Chinese still seek Beckel termination

Updated: 2014-07-25 11:44

By Lian Zi in San Francisco (China Daily USA)

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Chinese communities around the world signed a petition this week demanding Fox News dismiss TV host Bob Beckel immediately and apologize to Chinese Americans. More than 150 representatives from more than 30 countries signed the statement.

The statement, entitled Bob Beckel Must Apologize and Resign, reads: "Bob Beckel recently made racist and discriminative comments about Chinese people. The Chinese communities are applauding the officials they elected for standing up at a crucial moment to safeguard the rights of Chinese CommunitiesWe must unite the Chinese communities here in America, as well as Chinese all over the world, make our voice heard loud and clearWe want to see Bob Beckel apologize and resign."

Bob Beckel apologized on his show The Five last Monday for his "Chinamen" comment, but refused to apologize to the Chinese government.

"I made some comments last week about the Chinese people which apparently upset some people, for which I apologize," Beckel said near the end of the show.

"HoweverI do not apologize for the things I've said about China - and I won't go into the litany of it now because there are too many China apologists in this country - but I will continue to warn the American people about how dangerous China is to the US' security and to our business community. But to those who were offended, I apologize. I do not apologize to the Chinese government, or for their habits, or for their murders, or for anything else."

Betty Yuan, a local Chinese community leader in San Francisco told China Daily, "We don't accept Bob Beckel's apology. He just repeated his racist statement and hurt Chinese Americans again. He needs to apologize and resign from Fox."

John Amato, founder of the Crooks and Liars, wrote:"That's not an apology at all. In fact, it's another slap in the face to all the Asian people he offended. He used his apology to say the same things he said while calling them 'Chinamen'."

Bob Beckel's apology was for his statement about Chinese people during his program The Five on July 4. He said: "The Chinese are the single biggest threat to the national security of the US As usual, we bring them over here and teach a bunch of Chinamen, uh, Chinese people, how to do computers, and then they go back to China and hack us."

Beckel's remarks have been strongly criticized by Chinese-American politicians, including some state representatives from California.

California State Senator Ted Lieu, a Chinese-American Democrat who is running for retiring US Rep Henry Waxman's seat, demanded Beckel's immediate resignation. Lieu said that Americans "should all be alarmed by the racist, xenophobic comments".

Congresswoman Judy Chu released a statement, saying "As a Chinese American, I am deeply offended by Bob Beckel's comments and call for his immediate resignation."

Congressman Michael Honda, who represents the 17th District of California, wrote on his Twitter: "I am outraged and disgusted by Fox News commentator. Fox News needs to do the right thing and fire him."

Senator Bob Huff criticized Bob Beckel's discriminatory statement last week. He said:"Was Beckel's tirade offensive? Absolutely. Should Beckel and Fox News apologize? Absolutely Chinese-Americans may not have been paying much attention or had much of a voice in the past, but that was then; this is now."

Huff also called for comprehensive immigration policy reform. "Take a look at our top schools in our state, you'll see Chinese leading the pack and raising the academic standards of their respective schools. And if they are here on a student visa, why do we force them to return when they finish? Beckel thinks they just go 'home' to hack into our computers, which is nonsense, but we should reform our immigration policy to give them permanent legal status when they possess education or skills in areas in which we have needs."

The office of Councilmember Kansen Chu will hold a rally at San Jose City Hall next Tuesday calling on Fox News to fire Beckel. Chu said she was shocked at Beckel's offensive words and "apology". "In Silicon Valley, immigrants have been major contributors to the building of the region into the most technologically advanced in the world," she said.

This is not the first time that a US TV host has made offensive comments about the Chinese. In 2008, CNN President Jim Walton apologized for the insulting statement made by CNN commentator Jack Cafferty on China. In 2013, ABC host Jimmy Kimmel apologized for airing a clip of a child who suggested that "killing everyone in China" could be a solution to the US' debt problem.

(China Daily USA 07/25/2014 page2)