The PAC Working for Us sent two mailers
last month, above and below, that
offered racial stereotypes against India.
CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | It was an especially steely comment as far as campaign press releases in mid-June go from the Ro Khanna campaign Tuesday morning. And the controversy he may need to unseat Rep. Mike Honda could be race (if you can believe it).
Recall, shortly before the June primary, a political action committee calling itself “Working for Us” sent a mailer in opposition of Khanna saying, “Don’t let Ro Khanna outsource our jobs.” Another followed with the same theme. “Stop Ro Khanna from shipping American jobs overseas.” Khanna and other Indo American groups protested the loaded language of the mailers. “This is the crudest form of racially coded language,” Khanna would later write in letter deploring the mailers and urging Honda to renounce the ad. Honda did neither and PACs are groups independent of the campaigns they support or oppose.
On Monday, Honda issued support for the U.S. Patent Office’s decision last week to cancel trademark protections for the NFL’s Washington Redskins, a moniker many groups say is racially insensitive to American Indians. “It is now time for the Washington team to move forward in the process of developing a new name that is not disparaging to specific groups of people,” said Honda. “It is offensive to me that in 2014, we continue to have professional, collegiate and lower level sports teams that have names and mascots that are inappropriate. Words and names are powerful, and their impact cannot be underestimated.” Honda was one of 10 congressmembers in May 2013 who publicly called for the team owner to change its nickname.
Khanna’s campaign found more than a bit of hypocrisy in Honda’s support for one cause and not another. “To this day, Congressman Honda remains silent about the offensive ‘outsourcing’ attack launched by his close supporters and donors,” Khanna said in a statement Tuesday. “That it was sponsored by someone outside of his immediate campaign is no excuse for his continued silence. Racism anywhere deserves to be denounced — especially in our political process.”
And, then in one of the most hard-hitting social commentaries you will ever see in a campaign, especially in a race pitting two minorities, Khanna wondered, among other things, if Honda’s campaigns is really about winning at all costs.
“The question for Congressman Honda is why his outrage seems to be selective,” said Khanna. “Does he refuse to speak out against racist messages directed at the Indo American community because it isn’t worthy of his protection? Or is it because it was done in the furtherance of his campaign? The people of 17th District are awaiting an answer.”