A California man said this week that the city of Pasadena was finally issuing him an apology “under duress” nine months after writing a racial slur on his parking ticket.
Sean Ching told KCAL that he had lived in Pasadena all of his life so he was shocked when he saw the “g” in his last name change to “ks” on the ticket in December of 2013.
“Chink” is perhaps the most well known racial slur used against people of Chinese heritage like Ching. In fact, an ESPN editor had been fired in 2012 for using the phrase “chink in the armor” in a headline about Taiwanese basketball player Jeremy Lin.
“I usually turn the other cheek and take the higher road, but something like this; I was just shocked, then I got really angry,” Ching recalled to KCAL. “I was really offended, especially being in Pasadena. Because I grew up here. I was one of the first non-white families here, so I’ve always dealt with a little bit of racism.”
“I explained to [the city] that it was just like using the N-word to a black person,” he pointed out.
Ching said that the city promised him an apology nine months ago, but the letter never came. So, he recently took his case to social media.
This week, the city provided KCAL with a copy of a letter that it promised would be sent to Ching.
“Staff was unable to clearly read your handwriting and mistakenly wrote ‘ks’ instead of a ‘g’,” the letter states. “It was never our intention to disparage you.”
But the way it all went down has left Ching feeling like the apology was insincere.
“I think what was really wrong about this whole situation is even when I’ve heard them say there’s going to be an apology, but it’s under duress,” he observed. “It’s completely insincere, and that’s what really bother me.”
Watch the video below from KCAL, broadcast Jan. 6, 2015.
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John Heilemann was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's "The Last Word."
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