DENVER — The Asian Chamber of Commerce in Denver is seeking an apology from the Greenwood Villager newspaper for a satire article that ran on April Fools Day they say is racist.
The article in the Villager discussing an imaginary theme park being built in Greenwood Village jokes that "city planners traveled to Wuhan, China to work out the details that included bringing over 1000 Chinese workers and their families to the area for the two-year construction period."
It goes on to say the "school board were advised of the boon for school enrollments and are expecting over 1000 new Chinese students in the school district and are quietly soliciting Chinese linguists to teach Mandarin that is spoken in that province."
"Calling out Asians and calling out any race or ethnic group in in the interest of a comedy or satire is wholly inappropriate," said Clarence Low, a board member of the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Denver. "It just continues to elevate this fear mongering and anti-Asian-phobia."
The Cherry Creek School District also called for an apology from the newspaper.
"The racist and xenophobic language used in this article is harmful to the Asian American community and it is offensive to all of us," said Christopher Smith, incoming superintendent of Cherry Creek Schools. "It is incumbent on all of us to stand up and say something when we see discrimination or racism in our community. I call on the Villager to reflect on its article and issue an apology to the community for printing it.”
The Greenwood Villager issued a statement of their own on Friday saying the article "was by no means intended to insult or offend anyone, especially the Asian community." The statement goes on to say, "In light of of recent events and attacks on Asians, the paper sincerely regrets any insensitivities in the April Fools spoof."