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.
Los Angeles, CA﹣The Korean American Coalition - Los Angeles (KAC) stands in solidarity with the Black community during this incredibly painful time in our country. We stand together in demanding immediate justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other named and unnamed victims before them, who have suffered abusive behavior, discrimination, and unjust treatment by law enforcement.
We stand in full support of non-violent protest﹣exercising the rights of freedom of expression and assembly. KAC calls on the authorities to provide protection for, and to honor the space of, people exercising their right to protest without intimidation and fear. KAC also firmly denounces the incitement of violence, vandalism, theft, and destruction of property, and these actions’ disproportionate and long-lasting impacts on communities of color that could draw attention away from the call for change.
We must not let our discomfort and fear in this chaotic time distract from the core problem at hand: these protests express the pain suffered by the Black community due to years of systemic racism, injustice, and violence in violation of due process and basic human rights. This is not only a Black issue. Systemic inequities that marginalize minorities in this country oppress us all. Nonetheless, we recognize that the Black community has faced outright and direct racism for several generations. We must also recognize that fighting inequity requires a united front. The Black community’s efforts to effect change through the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s paved the way for securing the rights of all communities of color, including Korean Americans. Today, we must all do our part to actively work together, in interracial solidarity and allyship against systemic racism, violence, and oppression.
In order to effect lasting change, KAC urges its members to participate in the political process by voting, and by completing the Census.
To advocate for the most recent victims, we ask you to contact your local representatives and: (1) text “FLOYD” to 55156 for George Floyd; (2) text “ENOUGH” to 55156 for Breonna Taylor; (3) text “JUSTICE” to 55156 for Ahmaud Arbery; and (4) call District Attorney Mike Freeman at (612-348-5550) to demand that ALL of the police officers involved in George Floyd’s killing be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
The Korean American Coalition - Los Angeles (KAC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1983 to promote the civic and civil rights interests of the Korean American community. KAC endeavors to achieve these goals through education, community organizing, leadership development, and coalition-building with diverse communities.
Korean Americans Reporting 2nd Highest Counts of COVID-19 Related Discrimination: Koreatown Executive Directors Call for Coordinated Government Effort Against Anti-Asian Hate
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - On behalf of the Korean and Korean American community we serve, the Executive Directors of Koreatown organizations issue a joint statement of grave concern regarding the recent rise in anti-Asian hate incidents, hate crimes, and stigma. Korean Americans are reported as second highest count of COVID-19 related discrimination and in response, we call upon the Governor’s Office and the Mayor of Los Angeles to establish a coordinated government effort to respond to these incidents in a cohesive and effective manner.
KAC was joined by the Anderson Munger Family YMCA, Center for the Pacific Asian Family, Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE), Kheir Clinic, Korean American Federation of Los Angeles (KAFLA), Korean American Family Services (KFAM), Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), Korean American National Museum, Korean Resource Center (KRC), and Koreatown Youth and Community Center (KYCC), in issuing the formal joint statement.
We are committed to working to ensure safety for our community. Our organizations jointly urge our elected officials, allies, and community members to speak out against these instances of hate. We also encourage our community members to continue to report hate incidents and crimes. For any hate incidents and crime activities, people can report at Stop AAPI Hate and by calling 2-1-1 so our experiences can be counted.