Playing host to Latino journalists is not something I get to do every day, but I seized the opportunity when it came up. People assume that I am only receptive toward Asian journalists, but that’s nonsense.
On Oct. 4, 21 television journalists from Venezuela, Costa Rica, Columbia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Chile visited the International District (ID). I gave them a tour — not so much about ID’s history, but about what’s currently happening in the area, including Vulcan’s buildings, the two stadiums, Amazon (which used to be located here), Uwajimaya, the Chinatown Gate, the Wah Mee Massacre site, and other highlights.
I got some interesting questions from the journalists.
“Do you get money from the Chinese government?” one Latino journalist asked.
“Why do you ask?” I said. I was curious.
“Because many Chinese newspapers [in South America], get money from their government,” he replied.
Oh yes, China Press is owned by the Chinese government. The Taiwanese government owns a television station and newspapers, too.
We are American newspapers even though the Seattle Chinese Post (SCP) is written in Chinese. Both Northwest Asian Weekly and the SCP are independent from Taiwan and China. We focus on America and the local community.
“So what is your source of income?” another asked.
“Advertisements,” I replied.
“Have you suffered a lot of discrimination because you are a woman?” a male journalist asked.
“America is progressive toward women,” I responded. “Perhaps I suffer more discrimination as a person of color. Often, discrimination is very subtle. I just feel it.”
I asked them a question, “So what’s your impression of America?”
“A country of great extremes,” one said. “The liberal vs. conservative, the climate, and geography.” The group spent one week on the East Coast. “It was cold there and warm in Seattle.”
In the past, Q&A sessions for international journalists have taken place in my office. Now, my approach is to make sure that they spend money in the ID, by having lunch or shopping, for example.
This time, the Latino journalists bought nothing, but they ate a big dim sum lunch.
When the dim sum cart was moved to our tables, the only word from their mouths was “Si.”
I don’t mind giving a free tour. The least our guests can do in return is patronize our community’s businesses. ♦