'Racist' email sent by charity employee blames Asians for COVID-19

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A letter from an employee of the charity Be An Angel is being called racist.

Former Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini is the chairman of the organization and is addressing the controversy.

The racist statement appears to blame Asians for the coronavirus outbreak.

It was sent to more than 200 employees at Aldine ISD in an email fundraising campaign.

"Just because you're angry, doesn't mean you should put other people's lives in danger," said Gene Wu, a Democratic Texas state representative.

Wu spoke out against part of the statement which reads:

"Well, thanks to the good folks overseas that brought us egg rolls, firecrackers, and the @#%!& Corona Virus! our annual gala [our largest fund raiser of the year], our summer camps, and our Fourth of July fun run have all vanished like truth in the news."

The email was sent by Russ Massey, the program director for Be An Angel.

According to the email given to ABC13, Massey was trying to promote their Fourth of July fun run, a virtual fundraiser.

"For over 30 years now we have provided adaptive care and equipment for profoundly deaf children and families with multiple disabilities."

The charity said Massey sent the email to close friends, relatives and associates, one of whom was an Aldine ISD employee.

The school district said 200 to 250 employees received the email, mostly in the special education department.

Wu is concerned this statement could perpetuate recent attacks on Asian Americans being blamed for the pandemic.

"People who are sort of already on the edge, people who are sort of already looking for people to lash out at, they take this as a cue that, 'It's okay. Go after them. These people hurt us,'" said Wu.

Pastorini sent the following statement in response:

"There is simply no excuse for this behavior, and I have ordered appropriate and immediate disciplinary steps to be taken with the employee in question. We also will be instituting new racial-sensitivity training methods for everyone on staff to prevent this from ever happening again."

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