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News

City Of Pasadena Calls Man Something Racist When He Appeals A Dumb Parking Ticket

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Over a year after they addressed a Chinese-American man with the word "Chinks," the city of Pasadena has finally issued a formal apology after much prodding and poking, claiming it was a case of bad handwriting.

Longtime Pasadena resident Sean Ching received a letter from the city dated December 10, 2013 upholding a dumb parking ticket (his parking permit fell from his dashboard), but what made him mad wasn't that he would still have to pay the $75 fine. It was that the letter was addressed to Sean "Chinks," a racist term for people of Chinese descent. Naturally upset, Ching went to the parking citations offices seeking an apology but was brushed off by everyone, being told it was a simple mistake. "Being one of the first non-white members in my neighborhood and school, I can assure you I do know the difference (between a mistake) and racism," he told AsAm News. A supervisor Ching described as "curt, coarse, and arrogant" claimed he didn't know what the word meant, even after having it explained to him.

"I usually turn the other cheek and take the higher road, but something like this; I was just shocked, then I got really angry," he told CBS 2.

Ching was eventually promised a formal letter of apology last winter, but never received one. He reached out to AsAm News last week hoping to push the matter along. After they contacted city officials, Pasadena says they have finally sent a formal apology to Ching, claiming it was a combination of human error and bad handwriting:

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A mistake was made by City staff when entering your personal information into our parking management system. Staff was unable to clearly read your handwriting and mistakenly wrote a ks instead of a g, changing your name from Ching to Chinks, and this name was used for subsequent correspondence.

At this time I would like to offer a formal apology for our mistake. It was never our intention to disparage you or cause you any harm or distress. On behalf of the Parking Division staff and myself, please accept my sincerest apologies for this unfortunate incident.
The formal apology was dated January 5, 2015, almost 13 months after the initial offending letter that started this whole mess.

And while we're on the topic of people deserving of overdue apologies for city-sanctioned racism, Pasadena, how about Joan Williams, who waited over 50 years to ride in the Rose Parade because she was black.