WASHINGTON, D.C. – APIAVote and NCAPA condemn the use of harmful messaging in political campaigns that discriminate and otherwise bolster harmful stereotypes against the Asian American community and candidates. This is especially egregious at a time when anti-Asian hate and racism is on the rise in our country. Candidates need to focus on telling their story and what they stand for instead of relying on negative connotations and imagery, red-baiting scare tactics, and the othering of certain Asian ethnicities. Insinuating that Asian American candidates are more loyal to any particular Asian nation rather than the United States is both dangerous and exacerbates the perpetual foreigner stereotype that plagues our community.
We urge all political candidates and elected officials, regardless of political affiliation, to refrain from using fear mongering and stereotyping that incite anti-Asian sentiment. The use of racist tactics in the belief that it will “secure votes” from one group or another runs counter to all the progress we as a country have made to create a free and equal society for all.
“Unfortunately the use of the perpetual foreigner stereotype is nothing new. It creates an atmosphere for anti-Asian hate to proliferate. There have been 11,500 reported cases of attacks against Asian communities since 2020. A majority of Asian Americans worry about hate and violence, and campaigns promoting racist tropes against Asian American candidates only serve to exacerbate this situation,” said Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIAVote. “At a time when so many Asian Americans are running for office, we should be highlighting the many facets and issues within our diverse community instead of having to combat the negative image of Asian Americans as having foreign interests. We call on campaigns to focus on delivering for our communities, not dividing them.”
“No elected official or candidate can reasonably plead ignorance if they continue to rely on anti-Asian xenophobia as a means to score political points. We have seen time and time again the impact these words have through the continued violence that has impacted the entire Asian American community,”said Gregg Orton, National Director of NCAPA. “We should be clear that employing this rhetoric is a deliberate decision that reflects little care for the safety of their Asian American constituents. This is not leadership and we urge elected and political leaders to get back to the work of bringing people together.”
About APIAVote: Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a leading national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in electoral and civic participation. APIAVote envisions a world that is inclusive, fair, and collaborative, and where AAPI communities are self-determined, empowered, and engaged. See our website for more information at https://www.apiavote.org/
About NCAPA: Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) is a coalition of thirty-eight national Asian Pacific American organizations that represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns.