The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) Statement Following Nebraska Governor’s Xenophobic Remarks Towards a Flatwater Free Press Journalist
(San Francisco, CA October 19, 2023)– Following Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen’s Xenophobic Remarks Towards a Flatwater Free Press Journalist, TAAF Chief Executive Officer Norman Chen issued the following statement in response:
“TAAF stands with Yanqi Xu, a journalist with the Flatwater Free Press, who was targeted by xenophobic remarks from Nebraska’s Governor Jim Pillen in response to her investigative reporting about his hog farming operation.
Governor Pillen’s dismissal of Xu's work because of where she is from is not only appalling but also outright racist. Anti-Chinese rhetoric skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to have dangerous consequences for the safety of the whole Asian American community.
What’s more, Asian Americans are the fastest growing minority group in Nebraska and make up 3.5% of its residents. For the Governor, the highest leader in the state, to publicly degrade a journalist based on her ethnicity fosters an environment where AAPIs cannot feel safe and do not feel like they belong.
Elected officials must be responsible to all of their constituents and must be held accountable for what they say on their platform. We call on Governor Pillen to apologize to Ms. Xu and work with local AAPI leaders to learn about the implications of these remarks and to rebuild trust with the AAPI community.”
TAAF serves the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in their pursuit of belonging and prosperity that is free from discrimination, slander, and violence. Founded in 2021 in response to the rise in anti-Asian hate and address the long standing underinvestment in AAPI communities, TAAF funds best in class organizations working to mobilize against hate and violence, educate communities, and reclaim our narratives through our core pillars of Anti-Hate, Education, Narrative Change, and Resources & Representation. Through our grants, high-impact initiatives and events, we're creating a permanent and irrevocable sense of belonging for millions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. For additional information about TAAF, please visit www.taaf.org.