A rant from a Japanese American: Pete Hoekstra, this is about you

Dear Mr. Pete Hoekstra,

You appealed to the general public on Super Bowl Sunday to vote for you, rather than that spendy Democrat incumbent of yours. That ad, which you say is not racist and not at all demeaning to Asians — and is actually just rhetoric against the taxing excess shown by Debbie Stabenow — is making me consider not voting for you in any upcoming election you are participating in, ever. Though, I’m already barred from voting for you by residing in California, anyway.

You see, this isn’t about what I think of you as a candidate. This isn’t about my thoughts on your fiscally conservative bid for the Senate. This is what I think about you as a human being. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to engender any opposition that would be beneficial to your political rivals; this is about you.

You see I didn’t even realize that the woman in the campaign ad was supposed to be Chinese until I saw the debbiespenditnow.com Website, which does everything it can to appear stereotypically Chinese. Until then, she simply looked like she was biking through Southeast Asia. She is vaguely all of Asia, I suppose, and in effect, you not only have angered the Chinese Americans, but most Asian Americans in general (plus any allies that may care enough to voice their concern). You present Asians as greedy backwater hicks; while you may say that this isn’t about Chinese Americans or Asian Americans, it’s not that long ago that your state — Michigan — had issues regarding racial tensions.

Do you know about Vincent Chin? You might not remember him, but we certainly do. He was brutally beaten to death in 1982 by Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz for being Japanese. You see, this was at the height of Japan-bashing, when Americans were angered by the Japanese auto industry beating out Detroit.

The icing on the cake — Chin wasn’t even Japanese; he was Chinese American.

I guess you can’t tell one Asian from another, seeing as your ad portrayed a woman who looked like she was biking through Vietnam. To inform you though, many Asians can speak English well enough, and those taking the jobs overseas are those who chose to buy from cheaper markets than buy American. Just saying.

Just so you know, this is a rant from a Japanese American. Is it getting too complicated for you? It’s OK. I just suggest you apologize to all Asians in general, American or not, all of them. Just say, “I’m sorry, Asia.”

Of course, if you can’t understand what I said, maybe I can take it down to your level: I want Hoekstra apologize. He think I can’t speak English right, that China is rice paddy land resembling Vietnam (they both Communist anyway). Think it OK to use stereotype so voters in Michigan love him long time behind polling curtains. It not, should apologize or I be very angry and write more nasty thing about him on Internet.

Tomo Hirai is a Nichi Bei Weekly staff member. The views expressed in the preceding commentary are not necessarily those of the Nichi Bei Weekly.

Comments

  1. Alejandro says:

    I was 4 when WWII came to an end. I was later taught by aebirll educators that President Truman was a brave and brilliant man who adhered to the advice of the Pentagon and authorized the use of the 2 bombs in order to end the war without risking the lives of more than 1 million more Americans. That was a wise and courageous decision, albeit, a difficult one.I must say, however, that I am saddened by the overly belligerent exagerations by those who claim that all aebirlls have always opposed the appropriate use of atomic weapons and favor weakening America’s military. On the contrary, most of us on the left merely want to be much more juducious and careful in how, when and where we deploy and utilize our forces in order to retain our place atop the global power structure. We do not believe that the last administration did that. Hopefully, over the next few years we will return to the leadership role that Harry truman brought to us through the judicious use of military power followed by the compassionate use of moral support (the Marshall Plan ) coupled with ongoing maintenance of military strength and a wise foreign policy (the Truman Doctrine ) which remained in place through all administrations until the fall of the Soviet Union.Thanks for this article. It fleshes out what I was taught as a student.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

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