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Asian Community, Others Outraged by ‘Racist’ Super Bowl Ad

A regional Super Bowl ad for US Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra is causing anger among the Asian community and others, including local Assemblyman Mike Eng. Do you think it is racist?

Unless you were in Michigan, you didn’t see a regional Super Bowl ad during Sunday’s game that some are calling racist against Asians, but thanks to the Internet, the commercial can be seen everywhere and has sparked outrage across the country.

See the commercial attached to this article.

The ad for Republican candidate Pete Hoekstra criticizes his opponent, Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, by referring to her as Debbie Spenditnow. The ad depicts a young Asian woman saying the following in broken English:

"Thank you, Michigan Senator Debbie Spenditnow. Debbie spends so much American money. You borrow more and more from us. Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs. Thank you, Debbie Spenditnow."

Members of the Asian community and the press have since responded negatively to the ad.

(D-Alhambra), who represents San Marino and other cities, released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

“I am astounded and outraged by the Hoekstra campaigns’ use of negative Asian stereotypes for their Super-Bowl ad. Given that 30 years ago in Detroit, Michigan, a Chinese-American man named Vincent Chin was murdered by individuals who were angry at Japan during a difficult period in the US Auto Industry.

“Such blatantly racist and anti-Asian fear-mongering, such as those raised by the Hoekstra ad, has had a long and sad history in the United States going all the way back to the Chinese-Exclusion Act in the 19th Century and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. It is the 21st century and such divisive rhetoric has no place in American Politics.”

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote group said in a statement, according to Yahoo News, "It is very disturbing that Mr. Hoekstra's campaign chose to use harmful negative stereotypes that intrinsically encourage anti-Asian sentiment."

The Christian Science Monitor echoed Eng’s sentiments and wondered if the commercial was “a slippery slope toward Asian-bashing,” recalling that “Michigan has seen its share of Asia bashing, especially in the 1980s, when images of sledgehammers smashing imported cars were common.”

Hoekstra defended the commercial Monday, telling Detroit's WJR-AM, "Clearly China is one of many countries benefiting from our irresponsible spending. To highlight that is absolutely appropriate," according to Yahoo News.

Do you find the ad offensive? What is you reaction? Tell us in the comments.

Christopher Dart February 07, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Wow, that's pretty bad. I don't think it was "stereotyped" so much as it was just wrong and kind of childish.
Francis Lai February 09, 2012 at 09:07 AM
I'm sure the jobs will come back once americans decide they are willing to work for the same wages as the chinese. oh, and you can forget health benefits and paid vacations.

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