A County Commissioner running for U.S. Senate out of Oregon has apologized for remarks that were offensive to some Vietnamese Americans, reports The Register-Guard.
During a candidate’s forum last month in Newberg in a response to a question about Syrian refugees, Faye Stewart made comparisons to the influx of Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s.
He said the Vietnamese refugees “created a huge problem because their culture and their lifestyle didn’t mix with ours…when they needed something to eat, they went to their natural ways of doing it by harvesting people’s dogs and cats, their pets.”
“Sure, there was a lot to get used to and there was a lot to learn about,” said Duy Chi Nguyen who works with Vietnamese American student groups on ten campuses in Oregon and Washington. “Just to make a claim that we didn’t know anything and we’re going out and hunting dogs and cats, that’s ludicrous, that’s absurd and that’s incredibly insulting.”
Nhu Le of the Asian Pacific American Student Union at the University of Oregon agreed.
“The fact he’s a representative for Lane County is disgraceful,” she said. “He’s a very public figure and a role model to many in this community, and the fact that he said that is really disheartening.”
Stewart admits he made a mistake and has apologized. He says his remarks were taken out of context.
“I’m sick over this, to be completely honest with you because that’s not who I am. … I’m a leader of inclusiveness and helping people.”
Stewart is running to unseat incumbent Democrat, Ron Wyden.
(AsAmNews is an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. You can show your support by liking our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/asamnews, following us on Twitter and sharing our stories.)