News From Progress Michigan

Monday, Feb. 13, 2012

Contact: Mitchell Rivard, (517)

Pledge asks candidates for office to refrain from using harmful racial and ethic stereotypes in their campaigns

MADISON HEIGHTS – In light of the now-controversial Super Bowl ad by former Congressman Pete Hoekstra, over twenty civil rights organizations and leaders today announced the launch of a new non-partisan candidate pledge, asking those running for public office to refrain from using harmful racial or ethic stereotypes or xenophobic messages in their public communications. 

“Now is the time to take a stand against disrespectful campaigning that plays on harmful stereotypes of any racial group, said Stephanie Chang of Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote – Michigan. “We should be doing everything we can to discourage ads that use dangerous stereotypes. The 2012 Respect America, Respect Michigan pledge does just that by asking candidates for both the U.S House of Representatives and Senate to live up to a basic standard of respect for Michigan’s diverse communities and to take a stand against such campaigning.”

The 2012 Respect America, Respect Michigan candidate pledge, will be sent to all candidates who have filed for federal office in Michigan. Additionally, candidates for state and local office are encouraged to publically state their commitment to engage in respectful campaigns and sign the pledge as well.

“As the first Korean American elected to state office, I want to make sure Michigan embraces all communities, which will make Michigan a stronger, more vibrant state,” said State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood. “This is the vision for Michigan we want to communicate to the rest of America and the world.”

Chang and Hopgood were joined Monday by the Rev. Charles Williams II of Michigan National Action Network, Ahmar Iqbal of Michigan Unity, Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission, American Citizens for Justice, ACCESS, Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan, Detroit Branch NAACP, Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Association of Chinese Americans, Chinese Association of Greater Detroit, Sikh Foundation, Hindu American Foundation, Bangladeshi American Democratic Caucus, Pakistan Association of America, United Asian American Organizations – University of Michigan, ImLaw, PC, 80-20 Initiative Southeast Michigan Chapter, the Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Filipino American Community Council of Michigan, Philippine American Community Center of Michigan, Asian Pacific American Student Organization – Michigan State University, and the Michigan Muslim Democratic Caucus.

The list of all candidates who sign the pledge will be posted on the APIA Vote – Michigan website ( and updated regularly. The full-text of the 2012 Respect America, Respect Michigan pledge reads as follows:

“I am proud of the fact that Michigan is an increasingly diverse state. I recognize that at every level of American society, African Americans, Arab Americans, Asian/Pacific Islander Americans, Latino/Hispanic Americans and Native American/American Indians contribute to our democracy, culture and economy.

I promise that my election campaign will not use harmful racial or ethnic stereotypes or xenophobic messages. I understand that the use of stereotypical imagery and language is inappropriate and denounce any campaign effort that uses such approaches. I will run a campaign that is respectful of the diverse communities of our state and nation.” 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment