Testimony by Sifang, Prior Lake, a mother of two teenage boys

Testimony by Sifang, Prior Lake, a mother of two teenage boys

First, I would like to express our gratitude to this country and Minnesota on behalf of our Chinese community. We are also very thankful for having the opportunity to voice our concerns on the data disaggregation. 

As an immigrant from mainland China, I came to Minnesota in the fall of 1993. I have lived here ever since. I love Minnesota and call this place my hometown. I am proud and honored to be an American. I am personally very grateful for the opportunities the United States of America and Minnesota have given me and my family. 

I moved to Savage in 1999 because I loved the countryside feeling and the beautiful scenery. When I just moved there, I was a little nervous and worried. Soon I found out my neighbors are very wonderful people. They intentionally included my family in many of their activities so that we did not feel left out. We had summer bonfire and Christmas parties together. My kids played with theirs kids in our cul-de-sac and everybody’s back yard together. When I was sick in 2006, my neighbors made meals for my family and took cares of my sons. 

Both of my sons were born here in Minnesota. When they started school, there were the only Chinese in their grades. The school staff welcomed us with their smiles and open arms. We have made a lot more friends through school programs and activities. The teachers and staff have influenced them very positively. Our sons’ friends got them excited about Cub Scout. Both of them continued to be active in Boy Scouts. Again we met great people through scouts. My sons have achieved Eagle Scout rank. 

I am so thankful that my neighbors, school staff, friends, Boy Scout parents and volunteers all treated us not just as Chinese, but more importantly as AMERICANs, as members of the community. They helped us integrated into this great country, AMERICA. 

There were a few times that things did not go as well. One time my older son came home feeling troubled when I asked how his day was. He mentioned that some students called him “China Boy”. So I sit down with him and we had a talk. I told him it is true that he is a china boy. But he was born here and he is a true AMERICAN. I told him how grateful I am to this country. I encouraged him to work hard, treat people like he wants to be treated, contribute positively to our community and our country. In the end he should become a great AMERICAN citizen. Our most important identity is AMERICAN. 

From my personal experience, I don’t think libeling immigrants and our decedent specific minority races and ethnic groups helps us integrating into the AMERICAN society. Actually it promotes racial tension between different races and between different ethnic groups. The collecting and reporting of disaggregated data can make the racial and ethnical tension even worse. 

I hope all races and ethnic groups can be integrated into the AMERICAN society as one people. I hope AMERICA continues to be united with AMERICAN spirit. Especially at the current time of serious racial conflict, unity is very important to our country’s future. 

I have voted for Senator Eric Pratt during the past many years. I have supported him when he first ran for Prior Lake school district board member, then the state representative and after that the senator of district 55. I trust him because we have similar values. I will continue to rely on him and the people on this board to make sound decisions on the data disaggregation. 

Let us all work together to promote the unity among different races and ethnic groups! Let’s stop collecting and reporting disaggregated data!