Fil Am writers, artists, and academics demand end to red-baiting

Don Kevin Hapal

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Fil Am writers, artists, and academics demand end to red-baiting
65 Filipino and Filipino American writers, artists, and academics said that we are in a “dark time in both the Philippine homeland and the adopted American home"

MANILA, Philippines – As the United States celebrates Filipino American history month, writers, artists and academics of Filipino heritage decry the rising occurrences of red-baiting in “new publications, social media, and even in academe.”

In a statement, 65 Filipinos and Filipino Americans said that we are in a “dark time in both the Philippine homeland and the adopted American home.”

“In the Philippines today, many Filipinos live in fear of the violent drug war that has claimed more than 12,000 lives of mostly poor Filipinos, young children, students, farmers, lumads, leftist activists and others,” they said. “Based on mere suspicion or rumor of drug use, one can be killed by hooded men with guns, illustrating the destructive power of hearsay and innuendo when harnessed to an anti-humanist cause.”

In the United States, meanwhile, the group said that red-baiting, the practice of accusing someone of being a communist, socialist or anarchist, is back from the 1950s Cold War Era.

The group said that red-baiting destroyed the lives of an earlier generation of Filipino immigrants. 

“Writer and labor organizer Carlos Bulosan was blacklisted by the FBI, kept under FBI surveillance for decades, couldn’t find employment, and later died in poverty in 1956. Philip Vera Cruz and other Filipino members of the United Farm Workers were red baited for questioning the authority of Cesar Chavez,” they said. 

The group also decried “lazy and bogus conclusions of Filipino scholars and writers who are quick to dismiss the scholarship and writings of peers based on political difference.” Red baiting, they added, undermine their critical practice as teachers, scholars, artists and writers.

“At a time when American society is polarized, and confrontations related to race, religion and ideology have escalated, the consequences to those victimized by red baiting could be dire.”

The following signed the statement: 

  1. Dylan Rodriguez, Professor, UC Riverside
  2. Karin Aguilar San Juan, Professor, Macalester College
  3. Josen Masangkay Diaz, Assistant professor, University of San Diego
  4. Robyn Rodriguez, Associate professor, UC Davis
  5. Rick Bonus, Associate professor, U of Washington
  6. Jeffrey Santa Ana, Associate professor, SUNY Stony Brook
  7. Cynthia Marasigan, Assistant professor, SUNY Binghamton
  8. Joi Barrios-Leblanc, Lecturer, UC Berkeley
  9. Fidelito C. Cortes, writer, Manila and New York
  10. Nerissa S. Balce, Associate professor, SUNY Stony Brook
  11. Gina Velasco, Assistant professor, Gettysburg College
  12. Faye Caronan, Associate professor, University of Colorado Denver
  13. Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez, Associate professor, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  14. Joseph Ruanto-Ramirez, Director at UC San Diego, Graduate Student Claremont Graduate University
  15. Theodore S. Gonzalves, Associate professor, Department of American Studies, University of Maryland-Baltimore County 
  16. Joanne L. Rondilla, Visiting Assistant professor, Sonoma State University
  17. Edward Nadurata, Graduate Student, University of California, Los Angeles 
  18. John D. Blanco, Associate professor, UC San Diego
  19. Rowena M. Tomaneng, President, Berkeley City College
  20. Rudy Guevarra Jr., Associate professor, Arizona State University
  21. Valerie Francisco-Menchavez, Assistant professor, San Francisco State University
  22. Christopher B. Patterson, Assistant professor, Hong Kong Baptist University 
  23. Tracy Lachica Buenavista, Professor, California State University, Northridge
  24. James Zarsadiaz, Assistant professor of History & Director of Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program, University of San Francisco
  25. Gladys Nubla, Visiting Assistant professor, Pitzer College
  26. Dawn B. Mabalon, Associate professor, History, San Francisco State University
  27. Michael J. Viola, Assistant professor, Saint Mary’s College of California
  28. Karen Llagas, Lecturer, UC Berkeley
  29. Dean Saranillio, Assistant professor, New York University
  30. Victor Mendoza, Associate professor, University of Michigan
  31. Rick Baldoz, Associate professor, Oberlin College
  32. Peter Chua, Professor, San Jose State University
  33. Sarah Gambito, Associate professor, Fordham University
  34. Lily Ann B. Villaraza, Department Chair, Philippine Studies, City College of San Francisco
  35. Martin Fajardo Manalansan IV, Associate professor and head of the Department of Asian American Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  36. R. Zamora Linmark, writer, Manila and Honolulu
  37. Sabina Murray, writer, Manila and Amherst. Professor, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  38. Maria Bates, Professor, Pierce College
  39. Wilfredo Pascual, writer, San Francisco
  40. Sydnee Viray, Doctoral student, University of Vermont
  41. Genevieve Alva Clutario, Assistant professor, Harvard University
  42. Thea Quiray Tagle, Lecturer, University of Washington, Bothell
  43. Dina C. Maramba, Associate professor, Claremont Graduate University
  44. Patrick Rosal, Rutgers University-Camden, Philadelphia, PA
  45. Kenneth E. Bauzon, St. Joseph’s College, NY
  46. Sarita See, Professor, UC Riverside
  47. Ricco Siasoco, Teachers College, Columbia University
  48. Rina Garcia, Graduate student, University of British Columbia Okanagan
  49. Delia Aguilar, Scholar, Washington DC
  50. E. San Juan Jr., Professorial lecturer, Polytechnic University of the Philippines
  51. Lily Mendoza, Oakland University, Rochester, MI
  52. Juan Fernandez Capiral, Graduate student, Cornell University
  53. Luisa Igloria, Old Dominion University
  54. Benjamin Pimentel, writer, San Francisco Bay Area
  55. Jude Paul Matias Dizon, Doctoral student, University of Southern California
  56. Erina C. Alejo, educator and artist, San Francisco
  57. Ricardo L. Punzalan, Assistant professor, University of Maryland, College Park
  58. Melinda Luisa de Jesus, Chair and Associate professor, Diversity Studies, California College of the Arts.
  59. Elmer Ordonez, retired Professor, University of the Philippines
  60. Gina Apostol, writer, New York
  61. Pia Arboleda, Associate professor, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
  62. Tom Sarmiento, Assistant professor, Kansas State University
  63. Maria Hwang, Doctoral candidate, Brown University
  64. Kim Compoc, Lecturer, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
  65. Perry Aliado, Lecturer, Contra Costa College



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Don Kevin Hapal

Don Kevin Hapal is Rappler’s Head of Data and Innovation. He started at Rappler as a digital communications specialist, then went on to lead Rappler’s Balikbayan section for overseas Filipinos. He was introduced to data journalism while writing and researching about social media, disinformation, and propaganda.