Beyond competition-ending anti-Chinese prejudice

California has the highest number of Koreans in America, while New York State has the second largest number. According to the 2000 Census, the Korean population in New York State is 119,846?this is only 0.63 percent of the entire population of New York. Even though the number of Koreans in New Jersey rapidly increased in the past few years, the census figures show only 65,349 Koreans?only 0.78 percent of New Jersey’s total population. Despite the large number of Koreans in the Flushing and Palisades Park areas, and the number not registered by census takers, the figures show that Koreans are a minority group in America.

In the past 100 years, Korean society has made great sacrifices to learn to live with immigrants from many other countries. The greatest disturbance during these 100 years was the April 29th riot on Church Avenue. Admittedly, Korean groceries and vegetable stores still have trouble because Koreans do not treat their non-Korean immigrant employees well.

To ensure that our sacrifices were not made in vain, we should rid ourselves of prejudices against other minority races, and should seek a path of cooperation, to develop together. Our first goal should be ridding ourselves of prejudice against the Chinese community.

In the history of the New York Asian community, November 6, 2001, was a memorable day. John Liu, the Democratic candidate in the 20th Council District (Flushing and Whitestone) won over the Republican contender. He is New York’s first Asian Assemblyman. His election is the direct result of the cooperation between the Korean and Chinese communities. This has given us the confidence that we can accomplish anything if the two peoples, Chinese and Koreans, join in unison.

The Chinese community came to the defense of Koreans when WB11 television unfairly reported a Korean practice of eating dog meat. Councilman Liu participated in the protests against the broadcasting company, in a show of support to his voters. Korean society was greatly moved by his actions. Through the cooperation of Koreans and Chinese, the incident extended beyond Korean society to Asian society as a whole. Koreans received an apology from the huge broadcasting company.

Another great result of the cooperation is that the city suspended parking regulations for this year’s Lunar New Year festival. This annual festival in Flushing shows great unity and cooperation between the two groups. The fact that Koreans will participate in the Chinatown New Year festival this year is very meaningful for the cooperation between the groups.

Yun-Yong Park, president of the KACEC said, “We are in competition with the Chinese community?but we must also maintain friendship with them. If we cooperate in economics as well as politics and society, we can enjoy great power together.” He also said that he is discussing a conference for Korean and Chinese leaders for more effective unity and cooperation.

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