House Republicans kicked off their first hearings of the year addressing the threat to America from China, with some Democrats warning of potential racism when addressing those threats.
During the House Financial Services Committee’s hearing on the economic threat from China on Tuesday, top Democrat on the committee Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called for people to avoid using language that “stokes hatred,” bringing up violence against Asian Americans and blaming former President Donald Trump for the violence.
In a rambling opening statement, she said:
I also want to point out the fact that anti-Asian American violence has skyrocketed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic fueled significantly by former President Donald Trump’s dangerous and xenophobic language which we must hold the Chinese government for its harmful actions. We have a responsibility to avoid language that stokes hatred and viewers’ xenophobia and violence against the Asian American communities.
And during the House Armed Services Committee’s first hearing of the year on the national security threat from China also on Tuesday, Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) urged members to use “responsible language.”
Before I close, Mr. Chairman, I just want to express that I think it’s important for every member of this committee to use responsible language when referring to the People’s Republic of China, and the Chinese Communist Party. While there are valid reasons to critique the actions of the Chinese Communist Party, it’s important that we do not conflate the actions of a political party and the Chinese people.
These anti-China sentiments can lead to an increase in xenophobia and racism towards the broader Asian community, which we saw during then COVID-19 pandemic when an increase of 339% anti-Asian hate crime was reported last year compared to the year before. So as we continue our work in this Congress, we as members of the House have a duty to use responsible language, while also holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable.
Democrats have repeatedly blamed Trump and white supremacy for anti-Asian violence in the U.S., despite many violent attacks featuring non-white perpetrators.
Author Ying Ma wrote in the Washington Examiner as early as May 2021 that discussion of black-on-Asian violence was an “overdue conversation.” She wrote:
The frequency and brutality of anti-Asian violence have made “Stop Asian Hate” a popular hashtag and protest slogan this year. Still, America has yet to grapple with a core part of the problem: black-on-Asian crime and racism.
Tragically, such horrendous crimes have now become commonplace in major urban centers. Notable attacks have occurred in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. Often, the victims are defenseless, the attacks unprovoked, and the culprits not white.
Political leaders, activists, and the media have widely attributed the rise in hate crimes to former President Donald Trump’s controversial use of the terms “China virus” or “kung flu.” But did Trump really inspire racially motivated violence in heavily Democratic areas and from demographic groups that overwhelmingly opposed him? His accusers have no answer.
Democrats also warned against using racist language when discussing the coronavirus pandemic that originated from China, blasting Trump for using the term “Kung-Flu”and arguing that the virus should not be called the “Wuhan Virus,” despite heavy evidence to date that it originated in Wuhan, China.