- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 814 Hour
- Reading permission
By JESSE WASHINGTON, AP National Writer Jesse Washington, Ap National Writer |
PHILADELPHIA – Duong Nghe Ly can't wait to begin his senior year at South Philadelphia High School. A day of violence there last year changed his life, and he wants to learn if his school has been transformed as well.
Last Dec. 3, after years of attacks on Asian immigrant students, something finally snapped. Fueled by rumors, a group of students roamed the halls searching for Asian victims until one was attacked in a classroom. Later, about 70 students stormed the cafeteria, where several Asians were beaten. About 35 students pushed past a police officer onto the so-called "Asian floor," but were turned back. After school, Asians being escorted home were attacked anyway by a mob of youths. Almost all the attackers were black — but few observers believe the violence was due to racial hatred. Instead, they cite isolation of different groups within the school, certain students' warped "gangster" values, and for some, simmering resentments over perceived benefits for Asian students. About 30 Asians were injured that day; seven went to hospitals. Past attacks had been reported to administrators and police, but students say nothing seemed to change. Ly (pronounced LEE) was in the lunchroom for what he calls "the riot." Days later, he was followed home from school and punched in the face on his front stoop. He had arrived from Vietnam two years earlier, speaking nearly no English, the son of poor, uneducated parents. He thought America would be like the "Hannah Montana" TV episodes he had watched in Vietnam. What he found was closer to "The Wire." So he kept his head down, sought silent refuge among his countrymen and tried to make his way through the broken system. Dec. 3 was a turning point. He realized the system must change — and that he and his fellow immigrants were the ones to make that happen.
Their method? Guided by local activists, and despite reservations from some parents, about 50 Asian students boycotted school for a week. "Before, I was timid. I didn't really want to get myself into trouble," says Ly, 18. Then he realized, "If everybody's silent, nobody speaks up, the problem keeps going on without being resolved. I feel like I or my friends have to speak up and organize to tell people this is not right."We had to fight for it."
Observing the disturbing trend in Guanzhou, I say the Chinese government have behaved in a "great China mentality" and failed to protect the Chinese people intelligently.