Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hillary Cancels Sikh Fundraiser

Well, it's been a long vacation, and a short rewind, but I'm back, after working my butt off on local elections and other business. Things are really heating up for us in Virginia and other states, and 2008 is just around the corner, so updates might be few and far between, but I will try to stay on top of stories as much as possible.

So the story that I'm currently most interested in is not the rehash of do white guys prefer to date Asian women, but rather the backstory of why the Clinton campaign decided to cancel a half hour fundraiser with Sikh Americans in Bakersfield, California.

"I’ll take $1 million from our Sikh people and give it to people who are going to work with us ... not somebody who says they’re going to work with you and deserts you at the end," Virk said. Virk also alleged racism. "We’re a minority group. We wear turbans. ... They don’t want to see Hillary Clinton with people wearing turbans and stuff," he said.

Some organizers said that the appearance was cancelled due to ‘security reasons’. The local Democratic Party chairwoman, Candi Easter, said she had been told that the security issue centred on an organizer of the event who had recently travelled to Pakistan. Rubbishing the claim, Virk complained that the talk of a security problem was contributing to perceptions that Sikhs are suspect. "I’d like to hear from Hillary Clinton giving an explanation. Now, it’s our reputations on the line," he said. "We’re Americans and we’re here to stay forever."

I mean, $1M for a half hour is not bad. It works out to $33,333.33 per minute. Which isn't chump change, especially since under the current campaign finance reform rules, the max you can take in from a single donor is less than that.

But if the reason really is that Hillary was afraid of "tainted" Asian American money or turbans, this has got to be the lamest exucuse ever. At least dignify your supporters with a proper apology and explanation.

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