Last week, Assemblyman Ron Kim sent a message to his constituents announcing that he thinks he now realizes why his hometown of Flushing isn't taken seriously by lawmakers. His guess? They see it as a foreign place, even coining the term Perpetual Foreign Place Syndrome.
He then goes on to list the many ways Flushing is overlooked, from the recent crackdown on nail salons that employ so many immigrant workers to the lack of a longterm solution to the congestion at Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue.
He even mentions the increase in plane noise from LaGuardia Airport that has besieged the neighborhood since 2012 when flight paths were changed to increase efficiency.
There wasn't much more than that in the email other than a link to sign up for updates and stay involved.
Obviously, one person read a lot more into it than that and sent the assemblyman their thoughts on the email, which Kim posted to his Twitter account.
We would print the missive in its entirety for you, but this is a family newspaper and we don't want the editors to get a bunch of angry mail of their own and take it out on the hardworking folks here at the Pol Position desk, so we'll paraphrase.
The message to Kim posits in all-caps that the problem with Flushing is that Asian immigrants have ruined the neighborhood with unbridled growth, and that all the assemblyman seems to be focused on is saving nail salons. It ends with “Get real, ***hole.”
For his part, Kim took the high road, posting the message along with a photo of him holding his daughter and this response: “As one of a few Asian American public electeds, I get my fair share of racist hate mail. I'm unfazed by them though. I'm going to teach my daughter what my father taught me: that if one day our actions get the bigots real worked up and angry, it means you're doing a good job!”
Ah, the joys of being in public office!