Although the Chinese American community has always strived to be good citizens, history has shown that they have not been treated fairly and need to let their Congressional leaders know that their service to our country needs to be recognized. Like many minorities, Chinese Americans overcame discrimination to serve their country bravely and honorably and we need to encourage the Congress to act favorably on this proposal to commemorate the service of these Chinese American veterans.
By Elaine Dunn
Sherry Chen, the award-winning hydrologist who was falsely accused of espionage in 2014, and whose charges were all dropped prior to trial in 2015, has the solid support of the Committee of 100 (C100), the United Chinese Americans (UCA), the Ohio Chinese American Association (OCAA) and nine additional community groups in her quest to get her job at the National Weather Service back.
The April 2018 Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) ruled that the Department of Commerce (DOC), which oversees the National Weather Service, did not have cause to fire Chen back in 2016. Chen, it said, was “a victim of gross injustice.” Chen’s attorney noted, “In their appeal brief, the Department of Commerce has re- cycled arguments that Judge Schroeder rejected and, worse yet, ignored once again exculpatory evidence presented at the hearing that the agency buried during the criminal and disciplinary investigations preceding Sherry’s ar- rest and termination.”
Community groups feel that the DOC’s decision to appeal rather than comply with the MSPB’s further de- lays justice for Chen,.
“The Commerce Department is clearly embarrassed by the publicity of its scandalous activities,” noted
Jeremy Wu, trustee of the Sherry Chen Legal Defense Fund. “By appealing the MSPB decision, the Department further shows its blindness to the truth and innocence of Sherry Chen and risks additional scrutiny of its prohibited practices and loss of pub- lic trust.” Wu added, “Supporters for Sherry Chen, including her colleagues in the National Weather Service, will redouble their commitment and have faith that justice and fairness for Sherry Chen shall prevail and those who abuse and misuse authority shall eventually be held accountable.”
On May 23, 2018, C100, UCA and the OCAA along with members of the
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), including Chair Rep. Judy Chu, Ted Lieu, Grace Meng and Raja Krishnamoorthi organized a press conference on Capitol Hill a to draw attention to Chen’s wrongful termination case and to issue a letter signed by 31 members of Congress requesting the Commerce Inspector General conduct an independent inves- tigation into the mishandling of Chen’s case. More than 130 Asian American community organizations supported the press conference.
(For details about Sheery Chen’s case, see p. 5 of June 2018 issue of China Insight, www.chinainsight.info.) ♦
CAAM Chinese Dance Theater will be performing at the first ever Family Fringe in early August. Different than the Fringe, which is chosen by lottery, the Family Fringe is a curated festival for families with acts selected by a jury based on artistic vision, production feasibility, style and aesthetic, and inclusion. from around the country.
CAAM will be performing five times throughout the event. Family Fringe offers children and families interested in new and adventurous acts t production feasibility, style and aesthetic, and inclusion.
Family Fringe itakes place over two weekends (Aug. 2-5 and Aug. 9-12) at Celtic Junction Arts Center in Saint Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone, concurrent with the Minnesota Fringe Festival.
Attendance to Family Fringe is through single ticket purchases; adults are $10; kids 12 and under are $5. There is no Day Pass option.
Additional info, visit www.minnesotafringe.org/family-fringe.
Join in the celebration of the construction of the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden at Phalen Park. Three structures fabricated in Changsha, the Xiang Jiang Pavilion, the Hmong Heritage Wall, and the West Entrance Arch, will arrive around June 30. On July 10, twelve artisans will arrive from Changsha to supervise the installation of the Xiang Jiang Pavilion, the sister-city gift from Changsha. Come and celebrate the official Ceremonial Groundbreaking and Sister-city 30-year Anniversary on July 14, immediately following the opening ceremony of the Dragon Festival at 10:30. Join the lion dancers parade at the Dragon Boat area along Phalen Lake to the construction site to see the progress and take photos of Mayor Melvin Carter and other dignitaries breaking ground. This will be followed by a celebration at the Amphitheater next to Changsha Master Lei Yixin’s "Meditation" sculpture of cultural performances and making new friends. Follow: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofthePhalenParkChinaFriendshipGarden/
Website: http://mnchinagarden.org/Add a comment
by Greg Hugh
In the spirit of full disclosure and complete transparency, I am letting you know that I am writing this as a proud grandfather By Greg Hugh
after several staff writers had schedule conflicts. This is an article about Lauren Hugh’s career development and ultimately decided that I was actually the most qualified to write about her. Naturally, I need to refrain from being overly biased in reporting the facts here since there is a good possibility that some of this material may make it into a future issue of Playbill!
Lauren’s first exposure in the spotlight occurred when she was only 2 years old -- she appeared in an ad for Huggies Diapers (See front page) and ironically, she was posed sitting at a piano, an instrument she learned to play later. Her grandmother Linda (my wife), had heard about a casting call for models, so Lauren’s mother, Patty, took her for an audition and she was selected. Did Kimberly-Clark have a premonition of Lauren’s future?
Looking back on her childhood, Lauren along with her older sister Megan, loved to put on shows and perform since they always had a captive audience, their family. While she may have enjoyed an average childhood raised in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, she managed to earn a black belt in Tae Kwon Do classes she took with her father, Brian. Because she loved to sing, her mother decided to enroll her into the Chanhassen Dinner Theater (CDT) summer musical theatre camp when she was only 8 years old. At first, Lauren resisted; but now admits that had she not gone to those camps, she would probably not be in theatre today.
The Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society announced that the respective gifts between the sister cities of Saint Paul and Changsha, China, have been shipped and will soon be installed in their permanent homes in Saint Paul’s Phalen Regional Park and Changsha’s Yanghu Wetland Parks.
Phalen Regional Park in Saint Paul will be receiving a replica of the famous Aiwan Pavilion in Changsha’s Yanghu Wetlands Park in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the St. Paul-Changsha sister city relationship. Chinese artisans will travel to Saint Paul later this summer to install the pavilion designed in the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty.
In exchange, Saint Paul is sending five Peanuts characters to Changsha’s park with artwork by Hmong artist Kao Lee Thao, Chinese artist Yudong Shen and TivoliToo, the company that has made hundreds of the statues around Saint Paul. Statues sent to China include Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus and Snoopy’s Dog House with Minnesota state symbols such as a loon, lady slipper, pine and butterfly. Shen painted the dog house.Add a comment
By Greg Hugh
At the end of this year, the Chinese Exclusion Act would have been repealed for 75 years. TPT will be broadcasting a series, “The Chinese Exclusion Act: American Experience” that asks “What it means to be American? What makes you American?” Check your local TPT station for dates and times when The Chinese Exclusion Act will be shown.
The Chinese Exclusion Act (Immigration Act of 1882) was a U. S. federal law signed by President Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers. The act followed the Angell Treaty of 1880, a set of revisions to the U.S.-China Burlingame Treaty of 1868 that allowed the U.S. to suspend Chinese immigration. The act was initially intended to last for 10 years, but was renewed in 1892 with the Geary Act and made permanent in 1902. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first and only law implemented to prevent a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States. It was repealed by the Magnuson Act on Dec. 17, 1943.
From today’s perspective, it is difficult to believe that once upon a time in America, Chinese were considered heathens and subjected to widespread persecution and violence. The earlier hostile attitude toward Chinese is very different from the contemporary esteem for them as a "model minority" to be emulated by others.
By Charles Li
In recent years, there are a few bills and laws being introduced throughout the country with the goals to disaggregate the Asian American community. They are together referred as Asian American Disaggregation Bills or Asian American Ancestry Registration Bills.
In Minnesota the bill was SF 2597 All Kids Count Act, and it passed through Minnesota Senate in March 2016. Governor Dayton signed the bill into law in May 2017. The pilot implementation of the bill is set to start this fall in several school districts and charter schools, including Minnetonka Public School and St. Paul Public Schools.
Nationwide, these Asian American Disaggregation Bills, pushed by such advocates as Ted Lieu, Judy May Chu, and Mike Eng, are usually disguised under the pretense of facilitating “racial preferential treatment" policies. In year 2012, the Department Education under the Obama administration issued the official directive for “the Disaggregation of Asian and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Student Data and the Use of Those Data in Planning and Programmatic Endeavors. On May 4, 2016, former President Barack Obama announced his disaggregated data collection initiative. While these bills claim to promote medical research, education, etc., their nature is to disaggregate Asian Americans, which account for only 5.6 percent of the American population, and to further label and divide them by their ethnic origins. In Minnesota, the bill was said to be for better student accountability reporting, in particular on test results, graduation rate, connecting with student ethnic origin information. However, in another aspect, linking test results and graduation rate with race and country origin seems to be racially problematic due to historically discriminations based on race.Add a comment