By CAPA member Hongjin Fang
John F. Kennedy once said: “Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal.” And the American ideals are to encourage immigration, welcome and honor the immigrants’ diverse cultural backgrounds, and to recognize the immigrants’ contributions. Similar to the Black History Month or the Hispanic History Month, the Asian Pacific Heritage Month is a month-long period dedicated to recognize the contributions and influence of Asian Pacific immigrants to the country’s history, culture, and achievements starting from May 1st and ending on May 31st.
According to Wikipedia, the Asian Pacific Heritage Month was originally introduced by Frank Horton to the House of Representatives as a bill, and was later signed by President Jimmy Carter as a law. “The proposed resolutions sought that May be designated for two reasons. For on May 7, 1843, the first Japanese immigrant arrived in the United States. More than two decades later, on May 10, 1869, the golden spike was driven into the First Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed using Chinese labor.”
Fast forward to the present, a myriad of AAPI movements have been held all around the country fighting for the rights, recognition, and respect that we deserve. “Stop Asian Hate” slogan used by a series of demonstrations, protests, and rallies against the increasing amount of harassment and violence against Asian people and communities relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. AAPI are part of the American Dream and shall not be considered outsiders. This movements had a shocking effect on American communities as AAPI are sometimes known as a group not commonly facing discrimination.
It is important that our heritage month is celebrated as it is our responsibility to pass on our stories and show our significance.
This article was provided by Chinese American Parents Association Junior Reporter Club (CAPA JRC) with members who interviewed, audio recorded, wrote, translated, and video recorded. CAPA JRC has 25 Montgomery County middle to high school students. They have created a bilingual platform delivering news and serving the community.