John Delloro: Giving back Arizona may potentially jumpstart our economy and stimulate our national imagination towards creating a greater common vision. If returning Arizona to Mexico doesn’t work, we can always revisit and adapt Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal” and sell and consume undocumented immigrants as food in the ultimate and most seamless form of assimilation into the body politic of the US.
John Delloro: With the recent passage of SB1070, which opens the gate to racial profiling, and the adoption of an educational policy that seeks to ban ethnic studies and teachers with an accent to teach English in Arizona, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month becomes a crucial time for needed remembrance and reflection in the 21st Century. To truly celebrate the struggles and contributions of AAPIs in this country, we need to stop repeating history. We need to continue to courageously speak like Jeanie’s grandfather and fully realize her dream now.
John Delloro: Lets be honest about your vision of society and admit that you are more comfortable with a white nation so that we can have a real discussion. Just keep in mind these US Census Bureau projections: In 20 years, we will witness the last largest population of white people to retire in the nation and white deaths will outpace white births. In one generation, the nation will be majority people of color. In other words, it will be largely communities of color who will make decisions about your retirement security.
John Delloro: Longtime labor and international activist Bill Fletcher likened the Tea Party movement to herpes—they have always been there lying dormant and inevitably re-emerge whenever the nation’s immune system goes down. Highlighting the racist overtures of this inflammation on the body politic, Bill adds that it will take more than “economic inoculation” in order to return them into a slumbering state. In other words, just addressing “bread and butter” issues will not be enough. We still need to address race.
John Delloro: State rights and individual freedom have an important place in our society but so does the values and beliefs informing the lives of Ella Mae, my father and I. Our narrative of community and compassion yearns and demands to be included in the larger story of America. Although the health care reform bill is imperfect, it communicates to us—“we are beginning to be heard.”
John Delloro: Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) response to the racial incident at UCSD may foreshadow the fate of race and racism in this nation.
John Delloro: With a rise in right-wing populism, I am worried. Our history tells us that immigration will become the key hot button issue these next coming elections and, in the past, hate crimes against AAPIs and Latina/os have consistently risen with increasing anti-immigrant sentiment, especially during low economic periods.
The debate around Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize can be another boxing match between left and right or a tool to bring us together with a newfound global credibility and promise to recognize the integral role we play in the world. This is crucial not only for AAPIs but all of us.
We mustn’t forget it was a 26-year-old Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King who led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a 20-year old Clara Lemlich who ignited some of the first marches for women’s rights in the US, an 18-year old Sieh King King who led a rally in San Francisco for equal rights for women
In the words of US Senator Ted Kennedy, “we will end the disgrace of America as the only major industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t guarantee health care for all of its people.”
Thus after a history of repeated othering of African Americans in the US, it is not unusual for the picture of the black thief climbing through the windows of our homes to evolve into the imaginings of a black man in the White House stealing our healthcare and hard fought freedoms.
On the presidential campaign trail, Christina Chavez reminded us that her father, Cesar Chavez, once said that we don’t need perfect government but perfect participation. Criticism comes easy to those who have been long disappointed but hope lives on imagination, perseverance, and initiative.
The companies too big to fail have grown larger. The financial companies still run under the same model and free of much regulation like before.