News & Press: Press Releases

NAPABA Denounces U.S. Senate Candidate Don Blankenship’s Racist Attacks on Senate Leader McConnell

Monday, May 7, 2018  
Posted by: Brett Schuster
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Organizational Statement

For Immediate Release
May 7, 2018

                                                   For More Information, Contact:
                                                   Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
                                         , 202-775-9555

NAPABA Denounces U.S. Senate Candidate Don Blankenship’s Racist and
Xenophobic Attacks on Senate Leader Mitch McConnell

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) denounces Don Blankenship’s recent remarks attacking United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and raising concerns that Leader McConnell may have a conflict of interest regarding foreign relations with China because his family members are Chinese American. Blankenship, a candidate for a West Virginia Senate seat, referred to Leader McConnell’s father-in-law, who is an American businessman and philanthropist, as a “China person” during a radio interview last week. Blankenship also unveiled a new ad in which he referenced Leader McConnell’s “China family,” presumably referring to Leader McConnell’s wife, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, and members of her immediate family. 

Blankenship’s characterization of Asian Pacific Americans as foreigners perpetuates the harmful notion that Asian Pacific Americans cannot be loyal Americans, regardless of their citizenship, family ties, or even service to the country. Blankenship’s attack on Leader McConnell also appears to be an attempt to capitalize upon and promote an unfounded fear of immigrants.

Attacks against individuals because of their race, ethnicity, or national origin have no place in political campaigns and should be condemned by all candidates for public office.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

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Washington, DC 20006


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