May 16, 2005
Written by C.N.
A few weeks ago, the latest radio talk show controversy erupted over racist comments by a pair or DJs on the “Jersey Guys” radio show at NJ 101.5, based in New Jersey. The DJs ridiculed a Korean American policitian seeking local office in New Jersey and as usual, mocked Asian languages and accents. In response, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that two prominent advertisers, Hyundai Motors America and Cingular Wireless, has pulled their advertising from their show (and Hyundai has pulled their ads from the entire station):
Asian-American activists, who have been putting pressure on the station’s advertisers, hailed the decisions to pull the advertising, saying it signals a newfound maturity and strength in the community. . . . “Asian-Americans have always been seen as a passive group that won’t speak up too loudly,” said Veronica Jung, executive director of the Korean American League for Civic Action. “This flies in the face of that. The message is that we will no longer be the voiceless model minority. We represent significant buying power and a large consumer base, and we’ll use that weight.”
[NJ 101.5 representative] Santoro said the station has received hundreds of threats and has contacted local and state police and the FBI. The wave of protests caught the radio station off guard, Santoro said. The station has a meeting with Asian-American activists scheduled for May 19. . . .
Asian-American activists have also found support from elected officials. U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9th Dist.) . . . Lora Fong, an Edison attorney and past president of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey, said the response from corporations and politicians shows the Asian-American community is organized and willing to speak out.
Let this once again serve as a lesson to all the racists and bigots out there — we Asian Americans are not going to sit around and let people ridicule us and question our American identity. You may have been able to get away with crap like this in the past, but it’s a whole different ballgame now, boy.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Latest Racist Radio Episode" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2005/05/latest-racist-radio-episode/> ().
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