We saw a huge increase in these kinds of ads during the last election cycle -- Chinese language and imagery used to portray candidates as sympathetic to China at the expense of American interests. The latest ad from Nevada congressional candidate Mark Amodei features Chinese soldiers marching on the U.S. capitol. Here are some statements:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), CAPAC Chairwoman:I fear that with campaign ads starting to ramp up again, we're just going to be seeing more and more of this kind of fearmongering. It seems that the worse thing a politician can be accused of doing is being sympathetic to Chinese interests, which of course, means you are an enemy of America. Some of these ads aren't even directed at a particular candidate -- they're simply meant to scare the crap out of you, and supply you with something/someone to hate. It's just plain dirty.
"More and more candidates are resorting to these cheap scare tactics to score political points. They need to understand just how dangerous this language can be for Asian Pacific Americans, especially today, on the 29th anniversary of the murder of Vincent Chin. Vincent's story is a reminder to all Americans that this rampant scapegoating can escalate into real violence against our communities. I urge all those seeking political office, Democrats and Republicans, to focus on finding real solutions rather than pandering to these baseless fears."
Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15), CAPAC Chair Emeritus:
"Twenty-nine years ago today, Vincent Chin was pronounced dead after a brutal beating brought on by anti-Asian and anti-immigrant fears. His death and the eventual acquittal of his attackers have served as a rallying call for the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community; reminding us that no matter how much we accomplish or contribute, we must engage in a constant struggle for justice. Much progress has been made since Vincent's death, yet we still live in an America where it is very possible to be the victim of racially motivated crime. This is why I am especially saddened to see a growing trend of anti-Chinese rhetoric across the country, especially by those who seek political office. As a Japanese American who was held in an internment camp during World War II because of my ethnic heritage, I know how damaging it can be when leaders make policy based upon misconceptions and stereotypes. It is my hope that those who engage in this rhetoric recognize the influence their words can have on others. For some, Vincent Chin's death is a historical footnote, but for countless AAPI who have endured the struggle to build their lives and this country into the great nation it is today, his death is an example of how easily all they have fought for can be taken away by hate and intolerance."??
Rep. David Wu (OR-1):
"I am deeply disturbed by the xenophobic implications of recent political ads that use China as a scapegoat to discuss the U.S. economy. Given our country's dark history of anti-Chinese discrimination—from the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to the racially-motivated murder of Vincent Chin exactly 100 years later—these fear-mongering ads have potentially dangerous consequences, especially for Asian Pacific Americans. Disagreements over the direction of America's economy are valid; but fear and racially-tinged imagery only serve to degrade civil discourse into prejudice."