Today’s letter – Chinese are vilified, but not vile

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer David Pierson wrote a wonderful article about the “secret tunnels” in Fresno’s Chinatown in their November 26 edition. According to urban legend, the tunnels were created so the residents could crawl around without ever seeing daylight and people from the white side of the tracks could reach Chinatown speak-easies undetected. According to historians, though, the tunnels were actually fabricated by xenophobes in order to make the Chinese people seem less than human.

Phil Choy, past president of the Chinese Historical Society of America, explained that “The 19th century was an extremely racist climate. There had always been an attempt to remove the Chinese. You had this population of undesirables. The more mysterious they make us, the better.”

I believe the historians have this one right. As a Californian relegated to a Domestic Partnership, I have seen firsthand how the Opponents of Equality use rumors and outright lies to push my community’s relationships underground and demonize us as people.

The damage imposed on same-sex families isn’t quite as bad as the atrocities performed against Chinese-Americans, but it is the same devious twist of logic that turns one group of people into cockroaches by creating a mysterious network of tunnels, that turns another group of people into sexual deviants by creating a strange ‘alternative’ to marriage.

I am very upset at you, Governor, for supporting the lies and rumors that are used to put people down, instead of supporting the freedom to marry that would bring them up.

Yours,

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