Press Statement: Korean American Community Denounce Racist Remarks in Local Race

For immediate release
September 8, 2009

Contacts: EunSook Lee, NAKASEC, 323-937-3703
Becky Belcore, KRCC, 773-588-9158
Dae Joong Yoon, KRC, 323-937-3718

Korean American Community Denounce Racist Remarks in Local Race

(Los Angeles, CA) The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium and its affiliates, the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago and the Korean Resource Center (KRC) in Los Angeles, are deeply disturbed and concerned by the recent racist remarks made towards Ronald Kim, a Korean American running for mayor of Saratoga, New York. The incident is far too common and suggests a pattern of racism targeting minority candidates.

In August 2009, Mr. Kim was called a “dog-eater” and repeatedly referred to as “Chairman Kim, Dictator Kim, Ron Kim II” by posters of the Saratogian Web site. While the Saratogian Web site has removed some of these statements, the bigger challenge is how to promote constructive dialogue.

“These remarks are completely unacceptable and have no relevance in any situation, whether it be in a classroom, at the local grocery store, or during a political campaign. As members of the Korean American and immigrant communities, we are very disappointed that this type of rhetoric continues to occur and hope that our communities can work together so that all individuals are given the equal opportunity to serve this country,” said Eun Sook Lee, executive director of NAKASEC.

“As an organization that has worked for over 15 years to promote social justice and respect for all, we are reminded that there is still much work to be done to eradicate racism and discrimination in our society. The hateful and racist statements made towards Mr. Kim will not be tolerated and we urge our communities to proactively work for tolerance,” said Becky Belcore, executive director of KRCC.

“America is a land strengthened by the contributions of immigrants, and as we teach our children to be socially responsible and work towards becoming full civic participants, incidents like this one reminds us to work even harder for a society where equality and respect are the defining principles,” said Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of KRC.

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The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a national progressive voice on major civil rights and immigrant rights issues and promote the full participation of Korean Americans in American society.