State Watch

Democratic legislator called Asian opponent 'ching-chong': report

A Democratic legislator in Michigan running for the state senate is under fire for allegedly referring to her Asian election opponent as "ching-chang" and "ching-chong."

State Rep. Bettie Cook Scott (D) is accused of making the remarks to voters outside polling stations during this week's primaries, according to the Detroit Metro Times.

She was allegedly referring to Rep. Stephanie Chang (D), who has denounced the remarks.

Scott is also accused of calling one of Chang's campaign volunteers an "immigrant" and saying that she wanted the person out of the country. 

Sean Gray, Chang's husband, told the Metro Times that he heard Scott make the disparaging comments and asked her to stop. 

"At that time she said to the voter that 'these immigrants from China are coming over and taking our community from us,' " said Gray, who is black. "Further, she said it 'disgusts her seeing black people holding signs for these Asians and not supporting their own people.' " 

The Metro Times notes that Scott made similar comments about Chang at another precinct. 

"Thanks for voting for me, you don't need to vote for that ching-chang," she said to a voter, according to The Metro Times. 

Scott did not respond to request for comment from The Metro Times. Her office did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill. 

Chang and Scott were running against each other in the Democratic primary for state Senate District 1 - a race that Chang won after receiving 49 percent of the vote. Scott came in third with 11 percent of the vote. 

Chang told the Metro Times that the comments from Scott were "offensive to all Asian-Americans."

"It isn't about me," she added. "It's about an elected official disrespecting entire populations, whether they be Asian-American, immigrant, or residents of Sen. District 1 or [Cook's] own current house district." 

The comments have also led to multiple organizations, including the Association of Chinese Americans and the African Bureau of Immigration & Social Affairs, to demand an apology from Scott, The Metro Times reported.