80-20 NAAPAC Newsletter, August 13, 2018

Asian Americans must remain vigilant in defending our Civil Rights.
We have a responsibility – not simply to speak out – but to act.
Apathy is not an option.

Two events, one happened a few days ago, and the other exactly a year ago, are alarming and disconcerting to all Americans – especially to those of Asian descent and other minorities.

On Thursday, August 9, 2018, Politico and other news media reported that President Trump, during a dinner with a number of CEO’s at his New Jersey Golf Club, implied that most Chinese students in the U.S. are spies*.

PAC** does not condone any foreign spies operating in our country. We are nonetheless concerned that such a broad sweeping statement by our President can be accusatory and can lead to erroneous perception and damage the reputation of American students of Chinese descent studying STEM disciplines in our universities.

The recent erroneous FBI charges of Sherry Chen and Professor Xiaoxing Xi, for spying against the United States – both cases have been since exonerated – illustrate how easily innocent Asian Americans can be accused and prosecuted for espionage which they have not committed.

A year ago, on Saturday August 11, 2017, hundreds of racists marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, leaving deaths in their wake and a stunned nation seeking answers and leadership. Heather Heyer a young woman who stood up to racism, was killed by a white supremacist. Two law enforcement officers also died while trying to keep the peace that day.

President Trump equivocated. He was unable to see the difference between white supremacists and people like Heather who opposed them. In his view, some “very fine people” were among the torch-bearing racists chanting racist slogans such as “Jews will not replace us.”

This week, as we remember Charlottesville – in the words of SPLC President Richard Cohen – we all have a responsibility, not simply to speak out, but to act. Apathy is not an option.

Please watch this brief video Ten Ways to Fight Hate and share it widely on social media.

PAC needs your help to function effectively! Right now, the coffers of EF*** and PAC are quite unequal, with PAC needing more help than EF.

Remember, only PAC can donate to your politicians and support direct actions to promote/change/defeat laws in the interests of Asian Americans.

Please join and/or donate generously to PAC.

Joel Wong, 80-20 NAAPAC President

* Reference: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/08/09/politico-reports-trump-called-most-chinese-students-us-spies

** PAC refers to 80-20 National Asian American Political Action Committee

*** EF refers to 80-20 National Asian American Educational Foundation