Rep. Kevin McCarthy Must Apologize for His Anti-Chinese Tweet
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Lately, R-CA, Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, and Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State both refer the novel corona virus as “Chinese coronavirus.” McCarthy post a message on his twitter, framing Chinese virus when he forwarded CDC’s link for awareness.
Pompeo said similar things in his interviews. Other Republicans, such as Senator Tom Cotton and Rep. Paul Gosar, who is currently under self-quarantine, have echoed them. Kevin twitter's link: https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editorials/article241061166.html
WHO names the new virus COVID-19 as the official name which has been adopted worldwide by media outlets and common folks. We don’t see the point why the name of a virus needs to be politized. Thus, we become deeply concerned that these politicians’ deliberate efforts to link the virus with a country and a special ethnic group will intensify racial stereotype and trigger antagonism and hatred.
How many times is COVID19 being mentioned in the news? A lot. Just imagine it were to change the term into Chinese virus, how safe and comfortable would we feel in our daily life as Asian-American? Just imagine you have to fight the pandemic as well as constant fear of retaliation. Labeling a virus with a distinct ethnical notation alienates all of the innocent Asian-Americans who contribute to American society as everyone else, whose last wish is being scapegoats and targets of hatred simply because of their looks and decedents. People in our community are losing businesses. Even worse, violence against Asian-looking people already took place.
The blaming game is an easy choice when problems rise: to blame other political parties, to blame foreign regimes, etc. We understand there are tensions between the U.S. and the China on issues of trade, South China Sea, 5G, etc. But as the whole world is fighting the virus, humanitarian unity should prevail.
Yes, one can argue that in the past, human being used locations to define epidemic diseases. Spanish Flu was coined in 1918. Then, slavery had been abolished not a long time ago. It’s still a wild dream that one day women and black people would be entitled to vote in the United States of America. Americans have come from a long way as generations of generations have been fighting for equality and justice. In the world of epidemic, we later encountered the term Russian Flu in the 1970s, a term that reflected the Cold War mentality. Yet, in the 2009’s H1N1 pandemic, no one mentioned the U.S. or Mexico when naming that virus.
It saddens many Asian-Americans’ hearts that racism is promoted openly by these politicians in 2020. In 2009, the California State Legislature issued a formal apology to the Chinese community for the Chinese Exclusion Act targeting one ethnic group. It has marked a tremendous progress in our society. As McCarthy, a representative from Bakersfield, California, tweeted his devious tweet, it feels like an old ghost resurfaced.
“I’m embarrassed to be his colleague,” tweeted Rep. Grace Meng, D-NY, of Chinese descent, in response to McCarthy. “I’m so disgusted. We await his apology to the nation, the Chinese-American and AAPI (Asian and Pacific Islander) community and to his own constituents.”
Fighting pandemic, McCarty is supposed to lead in the frontline as a selected senior official, not a petty hate-promotor. We’d expect him to show his knowledge, intelligence, and generosity, rather than insensitivity and racist overtone. He owes all of the innocent Asian Americans an apology for victimizing us in this tough time. Global village may arguably come to an end, but the diversity of American society continues to be celebrated as a major strength of our country.
We, AADC (Asian American Democrats Club) are calling for an awareness of our opinions toward these politicians. We also demand an apology from McCarty. Our voices might not be the loudest, but should be loud enough to get heard.
Asian American Democrats Club
March 13. 2020
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