Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) condemned racist coronavirus descriptors throughout a CNN interview on Thursday, in addition to the phrases of fellow lawmaker Chip Roy (R-Texas), who started ranting in regards to the Chinese Communist Party throughout a House Judiciary Committee listening to that very same day.
“I just ask my Republican colleagues to please stop using ethnic identifiers in describing the coronavirus,” stated Lieu, who was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the U.S. together with his household on the age of three. “I am not a virus.”
During the listening to — meant to concentrate on anti-Asian racism and the deadly capturing of eight folks, six of them Asian ladies, outdoors Atlanta this week — Roy abruptly started pontificating in regards to the risks of stifling free speech. He mentioned the Chinese Communist Party, referencing “Chi-Coms” and “bad guys,” and appeared to glorify lynching, arguing that there was an “old saying” in his state about discovering “all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree.”
Roy refused to walk back his comments after they went viral, even after web sleuths decided that his so-called “old saying” seems to be a lyric from a 2003 track by nation singer Toby Keith.
“I served on active duty in the United States military to defend the right of anyone to say stupid, racist stuff, including Representative Chip Roy,” Lieu advised CNN’s Erin Burnett. “He glorified lynching at this hearing. Lynching has had a profound effect on African Americans and Asian Americans.”
Lieu pointed to the 1871 Chinese massacre, a mass lynching wherein a mob entered Los Angeles’ Chinatown and killed no less than 17 immigrants in chilly blood.
“I call on Chip Roy to apologize,” Lieu stated. “He shouldn’t have been glorifying lynching at this hearing, and he’s confusing the fears of a foreign government with what this hearing is about, which is attacks on Americans who happen to be of Asian descent. It’s that inability to separate the two that caused the Japanese American internment in World War II, and it’s causing hate crimes against Asian Americans right now.”
Lieu reiterated these remarks to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Thursday. The U.S. has a “long history of discrimination against Asian Americans,” he famous, citing not solely the incarceration of Japanese Americans, but in addition the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which prohibited the immigration of Chinese laborers for 61 years, and the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin, who was overwhelmed to loss of life by two males within the Detroit auto trade who blamed him for the success of Japanese vehicles, even supposing Chin was Chinese American.
The COVID-19 pandemic is simply the most recent impetus for discrimination, Lieu stated.
“Please stop using racist terms like ‘Kung Flu,’ ‘Wuhan virus’ or other ethnic identifiers,” Lieu urged, repeating the phrases that former President Donald Trump repeatedly used throughout his final 12 months in workplace. “I am not a virus, and when you say things like that, it hurts the Asian American community.”
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