanta spa shooting deaths and rising reports of hate crimes during pandemic have pulled in families who had avoided discussing race.
From: Jim Vance
Subject: The Cost of Being an ‘Interchangeable Asian’ – The New York Times
The Cost of Being an ‘Interchangeable Asian’
At some top companies, Asian Americans are overrepresented in midlevel roles and underrepresented in leadership. The root of this workplace inequality could stem from the all-too-common experience of being confused for someone else.
(Continue reading this article from this page https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/06/business/the-cost-of-being-an-interchangeable-asian.html)P
From: Xiaoyan Zhang, Ph.D., Chair, Public Relations, AAUC
Subject: AAUC May/Jun 2021 Newsletter
The Historical Significance of the COVID-19 Hate Crime Act
On May 20, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law a bipartisan hate crimes bill to combat violence against Asian Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the best present to the AAPI community in Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It is also a victory for all Americans.
The significance of passing this historical bill is much beyond addressing the current anti-Asian sentiment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking back 20 years from now, we will find this Act served as a preventive measure against history from repeating itself.
Historically, Asian Americans were often used as the scapegoat when there is a domestic or international crisis. 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and Japanese American internment in WWII are still fresh in our memory. We were treated as dispensable “perpetual foreigners”, which made us vulnerable to be victimized. This Act made it clear that hate crimes have no legitimacy in this land of Free regardless of race, country of origin, or political circumstance. Asian Americans are also Americans and must be treated equally.
The solidary of the AAPI community against Asian Hate Crime has been a key factor that promoted and propelled the passing of this historical legislation. To prevent the repeat of history, the 22 million-strong AAPI community must continue to stand together and actively participate in the civic and political process of American democracy.
Asian and Pacific Islanders Stood Together in getting Anti-Asian Hate Bill Passed During May
By Angela Anand, Member of AAUC Executive Committee, President of South Asian Women’s Network, and Immediate Past President of NFIA
As we close the Asian American Heritage celebration month of May and welcome the month of June this year, there is a lot to think about day-to-day life changes we made to adapt to the challenges brought on by the spread of the virus. We also need to thank authorities, medical and scientific communities, researchers, and laboratories for their concerted efforts to come up with vaccines in the shortest span of time and getting approval for human use by the Federal authorities. This also brought out the activism of Asians who are more compliant, submissive, and tolerant of the treatment by the majority population.
Asian Americans, especially Chinese Americans were attacked badly and became the target of Asian hate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The community was making a strong appeal to the public for their understanding and compassion and not target them for the loss of lives and businesses brought on by the virus.
The virus impact was global, and it became a factor during even the national elections in the United States and continues to be a factor in other countries’ elections. To reach out to the public, there were rallies and gatherings happening, and it was decided that those efforts had to be restricted and virtual platforms were to be used to discuss issues. The world had to indulge in massive vaccination efforts to reach herd immunity and until then people needed to be in self-quarantine to stay safe and travel was stopped as a preventive measure for containment of the virus.
The economic downturn and loss of lives were bad, but the current administration is helping in getting the economy to upturn soon and the House on May 25, 2021, passed a Senate bill with a 364 to 62 vote to address the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes during the Covid-19 pandemic. Department of Justice and Health and Human Services are directed to explore ways to report hate crimes, perform public outreach, and come up with ways to mitigate racially discriminatory language in describing the pandemic. It took several lawmakers to work on this bill.
Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ solidarity is a key factor that propelled the successful passing of this historical bill by both the House and Senator and signed into law by the president of the United States.
AAUC Member Highlights
Jan Xie, AAUC’s secretary, was featured in an article in Plano Magazine during the month of May in celebration of Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The article highlighted Jan’s contribution in fostering cultural connections through Asian Culture and Education Society USA, a civic organization she founded. Congratulations to Jan. You made all of us proud!
Allan Fung, a member of AAUC board of governors, mayor of Cranston RI, published a commentary “Asian Americans in Rhode Island should not be invisible — or silent” in the Boston Globe on June 4th, 2021. Allan is also instrumental in passing the anti-hate resolutions in the State House and Senate in Rhode Island. Thank you, Allan!
Asian Pacific American Public Affairs (APAPA) together with over 120 supporting organizations hosted a national rally on Unity Against Hate on May 15th. Thousands gathered in 23 cities in the US and 4 cities in other countries with many local leaders and elected officials participated. At 12 noon Pacific Time synchronized across the county the yellow whistles were blown to proclaim that we are United Against Hate and that We All Belong. Here is a short video of the combined events across the country.
The 1990 Institute provided a wide variety of events to raise awareness and educate others in the Month of May.
- Videos: (1) Numbers Don’t Lie– Model Minority Myth Explained in 3 Minutes (2) Call It What It Is: Racism Against Asian Americans.
- Webinars: (1) In The Rise of China and Asian Americans, Clay Dube, Gordon H. Chang, Peter Leroe-Muñoz, and Margaret Lewis participated in a conversation about the response of our government to the rise of China and the repercussions on Asian Americans and America’s global competitiveness. (2) Board Chair, Dan Chao, spoke in a Commonwealth Club webinar, Asian Americans: Learning From The Past To Change The Future, with Dennis Wu and Evelyn Dilsaver. (3) The winners of our College Essay Contest participated in a June 3 panel called “Trade, Talent and the Internet: Emerging Voices in U.S.-China Relations” College Essay Contest: We announced the winners and posted the winning essays on our website.
- Podcast: AAPI Healthcare: A Building Block of our Collective American Dream, produced on behalf of AAUC, features a conversation between Asian Health Services CEO Sherry Hirota and Dr. Winston Wong, an authority on health equity.
Newsletters: Our newsletters feature original articles, curated news. and spotlights on events.