Rep. Grace MengGrace Meng91 House Dems call on Senate to expand immigration protections in Biden spending bill State Democrat group teams up with federal lawmakers to elect down-ballot candidates Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE (D-N.Y.) fought back tears on Thursday while issuing a scathing rebuke to Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyThe Memo: Gosar censured, but toxic culture grows Jarring GOP divisions come back into spotlight Overnight Health Care — Presented by Rare Access Action Project — White House unshaken by mandate ruling MORE (R-Texas) over comments he made during the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on discrimination and violence against Asian Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Roy prompted immediate criticism from Democrats for remarks he made in his opening statement about the coronavirus pandemic and the Chinese Communist Party at the hearing, which focused on the recent surge in anti-Asian attacks in the U.S.
Roy referred to the Chinese Communist Party as the “the Chi-Coms,” blaming it for the pandemic.
He also used his time to speak out against measures that would crack down on hate speech, arguing the policies would infringe upon freedom of speech.
Meng criticized Roy’s rhetoric later during the hearing and accused the congressman and others in his party of “putting a bull's-eye on the back of Asian Americans across this country” with charged rhetoric.
Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) says Republicans "can talk about issues with any other country that you want — but you don't have to do it by putting a bullseye on the back of Asian Americans across this country, on our grandparents, on our kids" https://t.co/BdhFoLZitq pic.twitter.com/mBDXPDNNyS— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 18, 2021
“Your president, and your party, and your colleagues can talk about issues with any other country that you want, but you don't have to do it by putting a bull's-eye on the back of Asian Americans across this country,” Meng said.
“This hearing was to address the hurt and pain of our community, to find solutions and we will not let you take our voice away from us,” she continued, choking up.
The comment came hours after Meng took aim at former President TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE in an interview for his use of terms like “Chinese virus” and “kung flu” when referring to the coronavirus, saying his rhetoric helped contribute to a spike in anti-Asian attacks seen in the nation this past year.
“When you have a leader in this country who has a tremendous platform, use words and fuel false facts and misinformation about the virus and it's perpetuated by the leaders, the top leaders of the Republican Party in the White House and in the Congress,” Meng said, “what happens is people, Asian Americans are getting shoved, assaulted, spat on.”
According to a report released by Stop AAPI Hate earlier this week, there have been reports of nearly 3,800 firsthand accounts of anti-Asian hate since March 2020, around the time the pandemic began in the U.S.
The hearing on Thursday, which was held by the Judiciary Committee’s civil rights subcommittee, was the first meeting on anti-Asian bias that Congress has held in more than three decades.
The meeting comes less than two days after a shooting spree in Atlanta left eight people did, six of whom were Asian women.
While local police have said it's too early to determine whether the attacks, which targeted spas in the city, were a hate crime, the shootings have reignited a nationwide conversation around the surge of anti-Asian crimes in the country.