Wednesday, August 26, 2009

John Liu Candidate Extraordinaire

Last week, candidate John Liu was dissected in the main stream press about a TV ad. The ad portrayed Liu speaking about his experience working in a sweatshop as a child. The press challenged the authenticity of that ad and his mother's hesitant portrayal of the content.

Liu's mother came forward at a press conference this week. She tearfully detailed the experience of their ordeal. Both she and John wept openly.

The press has failed to understand the subtle nuances of Asian culture. And for that matter, the culture of other minorities in a similar plight. It has been a long standing tradition for poor minority mother to bring their children to their workplace. There is the lack of an extended family system to care for these children and there is a lack of funds for daycare or babysitters. Once these children are at the work site, they are frequently given small tasks to perform.

John Liu's mother had a dream for her son. When he accomplished those goals, she chose to downplay those days in the sweat shop. Selective memory takes many forms for immigrants.
From the anglicizing of names, to the assimilation into American culture. Thus, the criticism and demand for withdrawal of his ads is not only insulting but ignorant as well. It speaks to the homogeneous pool of reporters and their knowledge of groups outside of their "daddy subsidizes my rent" yuppie status. Perhaps they should spend more time, in "da hood" instead of Starbucks.

There is a wonderful Native American saying: "Don't judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins." The message to the main stream media is that there are Asian, Latino, and Black children out there who do sweat in sweat shops. John Liu was one of them.


Anonymous said...

bullshit, Wake up you dumb latino. Are you being paid for typing this shit up. Liu is a nasty lying racist man. He probably bought your cheap banana head. Liu lies non stop. Learn some facts idiot

Anonymous said...

He lied that his father couldn't find a job and yet his father first job in US was international bank officer. He lied his mother work in sweatshop when his mother and all her friends say that it isn't true. Now Liu changed his story and states his mom worked at home. Do you mean his mom's home was a sweatshop? Liu has received lot of money from chinatown businessmen who have sweatshop practices. w

janeblaz71 said...

I grew up in the Bronx. Lived between 183rd and Fordham Road. In the early 80's our neighborhood welcomed a HUGE influx of Vietnames "boat people".

Very few spoke English. Many were treated very badly. They mostly sought refuge at the local Catholic Church. As a matter of fact, St. Nicholas of Tolentine STILL has Vietnamese Mass on Sundays ( I was very good friends with a young man name Tram (sp). Tram would sell hair clips, hair bands and various womens accessories to us while we were in the fifth grade at St. Nicholas of Tolentine school. He and his brothers and sisters, some as young as 2 and 3 years of age, would make the hair clips etc. at home. WHen I visited his house for dinner one night (at the insistence of his beautiful, delicate mother as a show of thanks for defending Tram against neighborhod bullies) I was shocked to see that his apartment was set up like a factory. At the same time I was fascinated by all the pretty fabric and materials that the family labored with...and needless to say the meal prepared was so delicious I still remember it to this day.

Sweatshops are a shameful part of AMERICAN HISTORY. The Triangle Factory Fire was one of the most horrendous tragedies in the history of New York City ( Sweatshops continue to thrive all over the City. Just like slavery.

There is no shame in John Liu's story. People are prideful and generally are reluctant to admit that perhaps they did go through hard times. Most people I know have gone through hard times...most choose not to discuss their experiences.

Rafael is a man of great personal and journalistic integrity. To insult his ethnicity is a clear indication that you - anonymous - have no self respect.

While we certainly can all agree to disagree, insults are unnecessary.

THE Jane Blaz(e)