C.A.C.A. Response to KXL Billboard
October 30, 2013
Larry Wilson, CEO
Bob Proffitt, COO
Scott Mahalick, Program Director
Alpha Broadcasting Program Director
Messrs.' Wilson, Proffitt and Mahalick,
I am writing in response to both the demeaning message displayed on the billboard message that your agency placed at Portland's Old Town Chinatown as well as your response to the outcry among many individuals and groups, including our local affiliate, Chinese American Citizens Alliance-Portland. As the National President of the Alliance (C.A.C.A.), among the nation's oldest civil rights and social advocacy organizations focused on addressing injustices perpetrated upon and inequities that have deprived our citizens of Chinese descent, I would be naïve to think the placement of this phrase from "Full Metal Jacket" wasn't meant to get clever laughs from those who know its origin and context.
And right in the middle of Chinatown? For those who know it and remember it, does the picture of a Vietnamese prostitute uttering those words to a soldier bring anything positive to the inhabitants and merchants of that area? Once again, boneheaded marketing attempts to gain attention and publicity without gauging the potential harmful effects have been met with justifiable outcry. While I do applaud your swift response to make it right by replacing the signage, I concur with our local President Cyrus Lee in strongly urging that there be a prompt effort to establish continuous dialogue with the station's personnel, starting with the Marketing and Programming department, so they can better understand challenges of prejudice and discrimination experienced in Portland's Asian American community.
The Portland Chinese American community has had a long, rich and positive history as productive, contributing and law-abiding citizens. We have been connected to this city for over 100 years. It is time for your station, KXL, to "Stay connected with us, my friends!"
Dr. Lee and I look forward to your serious desire to strengthen relationships that will allow us to help you raise the bar to facilitate racial harmony and understanding. Can we count on your three gentlemen to connect for change?
Chinese American Citizens Alliance