Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Vote for Americans

Victory for the underdog and perhaps a future victory against Wal-Mart, but I can't help but wonder if Asian-Americans will ever stop being considered to be "foreign" by a large chunk of our country. It's a very insidious manifestation of racism which is far more damaging than is often acknowledged:

Jun Choi, a political newcomer who tapped into Edison's burgeoning Asian population, wrestled the Democratic nomination from Mayor George Spadoro yesterday in a stunning upset.

Choi, the first Asian-American to run for mayor in the sprawling township, credited his victory to an army of Election Day volunteers who placed thousands of calls, knocked on doors, hung signs, and brought voters to the polls.

"They said it couldn't be done," Choi told more than 200 cheering supporters at his campaign headquarters in an office building on Main Street. "They said we didn't stand a chance. The pundits and the insiders said it was hopeless, but they were wrong."


Choi, who made his first bid for public office, was virtually unknown until two radio hosts on NJ 101.5 FM poked fun at his Korean heritage, asking who would vote for someone with that name and insisting Americans should vote for Americans.

And, yes, the publicity surrounding the DJ's comments is what propelled him to victory but they're still quite disturbing.