Asian American Action Fund Calls on Pete Hoekstra to Remove Racially Offensive Ad and Apologize to Asian American & Pacific Islander Community
No One Should Pander to Xenophobia on the Eve of the 30th Anniversary of Vincent Chin’s Death
WASHINGTON, DC — The Asian American Action Fund today called on Senate candidate and former U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra to remove an offensive campaign advertisement and apologize to the Asian American community. The insensitive advertisement, aired during Super Bowl XLVI in Michigan, depicts a woman of Asian descent speaking in broken English, wearing a straw hat and riding a bicycle around a rice paddy.
“The AAA-Fund is outraged to see former Representative Pete Hoekstra rely on such offensive stereotypes at the expense of Asian Americans,” said Gautam Dutta, executive director of the AAA-Fund. “We are appalled at the cheap shots taken against the Asian American community to score political points particularly as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the tragic death of Vincent Chin. Vincent Chin was murdered in Detroit by workers seeking to blame Japan for the plight of the auto industry. We would expect our current and former representatives to honor that history and not seek to repeat it. We call on candidate Pete Hoekstra to apologize and take down his ad.”
The Hoekstra campaign’s defense of the ad to POLITICO by calling it “satirical” is perhaps even more troubling to AAA-Fund. Dutta said, “If they really wanted to make a point about Chinese competitiveness and their bilingual ability, they should not have relied on an American actor filmed in California speaking in a broken English that is reminiscent of Asian prostitutes saying ‘Me love you long time’ in Hollywood films.”
Asian Americans are one of the fast growing ethnic groups in the United States. Michigan has seen over 100% growth in its Asian American population in the last decade.
The AAA-Fund is a Democratic political action committee whose goal is to increase the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on every level of local, state and federal government in America. To achieve this goal, we promote the leadership development of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) as campaign volunteers, campaign contributors, and candidates for political office.