A Republican candidate for state representative in Oregon received a shockingly racist hand-written note on one of his campaign letters in the lead-up to election day, according to KATU.
Justin Hwang, a Korean-American small business owner, had reportedly been sending out campaign letters to houses with “no soliciting” signs on them when he had one of them mailed back to him on the morning of Nov 2, 2018.
Scrawled on the bottom of the letter were the words, “You will never get my vote Chink. Go to your country and run for office.”
Speaking to KATU, Hwang said, “I’m a Korean immigrant. My English is not perfect. I understand. It is not right, people calling each other with all these racial slurs.”
A political newcomer who owns 22 teriyaki restaurants, Hwang is the only Asian American candidate in Oregon, a state that has traditionally leaned blue.
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“I’m not mad at the person,” Hwang said. “Hopefully I can just meet the person who sent me the letter and hopefully I can change their mind. We’re from many different places, but I want to let him know that we are all one.”
Although he claims that this is the first time he has encountered the racial slur since high school or middle school, it is not the first time he has experienced race-related adversity on the campaign trail.
In a mailer sent out in October by Democratic incumbent Chris Gorsek, who is running against Hwang, Gorsek is described as being more understanding of Oregon’s priorities “because he is one of us.”
Hwang, who accused the phrase of containing coded racist undertones, said he was “saddened” by the mailer.
“As a Korean-American who legally immigrated to this country nearly 25 years ago, I have heard the phrase ‘one of us’ used many times,” he said to Williamette Week. “I know what it means.”
As an immigrant whose father worked three jobs to support his family growing up, Hwang is looking to leverage his experience living the American dream in order to give back to the community and act as a role model for immigrants.
You can learn more about Justin and donate to his campaign at his website.
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