Richard Suh

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Richard Suh


Richard Suh is a Bankruptcy Attorney at Kostopoulos Law Group. Former Tax Attorney at Law Offices of Jeffrey B. Kahn. Former Bankruptcy Attorney at Rinne Legal. Lives in San Francisco, California.

Education

LRS connection

According to an article in the May 23 1990 Stanford Daily, six prominent campus activists were members of the League of Revolutionary Struggle.

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The group was defended, in a letter to the paper two days later by a group of eight other campus activist;

Richard Suh says, in the May 23 Daily, that League of Revolutionary Struggle members "are leading progressive politics on campus . . . because they are the best and the hardest workers." He and others "who asked not to be identified" then "charge" that Elsa Tsutaoka, Stacey Leyton, David Brown, Gina Hernandez, Steven Phillips and Ingrid Nava are members of this League (presumably because they are some of the best and hardest workers on campus). All six deny being members of such a group, which the author then uses to imply that they must in fact be members, since the organization is supposedly secretive. The absurdity of such reasoning is apparent, but what concerns us is that irresponsible charges that have serious and detrimental implications for individuals' lives are being published on the basis of rumor and innuendo. Those "accused" by this article deserve our respect and support because of their being the "best and hardest workers."
The "infiltration" of Stanford by these six hard workers has given us the leaders of Stanford's anti-Apartheid and pro-CIV movements, the coordinator of the 1987 You Can Make A Difference Conference, three student body presidents, a Phi Beta Kappa in history, fighters for the expansion of the Asian American Activities Center and El Centro Chicano, key volunteers and speakers on the 1987 and 1990 YCMAD Conferences, an RA, members of the varsity track and swim teams, a dancer in Ballet Folklorico and much much more. The Daily has come right out and said that Stanford students are too stupid to think for themselves. The League of Revolutionary Struggle has been running things all along, using students for its own ends. But we, those who should know, assert that Stanford students are not dupes and that progressive student politics on campus are decidedly democratic. When a particular plan of action is proposed by any student, others weigh their options and then agree on a path of action.
It is ironic that the six community members you name have themselves been some of the staunchest advocates of democratic processes. Just out of curiosity, what is wrong with being a Marxist-Leninist? Last time we checked, it was still legal in this country to hold any political beliefs or belong to any organization without alerting the media. Stanford should ask itself why radicals feel the need to avoid explicit mention of their politics. It is easy to get tagged as a radical at this university and have one's ideas and actions written off. To avoid censure you keep your head down and keep your criticism in the mainstream. The odd thing is that many of us are in agreement with Marxists and even that blacks, Latinos, women, homosexuals and many others are oppressed or at least suffer the effects of past oppression? We may disagree with the League's ultimate goals or projects, but is it impossible to work with them where we do agree? (If indeed we could really find them.) The need to avoid this kind of red-baiting will lead student groups to ask radical members to leave in order to avoid trouble. This process can only lead to the stifling of discussion and the weakening of student groups by throwing out "the best and hardest workers." How long before we start hearing that familiar old question before we can participate in student politics: Are you now or have you ever been ...

"25 Years"

Students and alumni presented “25 Years: Honoring Student Activism and the Legacy of the 1989 Takeover” October 14, an event to commemorate the student activism that led to the promotion of multicultural integration on campus.

This event celebrated the 1989 takeover, in which 55 students from ethnic groups around campus were arrested after confronting the University’s failure to address racial injustices by storming former Stanford president Donald Kennedy’s office.

“The main purpose of the takeover,” said Jessica Reed ’16, Black Student Union co-president and student performer, “was really trying to create institutional change to go along with the change that was occurring demographically in terms of the students on campus.”

Among other requests, student groups from the Asian American Community Center, Native American Cultural Center and other organizations, demanded that the University expand on current ethnic studies classes, add new ethnic studies programs, increase funding for cultural centers and hire more faculty of color.

The 25th-anniversary commemoration began with a welcome from Jan Barker Alexander, associate dean of student affairs, who addressed how the past can fuel the present.

Following her speech was the student production “Takeover ’89,” directed, written and produced by Ken Savage ’14. The play depicted the motivations behind the takeover, the timeline of events on May 19, 1989, and how current students can respond to these past events. The event followed with a historic perspective presented by Clayborne Carson, a history professor during the time of the takeover. Carson reflected on his thoughts towards the legacy of the takeover, in which he stated that “the [takeover] was one of the proudest moments of my life…we were inspired by the students.”

Lastly, students had a chance to interact with alumni who had participated in the ’89 takeover during the panel discussion titled “Panel: Alumni Reflections.” Alumni Richard Suh ’90, Cheryl Taylor ’90, Gina Hernandez-Clarke ’89 and William McCabe ’89 answered questions regarding their reflections on the takeover and advice for current students.

“We would have no way of anticipating that our actions 25 years ago would have any impact on students today,” Suh said. “It feels really fulfilling; you certainly feel a sense of satisfaction that what you did at one point in time made a big difference.”

“I can’t separate my personal tie to the takeover,” said Hye Jeong Yoon ’14, a student performer in “Take Over ’89.” “All Stanford students benefited, but being a CSRE [Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity] major, I know that I for one would not be the same person if I didn’t make relationships with professors who were hired directly because of this takeover. I am the direct beneficiary of this takeover.”

Among the alumni who attended was Louis Jackson ’91, who was singled out for more serious charges than other students for his actions.

“It’s the past reconnecting with the present. We notice that, yeah, stuff has changed, but there’s also so much more,” Priscilla Agbeo ’18 said.

In the panel discussion with alumni, moderator Alma Medina ’92 stated, “I was enough, I was enough to make a difference — and other people were also enough, so when you put that together, you can really make a difference.”

“This phrase really meant being critical of what you’re being taught and taking control of what you’re being taught and having a say of what you’re being taught,” said Suh.

“To me, self determination for our education means taking ownership of your history. We should be able to learn about it from our lens, not a westernized lens. There’s often a lot of miseducation because it’s in a westernized lens if it’s not in the perspectives that we necessarily would stand for,” Jade Verdeflor ’17 said.

This event was a joint venture between the various culture groups around campus. The participating groups were the Asian American Activities Center, El Centro Chicano y Latino, Black Community Services Center and the Native American Culture Center. This collaboration of cultural groups mirrors the spirit of unity that incited the takeover, in which many student groups came together to create one force.[1]

References