Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Stamp Act

A stamp-ede? No. A stamp act? Okay, it's a stretch but it is still a call to action, and one I will heed. Read on. 

"To the members of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee:

We write to respectfully ask you to recommend to the Postmaster General that stamps celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage and honoring AAPI contributions be issued each year.  Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which is the month of May each year, presents the perfect opportunity to issue commemorative stamps that reflect the diversity within our community and the contributions of AAPIs. 

Since the Committee's inception, only 43 Asian American and Pacific Islander themed stamps have been issued. This does not do justice to the rich diversity of this community and the myriad contributions this community has made to our country.  Currently, there are approximately 16.6 million AAPIs living in the United States, with 45 distinct ethnic groups within our populations, speaking various dialects within each group. It is certainly a diverse community, and one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the U.S. By 2050, the Asian Pacific Islander population is expected to more than double, and reach 40.6 million, or 9% of the population. 

AAPIs have made countless contributions to our country throughout our nation's history that warrant recognition on the face of a stamp. These include:

The Chinese laborers that helped build the Transcontinental Railroad;
Remembering the Japanese American Internment during World War II;
Honoring the 10.7 million AAPI veterans, including the contributions of Nisei veterans and Filipino veterans during World War II;
Dalip Singh Saund, the first Asian American elected to Congress in 1956 to represent the 29th district of California, which included Riverside and Imperial counties;
Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color elected to Congress in 1964, and  champion of educational equality for women;
Judge Herbert Choy, a Korean American judge who was the first AAPI to serve as a U.S. federal judge;
Anna May Wong, Chinese American Hollywood trailblazer;
Ellison Onizuka, the first Japanese American space astronaut.  He lost his life when the Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed;
Remembering the 52 survivors of the ship that was stranded in the Pacific Ocean in 1988 and ultimately rescued by Filipino fisherman into the Island of Bolinao, and;
The many Chinatowns, Japantowns, Little Saigons, and other thriving ethnic communities throughout our country in major regions including Orange County and San Jose California." A stamp act? A call to action? Why not?

I don't agree with every contribution listed as reasons to offer more Asian postage stamps, but I do agree that there is a need. Forget about the Chinatowns, Japantowns, Little Saigons. There's nothing uncommon or exceptional about birds of a feather flocking together. Now, Google Duke. He was awesome. The dude was cool. So where is his stamp? I believe Yuri Kochiyama belongs on a commemorative stamp. This is one more letter to right. A "stamp act." A call to action. From last year. 

A call from 2010? For more Asian American themed stamps? I'd like to know the names of AA heroes and she-roes; their names and bios should be as recognizable as Sojourner Truth, Gregory Peck, Geronimo, Babe Ruth, Julia Child, and Joyce Chen . . . Right? Then, right on-write on! 


  1. Replies
    1. Yea! I signed their petition. And I will write a letter in case it might be the one that tips the point. :)

  2. How interesting! Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Am pleased to know someone else agrees with them. Sharing this bit is a pleasure. Joyce Chen is the only Asian American I'm aware of who has a postage stamp. Shame on me.