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  • Mon, March 06, 2017 12:00 AM | Anonymous



     
     Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois' 12th District

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    6 March 2017
    CONTACT:  Nick Lee | Senior Communications Associate
    202 223 5500 | nlee@ocanational.org

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates condemns the offensive statement by Representative Mike Bost, in which he used the offensive term ‘Orientals’ and compared recent town halls to torture in Communist China.

    In an interview last week with The Southern Illinoisian, Representative Mike Bost of Illinois compared the protests seen at recent town halls around the country with the ‘struggle sessions’ that used to occur in Mao-era China. ‘Struggle sessions’ were a form of torture intended to shame opposition to the government, sometimes resulting in the deaths of the subjects of this torture. Bost told the Illinoisian, “The amount of time that I have at home is minimal, I need to make sure that it’s productive. You know the cleansing that the Orientals used to do where you’d put one person out in front and 900 people yell at them? That’s not what we need. We need to have meetings with people that are productive.”

    Bost later issued statement to CNN in response, saying, "I used a poor choice of words in describing the coordinated disruptions taking place across the country. While there was no malicious intent, I regret that my words may have distracted from an important point. When the booing and shouting drowns out the conversation we're trying to have with our constituents, it becomes that much harder to govern. It's time for Republicans and Democrats to get back to the point where we can disagree on the issues but give everyone a chance to have their voice heard."

    “Oriental is an offensive term used to project mysticism and danger of Asian communities. This term is a reminder of the Yellow Peril era where terms like Oriental were deployed to remove Asian people from the common definition of American and justify discriminatory legislation like the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Alien Land Law,” said Vicki Shu, OCA’s Vice President of Public Affairs. “It is strange that he would choose this language when he voted in favor of Congresswoman Meng’s legislation to eliminate the usage of the word “oriental” from federal policy language, knowing full well of its offensiveness.”

    “On behalf of the members of the OCA – St. Louis Chapter, some of whom are constituents of Congressman Bost, we are extremely disappointed to see a member of Congress using racial pejoratives to cover for their lack of engagement with constituents. The term Oriental is hurtful and outdated, and we are currently requesting a meeting with his office to discuss this matter,” said Caroline Fan, President of the OCA – St. Louis Chapter.

    Members can directly call Congressman Bost’s DC office at (202) 225-5661.

    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).


    OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates | 202-223-5500 | www.ocanational.org

  • Tue, February 21, 2017 1:58 PM | Anonymous


    Jiansheng Chen

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates supports charges filed against the killer of Jiansheng Chen.

    On Thursday, the charges of second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in a murder were filed against the killer of Jiansheng Chen, or "Grandpa Chen", as he became affectionately known after his death. Chen, a 60-year-old grandfather who spoke little English, was shot several times by a security guard while sitting in his van playing Pokemon Go, a popular game for smartphones. Advocates from Virginia and around the country were outraged at the killing and the failure to file charges against the security guard. OCA - Eastern Virginia Chapter was a leader in the efforts to obtain justice, and their efforts included hosting a vigil, organizing a protest, and sending a letter demanding justice to the Virginia Commonwealth's Attorney.

    "We support the charges filed against the killer of Jiansheng Chen, whose unwarranted death has been so hard on his family and the Virginia Asian community. We thank the community members who stood with us and the Chen family to demand justice, including Virginia State Delegates Ron Villeneuva and Mark Keam, and United States Representatives Bobby Scott, Donald McEachin, and Grace Meng. We also recognize that this is the initial step in the long process which will bring final justice to 'Grandpa Chen', as he is known to his supporters around the country. We will be monitoring this case closely, to ensure that all proper procedures are followed and that justice is served. OCA - Eastern Virginia Chapter will continue to provide full support to Mr. Chen's family in the trial until the full verdict is made," said Harry Zhang, President of OCA - Eastern Virginia.

    "We are proud of the leadership that our OCA - Eastern Virginia Chapter has shown in helping advocate on behalf of the Chen family. Through their actions, our Eastern Virginia chapter has made sure local authorities know that our Asian American and Pacific Islander community will not stand idly by in the absence of justice. It is of the utmost importance in these trying times that we ensure fair treatment and equal justice are upheld by law enforcement," said Vicki Shu, OCA's Vice President of Public Affairs.


    OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates | 202-223-5500 | www.ocanational.org

  • Wed, December 21, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous



     A screen grab from aapihatecrimes.org


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    21 December 2016
    CONTACT:  Nick Lee | Senior Communications Associate
    202 223 5500 | nlee@ocanational.org

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates launched its new Hate Incident Reporting Website on Tuesday.

    The AAPI Hate Crimes Reporting Website, which can be found at aapihatecrimes.org, will help maintain a database of incidents of hate against the AAPI community. This new web tool features a form where victims and advocates can report hate incidents that will be tracked by the OCA National Center. Though users should always report any hate crimes to the law enforcement first, the data tracked from this project will help expose hate incidents and inform community responses.

    The launch for the reporting tool took place during a national call that brought together community leaders from around the country. OCA chapters discussed the importance of tracking hate incidents and strategies they use to fight hate in their local communities. Speakers on the call included: Bill Lann Lee, former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and OCA chapter leaders David Fung, Greg Jung, Linda Ng, Aryani Ong, and Elizabeth OuYang.

    Aryani Ong opened the call by discussing the background of policy on hate crimes and how OCA chapters and local organizations could get involved. Bill Lann Lee expanded by sharing his own experiences working on hate crimes as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. He emphasized that tracking and exposing hate incidents were important because ignoring them could lead to more serious hate crimes. The OCA – Sacramento chapter shared their experiences working with local law enforcement, as well as cross-culturally with other community based organizations, to solve community crime issues. The OCA – New York chapter shared their work with students through the hate crimes art project, which draws attention to hate crimes and encourages law enforcement to elevate these issues.

    A recording of the session can be found at: https://soundcloud.com/user-892288000/hate-incidents-call-1

    “After Vincent Chin was murdered in a hate crime in 1982, he could have been easily forgotten. Instead, the Asian American community came together to demand justice and our community emerged stronger than ever. Similar to the time preceding Vincent’s murder, we are now living in a time when we must choose between doing nothing or fighting back. In just the past few days we have seen a Korean Church vandalized with Nazi symbols, a noose hung in a Southeast Asian youth center, and ‘build that wall’ written on a receipt for a Filipina American waitress. These intolerable acts cannot be allowed to continue. We must show that our community will fight for fair and equal treatment for all,” said Leslie Moe-Kaiser, OCA National President.

    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).


    OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates | 202-223-5500 | www.ocanational.org

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