The invisible story

A story I wrote last week titled Cultural Upheaval is still getting comments. The story focuses on the resignation of the president, Robin Hu, who said he left because the chamber is too political, the books are kept poorly and they aren’t doing enough to embrace different cultures, particularly the Asian community.

The resistance communities have to changing demographics is a story I want to do, but it’s easier said than done. While there are plenty of people who make anonymous comments about the change or say racist comments under their breaths, no one will go on the record to talk about the issue. Here’s just a blurb of one comment I received this weekend:

“It is sad to live in a place where you can’t even have a simple conversation with your neighbor because they do not know the English language. It is also sad when you drive in a parking lot that has arrows and people are driving the wrong way because they don’t either understand what the arrows are for.”

In Rosemead, every time I write in stories the “council minority” when I refer to Councilmembers Gary Taylor and Margaret Clark, it does not just refer to how they are outnumbered by Councilmembers John Tran, John Nunez and Polly Low.

No, Clark and Taylor truly represent the minority race in Rosemead. But I can tell by the off-the-cuff remarks and the anonymous comments that there is resistance or denial to these changes. So will we see that story? Not until someone is willing to talk on the record. And what would that story say? If done right, it would tell the story of changing demographics, resistance to change, how minorities are becoming empowered and how the old majority feels slighted. And I can’t think of a better example a community that is dealing with this change than in Rosemead, as symbolized by the council members: two caucasian council members.

  • Anonymous

    You’ve got something wrong in your fourth and fifth paragraphs. I think where you write “majority,” it should say “minority.” Otherwise, the paragraphs don’t make any sense.

    Somewhat off-topic, I think your quoted blurb illustrates a tendancy for some people to attribute behavior to race when it may or may not be relevant. For example, a few years back, I was talking to a conservative white, middle aged man. He was complaining about shopping carts and how it was all the Asians that were leaving the carts in the neighborhood, and said it was because Asians didn’t value private property as much as Whites.

    And I thought, “No, it’s because many poor people don’t have cars, so they need to use shopping carts to get their groceries home.”

    If he lived in a poor white neighborhood with poor white people shopping at a Ralph’s, it would be mostly white people taking shopping carts home. But because he lived in an area with a large, poor, Asian population shopping at Asian food markets, he saw Asians taking shopping carts home.

    But the behavior he observed had (in my opinion) very little to do with race and a great deal to do with poverty.

  • Anonymous

    OK,it’s fixed, now.

  • The Truth

    Sad but true. There should be no race issue, but the voter demographic has change, but it goes not mean that a councilmember needs to be of that rase to be effective. That is opposite of what this country is about.
    I am positive that all councilmembers will push their agendas, some just have a better path and some will use race.

    More importantly, who has the best interests of the residents of Rosemead? Who is in it for the development kick-backs?