Charlottesville shows lack of collective American identity
ST. PAUL, Minn. (Aug. 21, 2017) — As the chair of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans (“the Council”), I find it necessary to comment on the recent events in Charlottesville and their aftermath. As Americans, we are in a new and precarious place in our nation’s history.
Racism and anti-Semitism have no place in a pluralistic America. Our communities are a proud collection of the many communities that make the American one. For America to return to a time when people felt comfortable, even proud to make vile and offensive comments in public, is disheartening, threatening, and unacceptable.
I am heartened by the statements condemning the actions that led to the tragedy, and the statements of support for the victims, across the political spectrum and most recently, corporate, military, labor, and academic communities. I join in this chorus.
As chair of the Council, I speak from a unique perspective. The Council is a non-partisan state agency charged with the responsibility of working within government for the implementation of economic, social, legal, and political equality for Minnesotans descended from Asia and the Pacific Islands. When the rhetoric of white supremacy is advocated so brazenly, we must take a stand.
At the Council, we believe in an America of opportunity. We believe in a pluralistic, peaceful, moral, and welcoming America. We believe in an America where all people have the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families. We also believe that all of us have a responsibility to that America and to each other.
To that end, I ask that together we continue the difficult discussion, at the local, state, and national level over the most basic, but crucial topic in response to recent events: What does it mean to be an American?
Our future as Americans depends on our collective answer to this question.
Chair, Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans
Centennial Office Building
658 Cedar Street, Suite 160,
Saint Paul, MN 55155