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Asian American Judge Challenges Racism Inherent in ‘Equity’

John Kass, Tribune Content Agency on

Have you read, heard or seen that important news story about an Asian American federal judge — born in Taiwan and subject to discrimination growing up — who confronted and denounced those who discriminate by race?

No?

With all that’s been in the news lately about terrible anti-Asian attacks, with many pundits engaging, isn’t it odd that the stirring congressional testimony of an Asian American federal judge on a hot-button topic wouldn’t receive widespread national media attention?

His name is James C. Ho. He was born in Taipei, came to America as a toddler and graduated with honors from Stanford University and with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School. He is on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Louisiana.

Ho recently testified in a House Judiciary Committee hearing called by U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, on the lack of racial diversity on the federal bench.

Ho suggests what many Asian Americans believe to be true in their bones, that the reason for that disparity is generations of discrimination at the nation’s most prestigious universities.

 

In his testimony, Ho told a story common to many of us from immigrant families.

“Most kids grow up learning English from their parents,” he said. “I grew up learning English from a bunch of puppets, from a place called Sesame Street. My classmates brought a kids’ lunch box to school. I brought a bento box to school. My food seemed normal to me. But it smelled funny to my classmates — or so they would tell me. And I remember racial slurs and jokes on the playground and on the football field.

“But I also learned that, if you work hard and prove yourself, you can find your place in America.”

Judge Ho still experiences racist hate. He says racism isn’t over. Yet he understands the dangers of categorizing, dividing, rewarding or punishing Americans by the use of immutable characteristics like skin pigment.

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