Articles from Yellow Seed Newspaper, February 1973
We have been taught to distrust other Asian people. Television teaches us that Japanese fight G.I.’s and that Chinese are “reds”. Nevertheless, Asian people have yellow skin, dark hair and eyes and come from similar cultures. Our backgrounds create for us similar problems. Immigration, speaking English, discrimination because of color and imprisonment are not problems of just the Japanese, or of the Chinese, or Philipino or any other Asian people.
A group of Asian people and friends of Asian people have met because of their common problems. The Asian American Council of Greater Philadelphia has representatives from the Philipino, Chinese and Japanese communities, and is working to unite with all Asians. The Council has begun two projects. One is to watch out for and protest racial discrimination in newspapers, magazines and television. The second project is to help the elderly. There are over 100 Chinese and over 300 Philipino elderly men living alone who need decent housing.
The Asian American Council has met several times. It has written a constitution, and has started to work on projects There are talented people involved. Unity will continue if we hold ourselves responsible to all people and if we do not divorce ourselves from the people.
The acting president of the Asian American Council is Marshall Jun who can be reached at MA3-7670.
3rd World Unity
A number of Third World groups and individuals met together and have formed a coalition for Third World people’s solidarity. What unites these different organizations and persons? It is the desire to examine the links that connect us internationally with Third World Peoples and to break down the barriers between minority people in the United States.
With whom do we feel solidarity? With the courageous Vietnamese people in support of their determined fight against U.S. imperialism. Here in the United States, Asian, Black, Puerto Rican, Chicano, and Latino brothers and sisters feel as if the bombs falling on Vietnam were destroying our homes; killing our children—as if we too were learning to swing a hoe in the morning and at night shoulder a rifle. U.S. dominated international business wants to rob Southeast Asia of its oil, rubber, tungsten and tin—not caring if they destroy its economy, create sharp divisions between the few rich and many poor, increase graft and immorality in the government or increase the suffering from floods, bad harvests, and other natural disasters. It was similar business interests that brought us or our ancestors to America as slaves, contract laborers, wet backs, or coolies. We worked on plantations, on railroads, as migrant farm hands—making America the rich nation it is today. We know the bitterness of working hard while the profits go to the bosses. We live in “strategic hamlets” designed to contain and control us; they are called Ghettoes, Chinatowns, Little Tokyos, and El Barrio. The racism that underlies the ferocity and inhumanity of U.S. attacks against the Vietnamese people—bombing of the civilian population, crop poisoning, extermination campaigns such as the My Lai massacre—is the same racism that has set Third World people in America apart from the white Americans. Prejudice, discrimination, hate campaigns, lynching, internment. These are all forms of racism which we have faced.
Why do we feel unity among Third World Peoples in the United States is important. Because minority people, whether citizens or immigrant aliens, face UNITY of different but interrelated problems. Sometimes, the problems affect us one at a time, sometimes all at once. Sometimes, one group is singled out while one escapes. But in general, we share many common experiences. For example, now and in the past we share the economic experience of being a cheap labor force. In the past, in times of economic expansion, immigrants from Asian were welcomed as cheap labor to do undesirable, menial and dangerous work. In scarce times, they were attacked for taking jobs of white Americans. In good times, by working longer hours and putting out extra effort, minority people may achieve a comfortable life. But at all times, we are set apart by discrimination, prejudices, and segregation. When scarce times come, we are the “last hired, first fired” and the newspapers cry out about the hordes of Chinese (or Blacks, Puerto Ricans, or Chicanos) who are lowering wages and stealing jobs from white workers. This is a smoke screen to hide the true reasons for low wages and unemployment and to mask the people really responsible for hard times.