WASHINGTON — Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) on Monday called for the resignation of Fox TV host Bob Beckel in response to his xenophobic comments.
During a broadcast of “The Five” on July 10, Beckel stated that “Chinese are the single biggest threat to the national security of the U.S. … As usual, we bring them over here and teach a bunch of Chinamen – er, Chinese people – how to do computers and then they go back to China and hack into us.”
Chu said in a statement, “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.”
In Sacramento, Assemblymember Paul Fong (D-San Jose), chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, stated, “As a Chinese American myself, I was shocked and saddened to hear the archaic racial slur ‘Chinamen’ used by a TV host on air. Asian and Pacific Islander Americans know too well the sting when these xenophobic terms are used against them. One only has to look at modern U.S. history to know how terms like this were used to unconstitutionally discriminate against the API community, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and others.
“The cavalier attitude and obscene gesture made by Mr. Beckel at the end of his ignorant rant show that Mr. Beckel just does not get it. You can see from the reaction of his co-hosts that his comment was out of line and out of touch. This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated, and Mr. Beckel should not be allowed a platform to continue to spew his uneducated hate. I am deeply offended and call for his immediate resignation.”
This year, Fong co-authored SCR 122, which apologized for the past discriminatory laws enacted against the Chinese community in California.
State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Redondo Beach) noted that last year, Beckel said that after he went swimming, his “eyes blew up, and it made me look Oriental.”
“We should all be alarmed by the racist, xenophobic comments by Fox News Host Bob Beckel,” Lieu said. “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.”
CAPAC Chair Emeritus Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) commented, “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 Sen. Ted Lieu, Campbell, Calif. 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.”
Sharon M. Wong, national president of OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, stated, “Bob Beckel’s comment was racist, xenophobic, and derogatory towards not only Chinese Americans, but all Asian Americans. Asian Pacific Americans are citizens, military personnel, and government officials, yet our communities continue to be viewed by the larger American public as perpetual foreigners and a threat to American national security.
“Although these harmful stereotypes have begun to erode over the last decade, Bob Beckel’s comments are a painful reminder of the hate and overt racism that the APA community continues to endure. What he said was unacceptable and would not have been tolerated if said of any other racial minority. OCA and the Asian Pacific American community demand an apology from Bob Beckel for this comment and from Fox News for even allowing Beckel on air given his history of racist language.”