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Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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Letters to the Editor Waiting for understanding and/or self reflection

Waiting for understanding and/or self reflection

Dear Editor:

I had hoped that one of the leaders of our numerous community organizations might speak up. Where are our Churches, where is the NAACP, where are our community leaders? These attacks on some of our residents, who happen to be of Chinese descent and might happen to speak with an accent, must stop. Where is the community sense of outrage we felt regarding racism just a few months ago? We have residents on both sides of the HomeKey issue, many who speak with accents, yet attacks have been centered on the Chinese speakers. 

Throughout U.S. history we have seen periods of immigration where people of like cultures congregate and gather in the same place – Little Italy, The Irish Quarter, Chinatown, Japan Town, Little Kabul in Fremont. We have a number of residents in this city that chose to live in the U.S., who chose to live in Milpitas and who happen to be of Chinese descent and might happen to speak with an accent.

During this HomeKey fiasco, it is appalling to listen to some residents of Milpitas point out that many holding one viewpoint “speak with Chinese accents,” or that this is a Chinese group.  Most of these residents chose to live in the United States and they chose Milpitas because of its diversity. They believed they could quickly become accepted members of the community.

I’ve listened to people complain about how they all speak from the same talking points. I have a few solutions to propose. First, if the community doesn’t like accents, hire a translator and let them speak in their native tongue. Second, while you are listening the translator I would expect that you would refuse to also listen to all of our English speaking political parties who speak from talking points as the major parties send out talking point briefings to their major communicators every night.

These residents, many of whom may be of Chinese descent, and some of them may speak with accents have stood up in a manner we are supposed to cherish, this is free speech.  They have become active members of the democratic community. They believe in something and they want to be heard. They have a right to be heard, and if you believe in democracy you have an obligation to listen.  

I know, many in the city “like to hate” Better Milpitas. It is sad for me personally as I know most of the leaders in Better Milpitas; we fought together on the odor issue for quite a while. The majority of residents in Better Milpitas are great people. Like a number of other movements, a few radicals in their group have sullied their name and their influence. This won’t last. As more members of the group become comfortable with our democratic process, more will begin to speak on their own. But for now, many of whom because they are not yet proficient in English, gain most of their information from “We Chat,” because even though they may not all agree, they can hope to have an open discussion about the issues. 

The demographics of the Hillview community are split among the Chinese, Indians, Filipino’s and Vietnamese. I’ve walked with my dog(s) in this community for over 30 years and live nearby. Many have resided here 15 years or less. Many still speak with accents. For many of them, English is not even a second language; it is a 3rd or 4th.

So let’s stop for a moment and recognize what our Leaders have done. They announced that they were going to locate “those that use the most County services,” in the Hillview neighborhood. They didn’t talk about a plan to support or service the new residents, they didn’t explain what would happen to the homeless currently in residence, they didn’t address how those with economic issues would be helped, they didn’t address how those who are currently addicted are going to be supplied with drugs or alcohol while they fight their addiction, and they didn’t discuss how those with physical disabilities would be assisted in becoming members of the community. They simply said we are moving 125 or so people with the most serious degree of issues into your neighborhood.

This fiasco is because English speaking government officials ignored an August 25th memo that clearly stated (in English!) they needed to engage the Community in this plan. It’s not because some opponents are Chinese, or Indian, or because they speak with an accent. The City Manager, the City Attorney, and every member of our City Council, all who speak English, and all who speak without an accent, have failed in their duty to serve and engage the Community and the neighborhood in a matter of such importance. 

Stop pointing at the residents who speak with an accent or members of a specific ethnicity. We should thank them for speaking up, for wanting to be active members or our community. We should be grateful to all the members of the community who have chosen to speak up, on both sides. Democracy is about discussion, it is about debate, and there are no rules or laws that state that you must speak proper English or without an accent to participate. If you look at the current election, you will see that people who speak in clear English, and with no accent, fought hard for what they believed and repeated the talking points of the political parties or of the Initiatives they supported. So did the opponents of HomeKey, except some of them had an accent.  

What were your emotions about racism after George Floyd was killed? Some of the supporters of project HomeKey might want to pause for some self reflection? 

 

Joseph and Nancy Weinstein

Milpitas residents 

 

Chinese translation here: 

等待理解和/或自我反思

我曾希望我们众多社区组织的领导人可以出来发表讲话。我们的教会在哪里,NAACP在哪里,我们的社区领袖在哪里?我们必须停止对某些是中国血统, 恰好带有口音居民的攻击. 几个月前,我们对种族主义感到愤怒的社区在哪里? 在HomeKey的问题上许多人说话都是带有口音的,但攻击却一直集中在讲中文的人身上。

在美国的整个历史中,我们看到了移民时期,类似文化的人聚集在同一地方-小意大利,爱尔兰区,唐人街,日本城,弗里蒙特的小喀布尔。这个城市有很多居民选择住在美国,他们选择住在米尔皮塔斯(Milpitas),碰巧是中国血统,可能讲话有口音。

在这次HomeKey 事件中,令人震惊的是听到米尔皮塔斯(Milpitas)的一些居民指出,许多持一种观点的人是说话有”中国口音” 的一群中国人。这些居民选择居住在美国,而且选择了居住在米尔皮塔斯则因其多样性。他们认为自己可以迅速成为社区中的成员。

我听有人抱怨他们都是说同样的谈话点。我有一些解决方案。首先,如果社区不喜欢听有口音的人发言,请雇用翻译,并让他们以母语发言。其次,我希望您也会拒绝听取我们所有讲英语的政党的讲话,这些政党都是在发表他们政党主要传播的一种观点。

这些居民,其中许多人可能是中国血统,其中一些人可能会带着口音说话,我们应该珍惜他们敢于发声,这是言论自由。他们已成为民主社区的积极成员。他们相信某事,并且希望被别人听到。他们有发表意见的权利,如果您信仰民主,则有倾听的义务。

我知道,这座城市中的许多人不喜欢”更好的米尔皮塔斯”( Better Milpitas)。我认识他们中的大多数领导人,这让我个人感到难过。我们在” 垃圾气味”问题上一起奋斗了一段时间。 Better Milpitas的大多数居民都是好人。像其他运动一样,他们的一些激进分子也污蔑了他们的名字和影响。这不会持续。随着该团体越来越多的成员适应我们的民主进程,更多的人将出来发言讲话。但是就目前而言,其中许多人因为他们还没有精通英语,所以从“We Chat”中获取了大部分信息,尽管他们可能并不完全同意,但他们还是希望就这些问题进行公开讨论。

Hillview社区的人口分布在中国人,印度人,菲律宾人和越南人中。我带我的狗在这个社区散步已经30多年了. 许多人在这里居住了15年或更短的时间。许多人仍然带着口音说话。对于许多人来说,英语甚至不是第二语言, 它是第三或第四语言。

现在,让我们来看一看我们社区领袖的所作所为。他们宣布将在“Hillview”找到“使用郡县服务最多的人”。他们没有谈论支持或服务新居民的计划,他们没有解释会怎么帮助无家可归者,他们没有解决如何为那些有经济问题的人提供帮助,他们没有解决当前毒品或酒精上瘾的人在与他们成瘾作斗争时将如何获得毒品或酒精,他们没有讨论如何为肢体残疾的人提供帮助以成为社区成员。他们只是说,我们正在将125个问题最严重的人转移到您的社区附近。

这个事件的发生是因为我们说英语的政府官员忽略了8月25日的备忘录,该英语备忘录明确指出,他们需要邀请社区参与该计划。这不是因为有些对手是中国人或印度人,也不是因为他们说话时带有口音。我们市的经理,检察官和市议会的每个成员,所有会说英语的人,以及所有说英语没有口音的人,都没有履行在如此重要的问题上为社区和社区服务和参与的责任。

请不要再指责说话有口音的居民或特定种族的成员。我们应该感谢他们的发言,感谢他们希望成为我们社区积极的成员。我们应该感谢双方都有选择发言的社区成员。民主就是需要通过讨论或 辩论来实现的,没有任何规则或法律规定您必须说正确的英语或没有口音才能参加。如果您看一下当前的选举,您会发现那些讲清楚英语没有口音的人们都会为自己的信念或他们所支持的政党倡议的观点而努力奋斗。 HomeKey的反对者也是如此,只是其中一些人讲话带有口音。

乔治·弗洛伊德(George Floyd)被杀后,您对种族主义有何感想? HomeKey项目的一些支持者们可能需要停下来以进行自我反思?

 

Joseph and Nancy Weinstein

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