California Senator Dave Min is speaking out against racism in Orange County, California, while also experiencing racism himself.
Recently, the freshman senator condemned the racist attacks made against a black player during a basketball game in Laguna Hills, The Los Angeles Times reports.
The comments were made last Friday by a spectator at Laguna Hills High School. In a video, the spectator can be heard saying things like, “Chain him up,” “Who let him out of his chains” and “He’s a monkey.”
On Wednesday, Sen. Min, who represents Orange County, released a statement about the video.
“No student should be subject to racism or hate, whether it’s on the court or in the classroom,” Min said. “It’s that simple. As a person of color and as a father of three kids, my heart breaks for the Portola students and their parents, who have to deal with the disgusting and hateful statements directed at them at Laguna Hills High School.”
The player’s mother said what happened to her son is not an isolated incident. In his statement, Min agreed.
“… I have to also be honest about what we’re seeing here: a clear and alarming trend in our region,” Min said. “This incident was by no means unique. Whether it’s racist comments at Board of Supervisor meetings or Nazi banners hung from our highway overpasses or a Ku Klux Klan rally, hate is on the rise, and it’s unfortunately unfolding in schools across Orange County. I am outraged that there are those in our community that stand by and watch this happen, or even worse, actively abet or even participate in this hate.”
Min himself has been subjected to racism in Orange County. Just last week, Orange County Board of Education Trustee Lisa Sparks called Min “imported” while commenting on his voting rights bill.
Min’s POC colleagues criticized Sparks’ comments.
“As an elected official who should be a leading example to our children, it is unacceptable that Trustee Sparks spews inflammatory rhetoric against communities who have experienced a striking rise in incidents of hate since the onset of the pandemic,” Democratic Party of Orange County Chairwoman Ada Briceño said in a statement. “At a time when voting rights continue to be under attack nationwide by the Republican Party, we must call on all community leaders at every level and every corner of our state to stop Asian hate and stop voter disenfranchisement.”
Democratic Party of Orange County Executive Director Ajay Mohan pointed out that Orange County’s increasingly diverse voting populace would remember Sparks’ comments.
“As an Asian American and a second-generation immigrant, this is deeply personal,” he said in a press release. “Orange County is rapidly becoming younger and more diverse. Comments like this will be answered by voters at the ballot box.”
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