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JACL Responds to Xenophobic Comments by Nebraska Governor

During a radio interview in September, Governor Jim Pillen of Nebraska responded to an article written by Yanqi Xu of the Flatwater Free Press, regarding runoff pollution caused by farms owned by the Pillen family. In his response, Gov. Pillen noted that he had not read the article but continued on to say “All you got to do is look at the author. The author is from communist China. What more do you need to know?” JACL denounces Governor Pillen’s remark as racist, xenophobic, and contrary to the advancement of an independent and free press in this country.

The United States has seen a startling increase in anti-Asian hate and violence, specifically targeting Chinese and Chinese American communities. This rise has sadly been fueled by elected officials such as Governor Pillen as well as media personalities who have used their platforms to promote hate and intolerance in society. Legislators and governors in other states have introduced laws restricting property ownership targeting Chinese citizens in the United States hearkening back to the Alien Land Laws of the last century.

The JACL Omaha Chapter Board added: “When community members do not voice their concerns over actions of leaders that negatively impact certain groups, an appearance of complicity or disregard can be construed by the public, and history has shown that innocent people will be targeted.”

Our elected officials must be held accountable for their actions and should take accountability themselves for such. We call on Governor Pillen to apologize for his smearing of Yanqi Xu and his use of anti-Chinese rhetoric.


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