SACRAMENTO — The leaders of the California Asian American and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus (AAPILC), Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Cupertino), chair; State Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine), vice chair; and Assemblymember Mike Fong (D-Monterey Park), vice chair, on Feb. 24 issued the following statements in response to racist comments made by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) in a Fox News interview questioning Rep. Judy Chu’s (D-Pasadena) loyalty to this country:
“We cannot and will not stand for this hateful rhetoric in the United States,” Low said. “The anti-Asian racism spewed by Congressman Lance Gooden against Congresswoman Judy Chu has real-world consequences that emboldens violent extremists and too often leads to violence against Asian Americans.”
“Unlike Congressman Gooden, my friend Congresswoman Judy Chu has never tried to undermine our democracy, overturn an election result, or encourage rebellion against the United States,” said Min. “She has never questioned the legitimacy of our commander-in-chief. Throughout her career in public service, Congresswoman Chu has served honorably and the racist, xenophobic, anti-Asian hate directed toward her by a fellow member of Congress is disgusting and appalling.
“The Asian American Pacific Islander community has been suffering through an epidemic of anti-Asian hate, driven in large part by anti-Chinese comments like those made by Lance Gooden. More Asian Americans of all ethnicities and backgrounds will be attacked and harmed because of his contemptible statement made on Fox News. This is unacceptable. I urge Fox News to publicly apologize for the comments made on its network and to refuse to invite Lance Gooden back for any future interviews until he apologizes and makes amends with the AAPI community.”
“Congresswoman Judy Chu is one of America’s finest public servants,” said Fong. “I know because I have the honor of serving alongside her in our overlapping districts. Rep. Lance Gooden’s comments questioning her loyalty to the United States are hateful and racist. He adds to an unfortunately long history of xenophobia against Asian Americans who are too often portrayed as perpetual foreigners. We must call out bigotry when we see it. We demand Rep. Gooden to issue a formal apology to Congresswoman Chu immediately.”
The California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus represents and advocates for the interests of the diverse AAPI communities throughout California. It seeks to increaseAsian American & Pacific Islander participation and representation in all levels of government. Website: https://aapilegcaucus.legislature.ca.gov
Gooden Doubles Down
According to The Hill, in a tweet on Feb. 26, Gooden pointed to Chu’s vote against a resolution creating a select committee to investigate China, and he cited reporting from The Daily Caller that said Chu had been appointed to an honorary position in an organization with ties to the Communist Party of China.
Chu, who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), has expressed concern that a panel focusing on China will add to anti-Asian sentiment that has already been exacerbated during the pandemic, leading to verbal and physical attacks.
“Democrat @RepJudyChu: Voted AGAINST committee to investigate China. Named ‘honorary chairwoman’ of CCP front group. It’s not ‘xenophobic’ to question where her loyalty lies,” Gooden tweeted.
Gooden has also suggested that Chu should not receive access to classified materials because she defended Dominic Ng, President Biden’s appointee to lead U.S. trade interests in Asia. Ng has been accused of having ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
“I question her either loyalty or competence,” Gooden said of Chu during the Fox News interview. “If she doesn’t realize what’s going on then she’s totally out of touch with one of her core constituencies.”
Criticism of Gooden has come from both sides of the aisle.
“Let me say we should not question anybody’s loyalty to the United States. I think that is out of bounds. It’s beyond the pale,” Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), chairman of the China select committee, told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, the top Democrat on the panel and a member of CAPAC, called Gooden’s comments “offensive.”
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) described Gooden’s “slanderous accusations” against Chu as “dangerous, unconscionable and xenophobic.”