Congressional Racism: Appalled But NOT Shocked or Surprised

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Congressional Racism:  Appalled But NOT Shocked or Surprised

In three deadly shootings Tuesday, March 16, at Atlanta-area spas, eight people lost their lives, leaving behind family members — one an infant daughter — and friends, including longtime customers.  Seven of the eight killed were women. Six people were of Asian descent. Two were White.  Another was an immigrant from China who proudly built her business from nothing. The youngest was 33. The oldest was 74.  The alleged gunman, Robert Aaron Long, 21, was charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

This shooting incident angered many and saddened others.  Our hearts go out to all the victims and their families.  We want justice for these victims and we look to our elected leaders to lead the way ensure that justice is served.  

Yet, while activists across the country are demanding action,  during the House Committee hearing to examine this violence aimed at Asian Americans -- Texas Congressman Chip Roy said this:  “We believe in justice, there's old sayings in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree. You know, we take justice very seriously, and we ought to do that. ‘Round up the bad guys.”  -- Really -- what the HELL?  

When asked by the news media for clarification, he doubles down with "my point is, that's an old expression for justice in state of Texas and elsewhere.  He continued, "and I'm not gonna apologize for that. Look, we have got to get back to justice. We cannot allow our streets to be running amok, because we are defunding police.  Again -- Really -- what the HELL?

The truth of the matter (my opinion) -- Mr. Roy is speaking out loud his personal belief that lynching is okay and justified for  communities of color.  His sentiment is dog whistle to white supremacy and white supremacists.  His words glorify one of the darkest parts of American history and continues to fuel hatred and violence against people of color including Asians.

Are some members of Congress -- racists and bigots -- ABSOLUTELY.  During a radio interview last week Republican Senator Ron Johnson said he didn’t fear for his safety during the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection and added "that he might have been concerned if the rioters were associated with Black Lives Matter or Antifa.  Marjorie Taylor Greene, suggested that Muslims do not belong in government; thinks black people “are held slaves to the Democratic Party”; called George Soros, a Jewish Democratic megadonor, a Nazi; and said she would feel “proud” to see a Confederate monument if she were black because it symbolizes progress made since the Civil War.

Are these people channeling Strom Thurmond?  --  who quite legally and proudly filibustered a civil rights bill back in 1935 — an anti-lynching bill.  He spoke for six days straight to preserve the legality of hanging black people in public by their necks until they were dead — and he called it patriotism then.  Oh my bad -- is it also patriotism today? 

While Blacks have always borne the brunt or RACISM in this country -- there has also been a history of anti-Asian racism.  In the 19th century, xenophobia and nativist sentiments drove the US to adopt what was effectively a whites-only immigration policy. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, which barred Chinese workers from coming to the US and blocked Chinese nationals from becoming citizens. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first law in US history that explicitly prohibited immigration on the basis of race.

Tension between the white and Chinese population climaxed in the 1871 Chinese massacre.  Two rival Chinese businessmen were arguing over a woman, and a shootout ensued, resulting in the death of a white civilian aiding the responding police officers. The Chinese hid in the Coronel building, but were forced out by an angry white mob. This mob only grew in size and power, setting up gallows by turning wagons upright and lynching those unfortunate enough to be present. Eighteen men were killed; only one participated in the shootout.

During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, forcing over 100,000 people of Japanese descent into detention camps in the US.  The order was largely motivated by anti-Japanese sentiments after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japanese Americans in the western US faced suspicion and rampant discrimination, even as many in the community served in the war — and in many cases were thrown into some of the most dangerous missions in Europe.

So, this I know for sure-- RACISM among members of Congress and other governmental leaders always has and always will exist.  Therefore, the WORDS spoken by Mr. Roy and others is NOT SHOCKING at all.  While most leaders won't ever say it -- many will always secretly think it.

  



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