The Vietnamese American Community of the USA
16204 Viki Lynn Pl., Pflugerville, TX 78660 Websites: http://tienggoicongdan.com/, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, CDVNHK@gmail.com. TEL: (703) 980 9425 – (512) 789 0481
April 5, 2016
To: Mr. Faye Stewart, U.S. Senate Candidate (Republican – Oregon)
Lane County Public Service Building
125 East 8th Street, Eugene, OR 97401
Subject: Objection to Mr. Stewart racist statement that insults our Vietnamese Americans
Dear Mr. Stewart;
On behalf of the Vietnamese American Community of the USA, we strongly object your recent racist statement aiming at our Vietnamese Americans.
The truth is that we are from a country of different culture. What is normal to us might not be good to you, and vice versa. But for almost half century in this new homeland, we have been proven one of the ethnics that quickly adapted to the American culture and have earned good reputation thanked to our successes and contributions to American society.
There are some bad apples in a basket. That doesn’t mean the apples are all bad.
You cannot look at some bad guys and conclude that the living style of a community is so bad that you can accept!
Moreover, Vietnamese Americans are peaceful. We cause no threat or harm to America.
What you have said really hurts our feeling and pride.
A man who pursuits political career should never say such insulting thing to any people or ethnic community.
We need you to publicly apologize to our Vietnamese American Community.
CEO, President of the VAC-USA
What did Mr. Stewart say? You can read in these articles.
By Lizzy Acker
Updated March 31
Published March 31
Faye Stewart II has a big challenge ahead of him. He’s running in the Republican U.S. Senate primary and hopes to challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in the fall.
Stewart is a Lane County commissioner from Cottage Grove and part of the family that built one of Oregon’s largest forest products companies, Bohemia Lumber. There’s even a state park in Washington County named after his uncle, former state Rep. L.L. “Stub” Stewart.
And earlier this month, at a March 10 candidate forum at George Fox University in Newberg, Stewart told the crowd that Vietnamese refugees in Portland once “harvest[ed] people’s dogs and cats” to feed themselves.
The Daily Caller writes that Stewart “retold a story about Vietnamese refugees coming to the Pacific Northwest.” Eugene Weekly reported Stewart’s comments yesterday.
“Our government housed them in buildings in the Portland area—my understanding—and what ended up happening was is they didn’t know how to heat their homes,” Stewart said at the forum.
“ What did they do? They started a fire in the middle of the living room in that apartment complex. Or when they needed something to eat they went to their natural ways of doing it by harvesting people’s dogs and cats because their culture and their lifestyle didn’t mix with ours.”
The former president of the Vietnamese Community of Oregon, De Tran, says these are old stories being brought up again in a new context.
“In Vietnam, dog is not a pet like here,” says Tran. “So people in Vietnam eat dog.”
But Tran says refugees didn’t bring that practice with them. “When the Vietnamese immigrants came over in different programs sponsored by the government, we adapted,” he says.
Tran says it would be extremely unusual for a Vietnamese person in Portland to eat dog meat.
Stewart told us via email that his remarks about Vietnamese people in Portland were in reference to the Syrian refugee crisis. “I received my information from a very close friend that lived in Portland that witnessed the items I referred to,” he wrote.
But he regrets mentioning it at the candidate forum. “I’m very sorry I made that reference as I never intended it to be hurtful or cause harm,” Stewart says.
He also feels like the video of his comments has been taken out of context, saying:
We can’t afford to create further division and hate in our communities, our state, and our country. It was bad enough that I made the statement that did just that but to have someone take my comments, edit them out of context, and use them to drive hate makes me sick.
Lana Co, current president of the Vietnamese Community of Oregon, says her organization has received information about Stewart’s comments.
“As a commissioner,” she told us via email, “he should not make a stereotype comment.”
“We do not know where he gets the information about our community but that does not represent us as a whole,” says Co.
“The Vietnamese community has made substantial contributions to the cultural, religious, political, and business life throughout the state of Oregon. He needs to take his comment back and he owes us an apology. He cannot represent us in the Senate.”
You can watch the video of Stewart’s comments here.
Oregon Senate Candidate Complains About Vietnamese Refugees Eating Dogs
UPDATE: According to recently released footage provided to The Daily Caller, there is new clarification as to what Mr. Stewart said that provides greater context to his answer when asked about how to deal with the refugee crisis.
Faye Stewart, a Republican candidate for the contested U.S. Senate seat in Oregon, retold a story about Vietnamese refugees coming to the Pacific Northwest and “harvesting people’s dogs and cats” for food“because their culture and their lifestyle didn’t mix with ours.”
During a GOP candidate forum on March 10 at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, Stewart said,“[W]e took in some refugees, I believe it was some Vietnamese refugees into this state years ago and it created a huge problem because their culture and their lifestyle didn’t mix with ours.”
“And when I say that, you know our government housed them in buildings in the Portland area, my understanding and what ended up happening was is [sic] they didn’t know how to heat their homes. What did they do? They started a fire in the middle of their living room in an apartment complex,” Stewart said.
Adding, “Or when they needed something to eat, they went to their natural ways of doing it by harvesting people’s dogs and cats, their pets.”
“And so what we need to do is we need to make sure that when we do help people we do it appropriately. I question why can’t we go over there and help them in their native land and protect them there. Why do we need to bring them here and potentially jeopardize the citizens lives here. If we do bring them here, then we need to make sure that we do it appropriately so that it doesn’t negatively impact. We have people today that want to kill us because of who we are and we need to make sure that we don’t jeopardize the citizens in the process.”
Steward did note that he is “compassionate” and that he wants to “help people” but “we need to understand that we need help people appropriately and we also need to not jeopardize ourself or our citizens in the process.”
Stewart is currently a county commissioner from Lane County and is one of the four men running to be the Republican candidate to face Democratic incumbent Sen. Ron Wyden