News

Missouri Asian American Community Condemns Xenophobic Ads


Asian Americans from St. Louis to Kansas City Decry Racist Political Attack

Business and Civic Organizations Call for All Such Ads to be Pulled Immediately

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Al Li (al.li@wustl.edu or 314-283-5947)

St. Louis & Kansas City – July 24, 2016 – A coalition of Asian American business and civic organizations including the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis, OCA St. Louis, the Missouri Asian American Bar Association, South Asian Bar Association of Metro St. Louis and Asian American Bar Association of Kansas City, join together to decry the imagery and rhetoric used in recent negative television political advertisements.

An ad paid for by Citizens for Kurt Schaefer for Attorney General irresponsibly attempts to score political points against Josh Hawley by wrongly implying that he supported terrorism as a result of legal work representing certain clients. A major objective of the ad is take advantage of anti-Muslim rhetoric and scare voters into fearing Muslim communities, including those of South Asian American and Asian American heritage, which puts the lives of families and children in these communities in danger of possible hate crimes.

Groups Call for Racist Political Attack Ads to Cease

This press release is not an endorsement or defense of any candidate for Missouri Attorney General. However, we call upon ALL of the candidates to publicly condemn and stop running these hateful ads. Ads like these which push an “us versus them” mentality are hurtful and harmful. They have no place in political campaigns or anywhere in our society.

Asian Americans have been a significant and valuable part of communities throughout the great State of Missouri for generations. In its stance for equal rights, the Asian community opposes any efforts to divide Missouri citizens and residents on the basis of race. Our approach highlights both the Asian community and the place it occupies in the broader community. It also positively emphasizes unity over division.

OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates St. Louis chapter President Caroline Fan

“I think it’s distasteful and disgraceful for shadowy out of state PACs to influence Missouri politics by throwing Asian Americans under the bus. OCA St. Louis is actively registering Asian American voters so that politicians on both sides understand our voices and votes count.”

Asian American Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis President Al Li

“As an alumnus of University of Missouri and citizen of Missouri for the past 40+ years, I am deeply disappointed with the utilization of anti-Chinese and anti-Muslim rhetoric that portrays Asian Americans in a derisive light.  It is maddening to see those engaged in the Missouri political process incite Asian prejudice in order to gain votes.  It only serves to move Missouri backwards while we are trying to move the state forward in economic growth and job creation”

Missouri Asian American Bar Association President Richard Juang

“Inflammatory and xenophobic ads of this nature are simply unacceptable. Asian-Americans are an integral part of this community and work hard every day to make Missouri and America great. Missouri’s politicians, regardless of party affiliation, must reject this divisive rhetoric.”

Asian American Bar Association of Kansas City President Ronald Nguyen

“It is appalling to see ads like this in Missouri in 2016 and that there are those who would further perpetuate hateful misconceptions for personal gain. It is these types of misconceptions that will cause prejudice towards the Asian Pacific American community in Missouri and the United States.”

South Asian Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis President Omar Malik

“Anti-Chinese, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political ads should be condemned by all political leaders as immoral and harmful to the Asian and South Asian communities here in Missouri and across the United States.”

For additional comments or more information, please contact Al Li (al.li@wustl.edu or 314-283-5947)

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