Your letter struck a chord with me.
I used to run an engineering group for a small scientific instruments company. I also ran the Princeton Go club for nearly 30 years.
In the early ’90s, I received a resume from a Chinese man who had gotten his wife and child out of China three weeks before Tiananmen Square, and couldn’t support them on a grad student stipend. One of his extracurricular items was regional Go champion. He happened to reach out to one of the vanishingly few American hiring managers who would have any understanding of what that meant. Needless to say, we hired him. He would sometimes play in the regional Go tournament held on campus from 1990 to 2016.
Then in 1993, for our 20th reunion, because we were the first class with women our leadership decided we were the “revolutionary” Class of 1973 and dressed us up in Mao jackets and caps, as you doubtless remember. I cringed when I saw my Chinese friend in the crowd with his son watching the P-rade, wondering what he must have thought. And I’m sure he wasn’t the only one seeing it as something other than an amusing costume.