LOS ANGELES (July 14, 2014) — Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles condemns Fox News host Bob Beckel’s racist and xenophobic rant last week against China and calls on Beckel to apologize and resign from his role as co-host of Fox News show “The Five”.
During a conversation on national security issues, Beckel used the racial slur “Chinaman” and made a gross generalizations and misrepresentations that “the Chinese are the single biggest threat to the national security of the United States.” He also made a gross generalization about “Islamic terrorists” and U.S. national security.
“As a civil rights organization that has long fought anti-Asian violence, Advancing Justice — LA is concerned that Bob Beckel’s outrageous comments last week will fan xenophobic flames against not just China but all people perceived to be Chinese, including Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans. We are also concerned that his broad painting of the serious threat of terrorism as just an ‘Islamic’ issue will fuel the discriminatory rhetoric against American Muslims,” said Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of Advancing Justice-LA. “We have seen time and time again that comments like Beckel’s often set the stage for hate violence and speech.”
Beckel’s comments follow a long string of controversial comments by the news host, including other past comments that have been view as disparaging Asians and people of Muslim and Jewish faith, among other groups.
The Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) National Chapter, Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national membership-driven organization of community advocates dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), demands an apology from Bob Beckel for the racist comment he recently made on Fox News’ “The Five”.
On Thursday’s edition of “The Five”, co-host Bob Beckel made the following statement: “The Chinese are the single biggest threat to the national security of the United States,” Beckel said. “You know what they just did? As usual, we bring them over here, and we teach a bunch of Chinamen– uh, Chinese people how to do computers. They go back to China and they hack into us.”
“Bob Beckel’s comment was racist, xenophobic, and derogatory towards not only Chinese Americans, but all Asian Americans. Asian Pacific Americans are citizens, military personnel, and government officials, yet our communities continue to be viewed by the larger American public as perpetual foreigners and a threat to American national security,” said Sharon M. Wong, OCA National President. “Although these harmful stereotypes have begun to erode over the last decade, Bob Beckel’s comments are a painful reminder of the hate and overt racism that the APA community continues to endure. What he said was unacceptable and would not have been tolerated if said of any other racial minority. OCA and the Asian Pacific American community demand an apology from Bob Beckel for this comment and from Fox News for even allowing Beckel on-air given his history of racist language.”
Beckel has made racist statements in the past regarding APAs. In 2011, he said after he went swimming, he looked “oriental”. He also said that “Chinamen are rednecks” after his usage of the term during an episode of “The Five” that same year.