Contact: Gautam Dutta (202) 236-2048 Caroline Fan (202) 225-9906
Asian Pacific American Democrats Outraged by Racially Insensitive WYSL-1040AM Radio Hosts Targeting Nate Shinagawa’s Run for Congress
Asian Pacific American PAC Calls on Rep. Tom Reed to Disavow Racially-Charged Comments
WASHINGTON D.C. (July 9, 2012) – The Asian American Action (AAA) Fund strongly urges Representative Tom Reed (R-NY) to condemn the racially incendiary remarks of radio show broadcasters Bill Nojay and Bob Savage. WYSL president and CEO Bob Savage has so far refused to apologize for his show’s insensitivity, claiming, “WYSL categorically denies having broadcast anything racist, hateful or discriminatory regarding Mr. Shinagawa or his candidacy. It didn’t happen. Period.” Savage’s letter can be read here.
The broadcast remarks can be heard here.
AAA-Fund Executive Director Gautam Dutta said, “It is truly stunning that WYSL and Bob Savage do not understand how racially offensive their remarks were towards Nate Shinagawa. By saying we should be ‘impressed’ they know how to pronounce Shinagawa and then playing the popular Japanese-language song, ‘Sukiyaki,’ WYSL has shown their blatant disrespect towards Nate Shinagawa and the Asian-American community. We call on Rep. Reed to reject WYSL’s insinuation that Asian-Americans running for office are ‘foreign’ and not worthy of representing the 23rd District based solely on their last name and ethnic background.”
Asian-Americans are a rising political force. The number of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) challengers running for U.S. Congress has tripled from 2010, from 8 in 2010 to a record 29 declared candidates for the 2012 election. The Pew Research Center released a report noting that Asians recently passed Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants to the United States. Half of AAPIs are Democrats or lean Democratic, while only 28% identify with or lean toward the GOP.
AAA-Fund is proud to have endorsed Shinagawa for his record as Tompkins County Supervisor and as a health care administrator. Dutta said, “As a third-generation American whose grandfather served in the Marines and Air Force and fought in Korea and Vietnam, Nate Shinagawa is as real American as it gets. He has served honorably for six years in the Tompkins County legislature and as the administrator for a non-profit hospital system known for the quality of its care. Rep. Reed should disavow WYSL’s comments and pledge to run a race based on issues and policies, not on a given person’s name.”