APIAVote Condemns Rep. Lance Gooden’s Racist Comments, Denounces Larger “Othering” of Asian Americans
WASHINGTON D.C. – Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) issued the following statement in response to Rep. Lance Gooden’s comments accusing Rep. Judy Chu of disloyalty to the United States, and the larger phenomenon of public figures “othering” Asian Americans as un-American.
Recently in a Fox News interview, Rep. Lance Gooden insinuated that Rep. Judy Chu is disloyal to the United States and questioned whether she should hold a security clearance or have access to classified briefings.
“Accusations such as Gooden’s feed into the larger narrative existing around Asian Americans, especially Chinese Americans, that we are perpetual foreigners; that we are not loyal to America or ‘American enough.’ Even if we are citizens, or have dedicated over 30 years to public service as Rep. Judy Chu has, we must go through additional hoops to prove our American-ness.” said Christine Chen, Executive Director for Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote.
“Rep. Gooden’s recent dangerous insinuation is part of a growing anti-Chinese, anti-Communist narrative that mirrors the justification used to create the McCarthy-era House Un-American Activities Committee eighty-five years ago. We must learn from our (recent) past. Just like then, the hysteria is unfounded – but we have the opportunity to write a better path forward. Our elected officials and others in leadership positions must not fall into a fear-driven trap and persecute American citizens based on innuendo and guilt by association. APIAVote calls on Rep. Gooden to apologize for his remarks, and for all elected officials to hold each other accountable and to a higher standard.”
“From accusing Japanese Americans of being spies during World War II, to accusing Chinese professionals of being spies for the Chinese Government, suspecting Asian Americans of disloyalty has a long history in the United States. Accusations without clear substantiated evidence are reckless and dangerous. We must clearly call out Gooden’s accusations for what they are; a witch hunt based on suspicion and conjecture to gain cheap political points.”
“We concur the transnational threats we face in today’s world are very real, and should be taken seriously. However, we must confront these threats without scapegoating, falsely accusing, or threatening a group of people based on race, ethnicity, or prejudice.”