Investigate Racist Postcards: Stop Voter Intimidation

Joe Donohue, the deputy director of the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission

Nov-3---edison

We urge Joe Donohue, the deputy director of the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission, to investigate the matter of the xenophobic, racist postcards sent to Edison, NJ residents ahead of the school board elections on November 7th.

On November 1st, residents of Edison, New Jersey received a postcard urging them to “Make Edison Great Again.” The racist postcard featured the pictures of candidates Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel with the words “DEPORT” stamped over them. Not only do these postcards urge voters not to vote for these candidates using racist language, they were also sent unmarked, which is a violation of rules governing the disclosure of campaign expenditures under New Jersey’s election laws.

This latest attack on the Asian American community is a blatant form of voter intimidation. The author of the postcard clearly wished to play on xenophobic and racist fears to make white Edison residents turn on their Asian American neighbors. Their choice of language, “The Chinese and Indians are taking over our town!” and “Stop the outsiders!” pushes the idea that we’ll never belong. Whether our families have been here for generations, or we are naturalized citizens, we reject the idea that Asian Americans are enemies and foreigners in our own country.

At a time when our voting rights have been gutted with the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, we need our local government to be the vanguard of our civil rights. It is not sufficient to simply condemn the racist language in the postcards. It is illegal to send election materials without clearly marking who paid for them. The author of these postcards must be held accountable for the mailer.

We will not be afraid to exist in our own communities. When unapologetic hate and racism are brushed off without serious investigation, it paves the way for violence and hate crimes against our communities.

Edison is one of the largest, thriving communities of Indian Americans in the United States and 43% of its residents identify as Asian American. Our communities deserve to feel safe in places we call home.

The NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission must investigate this matter immediately and hold perpetrators of hate and intimidation responsible.

______

What 18MillionRising.org will send to Joe Donohue, the deputy director of the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission,on your behalf:

November 3, 2017

Joe Donohue

Deputy Director of the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission

Re: Racist Postcards in Our Community

Dear Mr. Donohue

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, write to strongly call upon the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission to investigate the matter of the racist postcards being sent to Edison residents.  As an organization that seeks to empower the Asian American community through civic engagement, we are severely concerned that, in a clear violation of electoral laws, that these mailers were sent out anonymously to harass the Chinese and Indian American communities in Edison and suppress their vote.

On November 1st, images of the offending postcard were shared online. The postcard was attempting to rally the community around the xenophobic rhetoric of “the Chinese and Indians are taking over our schools!” Pictures of board of education candidates Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel were printed over with the words “DEPORT”. Again, with no return address and no statement on who had paid for these materials, this is a clear violation of our electoral laws.

We urge that the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission take this incident seriously. Middlesex County, and in particular, Edison, is home to one of the most diverse communities in this country. We must lead the nation by example by holding those who perpetrate and instigate hate in our community accountable. We cannot let Chinese and Indian American voters, or any voter feel intimidated.

Sincerely,

The undersigned:



Sponsored by

To: Joe Donohue, the deputy director of the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission
From: [Your Name]

November 6, 2017

Joe Donohue

Deputy Director of the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission

Re: Racist Postcards in Our Community

Dear Mr. Donohue

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, write to strongly call upon the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission to investigate the matter of the racist postcards being sent to Edison residents. As an organization that seeks to empower the Asian American community through civic engagement, we are severely concerned that, in a clear violation of electoral laws, that these mailers were sent out anonymously to harass the Chinese and Indian American communities in Edison and suppress their vote.

On November 1st, images of the offending postcard were shared online. The postcard was attempting to rally the community around the xenophobic rhetoric of “the Chinese and Indians are taking over our schools!” Pictures of board of education candidates Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel were printed over with the words “DEPORT”. Again, with no return address and no statement on who had paid for these materials, this is a clear violation of our electoral laws.

We urge that the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission take this incident seriously. Middlesex County, and in particular, Edison, is home to one of the most diverse communities in this country. We must lead the nation by example by holding those who perpetrate and instigate hate in our community accountable. We cannot let Chinese and Indian American voters, or any voter feel intimidated.

Sincerely,

The undersigned: