By Patricia Nguyen (Contact)
To be delivered to:
On Friday, July 6th, a local radio station had a segment about Nate Shinagawa, a congressional candidate in my area. They used language and music that create negative messaging and attacked Shinagawa’s identity as Asian American. Along with covert and overt racist messaging in the segment, the host then went on to praise Mr. Shinagawa’s opponent and New York congressman, Tom Reed, and asked the station’s listeners to donate money to Representative Reed.
This sort of racist behavior maybe unintentional, but it’s impact is great. It creates xenophobia, promotes ignorance, and neglects openness and acceptance as American values. It is un-American. It reduces the complexity of Shinagawa’s experience (and anyone of any racial identity that is not-White) and his ability to relate to any citizen. It messages to me, as a second generation Vietnamese American, and many others of similar backgrounds, that we are not welcomed in this country. It connotes Asian American as un-American, when in fact Asian Pacific Americans have been a significant part of the foundation of this country.
It is in my hope that any member that is serving the public, understand the implications of this radio station’s behavior. With the right to free speech, comes the responsibility of not abusing that power to create fear and ignorance--which has no place in our political discourse. I would like to call on Representative Reed to denounce 1040 WYSL, its founder Robert Savage, and host Bill Nojay for their ignorant and covertly racist behavior, not only on an Asian American in my community, but a behavior that undermines the intelligence of informed voters, and the American values that make this country what it is.
Join me to help bring accountability and civility back into the political discourse—not ugly racism and vitriol.
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