ZHEN WU, Candidate for San Clemente City Council
I receive quite a few messages, emails, and texts from fellow residents. Most of them are inquiries about issues facing our community. Some offer to volunteer, support, or contribute to my campaign.
I greatly appreciate people reaching out to me, and I’m excited to be a transparent and accountable councilmember. Yet, someone must be very upset about me running for City Council. Recently, I received this message from a San Clemente resident:
“Can you please just go back to your home country? White people don’t go to your country and run in politics. Just go home, be with your people. Be proud to be Asian. Stop trying to be something you are not. San Clemente is a white European-American city and does not need you running for power. We never asked for you. Please respect us and our culture. No hate, but please respect us.”
The writer left an incomplete name and a fake number, so, unfortunately, I cannot address this resident’s concerns directly.
It is unfortunate to say this, but a message like this is not totally surprising. I wasn’t caught off guard by any means.
Two years ago, when over 4,000 San Clemente residents voted for me for City Council, I began to experience the ugliness and division that occurs in our country’s political processes, especially nowadays.
I was even accused of being a Chinese Communist Party infiltrator. At least this time, this resident tried their best to hide their racism, xenophobia, and pure hatred, behind kindness—”No hate, but please respect us.”
Far too often, I receive messages like this, many of which are laden with profanity, so I can’t quote them here.
I’ve lived in San Clemente for 18 years. I am a proud Chinese American. I am a patriot, concerned about the future of our community and country, just like everyone else. The San Clemente I raised my son in is not the San Clemente this individual wants it to be.
San Clemente has no place for hate. One does not have to like me or vote for me. But I draw the line at wanting to run my family out of our own community. And to this individual, just so you know, I am a proud Asian, but my country is the United States of America.