Millions of Broken American Dreams — An Open Letter to the World

(This letter was written by Swan Lee on behalf of protesters of the Jimmy Kimmel Live TV show.)

Dear Fair and Righteous Citizens of the World,

​We don’t know who you are, but we know you are out there. We are asking for your urgent help. We have been rendered voiceless, powerless, and hopeless by the American mass media and many Americans. The American mass media have lost journalistic ethics and objectivity and have been blatantly and partially defending ABC’s show host, Jimmy Kimmel, who used children to discuss the merits of annihilating all Chinese people for the purpose of evading American government debt owed to Chinese government. This prerecorded skit was broadcast on ABC channel on October 16, 2013, a day that hundreds of millions of us will remember as the most traumatizing and humiliating day in our lives, a day that brought ravages and devastation that we, our parents, and our children, will never fully recover from. The majority of Americans’ indifference and even worsened hostility towards our suffering have kept adding more wounds to our injuries. We have nowhere to go to have the perpetrators and abusers of human beings’ inherent dignity be brought under justice. Now, as our last resort, with the last shred of hope for human compassion that we believe must exist in this world, we ask for your gracious help. You, citizens of the world with a sense of justice and love in your heart, can help hundreds of millions of people, in fact, one fifth of the world’s population, regain their human status and dignity.
Protest against ABC at Holocaust Memorial in Boston on Nov. 2, 2013.

​If you haven’t heard what happened, here is a brief summary. During the American government shutdown period, Jimmy Kimmel recorded a skit named “Government Shutdown Kids Table Show.” In this skit discussing the shutdown, Kimmel asked four children one question, What should America do about the 1.3 trillion dollars owed to China? He implied the reason of the shutdown was due to the debt owed to China, but in fact, the debt to China is only a small percentage of the American government debts. It reminds us of how before the Holocaust, the Nazi Germany’s media blamed all German’s socioeconomic problems on Jews and incited racial hatred so fervent and deep that later on, the entire nation’s residents worked in a joint effort to erase the Jewish people from the face of the earth, leaving horrible and nightmarish memories that the entire human race still cringes to recollect nowadays. After Kimmel’s question, one child proposed, “Let’s kill everyone in China!” At his bloodthirsty proposal, everyone in the audience, the children, and Kimmel himself broke into laughter. Kimmel commented on this proposal, “Kill everyone in China? Ok! That’s an interesting idea!” More laughter, senseless and violent. Soon after, Kimmel asked the kids, “Should we allow the Chinese to live?” When we heard his incredible question, quickly inundated by the raging and hysterical laughter from the audience and the children, our hearts cringed in deep pains and our dignity shattered into a thousand pieces. Are we animals, insects, or slaves? How could a show host on American national TV ask a question founded upon the idea that all Chinese people in the world, regardless of the nationality, are a lower level of life form than Kimmel himself, whose life and death he and the children guests have the authority to control?

​After a shocked and shaken night, the next day we found none of us was alone. Through social media and internet communication, we quickly learned that hundreds of thousands of us felt the same way: deeply humiliated, traumatized, and denigrated beyond consolation. More people were laughing about our demise. Huffington Post commented that the skit was the best talk show ever. We had to do something quick, to stop this destruction from spreading. So we came together, guided by our survival instinct, to support and save each other. Since October 17, 2013, we have been fighting tirelessly to have our voices heard and to have justice brought into our lives. What is the American justice? As naturalized American citizens and permanent residents, we looked to recent similar incidents to find out what American justice means on the new continent. We found other show hosts have made less serious mistakes and have been quickly terminated by their TV stations. Food Channel’s Paula Deen was found to have called black Americans racist names more than twenty years ago. After repeated and increasingly sincerely apologies, she was let go by Food Channel. Don Imus, a syndicated show host, called some college female basketball players “nappy-headed hos,” and later his show was canceled by major TV stations like NBC and CBS. CNN’s host Rick Sanchez made some ironic comments about Jewish people and was fired in 24 hours. Juan Williams said on National Public Radio that he would feel nervous sitting next to Muslims on an airplane. He was fired by National Public Radio. These incidents showed us how much America values mutual respect between races and ethnicities. Since the genocide of all Chinese people is much more serious than the previous examples, since it involves large-scale slaughtering of 1.4 billion human beings, we had no doubt that ABC would soon straightforwardly apologize for broadcasting this prerecorded skit to all Chinese people in the world and punish all responsible parties for producing this genocide-comedy content, including first of all, firing Mr. Jimmy Kimmel.

​Looking back, we realized how naïve and idealistic we were. We came to this country, because we were touched by the Goddess of Liberty’s calling, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddles masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I life my lamp beside the golden door!” Yes, we were weary, we were destitute, and we yearned to breathe free. We believed America is where we will be treated with dignity and given chances to thrive. We came. We came. We acquired knowledge tirelessly and we worked conscientiously and we treated neighbors with respect and gentility. Many years have passed, and most of us have taken the pledge to the “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We felt proud and fortunate to be Americans. We were overjoyed to give birth to little Americans and we do our best to bring them up to be well-educated, civilized, and responsible American citizens. We are so glad our children are learning how American society, a melting pot of cultures, functions based on mutual respect and civility. One day, my son showed me a piece of paper with a child printed on it, encircled by a bubble. I asked him what it was. “This is the personal bubble,” my son said. “Ms. Humphrey said we should never poke the other person’s personal bubble because it will make him feel really really sad. And we don’t want to make people sad.” I was so moved by his words that I cried in the bathroom by myself. I remembered the myriad times when my personal bubble was pierced without a thought by people and places stronger and more powerful than me. I accepted it all because I thought that was how life was supposed to me. Seeing my son learn to respect and be considerate of other people’s feelings in an American school once again affirmed my confidence in my new country.

​One of us filed a petition on a White House website, which needed 100,000 signatures within a month for it to be admitted. It received that many in less than three weeks. Then we called Jimmy Kimmel’s studio, asking for an apology, and we were always told to leave our phone numbers but no one ever called us back. We sent numerous online emails to ABC and its parent company Disney, but got no reply. Days passed, there is no sign that ABC/Disney was taking any measure to correct this horrendous event and its damages. At last, we decided we had to protest. People in New York and San Francisco made signs and banners and went to ABC headquarters to protest. No one from ABC came down. A few days later, we saw Kimmel on his show make some kind of light-hearted apology, but it was unclear to whom was it directed. He said, “It was a weird day. Some people seem to be mad at me. I didn’t mean to offend anyone. It was just a joke, entertainment, but I am sorry.” Since he never mentioned the word “Chinese,” we suspected it might be for us, but we couldn’t be sure. Most importantly, it didn’t state clearly that promoting the genocide of all Chinese people, inciting racial hatred towards us, and blaming the government shutdown on us were wrong. It didn’t say how the prerecorded skit came to be broadcast, who were responsible and would be held accountable for it, besides what measures would be taken to prevent it from happening in the future. We didn’t feel consoled at all. In fact, we felt angrier that we were being treated with such contempt and disregard.

​We went on protesting all over America. One day, Kimmel met with LA protesters. He wore a T shirt with a Chinese character on it, but he said he didn’t know what it meant. He talked to two representatives of the protesters but he still insisted that the incredibly hurtful words were all jokes and entertainment. He suggested that maybe Chinese people couldn’t get his jokes because of cultural differences. And he said he really didn’t understand why those protesters were there personally. He made an apology to the protesters, but again, he didn’t nothing wrong, it was all jokes and entertainment, and if he happened to offend anyone, he felt sorry. Hundreds of thousands of us were not consoled by his apology at all. Why is he blaming us for not understanding his jokes? How can he feel so entitled to using the killing of our mothers and fathers, our husbands and wives, our children and relatives for laughing material for the American audience? No, you can’t do that, Mr. Jimmy Kimmel. We are Americans, too. Our personal bubbles have been pierced by people like you many times, but we always swallowed our humiliation and hurt silently, because we felt we needed to take the insults because it might be our fault to even feel offended. This time, you really crossed the bottom line. There is no any cultural ambiguity in your entertainment. Even when someone’s culture is different from yours, Mr. Kimmel, as a decent human being, you have no right to poke their cultural bubble, inflict deep suffering upon the hearts and lives of hundreds of millions of people and sell it for money. We know you have asked people to enjoy children’s cries when they were traumatized by their candy-stealing parents, and you have told a nice blind man that occasionally watching pornography made him blind. You think it’s all jokes and entertainment. While our hearts cringed for the children and the blind man, we thought native Americans find this kind of sadistic entertainment enjoyable. But no this. Massacring an entire race, the same that Nazi Germany did to millions of Jewish people, is not and should never have been a joke and entertainment, in any country. Unless you admit it was wrong to do that, we don’t get any emotional closure from your oppressive apology and we can’t start healing our wounds. Yes, you have freedom of speech. So did Paula Deen, Rick Sanchez, and Juan Williams. They have all been fired, and you must also go, Mr. Kimmel, if your employer, ABC, considers Chinese people real human beings that should not be emotionally attacked, raped, and left in widespread waste all over the world, on whose suffering you generate your profit. Three Asian American congressmen’s joint letter to ABC meant nothing to your employer or to you. Asian Americans, no matter what social status they hold, mean nothing to you.

​Strange things were beginning to happen to us. One mother saw her son coming home crying because at his school, some kids pointed their pistol-shaped hands at his head and said, “Kill all you Chinese people!” When I was walking with my friends in Boston Common, a park in Boston, Massachusetts, I heard two men talking. “Look, all those Chinese people. How should we solve the problem?” one asked. The other answered, “Let’s throw a grenade at them and kill them all!” They both broke out laughing. When we were protesting on November 9, 2013, a few men were standing across the street and cursing at us. “Fuck you all! Kill all you Chinese people! This is MY country!” they yelled, flailing their arms. One man crossed the street and came at us. I felt scared. Fortunately he only brushed our crowd and walked away. On the same day, close to twenty cities, more than 30,000 people were protesting together all over America, from Pacific to Atlantic ocean. From Northwest to Mexican bay. Grandparents, parents, and children protested together. We waved self-made banners and boards, and we shouted slogans about holding the racist show host and his TV station accountable for committing this widely telecast crime against humanity. So many Americans were so hostile. They stared us, angry and supercilious. “We don’t want your flyers,” they said coldly to me. “Come on, people! Get over your butt hurt!” one woman yelled at us. “Jesus Christ, nowadays everyone is getting offended over the smallest thing so easily!” another laughed. Hurt and helpless, we went on protesting, our voices lonely and pale under America’s grand sky, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. We have come to you, America, weary and wretched, into your open arms promising dignity and security. And yet, you have rendered the deepest, rudest, and most unapologetic injury to our lives and you don’t want to listen to our feelings. You want us to shut up because we, Chinese Americans, are nothing to you. The suffering of a sea of parents and children, husbands and wives, professors, engineers, financiers, workers and every profession in between, are nothing to you. You have let us down. You have been unfair. You don’t deliver justice that you promised. And we are starting to understand why some people would hate you enough to hurt you.

​No media came, other than Chinese media. We called NBC. We called CBS. We called Fox TV and everyone in between. No, they are not interested. They don’t think more than 30,000 Chinese American protests in close to twenty cities all over America are newsworthy. They would rather cover traffic accidents and shoplifting incidents. More and more clearly, America is telling us that we don’t matter, our suffering doesn’t matter, our dignity doesn’t matter, our children’s emotional health doesn’t matter, our potential danger doesn’t matter, and America doesn’t even care about its own image in front of other countries anymore. On America’s national TV, in a not R-rated show, an adult is leading four children to discuss whether America should slaughter 1.4 billion human beings to evade a small portion of government debt. Oh, maybe we shouldn’t kill them because then we can’t borrow money from them anymore. Should we let the Chinese live? Yes, yes, yes! No! No! No! The whole nation is laughing. Hahaha! Killing the Chinese, especially a whole 1.4 billion of them, is funny. We Americans enjoy the idea! Who cares in China there live Tibetans, that we Americans have cared so much about? And those 54 minority groups that are so oppressed and need to be saved by us? And those children, lovely, innocent children, don’t we Americans always love and protect children? Who cares? They are all Chinese. They are not even human beings to us, why have we been kidding ourselves. Kill them all! Ta da, we are 1.3 trillion dollars richer. Hahaha! That’s just hilarious!

The following is a video of protest against ABC in Times Square on Nov. 9, 2013.

​America, have you got no shame anymore? I came to you, because I admired you, I respected you, and I was proud of you. Yet, you have let me down, and you have let the whole world down. The Statue of Liberty has disrobed her elegant dress, and revealed herself to be a murderess, a sociopath that doesn’t think twice about killing for money. Children, killing foreign people for money is funny, she coaxes the kids, because we are Americans. We are higher, stronger, and more deserving of everything desirable than the rest of the world. When we are in trouble, it’s easy to solve the problem. Kill them all!

​I don’t recognize my country anymore. Its national TV has no shame about broadcasting organized crime mentality and affirming genocide as light-hearted solutions to your problems to children. Well, maybe the newspapers are better. American newspapers are famously brave, incisive, and objective. Yet, they never found our protests deserving a space on their exclusive pages. Finally, after the White House petition received 100,000 signatures in less than three weeks, newspapers started covering this issue. We looked to the articles with rekindled hope, but what did we find, more insults, more contempt, more emotional rape. The major newspapers like Chicago Tribune and LA Times have comfortably taken the liberty to decide for us that Kimmel’s contemptuous apologies were sincere. They have plugged their ears, and now when they can’t anymore, they have taken our voices away. They are not the damaged and devastated people, but they have decided for us if we can be consoled by apologies that insist the genocide of us is just a joke. They are not even honest anymore. They know many Americans held the wrong notion that the show is live, while it is actually prerecorded. They didn’t want to correct it but kept the wrong notion going, misleading people to think we are just some fussy people that have been mad at a six-year-old. It became clear to us, all these American mass media, they are all on Kimmel and ABC’s side, because they are one and the same. They always watch out for each other. We are done. We have no more hope. And Mr. Kimmel will be honored with an award for best comedy in Hollywood next week.

​Suddenly, someone told us that ABC has secretly sent an apology letter to China’s Xinhua News Agency. And the News Agency suspected it was for us, or maybe it was for citizens of China, they are not sure, but they emailed it to us. It’s at that moment that we realized how silly we have been, feeling indignant about our broken dreams of America. ABC never considered American citizens at all. To them, we are branded with our national origin, an original sin. We will always be considered Chinese citizens. When they wanted to send an apology to us, they sent it via China’s news agency. Oh, another incredibly cruel and insulting joke from ABC. How come they are so talented in producing these? They must have got an incredible talent for it. Still, we read that apology sitting lonely on some obscure ABC server. Same as ever. The word “Chinese” is not mentioned anywhere in the letter. There was some system error, but about what, heaven knows. They are cutting the kids table show, as if kids really ever talked on live broadcast instead of being recorded in advance. And if you have been protesting child abuse of the kids table show, the apology letter would have worked perfectly for you as well. And of course, Mr. Kimmel life-and-death God Almighty never did anything wrong. He is going to get away with it all.

​Dear friends with a sense of justice, you must think things can’t get any worse for these poor abused Chinese Americans anymore? Things do get worse. On Monday we found that ABC has silently post this apology letter to one of their servers, and it was time stamped November 8, 2013, the day before our national protests on November 9. Why haven’t we been checking all of ABC’s servers, every little nook and corner of it, every day, every hour? Now we are in trouble. We can already feel mass media’s wrath coming after us. Look at these unreasonable fake Americans from a third world former Communist country, they have been persecuting our very funny and loveable Mr. Kimmel. Even after we silently post a letter on our server, they didn’t bother to come dig it up, and they even had the nerve to go protesting everywhere the next day. These people can never be reformed into true Americans. They just simply don’t have enough sense of humor to deserve a civilized and respectful America. New York Post already published an article about Mr. Kimmel’s unfortunate permanent apology situation. When will all these Chinese ants leave our Mr. Kimmel alone? But here is the best part. One engineered looked into Google cache and found that this apology letter was pasted onto some original Grey’s Anatomy article that was time stamped November 8, 2013, so it could look like it had been post before our protests. It’s not enough that we never received an apology admitting broadcasting the killing all of us is wrong, ABC has to act so indecently, so immorally, and so unethically, to play tricks to paint us even blacker and hit our case into the ground with one final blow.

​That was the moment when we finally lost our hope in America. Fellow Americans, mass media, TV stations, none of us would give us any chance to tell our story. In their eyes, we are already condemned as little devils with ulterior motives, obsessed with their beautiful Mr. Kimmel. We lost confidence in the White House petition, because we knew the mass media would ruin it all. We were finally subdued. I was subdued. And I realized how much America has alienated me and beaten me out of shape when I felt I could understand why Boston Marathon Bombers did what they did. They must have gone through similar silent suffering and been kept voiceless as I did. And they have come to hate America so much that they are willing to hurt it. What is there to love in a country where its citizens laugh about the killing of your mother and father, your spouse, your children, and all your loved one? What is there to love in a country where TV stations shun you and newspapers jump on the wagon to shame and blame you? But no, I will never be as despaired as those who hurt others, because in my shattered heart, there is still a flicker of hope that justice still exists somewhere in the beautiful wide world. I remember on the day of our November 9 protest in Boston Common, a middle-aged couple with kind faces and an European accent asked me what we were protesting. I explained to them. When they heard me tell them the kid said, “Let’s kill everyone in China!” their eyes widened and they look astounded. When I told them Mr. Kimmel asked, “Should we allow the Chinese to live?”, the lady said with a trembling voice, “Oh, I can’t hear anymore. It’s giving me goosebumps.” Then she gave me a warm hug and said, “We support you. We totally understand and believe in what you do and you will get justice in the end.”

​A stranger’s kind words has lifted me up from the dungeon of despair. There are other countries in the world, and I am sure in those other countries people don’t enjoy laughing about the killing of an entire race for the purpose of evading debts, or for any reason at all. There are millions of kind, fair, and righteous world citizens like you, who have finished this long letter, because you have a strong sense of justice so you have listened to me to the end. Please help me get justice, please help 1.4 billions human beings get justice, please protect my children’s tender hearts so they can rest assured their lives are not at the mercy of fellow Americans. Since our cries for justice have fallen upon ABC’s deaf ears, this is how you can help us.

​We have started boycotting Disney. We have canceled our Disneyland and Disneyworld vacation in this coming holiday. We will not buy anymore Disney commodities until ABC takes full responsibility for all wrongs it has committed. We have cut our Chase Disney credit cards.
​We have also started boycotting ABC’s sponsors, which are: ​Hyundai, Sony, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Sears, Bud Light, Chase, BMW, T Mobile, Red Lobster, Symantec, The Home Depot, Citi, Bounty, Carls Jr. Cashcall, Ciroc, Claritin, Charles Schwab, and Jello.
​Dear world citizens with compassion and righteousness in your, please join us in boycotting the above companies by not purchasing any more of their products until ABC takes full responsibility like a company of adults, like the other companies that employed Paul Deen, Don Imus, Rick Sanchez, and Juan Williams.
​You can also write to ABC’s president Paul Lee to express your opinions at: ​Paul Lee ​President, ABC Entertainment Group ​77 West 66th Street ​New York City, NY 10023
​I know it will take some devotion to justice to do this, but it will all be worthwhile. You will help bring about emotional closure to 1.4 billion fellow human beings, start them on their psychological recovery journey, and most importantly, help them regain confidence in humanity.
​Let’s pray, each in our own way, for a bright, happy, and benevolent future when the taking of human lives, mass or individual, will never be enjoyed by fellow human beings as light-hearted entertainment anymore.

​From all of us, ​Traumatized and abused American/Chinese parents, grandparents and children who refuse to ​have the killing of us, for any purpose, be made into light-hearted entertainment on ​America’s national TV.

​Bountiful health, fortune, and best wishes from 1.4 billion fellow human beings who still ​choose to cherish love in their broken hearts.

x.x. Paul Lee, President, ABC Entertainment Group
x.x. Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney/ABC Television Group
x.x. Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company
​p.s. This letter is being published in various languages around the world and on the internet