music in the park san jose

As Chinese New Year celebrations begin many people will take
interest in the celebrations.
Dear Editor:

As Chinese New Year celebrations begin many people will take interest in the celebrations.

However, beyond the folkloric and gastronomic fascination, what do we know about Chinese and Chinese-American people?

We live in a multi-racial and multi-ethnic society that has been shaped by the contributions and struggles of many people. Yet, we are constrained by invisible boundaries imposed by ignorance.

Chinese New Year is a great opportunity to learn something about a people who have made significant contributions to the world socially, artistically, scientifically and culturally.

Chinese people have also made important contributions to this nation. San Francisco and New York alone have some of the largest Chinese populations in the world outside of China.

Chinese people came to the United States to improve their lives, as did other immigrants. Many worked as exploited laborers, in various occupations and helped build the U.S. railroads in the 19th century.

However, it was not easy. They became targets of xenophobia, racism and anti-immigrant hysteria. Anti-Chinese laws were passed and women were prevented from entering the United States.

Even today, remnants of racism can be felt in the media, where television shows and movies stir up negative stereotypical one-dimensional images ranging from exotic, to sneaky, or portraying them as master gung fu fighters. Chinese-Americans are rarely portrayed as family people we can identify with or as civil rights activists that have worked hard to achieve equality in the United States.

Take this opportunity, during Chinese New Year, to learn more about the contributions of Chinese people.

Joe Navarro


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