Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) advocacy groups and Republicans hammered CCP-linked California Democrat Jay Chen, running against Korean-American Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA), for making “racist” comments about her, and they have since doubled down.
Chen made “racist” comments during a meet and greet at a Jewish synagogue towards Steel. In a video first reported by Fox News, Chen was caught saying, “Yeah, so she just had another town hall the other day. And, umm, it’s tough. Like, we’ve transcribed it.”
“You kind of need an interpreter to figure out exactly what she’s saying,” the CCP-linked Democrat went on to say, receiving laughter from the crowd. “The more she speaks, the better for us.”
According to Fox News, over 20 AAPI advocacy groups protested outside Chen’s office last week in response to Chen’s comments. One of the protestors, James Mai, told Fox that his organization, AAPI United, put together the protest — which rallied roughly 75 people and represented 46 AAPI advocacy groups.
Mai added that an apology from Chen should be the “minimum” after his comments “instead of digging a deeper hole or telling people that it wasn’t a situation.”
As a Korean American, Steel has dealt with racist attacks her whole life, but it never stopped her from proudly sharing her voice on the Board of Equalization, County Board of Supervisors, and now in the halls of Congress.
Jay Chen’s comments are despicable and an attack on all Koreans and immigrants, whose voices and accents represent the beauty of our diverse nation.
These attacks hit deep because they highlight a long history of racism towards the entire Asian American community. We stand with Rep. Steel and would have hoped we did not have to explain this to her opponent, a son of immigrants himself.
“The Asian American and immigrant communities deserve an apology,” the group added in the letter.
Republican groups also hammered Chen for “lying to the press” and Democrats for not disavowing his comments.
“Jay Chen’s racist remarks were egregious enough, and it makes it even worse that Chen’s flat out lying to the press about it,” said Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) press secretary Cally Perkins about the Democrat doubling down. “If the Democrats are serious that this kind of language has no place in Congress, then they need to disavow Jay Chen and his hateful remarks immediately.”
Torunn Sinclair, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), added that “Jay Chen is a desperate liar who can’t explain away his xenophobic comments about Congresswoman Michelle Steel.”
And the Republican National Committee (RNC), which has made investments in the Asian Pacific Americans community by opening community centers across the country, also hammered Chen for his remarks.
“Jay Chen cannot cover up his racist remarks directed at Congresswoman Steel,” RNC spokesman Nainoa Johsens told Breitbart News. “These remarks were caught on video and are a reminder that Democrats want the Asian American vote but are fine with degrading anybody who doesn’t agree with them. The Asian American community is showing up to hold Jay Chen accountable despite his pathetic excuses.”
Since those comments, Chen doubled down on his remarks in a recent op-ed. In the op-ed titled I didn’t mock Michelle Steel’s accent, Chen wrote that he is a “child of immigrants” with parents that also had accents that fled the “authoritarian shadow” of the CCP. He also claimed that he referred to a “written transcript of Steel’s record” when speaking at the meet and greet.
Chen also used the same talking points as the Democrat’s campaign arm, the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) — which also did not disavow what he said at the campaign event — blaming the congresswoman for using used a “13 second clip” that was “weaponized” by “right-wing outlets” to hide her record.
On Chen’s op-ed, Perkins added that he “continues to push desperate lies in an attempt to sweep his racist remarks under the rug… If [the] DCCC thinks racism has no place in the halls of Congress, they need to disavow Jay Chen.”
In addition, as Chen claimed in his op-ed that his parents fled the “authoritarian shadow” of the CCP, he also reportedly “spearheaded” the effort to bring a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sponsored educational program run by the Ministry of Education into his community’s classroom when he was a school board member in 2010. The program was similar to the Confucius Institutes that were designated by the former President Donald Trump’s State Department to be a “well-funded propaganda effort” used to influence the U.S.:
The Free Beacon revealed that Chen “spearheaded” the effort to bring a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sponsored educational program into his community’s classroom when he was a school board member in 2010. The program, funded and run by the CCP’s Ministry of Education, brings “teachers and curriculum materials to teach their students Chinese language and culture,” similar to the Confucius Institutes on college campuses, the report stated.
However, the effort was considered unsuccessful when the district rejected the CCP-backed funding for teachers and curriculum materials following pushback from local parents in 2011, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Despite the objection, the Democrat still defended his option saying he didn’t “see anything sinister about using books from China” given that “practically everything we use is made in China.”
Under former President Donald Trump, the Confucius Institutes were designated by the State Department as a “well-funded propaganda effort” from the CCP and recognized for “advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms.”
This is also not the first time Chen has made disparaging comments toward the Republican incumbent. During an Indivisible Zoom call in late March, he called Steel “incoherent” while claiming that “all she does is rely on Republican talking points fed by her husband.”