Leave it to Chip Roy to use a hearing about violence against Asian-Americans to complain about China.
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing earlier today, to address the matter of anti-Asian violence in the wake of the Atlanta shootings, where a man opened fire at three massage parlors in Atlanta last Tuesday evening, leaving eight people dead, most of them were women of Asian descent.
During the hearing, the U.S. Representative took the microphone to address the tragic matter, “All Americans deserve protection and to live in a free and secure society,” he said, “…victims of race-based violence and their families deserve justice.” He then quoted an old saying that pretty much glorifies lynching, “There’s old sayings in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree. You know, we take justice very seriously, & we ought to do that. Round up the bad guys.”
Roy continued by saying he doesn’t agree with these types of hearings, “My concern about this hearing is that it seems to want to venture into the policing of rhetoric in a free society, free speech, and away from the rule of law and taking out bad guys” deviating from the subject and deflecting blame to the Chinese government for a number of completely unrelated things.
“I think the Chinese Communist Party running the country of China, I think they are the bad guys,” he said. “I think that they are harming people and I think they are engaging in modern day slavery,” he stated.
He also seized the opportunity to call out the Chinese government for the worldwide pandemic as well, “And I think that what they did to hide the reality of this virus is equally deserving of condemnation.”
The congressman’s speech is regrettably unsurprising since it follows the conservative narrative of promoting anti-Asian sentiment across the nation, an action that has already driven a number of racial hate crimes, including the recent shootings.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started there have been many prominent members of the Republican party tried to blame China for the entire situation. From former President Trump calling it the “Chinese virus” to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn saying he thought “China is to blame” for the virus “because [of] the culture” there. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz also used his podcast to promote these damaging ideas.
Other Republicans were calling the disease the “Chinese virus,” “Wuhan virus” and even “Kung-Flu.” Yuan Shu, the director of the Asian Studies Program at Texas Tech University, says this type of mockery has many negative implications for Asians and Asians-Americans, “This gesture will fuel a new wave of crimes and stigmatizes the entire racial group.”