To the editors:

I wanted to congratulate you on a very fine article by Chiori Santiago [July 17] profiling the MinaSama-No Theatre group in the Neighborhood News column. It was probably the most culturally sensitive and on-point article that I have ever read in a Chicago publication concerning the contemporary Asian American community.

I know that the Reader strives to cover local news with a more sensitive and accurate approach than the daily papers or glossier magazines. For the most part you succeed. I have, however, felt that your coverage of Asian American community concerns has been sporadic and self-conscious. Some very relevant issues and interesting aspects of the community have been covered. But as someone who works day to day in the Asian community here and who grew up in it, past articles failed to capture the feel of Asian America Chicago style.

Ms. Santiago, perhaps because she is Asian American, did capture the feel of MinaSama-No as well as the world of young Asian Americans in Chicago. She is apparently a west coast person. Maybe if you utilize more Asian American writers you will speak more to our community. There is no shortage of them here. Through my work with the Mayor’s Office, I come in contact with them every day. Affirmative action is not simply about career opportunities. It is good business that connects institutions to communities that would otherwise be ignored or, in the Reader’s case, be covered by those who cannot capture their essence.

Thank you for your breakthrough article. I look forward to future articles by and about Asian Americans in Chicago, the city’s fastest growing racial group.

Paul Igasaki


Chicago Chapter

Japanese American Citizens League