Discrimination against Asian Americans: City council candidate experiences racism on social media

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — Hugh Cha is making history by becoming the first Asian American to run for city council in Sun Prairie.

Cha had been campaigning for a few months, when a comment on his Facebook post was brought to his attention.

“I feel like I’m on high alert,” said Cha, “my wife is worried.”

Cha’s family immigrated to the United States in search of the American Dream. His parents moved to Wausau from Colorado in the 1990s to work on the ginseng farms. Cha attended UW-Madison and Madison College, eventually pursuing a career in information technology before following his dream of serving his community in politics.

“We have to value community,” he explained.

Cha says he’s not going to let one person stop him from living his dream.

“This one individual can’t and doesn’t represent the whole,” said Cha.

Sun Prairie Police Chief Michael Steffes says he can’t comment specifically on this case because it’s still under investigation, but he did express his thoughts in a statement.

“The community of Sun Prairie prides itself on respecting the diversity of our citizens. Hate speech can have consequences far beyond the act itself. Becoming the victim of this type of speech can be traumatic and intimidating. If the act is committed because of who you are or what you believe, the violation can be even more hurtful and can have a deep emotional impact. Any behavior or statements that are intolerant of the diversity of our community, ethnicities and backgrounds cannot be tolerated. We encourage any citizens that experience this activity to reach out to our police department.”