WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 19, 2015) — OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is disgusted by a racist sign against mayoral candidate Ben Chin in Lewiston, Maine.
Earlier today, news agencies reported that signs attacking mayoral candidate Ben Chin were put up in downtown Lewiston, Maine. The signs read: “Don’t vote for Ho Chi Chin” and feature an orientalist and racist caricature comparing the candidate to the North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, complete with slanted eyes and Soviet hammers and sickles.
“All forms of racism, particularly one so blatant, are disgusting and unspeakable on many levels,” said Ken Lee, OCA’s Chief Executive Officer. “It is sad that in today’s America, people would try to use one’s heritage so crudely against him. Though America is built on the promise of equal opportunity, this incident demonstrates that this promise remains unfulfilled as these attacks would never be leveled at candidates perceived as fully white.”
“I would like to emphasize that this incident is not isolated, but is part of a continuing historical pattern of blanket racism that continues to affect all Asian Americans. Whether it was the beating of Chinese American Vincent Chin because attackers assumed he was a Japanese auto executive in 1982 or a racist sign that associates a Chinese American candidate with a Vietnamese autocrat in 2015, this pattern has repeatedly stereotyped against Asian Americans as a whole,” continued Lee. “However, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have strength in numbers, and OCA and the communities we serve will continue to say loudly that this will not stand, whether the election is local or national. We call upon all candidates and parties to clearly and emphatically state that racism has no place in our society and certainly not in our elections.”
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).