Letters to the EditorOpinion

Taser case a reminder of racial intolerance

We appreciate your active reporting on the tasering of a Chinese international student living in Eugene. While we wait for more facts to emerge regarding police and landlord behavior, it is important to state the context in which Oregon’s Asians and Pacific Islanders live, regardless of residency, naturalization or citizenship status.

According to 2008 U.S. Department of Justice statistics, our communities continue to be targeted with discrimination and violence, for reasons of intolerance and stereotyping. In the coming years, Burmese, Bhutanese and Iraqi refugee immigrants will join our fast-growing mosaic of Chinese, Korean, Indian, Filipino, Japanese, Samoan and more than 25 other ethnic communities from Asia and the Pacific. APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon), a statewide advocacy network, and the Eugene residents and community organizations signing below are concerned with safety and justice for our communities, whether they are Oregonians or international students and visitors.

This incident sends another chill throughout communities already experiencing increased racial harassment. Being Chinese or not speaking English well are not against any of our laws in the United States. We now have an opportunity to not only review use-of-force guidelines, but also to address language access, cultural competency and workforce diversity policy issues. Let us come together and work collaboratively in finding solutions.

June Arima Schumann
Co-Chair, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon

Pamela Phan
Co-Chair, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon

Reagan Le
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (Eugene)

Melissa Nolledo
Eugene/Springfield Asian Council

Frances Kucera
Eugene/Springfield Asian Council

Steven Morozumi
University of Oregon Multicultural Center

[email protected]

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