New York City stands up against racism against Asian Americans
By Michelle Deal Winfield
On Monday, October 3, 2016, Fox News aired a segment of Watters’ World: Chinatown that interviewed Asian Americans in New York City’s Chinatown. An interviewer from the O’Reilly Factor’s program attempted to present a humorous piece, but failed as he mocked the accents and challenges of daily living of the elderly in the Chinatown community.
(Pictured) Comptroller Scott Stringer, Assembly Member Ron Kim and Public Advocate Letita James Photo: Michelle Deal Winfield
Assemblyman Ron Kim from the 40th NYS Assembly District from Queens coordinated a protest rally held at the Fox News building at 1211 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan on Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. declaring, “We are calling on Fox News to issue an official apology and completely retract the clip. We are prepared to boycott all corporations that sponsor this show.
(Pictured) NYS Assembly Member candidate Yuh-Line Niou, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Assembly Member Ron Kim, Council Member Margaret Chin from Chinatown. Photo: Michelle Deal Winfield
The NYS Black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican and Asian Caucus joined as one voice to speak out against a segment of a program that mocked and ridiculed Asian Americans. Politicians, community leaders and the press showed up to witness a city standing together, shouting down bigotry. Hon. Kim demanded an apology from Fox News and asked the crowd, “When do we want it?” The crowd responded, “Now!” NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, said, “New York City is a diverse community and attacking one group will not divide us. We know our differences make us stronger. There is no place in our community for bigotry.” NYC Public Advocate Letitia James stood at the podium, saying, “Fox News missed an opportunity to explore the real challenges in our communities – Love trumps hate.” Hon. Kim again, called for a response, “What do you want?” Answered: “An apology!” “When do you want it? The crowd yelling, “Now!” Congresswoman Grace Meng was clearly dismayed by the Watters’ World segment saying, “The segment crossed the line. This public mocking was offensive and disrespectful to Asian Americans. Asian Americans add to the rich and diverse fabric of American life and they should never be treated as second-class citizens.” NYS Assemblyman Walter Mosley added, “I know what hate is and I have experienced it.” Speakers from the NYC Council Margaret Chin and Peter Koo expressed disappointment at Fox News for passing off racist stereotypes as fun.
In a letter sent to Rupert Murdoch, CEO, Fox News from twelve members of the New York State Assembly, it reads: “Chinatowns are a storied part of American history, and not a prop for Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Watters to show their xenophobia and prejudice against an entire race of people.…We ask you to take a stand, issue an apology, and remove all forms of this segment from Fox News.”
A quote from Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.