Los Angeles, CA - The Korean American Coalition (KAC) vehemently condemns hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and calls on our community leaders and elected officials to condemn anti-Asian violence and to act in allyship with the AAPI partners to find solutions to protect our community from further unnecessary violence.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 3,800 hate incidents* in the United States have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate. Reports of Asian Americans being attacked, spat on, coughed on, threatened, insulted, and killed have been increasing at an alarming rate within the past month and many in the AAPI community are now living in fear for their safety.
In late February 2021, a Korean American U.S. Air Force veteran was senselessly attacked and threatened with racial slurs and discriminatory language in Koreatown, Los Angeles. A 91-year-old man was shoved to the ground while walking on a sidewalk in broad daylight in Oakland. 84-year-old Thai man, Vicha Ratanapakdee, was fatally attacked while on his morning walk in San Francisco. The rise of violence against Asian Americans recently reached a new height on March 16, 2021 when a gunman targeted several Asian American businesses in Atlanta, Georgia and killed eight people, of which six were women of Asian descent. We are devastated by the lives lost and extend our deepest condolences to the communities of the victims.
Despite a clear escalation of violence against the AAPI community, many incidents continue to go unreported. We strongly urge everyone to report any hate incident or hate crimes by calling 2-1-1, and submitting a report online at Stop AAPI Hate or Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
The experience of being Asian in America does not differentiate based on country of origin. Historically, we’ve seen that an attack on one Asian American group affects us all. Unfortunately, racially charged and derogatory terms used to reference COVID-19 by politicians and various media outlets have tied all AAPI community members as a whole to COVID-19. The racist and divisive rhetoric has significantly contributed to igniting the current anti-Asian sentiment in our country, giving people an easy target to blame for the suffering that we have all shared as a result of COVID-19.
Responding to these attacks requires action. Individually, we must call out and stand up against instances of racism. Creating true diversity and inclusion is a responsibility that must be performed daily, and which will cut across many years. All of us here at KAC will stand with our allies to fight back against racism and violence directed at AAPI and all marginalized communities. We encourage everyone to take a collective action with us against AAPI hate.
Here’s how you can help:
1. Report hate incident and crime activity by doing the following:
3. Read the How to Report a Hate Crime booklet and learn about what constitutes a hate incident/crime, your rights and prevention tips. Booklets available in Korean/English and six other languages.
4. Join your company/organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) group to partner up with fellow allies to bring awareness to the anti-Asian hate and violence that’s happening across our communities.
5. Call your elected officials to take more explicit, concrete action to address anti-Asian hate. Urge them to use language that promotes inclusivity, and to avoid use of racially divisive and incendiary language.
*STOP AAPI HATE 2020-2021 National Report (March 16, 2021)
Los Angeles, CA - Tuesday, March 16, 2021 is the last day to register for a Vote-By-Mail ballot to participate in the Wilshire Center - Koreatown Neighborhood Council (WCKNC) Elections. This year’s elections are mail-in-ballot ONLY. Only those who request a Vote-By-Mail ballot can vote. There are two ways to register:
To verify your voter eligibility, all voters must submit documentation of identification. Find documentation guidelines at (https://clerk.lacity.org/sites/g/files/wph606/f/Attachment_C_2021_NC_Election_Documentation_Guide.pdf).
The Neighborhood Council is a grassroots level of the Los Angeles City government. Neighborhood Councils advocate on issues like homelessness, housing, land use, emergency preparedness, public safety, parks, transportation, and sustainability. They also provide local expertise and a local voice on the delivery of City services to communities.
We have the power to help shape the body who can promote the interests of diverse communities and your vote matters. Let’s represent our community and vote on Election Day, March 23, 2021 for the Wilshire Center - Koreatown Neighborhood Council.
Find more information about Neighborhood Council elections, candidates, resources and upcoming dates at https://clerk.lacity.org/elections/neighborhood-council-election or call Neighborhood Council Election Section at (213) 978-0444 or Korean American Coalition at (213) 365- 5999.
The Korean American Coalition - Los Angeles (KAC) stands with the Asian and Asian American communities in condemning the article (“Contracting for sex in the Pacific War”) and op-ed written by Professor J. Mark Ramseyer, Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, which attempts to undermine and deny the lived experiences of comfort women who were forced into Japanese military sexual slavery before and during World War II.
Professor Ramseyer’s revisionist claims of comfort women as voluntary prostitutes are a grave distortion of historical facts, as there is overwhelming evidence, living proof, and even UN recognition that proves the existence of systematic sexual slavery. He fails to consider the Japanese government’s deliberate efforts to erase this history in their demand of the dismantling of comfort women memorial statues, the removal of any mention of comfort women in Japanese textbooks and their attempts to do so with U.S. textbooks, and position to steer clear of official government recognition and compensation.
About 200,000 women, primarily from Korea, but also from other Asian countries, including the Philippines, China, Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Taiwan, were forced into systematic sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese military during World War II. Through coercion, violence, and deception, these women and young girls were abducted and forced into sexual slavery in inhumane conditions. Post-World War II, comfort women survivors suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, sexually transmitted diseases, infertility, and damaged reproductive systems. The majority of these women and girls faced intense stigma upon return, and whether it be due to trauma, shame, or desire for privacy, many were reluctant to speak about their experiences. In his article, Ramseyer utilizes terms like “women,” “prostitutes,” and “contracts,” to neutralize the the horrific accounts of organized sexual violence against young girls, teenagers and women who were kidnapped, raped, and severely abused. In doing so, he undermines the accounts of survivors who spoke up about their horrific experiences. Furthermore, he deliberately dismisses a diverse range of existing scholarship on a settled historical account.
KAC recognizes the value of academic freedom. However, “academic freedom” is not an excuse for indefensible scholarship. Publications in respected journals carry the imprimatur of credibility. Issues subject to reasonable debate are fair game for academic publication. Publishing demonstrable falsehoods, however, falls outside this scope. By publishing this article, Elsevier and the International Review of Law and Economics, convey the message that the forced slavery of women during World War II is not a settled fact, but rather a supposition open to debate. No publication should give credence or legitimacy to this level of blatant falsehood and historical revisionism. Rather than simply delaying print publication of J. Mark Ramseyer’s problematic paper, KAC calls for the complete withdrawal and condemnation of this paper.
LOS ANGELES, CA - With the support of many community partner organizations*, the Korean American Coalition (KAC) led the initiative to address 1,098 erroneous Korean-language sample ballots distributed for the March 2020 primary election (CD 10), and insufficient instructions on all Korean-language absentee ballots with the Los Angeles County Registrar. As a result, KAC successfully advocated for (1) accurate, error-free ballots by enhancing quality assurance in the Korean ballot preparation process (2) and, mailing out Korean voting materials (including sample ballots and voter guides) earlier to provide sufficient time for Korean American voters for the November 2020 elections.
Thanks to our advocacy work, KAC worked closely with the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office to plan, review and implement effective changes resulting in all accurate Korean ballots mailed out by October 5, weeks ahead of previous elections for the upcoming November 2020 elections. The worldwide pandemic, racial and political unrest across the country, and economic devastation in our local cities have shown us that now, more than ever, is the time to mobilize Korean American communities in expressing our educational, social, and cultural needs through the power of our votes.
We strongly urge our community to raise our voices and get out the vote in three simple ways (1) safest and easiest way to vote is vote-by-mail (2) vote early in person at a Voting Center (3) and vote in person on Election Day, 11/3.
Learn about all 3 voting methods and learn how to track your ballot with our informative video on YouTube:
[한미연합회] 올해 가장 쉬운 투표 방법은 무엇입니까? [Link: https://youtu.be/0UFUY0ADFMo]
Our voices and votes matter, let’s get out the vote for our community!
* KAC was joined by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON), and the Center for Asian American United for Self Empowerment(CAUSE), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), Korean American Bar Association (KABA) in support.
Los Angeles - As a nonpartisan advocate for civil and civic rights, the Korean American Coalition - Los Angeles (KACLA) has long been committed to increasing civic awareness and the general social consciousness of the Korean American community. With the recent voter irregularities in the 2020 March elections and Postal Service cuts, we issue a statement against any and every act of voter suppression that threaten the very integrity of our democratic system.
The Korean American Coalition - Los Angeles (KACLA) operates as the longest running civic participation organization program in the Korean American community dedicated to advocating for free and robust voting. However, recent events not only threaten the US Postal Service's ability to process the anticipated surge of mail-in ballots but also increase voter confusion for the November 2020 elections. Without proper funding and support for accurate information, the Post Office's ability to deliver mail-in ballots remains in grave jeopardy.
The right to vote is the key to democracy and without it, Americans lose their fundamental right to influence our democratic system. As one of the most trusted government agencies, the US Postal Service was established to provide prompt, reliable and universal postal services for the American people including sending vote-by-mail. US Postal Service provides a public service that guarantees postal services to all 330 million Americans unlike third party, for-profit mail services. The US Postal Service must protect and ensure the safest and most accessible way to vote as millions of American voters working long hours, those with disabilities, and those with pre-existing conditions will solely depend on voting-by-mail to cast their votes.
However, recent events threaten the US Postal Service's ability to deliver the anticipated surge of mail-in ballots. Contrary to the recent unsubstantiated claims about high voter fraud claims, there is no credible evidence suggesting that voting-by-mail results in election fraud. On August 21, 2020, US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy confirmed that voting by mail is safe and secure. Extensive research reveals that voter fraud is very rare and KAC condemns repeated, false allegations of fraud that make it harder for millions of eligible voters to participate in elections.
Among other things, the US Postal Service faces a budget shortfall of 160 billion dollars. In order for the Postal Service to fulfill its responsibility to deliver American votes safely, the Postal Service must be adequately funded. Securing America's ability to vote by mail is not a bipartisan issue but a way to protect our fundamental right to vote transcending political lines.
As a result, KAC strongly encourages our community members to contact your federal elected legislators and urge them to support renewed funding for the US Postal Service. Also, we can stay informed and engaged by:
Every single vote counts and your vote matters. We call upon every eligible voter in our community to participate and vote during this critical election cycle.