A policy aide to Rob McKenna's Campaign for Governor had some very embarrassing tweets come to light.
shut up and speak english # asians
Kathlyn EhlDemocrats are demanding the aide be dismissed by the McKenna Campaign. The aide has now apologized but the Mckenna's Campaign has refused to fire the aide Kathlyn Ehl
if it takes an entire green light to walk in front of my car GET A WHEELCHAIR # toooldtowalk
McKenna campaign staffer apologizes for tweets
n an email message to The Seattle Times, Ehl apologized, saying she hurt many with her statements and "for causing that pain, I am sorry."
Ehl will remain on the campaign, spokesman Charles McCray said.
posted by DOMINIC HOLDEN
UPDATE 4: Earlier today, I'd asked Asian Counseling and Referral Service for their take on the matter. Here's the polite—but scathing—statement from spokesman Owen Lei:We understand people sometimes make mistakes or tell inappropriate jokes. But as an organization that works regularly with marginalized people, many of whom rely on our programs precisely because they face language barriers most of us couldn't imagine, we can't help but be discouraged by comments like this.
Honestly, if it were that easy to "shut up and speak English," we wouldn't be helping tens of thousands of people a year with multilingual counseling services, ESL job training and legal translation to guide them through various roadblocks. If it were that easy to "get a wheelchair" we wouldn't be training hundreds of healthcare aides to care for homebound elderly.
That said, it appears the staffer in this incident was venting personal opinions and has since apologized for her actions. We will respect her apology, as long as it's based not in shame over potentially making her boss look bad, but rather in a genuine desire to understand the challenges of the groups she targeted and in her own clarity of how hurtful those comments can be.