Andy Kim Profile picture
20 Mar, 13 tweets, 4 min read
I’ll never forget the feeling when I learned that my own government questioned my loyalty. Before Congress I worked in diplomacy at StateDept. I once received a letter banning me from working on Korea issues just because of my last name. I was stunned. (THREAD) #StopAsianHate
I had previously worked in Afghanistan for State. I had a top secret security clearance. But here was a letter saying we don’t trust you. What confused me more is that I didn’t even apply to work on Korea. The StateDept was proactively telling me they didn’t trust me. 2/13
And it wasn’t just me. I learned that other Asian Americans at State had same thing happen. It was called “assignment restrictions” - a bureaucratic way of saying “failing loyalty test.”… 3/13
I thought to myself how I was born here in America. I don’t even speak Korean well at all. I have relatives in South Korea but I barely know them. I kept asking Why did my government not trust me? 4/13
I understand security concerns all over the world. I understand that I share a last name with a brutal dictator. That’s why I endured grueling clearance processes multiple times. But once I received a Top Secret clearance, why this letter? 5/13
I raised my concerns about this letter to more senior people at State and was advised by several to not make a fuss about it since I wasn’t actually interested in working on Korea. They missed the point. I wasn’t thinking of my career path, I was thinking of respect. 6/13
I started to feel like maybe I didn’t have a place in government. I started to think about quitting. Everyone keeps saying our diversity is our strength. That letter from StateDept said otherwise. How do I do foreign policy if my own government treats me like I’m foreign? 7/13
StateDept and our government as a whole needs to confront the lack of diversity in its ranks. We need a government that looks a lot more like the rest of America. And State is meant to be a place where we show rest of the world our diversity. 8/13
And now in the aftermath of the brutal mass murder in ATL, we as a nation must confront the xenophobia, discrimination that AAPIs experience. I wanted to show as we turn to Gov right now to fix these problems, that Gov itself has problems we must fix. 9/13
Pres Biden and VP Harris went to Atlanta yesterday to shine a light on the rise in AAPI hate. Now they have an opportunity to make sure the 20 positions at DoJ are reflective of the country they keep safe. More than 100 open positions at StateDept. 10/13
This and next year will see elections at all levels of govt; we should lift up AAPI and other minority voices by encouraging our community to register, vote and run. To hold those in power accountable for their words. 11/13
In 2018, I stepped up to run for Congress. Many people told me I had no chance to win this seat because it is over 80% White with less than 3% Asian. But I won’t let others define what I am or am not capable of accomplishing and what jobs I am allowed to do for my country. 12/13
In 2019 I was sworn-in as the then only Korean American in Congress. Now I sit on Foreign Affairs Committee with oversight over StateDept. I will now demand that we fix this problem, working with @TedLieu and others. And we will press for more fixes across our Gov and nation(END)

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More from @AndyKimNJ

18 Mar
I was asked if murder was racially motivated if killer wasn’t yelling KungFlu? Answer is yes. The killer fetishized Asian women and targeted them to murder(dominate) because of his hypersexualized objectification. AAPI racism isn’t just about Covid. #StopAsianHate (THREAD)
The fact that the killer doesn’t see his violence as racist is exactly the problem. The killer’s actions were motivated by the way he saw Asian women. Regardless of what he said, his actions and violence spoke the truth of his motivations. 2/7
And for members of the AAPI community, his message of hate is loud and clear. It’s a message that hits at the intersection of this hate crime. We don’t need to hear his spin, now is a time to instead listen to AAPI women who sadly know this discrimination/fear personally. 3/7
Read 7 tweets
17 Mar
There was a mass shooting in America last night. Sadly that is not uncommon. Many of the victims were AAPI. Tragedy sits at the intersection of multiple broken parts of our society. To honor victims and save lives, we must make progress across all. #StopAsianHate (THREAD)
I’ve been asked if the violence against AAPI is new, and if it is getting better with the increased recent visibility. The answer to both is no. Discrimination/violence existed before COVID and it will continue after. And sadly, I don’t think we have seen the worst of it. 2/13
I can’t tell you how much it means to me and others that anti-AAPI violence has gotten attention. Biden’s mention in his speech was powerful. Now we need follow through. Give AAPI communities more resources/coordination. Give us tools to counter. Listen to our needs. 3/13
Read 13 tweets
13 Mar
Agnes Chow just spent 24th birthday behind bars fighting for democracy in Hong Kong. While locked up, China this week imposed law meant to extinguish democracy once and for all. Here’s why Communist Party is terrified of this 24 yr old woman and others(THREAD) #StandWithHongKong
ORIGINAL BROKEN PROMISE: When Agnes was 7 months old, China agreed to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy for 50 years until the year 2047. When skeptics questioned China’s promise during the 1997 handover, China’s premier said China “would prove her words by her deeds.” 2/19
ONE COUNTRY TWO SYSTEMS: The Basic Law agreement sets forward "ultimate aim" for chief executive to be chosen by "universal suffrage." Agnes phrases it quite simply as “We want to choose our future by ourselves.” 3/19
Read 19 tweets
6 Mar
Her name is Kyal Sin and she was brutally murdered this week. She wore this black shirt that said “Everything will be OK” when she was shot in the head by Burmese military. Know her courage. Here’s how her memory may stop this coup and help protect democracies everywhere (THREAD)
WHO KILLED KYAL? One man set this chaos in motion - Min Aung Hlaing. A General so unremarkable that colleagues once gave him a nickname meaning “cat feces” as he reminded them of "something deposited quietly but leaving a powerful stink." 2/14
UNREMARKABLY REMARKABLE: Perhaps incorrect to describe him as unremarkable because he orchestrated the Rohingya genocide. Nearly a million displaced. Tens of thousands massacred. Thousands of women and girls raped. While quiet in personality, he is ruthless in action. 3/14
Read 14 tweets
4 Mar
I just received an email from Capitol security about “new and concerning information and intelligence” about possible militia actions against the Capitol tomorrow. We are now rushing to finish our legislative work tonight under threat of Qanon. This is insane. (THREAD)
Tomorrow March 4 is being called Qanon’s true Inauguration Day. Conspiracists say that Trump will become the 19th President tomorrow. That’s right, 19th, because supposedly the last legitimate President was Ulysses S. Grant who was sworn in on March 4, 1869 as our 18th. 2/8
I began to try to understand why 3/4 matters, but I realized that it’s not worth it. Something about the gold standard and secret laws. Supposedly there will be a ceremony anointing Trump, followed by “the storm” of military tribunals/executions. It’s impossible to follow. 3/8
Read 8 tweets
3 Mar
My dear friend Anna Ruch stepped out the other day to share with us a story that is difficult to tell, especially when the whole country is watching. I called her last night. Not knowing exactly how she might be feeling, I asked How are you doing? (THREAD)…
Anna sounded strong. She always has been for the years I’ve known her and her voice was confident. We talked about why she decided to share her story. She was honest about how she struggled with the decision. Ultimately, she felt compelled to say something. 2/14
It was hearing from other women of their experiences of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse that got her to stand up and speak out. Anna did not compare her experience to those of others, but instead said she wanted to let others know that she is with them in solidarity. 3/14
Read 14 tweets

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