WASHINGTON - As the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is deeply concerned by the racial overtones in recent remarks made by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA). During an interview last week on Univision, Rep. Sanchez said that the Vietnamese and the Republicans are trying to take away the congressional seat she holds and that her opponent, a Vietnamese American, is anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic.
The use of racial rhetoric has no place in a political campaign. Rep. Sanchez's use of a broad stroke to characterize the intent of the entire Vietnamese community fails to recognize the diversity of thought that exists in every community. Every community is damaged when ethnic and racial stereotypes are used in unfair and inaccurate depictions. Rep. Sanchez has stated that she apologizes if she has offended anyone. Unfortunately, this falls short of an unequivocal apology, which recognizes that her comments were clearly wrong.