Voters in New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district were recently treated to some racist mailers distributed by the New Jersey Republican State Committee.
As reported by the New Jersey Globe, the committee, which supports the re-election of Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), mailed out postcards attacking the Democratic candidate in the race, a Korean-American former Obama White House staffer named Andy Kim.
In the mailer, images of a fish market are juxtaposed next to Kim’s name written in a font similar to Chinese take-out restaurants.
Strange font in red pic.twitter.com/WhZVCdqX3K
— Matt Friedman (@MattFriedmanNJ) September 15, 2018
A MacArthur ad from earlier in the campaign told voters Kim is “not one of us.” The recent mailer is being called blatantly racist by Democratic State Chairman John Currie.
“Congressional Republicans like Tom MacArthur can’t run on their record, because their only legislative accomplishment is a tax cut for billionaires and big corporations that screwed middle class taxpayers in New Jersey,” Currie told the Globe. “So they’re left with the kind of racist, dog whistle politics that this mailer demonstrates, trying to make a distinguished public servant like Andy Kim into an ‘other.'”
The New Jersey Republican State Committee, however, pushed back against the racist claims, citing McArthur’s two adopted children who are of Korean descent.
“This is an ugly attempt to change a bad news cycle for Andy Kim where he was given two Pinocchios from the Washington Post for lying about his resume again,” Harrison Neely, a spokesman for the Republican State Committee, told the outlet. “False cries of racism are a sign that the Kim campaign is coming unhinged down the stretch. Let’s not forget that Tom MacArthur has two Korean children.”
Racist mailers against Asian-American candidates in New Jersey is unfortunately not new to this election cycle.
Last November, Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel, two school board candidates in Edison, New Jersey, had their photos printed on a flier that read, “MAKE EDISON GREAT AGAIN.” The word “DEPORT” was stamped on both their photos.
“Stop Jerry Shi & Falguni Patel From taking over our School Board,” the mailers state on the front. “The Chinese and Indians are taking over our town! Chinese school! Indian school! Cricket fields! Enough is Enough!!”
That same year, Ravi Bhalla, a candidate for mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, was the victim of racist fliers that read, “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our Town.”
The anonymous mailers thankfully appeared to have no effect on the outcome of the races. Bhalla was eventually elected the first Sikh mayor of Hoboken and Shi and Patel both were elected to the Edison school board.