OCA Commends Toys "R" Us Decision on Scholarship Awards
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Janurary 8, 2007
CONTACT: Michael C. Lin, Executive Director
202-223-5500 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC - OCA commends Toys "R" Us for awarding each of the three babies in its "First Baby of the Year Sweepstakes," a $25,000 savings bond towards their college education. The company had announced that it would award a $25,000 savings bond as a prize to the first American baby born in the year 2007, and whose parents had submitted a contest entry form. Toys "R" Us is the parent company of Babies "R" Us, which sponsored the contest.
All "expectant New Year's mothers" were encouraged to apply. At the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2007, three babies were tied for being the first baby born: two from New York and one from Georgia. Yuki Lin, born at New York Downtown Hospital, won a runoff drawing against the other two babies. However, while Yuki is an American citizen, she was disqualified by contest officials because they believed her parents, Zhu Liu and Han Lin, both 22-year old Chinese restaurant workers, are not legal residents.
"To an Asian American, this decision was a very significant one. It reaffirms the long history Asian Americans have had in this country and that we are as American as anyone else," said OCA National President Ginny Gong.
OCA-New York Chapter President Vicki Shu Smolin, who's chapter took immediate action on this issue, commented, "Historically, Asian Americans have been treated as non-citizens. By initially denying Yuki Lin her just prize, Toys R Us is sending a message to Yuki and to all Americans born in the United States, that she is a second-class citizen."
OCA Executive Director Michael Lin added, "This incident only perpetuates the myth that if you look different, you must have come from somewhere else and are not entitled to the rights inherent to all Americans. There is no dispute that Yuki is an American citizen and should be given every opportunity and privilege to enjoy life and freedom as the rest of us."