Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Racism In Saline, Michigan

It pains me deeply to write this post, but my old hometown of Saline, Michigan made the news recently (and even with the report that three Saline teens are charged with ethnic intimidation and vandalism.

One of the victims in particular discovered a painted ethnic slur and other vandalism on their driveway, including lines of spray paint, and a combination of sugar, mayonnaise, ketchup and glue were found on 3 vehicles parked in the driveway.

The family believes their 14-year-old son, who is of Asian-Pacific American descent, was targeted by classmates at Saline High School. The trio, two 15-year olds and one 16-year old, will have their hearing later in Washtenaw County Juvenile Court.

As a graduate from Saline High School, I'm personally deeply disappointed by this news and I hope justice is served, but I also hope a deeper dialogue will begin about the issues Asian Pacific Americans face in the Midwest, and particularly Michigan.

Considering that June 23rd is the 25th anniversary of the death of Vincent Chin in Detroit, and given recent incidents over the last few years in Ann Arbor and elsewhere in Michigan, these attacks are at once unfortunate and telling of how much further we have to go in having Asian Pacific American issues taken seriously.

To my friends and peers still in Saline: Hang in there. Stay proud, and keep up the good fight.

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