I’m a teacher. It’s our job to help students become more tolerant, inclusive

Richard Mui

Richard Mui

As a second generation Chinese American, I am proud to live in a country that has provided me and my family so many opportunities for a better life.

As a veteran U.S. history teacher, I have the unique opportunity to teach students about the historical context of many of the issues they encounter today.

In today’s global marketplace, it is imperative students have the ability to understand and appreciate all cultures. Anti-Asian American sentiment in recent months has made this more important than ever. Much of this hatred and intolerance has been fueled by scapegoating of Asian Americans related to the origins of the COVID-19 virus.

None of this — including the recent murder of six women of Asian descent at Atlanta spas — occurred in a vacuum.

Many people either don’t remember or never learned about Vincent Chin, a Chinese American draftsman who was beaten to death in 1982 by two white men at a Highland Park bar. Chin was targeted because the men believed he was Japanese, a culture they associated with the decline of the U.S. auto industry at that time.

Editor’s Note: MEA is committed to helping members raise their voices for safety in returning to school. This piece is one of several written by MEA members sharing their thoughts and concerns, as published in the Detroit Free Press. Stay tuned to MEA.org and local media outlets for more, or read past pieces on Member Voices.

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