(Oct 14, 2014) For Immediate Release
Subject: SDAAFE Endorses Carl DeMaio for Congress
San Diego Asian American for Equality (SDAAFE) strongly endorses Mr. Carl DeMaio for US Congress. We endorse Mr. DeMaio for his clear stance against SCA5 and his inclusive message. SDAAFE is a non-partisan political action committee with 1,700 members. Our mission is to advocate full equality for San Diego Asian Americans through civic and political engagements.
On Feb 1, 2014, the Democratic Party supermajority controlled California Senate rammed through Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 (SCA5), a proposed amendment allowing racial discrimination by removing “public education” from California constitution, and by removing “UC/Public School System” from the definition of “State”, in an effort to achieve racial balancing in California through “race conscious” college admissions. SCA5 was temporally halted after an Asian American uprising during which we received scant support from public officials, including those of Asian American descent. Mr. DeMaio was one of the first politicians to publicly state his strong and principled opposition to SCA5, whereas his opponent Representative Scott Peters is still equivocating till today. SCA5 demeans the dignity and worth of an individual to be judged by his/her race and ethnicity instead of his/her own merit and essential qualities. The choice is clear: If you want to encourage public officials to speak out for you in the future, please reward your votes to someone who stood up for you in the past. Otherwise, don’t be surprised by the deafening silence when SCA5 comes back after the Nov 4 mid-term election.
History will repeat itself if we do not learn lessons from it. Mr. DeMaio’s inclusive message resonates strongly when benchmarked against the history of Asian Americans being excluded based on others’ perceived threat that we are taking job security, economic resources, and education opportunity away from them, driven by selfish interests but hidden under the guises of “higher principles”. In 1882, after tens of thousands of Chinese workers had provided dependable labors to build-up the Transcontinental Railroad and other major infrastructures in the West, local residents and politicians perceived them as threat to their job security, and promoted the theory of “yellow peril” (“perpetual aliens” who are inassimilable), successfully pushed the US Congress to pass the Chinese Exclusion Act, which eventually was extended to all Asians in 1924, before being repealed in 1943. In the 1940s’, fearing economical competition from the expansion of Japanese owned farms and businesses, some residents and politicians promoted the theory of “national security” (disloyalty based on national origin), alleging (without any evidence) that the Japanese Americans might be aiding enemy state off the California shoreline, and succeeded in sending all persons of Japanese descent into “internship” camps and confiscated all their businesses. In 2014, some residents and lawmakers again promoted the theory of “too many Asians” (who somehow reduced “diversity”), seeking to restrict their entrance to UC/CSU through unequal college entrance barriers based on race and ethnicity. The perception of Asian Americans as perpetual aliens without loyalty and diversity value will continue to haunt us unless we stand up to support public officials who has the courage and wisdom to speak out.
In addition to fighting the Democratic Party sponsored SCA5, Mr. DeMaio’s campaign also has caught national media attention for his challenge to the Republican Party to improve its outreach to all diverse communities including Asian American community. We strongly support Mr. DeMaio’s principled stance and his inclusive message. His actions earned him our endorsement.