Committee of 100 supports APA candidates running for public office despite prejudice
New York, N.Y. (Nov. 4, 2017) — The Committee of 100 (C100) commends Asian Americans who are exercising their rights and fulfilling their responsibilities as citizens of the United States by pursuing public service.
As a leadership organization, we call on people of principle to condemn the racist, xenophobic, and cowardly anonymous flyers recently distributed in Edison, New Jersey, suggesting that two individuals, one of Chinese descent, another of South Asian background, be “deported” because Asians are taking over the city, among the most diverse in the nation. Jerry Shi, an incumbent school board member, and Falguni Patel, running for public office for the first time, are among the active leaders in a jurisdiction that has been revitalized by Asian immigrants over the past generation. They have been attacked in the mailer, which also states “The Chinese and the Indians are taking over our town! Chinese school! Indian school! Cricket fields! Enough is Enough!”
Yet the voters of Edison have previously shown their confidence in Asian American candidates. In a democracy that has been a beacon of hope and opportunity the world over, individuals who decide to put down new roots, raise a family and contribute to the community, should be encouraged to participate in our unique experiment of self-governance. Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel not only have done nothing wrong; they have done what is right. They have sacrificed their own opportunities in order to serve others for the common good. They are living proof of how we participate in a democracy by running for public office and giving back for the benefit of their community. Like other Asian Americans from coast to coast, of all political affiliations and various walks of life, they show how Asian Americans believe in the promise we have made to one another that anybody can belong as an equal. They should be judged on what they have done in office and the ideas they advocate instead of their ancestry or skin color.
Asian Americans, the fastest growing minority group, number almost 20 million today in America. Asian Americans are doing what all Americans have always done, forming coalitions to ensure that when they stand up and speak out, others will respect them and listen. Asian Americans are integrating themselves.
Since the civil rights era, we have had a fragile consensus that our identity as a people is based on our ideals — not on ethnicity. In an era requiring that we cooperate in order to compete globally, how open we are to newcomers distinguishes us as a nation. We welcome them as stakeholders. Without this acceptance, we fail to live up to our ideals. With this spirit, however, we show how great we truly are.
The Committee of 100 is a non-partisan leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts. For over 25 years, the Committee has been committed to a dual mission of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all fields of American life, and encouraging constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and Greater China. www.committee100.org