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Pet Sins November 2000

Chinese Americans called "a bunch of foreigners walking down America's main street"

Chinese Americans and other concerned persons organized a demonstration in downtown Seattle to support the Chinese victims of vicious gang-rape-murders in Indonesia. Someone watching the crowd of mostly Chinese marchers said, "a bunch of foreigners walking down America's main street."

I don't understand why some citizens of this country are automatically labeled as foreign just because of the color of their skin.

It doesn't make sense how some Americans get labeled as foreign/disloyal because:

  • they feel strongly about issues happening elsewhere in the world
  • they speak some language other than English some of the time

Richard Gere is a prominent supporter of the Tibetan cause and I don't recall his American identity being questioned? Then why are the Seattle Chinese assumed to be non-American?

The coverage of international news in US media is pitiful. I had been trying to follow the stories of the conflicts in Rwanda and in Algeria though the mainstream US media. They like to use general terms like "massacre", "human rights violations" etc. without filling the viewer/listener in on what actually happened. To what extent? To whom? I've never once heard a story about the gang rapes and murders of women and children. Maybe once in a blue moon it will be mentioned in passing, one line in a two hundred line report.

It is bad enough that many Americans are already so ignorant of the rest of the world. Must they put down Americans who try to raise awareness of such issues as "unAmerican" too?

M.K.
8/98