THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice
|For Immediate Release
||May 5, 2000
STATEMENT BY THE VICE PRESIDENT
"Asian Pacific American Heritage Month"
It is a
great pleasure to join the American people in celebrating Asian Pacific
American Heritage Month -- a time when our entire country recognizes and honors
the contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islanders.
Pacific American Community has enriched our nation with its diverse culture,
industrious spirit, and many talented individuals who have helped to build and
strengthen our nation. The contributions of this community reaches far and wide
in our history and society, from laying the foundation of our railroad system
in the last century to building today's technology industry. The influence of
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in our arts, education, sports, media,
business, and government is seen and experienced in our everyday lives.
their journey throughout our history has not been easy one, as Asian Americans
and Pacific Islanders have often faced hardship, discrimination and injustice
--think of the Japanese American interned during World War II, the Filipino
Veteran who fought for freedom, the Chinese immigrant barred from U.S.
citizenship, the Vietnamese American hate crime victim, or the Indian American
denied employment opportunities. As we commemorate Asian Pacific American
Heritage Month let us not forget our continued struggle for racial tolerance
and equality for all in our society.
In such a
diverse community that traces its ancestry to hundreds of countries, ethnic
groups and cultures, the challenges and needs of this population varies
greatly. Sometimes these needs are masked by the overall success of the Asian
Pacific American Community, but we know the challenges are still there, such as
language barriers for new immigrants, lack of education opportunity, no access
to health care, or discrimination in employment. For Pacific Islanders
historical and geographic barriers play a role in the lack of opportunities for
reasons the Clinton Gore Administration establish through Executive Order the
White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the first
comprehensive federal effort to improve the quality of life for Asian Americans
and Pacific Islanders.
week in time for our celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month the
President announced the 15 Members of the Advisory Commission on Asian
Americans and Pacific Islanders, as called for in the Executive Order. I
applaud the President in his appointment of 15 individuals who represent the
diversity of this community in terms of ethnicity, geography and expertise. I
look forward to their advice and council on how we, the federal government, can
better serve the needs of this community.
year's celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month is very significant
as we embark on the first comprehensive federal initiative to assure that Asian
Americans and Pacific Islanders have every opportunity to succeed and continue
to make important contributions to our country.
to everyone for an enjoyable and memorable commemoration of Asian Pacific
American Heritage Month.