Residents in a New Jersey town received racist campaign advertisements Wednesday promoting the deportation of Chinese and Indian school board candidates. The ads were mailed with pictures of candidates Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel with the word “deport” stamped next to their pictures, alongside the slogan “Make Edison Great Again.”
“The Chinese and Indians are taking over our town,” the pamphlet read. “Chinese school! Indian school! Cricket fields! Enough is enough!”
Anti-Asian mailings received by Edison residents Wednesday.Photo: NJ.com
Patel, who is also an immigration lawyer, appeared on New Jersey radio station WXKW Wednesday to express her obvious disgust with the racist propaganda.
“I didn’t expect anything like that,” Patel said in a radio show interview. “We live in such a diverse town, it’s very shocking somebody would put that in writing.”
Edison’s population is just over 100,000 and roughly 45 percent of its residents are foreign-born, with the majority being of Asian descent.
It is against state election law to not provide identification of who funded the flyers, but it remained unclear Thursday who was responsible.
Police officer Kevin Hahn alleged in a Facebook post Thursday that Edison’s Mayor Thomas Lankey and his public relations firm, Jaffe Communications, were responsible for the advertisements.
“Mayor Lankey’s PR Firm Jaffe Communications was responsible for the previous anonymous fliers that have been released and they need to divulge the identity of the faceless cowards behind ‘People for Progress,'” Hahn wrote. “Mayor Lanky and Jaffe Communications need to be held accountable or state who was responsible for ‘People for Progress.'”
Mayor Lankey, however, previously came out with a statement condemning the racist advertisement.
“As Mayor, my top priority is to protect the safety of all residents,” Mayor Lankey said in a statement Thursday. “Rest assured, Edison will react swiftly to any potential threats that result from this flyer being disseminated in my community.”
International Business Times reached out to Lankey’s office regarding the allegations but had not yet heard back at the time this article was published.