The 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration on Jan. 15 hosted by the West Windsor Human Relations Council has passed. We had engaging discussions, saw inspiring performances, and heard moving poetry readings.
Taking a look around at the 100-some participants, I could not help but notice that most were Caucasians and African-Americans, and the remaining ethnic and racial groups—Indians, Chinese, etc.—were disproportionally represented according to West Windsor demographics.
For example, there were only three Chinese residents in the audience: former Mayor Hsueh, former school board member YingChao Zhang, and I, a West Windsor Human Relations Council member, while more than 12 percent of the West Windsor population are Chinese.
The holiday commemorates Dr. King’s dream of using nonviolent methods to achieve equality for all people, regardless of what they look like and where they come from.
To quote Dr. King’s wife, “It is a day of interracial and intercultural cooperation and sharing… Whether you are African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whether you are Caucasian or Asian-American… This is not a black holiday; it is a people’s holiday.”
It is our responsibility to bring all of our sisters and brothers to the table to celebrate the great strides we have made in the past century and to plan for future humanitarian efforts.
One example of such an achievement is evidenced by the repealing of the Chinese Exclusion Act—the first U.S. restriction act on immigration based on race and class—after 61 years, on Dec. 17, 1943. Let’s all make a date for the 2019 West Windsor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration.
— Yan Mei Wang, West Windsor