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Saturday, February 4, 2017

OUR IMMIGRANTS ARE OUR TREASURED ASSETS - THEIR CONTRIBUTION INVALUABLE - BE IT FROM THEIR INCARCERATION ON ANGEL ISLAND CLOSER TO HOME - OR THEIR TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS - EVERYWHERE.










One of many Chinese poems -
craved on the walls of a barrack on Angel Island

Much like our Native Americans - sisters and brothers - who are suffering today more than ever - who are the core population of our Nation.

 Once better known at " Turtle Island " - who preserved and protected our Nation - an area very large enough - to be precise - 3, 717, 812. 8 square miles.

We have other segments of our population - who continue - suffering - we call them in general immigrants - and each has a story to tell.

Today we have a population of about 330 million and growing.

Here in California over 60% of our Native American Tribes are NOT Federally Recognized - making them second class citizens.

This injustice - must be addressed and could have been addressed by the Democrats and more - former President Barrack Hussein Obama.

When we forget our past - and dwell with the present - listening to the fake news - and politicians - who are shallow, spineless, and are not educated on issues.


Nothing much happens - noise from empty vessels - takes us further from the Truth.









In the late 1980s I met a Chinese man at the Presidio of San Francisco - an open Military Base - this man once enrolled in the United States Army - more Sixth Army Presidio of San Francisco - he was younger than 18 years but when on to enlist and prove his valor. 


We became good friends - until his demise some years ago.

After befriending him for many years - one day we started our conversation - about Angel Island.

 An Island that we see from many vantages - clearly from Treasure Island - and from Crissy Field at the Presidio of San Francisco. From the Golden Gate Bridge and places to many to note.

One can see both islands from Fisherman's Wharf - Treasure Island a man made island - once occupied by the U.S. Army.

Then Angel Island - an Immigration Island - where thousands of Chinese were incarcerated - for many years - the main reason - discrimination of the highest order.

Under some act called the Chinese Exclusion Act - one hundred Chinese men - would sleep in bunk beds - beds staked in threes - in long columns -  a room about one hundred square feet.

The records state that over 250, 000 Chinese Immigrants were detained and processed - between 1910 and 1940.

150, 000 Japanese immigrants too.







As years passed  - I met other Chinese men - and each had a story to tell.

These men endured so much - what is very important to note they kept it to themselves.

 Stayed strong - their tenacity and fortitude intact - to make it to San Francisco which they dreamed of living - a few miles in sight - with the rough waters of the Bay separating them.

Some stayed for a while and left San Francisco and ventured to other parts of California to make a living.

Here is one of many poems translated from Chinese to English:

There are tens of thousands of poems on these walls
They are all cries of suffering an sadness
The day I am rid of this prison and become successful
I must remember that this chapter once existed
I must be frugal in my daily needs
Needless extravagance usually leads to ruin
All my compatriots should remember China
Once you have made some small gains,
you should return home early

The stanza at the end of the poem states:

America has power - but not justice.
In prisson - we victimized as if we were guilty.
Given no opportunity to explain, it was really brutal.
I bow my head in reflection but there is
nothing I can do.


This poem was written by a man from Heungshan Province - this one stanza says a lot - more can be read in a book that reveals the rest of the poems.

These men were committed to win their freedom - many of them came from China - changing their names - the term " paper names " - has a story that reveals more - that links so many that took fake  names - and renounced their own last names to make it to California.

What that journey from Mainland China to the shores of the Pacific Ocean entailed - is something that cannot be addressed - in detail - what we know, some - is the tip of the iceberg.

Today some are attempting to put their feet in the shoes of those that were incarcerated - all Chinese men -  - the many facets - the many hurdles - the trials and tribulations.

One talented Chinese dancer has made it her mission to dance to the trials and tribulations.

 As some one reads the poems - the once adorned the walls - now translated for all of us to read and more learn and be educated.

 It is so touching to witness her moves -  tell each story - from a different time - yet so poignant to our times -  the Immigrant Crisis of 2017.

Here is some more that reveals and makes a better point:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_EQY-0ThOM

Some years ago a State Park Ranger - Alexander Weiss - came across the Chinese writings on the wooden walls of some of the barracks - where the Chinese men were incarcerated.

This news reached some of the Chinese living in San Francisco - and with the help of a professor from San Francisco State University - the poems - were translated and interpreted - and an entire world - of those who sought their freedom has stayed alive   - unfolded - light shed where there was abject darkness.

Today thousands visit Angle Island - and the work of tell this past history goes on. More light shed where there was abject - darkness.