The Ballad of Chol So Lee

from the Chol Soo Lee Defense Committee 1978

vocals and copyright: Siu Wai Anderson, Sam Takimoto, Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo


This is a story about a man named Chol Soo Lee.

His case is not uncommon; it reflects on you and me.


Chol Soo Lee came to this country to walk the streets of gold

All he found were broken glass alleys where the gangs were pushin dope 

He tried to find an honest job to try to make ends meet 

Unemployement, New Axis of Evil: Iran, China, North Korea, Intermarriage

While Asian Americans overall have unemployment rates about equal to whites i.e less than African Americans and Latinos, long term unemployment is a big problem. Unemployed Asian Americans are unemployed for six months of more at rates comparable to African Americans, the highest of all racial groups. The Center for Economic and Policy Research has issued a March report based on government data that shows about half of all Asian American unemployed are long-term unemployed.

Army Charges Racist Harrassment in the Death of Private Danny Chen

On December 21st, the American military announced that the Army had charged eight soldiers in Private Danny Chen’s battalion in connection with Private Chen’s death. The soldiers were based at Combat Outpost Palace in Kandahar province. Chen was found dead by a gunshot wound on Oct. 3rd.

The only child of Chinese immigrants, Chen grew up in Chinatown and graduated in 2010 from Manhattan’s Pace University High School. He hoped to join the NYPD after the Army. He joined the army because of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

African Americans Call for Boycott of Asian American Businesses in South Dallas

Some African American leaders are calling for a boycott of Asian American businesses in the Dallas, Texas area. The event at the center of this call came from a December 9th dispute between a minister at the local Nation of Islam mosque and the Asian owner of the Diamond Shamrock gas station and convenience store over use of the minister’s debit card. The minister, Jeffrey Muhammad, wanted to use the card for five dollars, below the posted minimum limit. An argument ensued in the store in South Dallas, the center of the local African American area.

Alternative Census Poverty Measures Show Big Jump in Asian American Poverty

Under a more up-to-date poverty measure, called the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), the Census estimate for the Asian American population jumps from 12.1 under the current measure to 16.7 percent. This change is three times the effect for other racial groups. The poverty rate for the total population is 15.2 percent under the current measure and 16 percent under SPM.

Casino Trip, Cambodian Youth Report

Good news from Philly. On December 16, 2010, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board revoked Foxwoods’ Philly casino license. A victory for the many organizations and all Philadelphians fighting this predatory industry!

Khmer Girls in Action from Long Beach have released a research report about Cambodian American Youth. Based on a survey on 500 youth, they report issues with racial profiling, discrimination, depression, stigmas around sexual issues, and barriers to education. Report available from this site.