The Campaign to End the Death Penalty sponsored a presentation entitled “Lynching Then Lynching Now: the Roots of Racism and the Death Penalty in America”. As the title of the workshop affirms, there is a direct link between those executed on Death Row and racism. Racism still permeates many levels of all our institutions, but there is no more glaring injustice to all people, especially to persons of color, than our criminal justice system. Just as lynching was an integral part of southern culture during slavery and the Jim Crow law, so has the incarceration of persons of color (and at every phase) become our new lynching – the history of the Death Penalty as it manifests today.
A query by a general contractor whose workplace had been infected by racist comments was the topic of a recent article in The Houston Chronicle. At issue was the worker making these statements and, when confronted by another employee, getting very volatile (“almost violent”). The worker’s defended his statements by claiming the right of free speech. Since this is probably a common experience by many in the workplace, it’s fitting to ask how far does free speech go in what people say on the job in a public setting? The employer and boss has the right, in fact, is under the legal precedent of insuring that all workers can work in a safe environment free of racial discrimination and harassment. How does one resist this negative kind of hate speech, and interrupt this behavior from occurring?
To honor the success of Asian Americans in this country, I would like to highlight the professional lives of five prominent Asian female executives. They have demonstrated a sense of pride in their own heritage and that this has not diminished their professional success in the western world. They are among the most powerful women in the U.S.
Do you recall the first time you stepped into an international business reception at a major hotel and found yourself amidst a sea of Asian faces? If so, you may also have noticed a diversity of Asian cultures and conversations in some incomprehensible languages: Cantonese Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and perhaps others. If you have been put off when people in your presence have spoken a language other than English, you are not alone.
Not long ago, Texas made history. It became a majority minority state. In other words, the minorities together make up more than 50% of the population. Here in Texas, diversity is a buzzword. Not only does it attract attention, it gets people excited, who now want to jump on the bandwagon to organize diversity initiatives such as cultural sensitivity training or setting up a diversity council.
The nation is crying out for universal health care reform to provide adequate health insurance for the diverse citizens in the nation. Yet, American diversity includes a group of individuals who remain silent as they continue to face limited access to health care because of their limited English proficiency (LEP). A study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation in April, 2008 indicated that during 2004-2006 almost one third of non-elderly Korean Americans in the US do not have health insurance.
To many of us, the idea of using two sticks with one hand to pick up a piece of chicken or vegetable from a plate or bowl and putting that same piece of chicken or vegetable into our mouth without dropping it is beyond one’s imagination. However, this is what one out of every five people in the world does at mealtime on a daily basis. These people with such dexterity with chopsticks live in what we call “chopsticks nations” such as China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.