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In forming the Asian Law Caucus, the elders - some of whom are here in this room - chose resistance. They created a space in which Asian Americans were in charge, deciding what mattered to them and what strategies worked for them. If someone else were in charge, things would have gone differently. Risks were taken, and victories were won that would not have happened using traditional litigation strategies or leaving the work to traditional civil rights organizations. It was important to create an Asian American space to do this work: to fight Chinatown evictions, to pursue redress for the internment, to focus on violence against Asian Americans, to push for language rights, to stand up for immigrants, to haunt the sweatshops, and to bring the aspirations of the civil rights movement to corners yet unvisited. I support the Asian Law Caucus because I am the granddaughter of immigrant toilers. I have a covenant with them to remember how they were treated and to speak up when I see others treated that way. I claim as my family the women hunched over circuit boards in closed up rooms in the hidden part of Silicon Valley, their lives as bitter as those of the ancestors who bent over shorthandled hoes in the blazing heat of the Central Valley. Planet Asian America is a choice called resistance.


Copyright 2001, Mari J. Matsuda. Reprinted from Asian-American Law Journal, Vol. 8, No. 1, by permission of the Regents of the University of California.

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8 Asian L.J. 169-186 (2001)