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OCA and Asian American and Pacific Islander Advocacy Groups Stand Against Anti-Muslim Hate

Wednesday, December 16, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nick Lee
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16 December 2015

CONTACT:  Nick Lee | Communications Associate


202 223 5500 |

WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, in partnership with many other Asian American and Pacific Islander advocacy groups, hosted an event against anti-Muslim hate on Wednesday, December 16th at 1:00PM at the National Japanese American Memorial.

In the past few months, anti-Muslim vitriol has reached a fever pitch, with some calling for the internment of all Muslims or a ban on travel of Muslims into the United States. These calls come at a time when the largest populations of Muslims entering the U.S come from South Asian countries.  Additionally, the number of hate crimes against Muslims and even non-Muslim South Asians has also been increasing at an alarming rate this past year.


Below is an excerpt from remarks by Nick Lee, OCA’s Communications Associate:


“I was born long after the Chinese Exclusion Act, but it is central to my family’s history and I am conscious of it even today. When my Grandfather immigrated in 1929, he was not accepted with open arms by America. He was shunned and rejected. He was forced to work marginal jobs as a laundryman or a cook, what they used to call “coolie” labor, because people never thought that he had the intellectual capability to do any better.


Though my grandfather faced racism constantly throughout his life, the racism that most profoundly affected him was legalized and codified in the Chinese Exclusion Act. This racist law, passed in 1882 and upheld until 1943, was xenophobia and racism of the worst kind. It completely barred any legal means of immigration from China and forced generations of Chinese Americans like my grandfather to come to the US with no papers and no opportunity to become citizens.


Politicians of the day whipped up anti-Chinese sentiment by claiming that they came to destroy the American way of life, that the Chinese were dirty, filthy, and uncivilized. In their view, the Chinese were a threat to the security of this nation because they were simply too different to become “real” Americans.


This should sound familiar, because it is exactly the same kind of bigoted logic applied to Muslim Americans today. These are lies created by politicians to score cheap political points off the backs of innocent Muslim Americans. They falsely equate a religion of peace with evil and Muslim Americans and refugees with terrorists.


OCA stands unequivocally against anti-Muslim hatred and stands with the Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities. Our ancestors deserve no less and we all deserve so much better.”


For a full transcript of remarks, please click HERE.  

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).


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