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Fil-Am candidate gets hate mail, peers come to her defense

/ 12:37 AM May 24, 2018

Cristina Osmeña, a congressional candidate for California’s 14th District, said she was shocked, upset and lost sleep after getting the hate mail. INQUIRER/Jun Nucum

OAKLAND, California — A Filipina running in the California primaries received hate email attacking her as a political refugee who has availed of everything good that the U.S. has to offer. The letter also urged all immigrants like her to go back to the countries they came from.

Cristina Osmeña, a candidate in California’s 14th District United States House of Representatives, said she was shocked, upset, and lost sleep after getting the hate mail signed by “A True American Patriot God Bless America!” She said half of her district was born abroad.

“Immigrants helped build this country. Immigrants come here, start businesses, take risks. Alexander Hamilton was an immigrant. Albert Einstein was an immigrant. A large portion of the technology industry here is populated by immigrants. I thought these ideas were already a given. But maybe they do need to be reinforced over and over again. Without its immigrants, California’s economy would collapse,” Osmeña strongly stated. “I think it’s the influx of new minds and new energy that makes Silicon Valley the innovation engine that it is. Immigrant helped build this country.”

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Osmeña acknowledged that it is not possible to tell the writer’s political leaning from the email, although the second paragraph refers to Osmeña having been “endorsed by the Republican Central Committees and the California Republican Party” that rejected bipartisan immigration legislation, claims immigrants “aren’t people, they are animals” who come to the Unites States from “s***hole countries,” that sought $25 billion in taxpayer funds for a wall to keep out unauthorized immigrants, among others.

Assembly candidate for District 22 of California Christina Laskowski says the letter sender does not have a clear understanding of President Trump’s position on immigration. INQUIRER/Jun Nucum

“The letter to me does highlight a supposed inconsistency in my candidacy (on) how an immigrant, a refugee, minority woman can run in the same party as a President who has made comments as shocking as the ones that have been reported. First, I don’t agree entirely with the President’s immigration agenda. I think we need robust legal immigration to keep the economy growing. Second, I think the hate mail writer is twisting some statements out of context,” Osmeña reiterates.

The third paragraph, to Osmeña, sounds like a far right racist blatantly asked “why don’t all you immigrants go back to the s***hole countries you came from, and give the good things this country has back to us, the native-born patriots of America?  Your party and its leader have been reiterating that position so regularly, that they must be right—mustn’t they?”

“This kind of nativist bigotry has no place in either party,” Osmeña maintains. “I suppose, if I were to approach this hate mail with a measure of empathy, I should feel sorry that he or she may feel economically displaced by the constant influx of people from abroad.”

A number of Filipinos, mostly from the district that Osmeña represents, came to her defense.

Assembly candidate for District 22 (which covers part of South San Francisco and all cities in between through Redwood City) Christina Laskowski said, “’True American Patriot’ does not have a clear understanding of what President Trump has been talking about when he talked of sending certain people back to their countries of origin. Trump was talking about illegal immigrants with criminal records.”

Former Lowell High School Dean Ray T. Cordoba of South San Francisco, son of a Philippine Scout, believes that the letter sender is typical of persons who have xenophobia.

Former Lowell High School Dean Ray T. Cordoba of South San Francisco believes that the letter sender is typical of persons who have xenophobia. INQUIRER/Jun Nucum

“I believe this fool has not learned anything from classrooms and is strictly out to make a statement to gain attention for himself or incite,” Cordoba said. “The human race is imperfect, we should all understand that with the good there is the bad we have to contend with.”

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Filipina realtor Marilyn de Castro Becklehimer of Burlingame called the letter racist, “the true definition of a toxic mind.”

“We’re in California that is one diverse state.  Daly City alone is comprised of at least 70% immigrant residents! I don’t think this hate mail will impact her candidacy,” Becklehimer stressed.

Jose Desequera of Daly City said,“Cowardly behavior hiding under a fake name is unacceptable!”

The letter in full:

Dear Ms. Osmena,

I see from your candidate statement that you and your family fled political injustice in the Philippines, sought asylum in the United States, and made a life for yourselves by availing yourselves of “everything good that [y]our adopted country has to offer.”

I note that you are endorsed by the Republican Central Committees and the California Republican Party.  I also understand that the leader of your party, while rejecting bipartisan immigration legislation, claims immigrants “aren’t people, they are animals” who come to the Unites States from “s***hole countries.”  I also understand that the leader of your party seeks $25 billion in taxypayer funds for a wall deterring immigration into the United States, threatening to shut down the government if funding is not approved before the next fiscal year.  The leader of your party has attacked our own state for its laws giving immigrants sanctuary—much like the political asylum you and your family received when you immigrated to the United States.  You write that “immigrants cannot all be painted with one brush”; curiously, when you were welcomed into the United States, no similar restrictions and conditions were placed on you.

Why don’t all you immigrants go back to the s***hole countries you came from, and give the good things this country has back to us, the native-born patriots of America?  Your party and its leader have been reiterating that position so regularly, that they must be right—mustn’t they?

Sincerely yours,

A True American Patriot

God Bless America!

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TAGS: California primaries, Cristina Osmena, hate mail, JUn Nucum, xenophobia
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