ADL Joins Coalition in Effort to Remove "Jap Road" Signs in Texas
Beaumont, Texas, December 2, 2003…A group of Japanese Americans has filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Justice Department, seeking to suspend Jefferson County's federal funding until "Jap Road" is renamed. Fore more than a decade, efforts to bring about a change through amicable means have been unsuccessful.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Japanese American Citizens' League, League of United Latin American Citizens, District 8, the Urban League, the Organization of Chinese Americans, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, the Asian Pacific American Heritage Association, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, while not joining with the Japanese Americans in the discrimination complaint, strongly support efforts to rename "Jap Road."
The civil rights groups and the Urban League agree that "Jap Road" should be renamed, because the term "Jap" is a racial slur that reflects bias and discrimination against persons of Japanese ancestry and that by continuing to have the street named "Jap Road," Jefferson County gives residents and visitors to the area the impression that the county condones racial bias and discrimination against the Japanese people.
The groups also believe maintaining the name "Jap Road" dishonors the memory and historical significance of Japanese Americans who have lived in and contributed to the community, as well as the meaningful contributions and sacrifices millions of Japanese Americans and other persons of Asian ancestry have made to this country and Southeast Texas.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.