LOS ANGELES – California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus Chair Clark Lee released the following statement on the anti-Asian and xenophobic independent expenditure mail piece against Los Angeles City Council candidate John Choi in Council District 13’s May 21, 2013 runoff election:
“The California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus strongly condemns the appalling attack mail piece against Los Angeles City Council candidate John Choi released by the group ‘The Best Successor to Eric Garcetti – Committee to Support Mitch O’Farrell for City Council District 13 in 2013.’
“The mail piece features a bright red background and bright yellow words as headlines, one reading ‘Not From Our Community.’ It also features prominently centered photo of Council candidate John Choi, a Korean American, labeling him as ‘The Other Guy,’ in a pose reminiscent of dictators. The imagery is clearly created to invoke xenophobic fear of communism and falsely portray Choi as a communist.
“The use of images and color schemes that invoke racist, xenophobic, and discriminatory images and fear to rile up voter sentiment is unwarranted and despicable.
“Anti-Asian sentiments in America have had devastating consequences in U.S. history, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Japanese American internment during World War II, and the senseless murder of Detroit autoworker Vincent Chin during the U.S. auto crisis more than 30 years ago. We do not need another inflammatory ad such as this mailer against John Choi to perpetuate xenophobia and racism against Asian Americans.
“The unfortunate truth is: this is not the first time that a candidate running for public office or a political campaign has invoked such despicable and offensive scare tactic. Just last year, U.S. Senatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra in Michigan released an ad featuring an Asian woman with a bicycle on a pathway in rice paddies, speaking English with an accent, proclaiming, ‘Thank you, Michigan Senator Debbie Spenditnow. Debbie spends so much American money… Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs.’ Additionally, in 2011, Congressional candidate Mark Amodei of Nevada released an ad featuring a fictional Chinese newscast depicting the Chinese army marching through Washington with a Chinese flag flying over the U.S. Capitol.
“We urge the voters to reject these discriminatory behaviors to make sure that this type of campaign tactics do not repeat again – not now, not ever.
“The California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus requests that candidate Mitch O’Farrell join the California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus in condemning this mail piece.
“Most importantly, we demand ‘The Best Successor to Eric Garcetti – Committee to Support Mitch O’Farrell for City Council District 13 in 2013’ to immediately cease using such type of anti-Asian negative campaigning and issue an apology to the people of Council District 13 and the Asian American community.”