By Albert Lin
Three California politicians of Asian descent are calling for the resignation of FOX News Channel host Bob Beckel after he used a racially offensive term on the air.
U.S. Representative Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; U.S. Representative Mike Honda, who represents the only Asian-Americanmajority district in the continental U.S.; and State Senator Ted Lieu, who is running for a House seat, issued separate statements calling for Beckel to step down. Last Thursday, during an episode of The Five, Beckel used the term “Chinamen” when discussing a New York Times article about Chinese hackers.
“As usual,” Beckel said, “we bring them over here and we teach a bunch of Chinamenuh, Chinese peoplehow to do computers and then they go back to China and hack into us.”
Beckel wasn’t through. Later, he said, “There’s billions of them, and all they do is they hack into our stuff, they send us cheap toys all of which got lead in them and are killing kids.”
Moreover, this was not the first time Beckel had made a comment offensive to Asians. Last year on the same program, while discussing ways to relax, Beckel said that exercise did not help him. “I went swimming, [and] what’d I get My eyes blew up, it made me look Oriental,” he said.
Chu, Honda, Lieu
The racist comments of FOX host Bob Beckel are utterly outrageous. He condemns an entire ethnic group as being threats to national security and uses racial slurs while doing so.
The implications go far beyond the Chinese community by promoting a culture of intolerance that has no place in our society. Unfortunately, the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community knows all too well the dangers of these xenophobic views. All we have to do is look to the fear mongering and hysteria of the 1980s that resulted in the murder of Vincent Chin by two white unemployed autoworkers to see how tragedy can occur when racism and xenophobia are tolerated.
As a Chinese-American, I am deeply offended by Bob Beckel’s comments and call for his immediate resignation.
Honda’s statement read:
I am outraged and disgusted by FOX News commentator Bob Beckel’s use of the word “Chinamen” and his other racist and xenophobic comments. I agree with State Senator Ted Lieu, Campbell CA Councilmember Evan Low, and everyone else who has called on FOX News to fire Beckel. The ignorance and hatred in his comments are repugnant. The fact that he has yet to apologize for these comments is inexcusable. As the founder of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, I know that words hurt, and slurs are used to intimidate. FOX News needs to do the right thing and fire Bob Beckel.
And Lieu had this to say:
We should all be alarmed by the racist, xenophobic comments by FOX News host Bob Beckel.His comments have no place in America and this is at least the second time he has used racial slurs. He must resign immediately.
I am one of those “Chinamen” with “Oriental” eyes that immigrated to America and majored in computer science. I also served on active duty in the United States Air Force and continue to serve my country in the Reserves.And today, as an American and as a California State Senator, I call on Mr. Beckel to resign.
America is great because anyone can be an American.Our country is the strongest in the world because of our diversity.Unfortunately, FOX News host Bob Beckel does not understand what it means to be an American.
But Mr. Beckel’s comments are more than just racist and stupid.His ignorant views are dangerous because it is precisely those types of extreme xenophobic and racist views that caused our government to massively violate constitutional rights during World War II and force more than 100,000 Americans into internment camps.
It is Mr. Beckel’s extreme racist and xenophobic views that are a threat to the American people and he should resign now.
On Monday night’s The Five, Beckel addressed his comments but was anything but contrite. “I made some comments last week about Chinese people last week which apparently upset some people, for which I apologize. However, I do not apologize for the things I’ve said about Chinaand I won’t go into the litany of it now because there’s too many China apologists in this countrybut I will continue to warn the American people about how dangerous China is to the U.S. security and to our business community.
“To those who were offended, I apologize. I do not apologize to the Chinese government, or for their habits or for their murders or anything else.”