OUR APOLOGY

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In our Aug. 21, 2014 issue an offensive slur was accidentally published in the Philadelphia Public Record. This shocking lapse of professional conduct occurred contrary to our editorial directives and in no way reflects the views of our staff or our organization. Those responsible have been terminated.

An internal investigation is underway to uncover the source of this intolerable abuse and to prevent it from ever happening again. We apologize whole-heartedly to the Asian American community and to all Philadelphians of this vibrant, diverse city who work together to make it the best place in America to live and to grow.

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5 Responses to OUR APOLOGY

  1. To Whom It May Concern:
    Please keep us posted on the results of your internal investigation. Below is our original correspondence. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    ***

    Re: Phila. Public Record August 21, 2014 Print Edition

    Dear Editor:

    The OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates Greater Philadelphia Chapter, dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), takes issue with your publication of a caption beneath a photograph of a fundraiser for City Councilman Mark Squilla in your August 21, 2014 print edition.

    Your use of the terms “Me Too, Chinky Winky, and Dinky Doo” to identify Chinese American participants perpetuates the foreigner stereotype that has been responsible for the loss of lives and livelihood of generations of Asian Americans. By ridiculing the sound of Asian names, your editor has reinforced the historically racist contempt for Asian American people and culture that has prevailed throughout American history. By doing so in the context of a political fundraiser, he challenges their exercise of a fundamental constitutional right, the right to petition an elected representative.

    The foreigner stereotype, has been uniquely applied to Asian Americans who were denied the right of naturalization from 1790 up until 1952. The stereotype has been used to justify violence, internment, exploitation, and discrimination against Asian Pacific Americans despite the protections afforded by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The ridiculing of the sound of Asian names is a vestige of this history, and only serves to further alienate Asian Pacific Americans from the exercise of their Constitutional rights.

    The Philadelphia Public Record owes the participants of the fundraiser and all Asian Pacific Americans an apology and a sincere recognition that what is at issue is not “proofreader error,” (as attributed to Philadelphia Public Record publisher Jimmy Tayoun in the Philadelphia
    Magazine) but the right to respect for participating in a fundamental democratic right. The missteps of the Philadelphia Public Record have consequences for the Asian Pacific American community, particularly when, in the eyes of its readers, it legitimates a racist stereotype. Only by addressing this matter openly and seriously, can the Record break with the racist history behind the caricatures.

    The OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates Greater Philadelphia Chapter looks forward to hearing back from you. If an apology is not forthcoming, we will call upon all the advertisers of the Philadelphia Public Record to withhold further funding from your paper.

    Sincerely yours,
    Lien T. Vu
    Chapter President

    OCA Asian American Advocates Greater Philadelphia Chapter
    August 24, 2014 at 8:24 am

  2. The results of our investigation will appear in our Thursday, Aug. 28 issue.

    editor @pr
    August 24, 2014 at 8:15 pm

  3. I wrote to Jim (the editor) and he says that the person responsible has been fired. I also asked that he not use any such excuse as the “He’s a Britisher and meant nothing by it” in the future.

    He has agreed to that as well.

    Here’s hoping that it’s all true.

    Mike Vo
    August 25, 2014 at 11:45 am

  4. This should have never happened. So very heartbreaking.

    LM
    August 25, 2014 at 5:40 pm

  5. Tayoun made quick work of the matter to his civic and clearly his financial credit. Anyone who reads his paper/website knows he and his staff are very inclusive and diverse in their reporting. This was a very foul episode and we all trust he’ll make it right.

    Anny
    August 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm

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