Contact: Frank H. Wu, Chairman
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Committee of 100 Supports Asian Americans Running for Public Office Despite Prejudice
(New York, NY, November 4, 2017) —The Committee of 100 (C100) commends Asian Americans who are exercising their rights and fulfilling their responsibilities as citizens of the United States by pursuing public service. As a leadership organization, we call on people of principle to condemn the racist, xenophobic, and cowardly anonymous flyers recently distributed in Edison, New Jersey, suggesting that two individuals, one of Chinese descent, another of South Asian background, be “deported” because Asians are taking over the city, among the most diverse in the nation. Jerry Shi, an incumbent school board member, and Falguni Patel, running for public office for the first time, are among the active leaders in a jurisdiction that has been revitalized by Asian immigrants over the past generation. They have been attacked in the mailer, which also states “The Chinese and the Indians are taking over our town! Chinese school! Indian school! Cricket fields! Enough is Enough!”
Yet the voters of Edison have previously shown their confidence in Asian American candidates. In a democracy that has been a beacon of hope and opportunity the world over, individuals who decide to put down new roots, raise a family and contribute to the community, should be encouraged to participate in our unique experiment of self-governance. Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel not only have done nothing wrong; they have done what is right. They have sacrificed their own opportunities in order to serve others for the common good. They are living proof of how we participate in a democracy by running for public office and giving back for the benefit of their community. Like other Asian Americans from coast to coast, of all political affiliations and various walks of life, they show how Asian Americans believe in the promise we have made to one another that anybody can belong as an equal. They should be judged on what they have done in office and the ideas they advocate instead of their ancestry or skin color.
Asian Americans, the fastest growing minority group, number almost 20 million today in America. Asian Americans are doing what all Americans have always done, forming coalitions to ensure that when they stand up and speak out, others will respect them and listen. Asian Americans are integrating themselves.
Since the civil rights era, we have had a fragile consensus that our identity as a people is based on our ideals — not on ethnicity. In an era requiring that we cooperate in order to compete globally, how open we are to newcomers distinguishes us as a nation. We welcome them as stakeholders. Without this acceptance, we fail to live up to our ideals. With this spirit, however, we show how great we truly are.
The Committee of 100 is a non-partisan leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts. For over 25 years, the Committee has been committed to a dual mission of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all fields of American life, and encouraging constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and Greater China. www.committee100.org.
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(美国纽约州纽约市，2017年11月4日) —百人会致力于推动亚裔美国人通过参与公共服务事业来实践他们的公民权力和义务。作为一家领导组织，我们呼吁社会各界有原则的人士谴责最近在新泽西州埃迪逊镇（Edison）散发的种族歧视、挑动种族仇恨的匿名传单。这些传单认为艾迪逊镇已被亚裔势力占据，而艾迪逊镇本是美国最具多样性的城镇之一。他们针对其中的两位社区公民——一位华裔、另一位印裔，宣传鼓动将他们“驱逐出境”。埃迪逊镇学校现任校董Jerry Shi竞选连任，律师出身的Falguni Patel首次竞选该校董事会，他们作为社区的热心人士，与埃迪逊其他亚裔移民一起成功地帮助了该城镇在近二、三十年间的兴旺繁荣。这些传单对他们指名道姓地进行攻击和中伤，公然声称“中国人和印度人占领了全镇！中国学校！印度学校！板球场！我们受够了！”
然而，以往选举表明埃迪逊选民大都对亚裔候选人表示信任与支持。美国的民主制度为全球带来了希望，为个人的新生和家庭带来了机会。任何愿意到美国来安家落户、愿为社区作出贡献的公民都应得到鼓励去体验和参与富有美国特色的社区自我管理建设。Jerry Shi和 Falguni Patel勤恳敬业，他们甚至为社区的利益牺牲了许多个人的机会。他们以其亲身经历和榜样告诉新移民如何参与美国的民主进程——热心公共服务，以此回报社区。他们的经历证明了美国公民应有的平等、自由的权利。纵观东西两岸、政商各界，全美亚裔中不乏为国家和社区热心服务的佼佼者。评论他们的人品和业绩，应该基于他们的工作成效和他们所推动的理念，而不是他们的肤色和种族。