The following is a guest posting from Conrad Ohashi, another JACL young professional and friend of Nakayoshi:

Asian American Nation, what is wrong with us? There is an economy in shambles, rampant unemployment, 3 wars that we need to pull out from, and for another 330 days we have our generation’s “internment camp” right across our waters in Cuba.

Let’s also not forget the tens of thousands of people who were robbed of their right to their pursuit of happiness.

And what do we focus our ires on? A tween pop star who 100% of progressives don’t pay attention to anyways?

Here’s an onigiri for thought:

When Candidate Obama stepped up and called for universal healthcare, Candidate Palin stepped up and called him a terrorist socialist. When a 15 year old gets caught making “Asian” eyes, Asian American activists stand up and call her a racist.

Asian American Nation, let us remember that this is exactly the kind of politics our country rightfully rejected. We need to firmly embrace the politics of empowerment and more firmly reject the politics of finger pointing.

Case 1: Sarah Palin’s rally against socialist terrorism may have rallied her conservative base, but made her sound like an angry nutcase. Most importantly, it rallied women to donate in droves to the opposing party.

Lesson: When we put out statements that do nothing more than rally our base, we lose appeal to the mainstream audience and we embolden the opposing party.

Case 2: Barack Obama ran on a campaign of “Red States, Blue States, we are all the United States of America, o btw, I know there are “racists” too, but we are all Americans, HOPE!” He maintains the highest approval rating of every President since the inception of public polling.

Lesson: When we accept the opposition and call them our friend, we overcome racism and win campaigns.

Our first Asian American President said this: “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” This mantra is what we need to return to in order to progress forward.
Asian American Nation, Miley Cyrus does not define our movement. Let’s not pretend like it does. There are bigger fish to fry.

Asian American Small Businesses and Non-Profits are struggling, Asian Americans are detained for wearing headscarves, global military bases continue to eat away at the lands of our immediate relatives, and millions of Asian Americans are still without higher education or healthcare. Here are the things that are important to us and here is where the fight will be.

Let’s not take our eyes off of our immediate and important goal in returning our community members from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last, but not least, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O’Reilly will have more material for their shows. At the least, let’s all do our best to prevent that.

Asian American Nation, I implore you. Hire a better PR Firm.

Conrad Ohashi is a recent graduate of UCSD. He enjoys washing dishes and occasionally cleaning the toilet. He is currently a board member with the San Diego Chapter of the JACL, and is a former youth representative for the PSW JACL District. His interests are primarily focused on ways to increase access and affordability to higher education for underrepresented communities.

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