Two Asian American GOP congresswomen have withdrawn their endorsements of Texas GOP congressional candidate Sery Kim due to her “hurtful and untrue comments about Chinese immigrants,” CNN reports.
“As the first Korean American Republican women to serve in Congress, we want to empower and lift up fellow members of the (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community who want to serve their communities,” Young Kim and Michelle Steel, California GOP Representatives, said in a statement. “We talked with Sery Kim yesterday about her hurtful and untrue comments about Chinese immigrants, and made clear that her comments were unacceptable.”
During a candidate forum on Wednesday, Kim said, “I don’t want them here at all,” in reference to Chinese immigrants. She was responding to a question about the U.S.’s immigration crisis.
“They steal our intellectual property, they give us coronavirus, they don’t hold themselves accountable,” Kim continued. “And quite frankly, I can say that because I’m Korean.”
Soon after the forum, the congresswomen released a statement on Thursday criticized Kim’s comments for both their anti-Chinese sentiment and lack of factual basis. “Chinese Americans, and all Asian Americans, are Americans and are contributing to our communities each day,” their statement read. “As we have said, discrimination and violence against Asians and Asian Americans has to stop. Covid does not discriminate, and no American of any race or ethnic group is responsible for spreading the virus.”
Since then, Kim has continued to stand her ground, and the congresswomen withdrew their endorsements on Friday. She told CNN that her remarks “were directed at the Communist Party of China, and were not directed at Asian Americans, especially Chinese immigrants fleeing this oppressive regime.”
In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Kim also said that she was not worried about the increase in reported anti-Asian hate violence. “The biggest difference right now is people are filming it — and the media choosing to report it,” she said. “Asians have always faced violence. It’s not worse than before.”
During the forum, Kim blamed China for anti-Asian violence in the U.S. “I am Asian American and I have never felt discrimination because I blame China for the problems they have actually created,” she said. “They are the ones that caused COVID. They are the ones that steal our technology. They are the ones that manipulate the borders. They are the ones that make you feel guilty because you want to shop at the small business down the street, as opposed to paying for the child labor that they have with the Uighurs.”
The two congresswomen revoking their endorsements for Kim noted in their statements that she demonstrated a clear lack of remorse. “She has not publicly shown remorse, and her words were contrary to what we stand for,” they wrote. “We cannot in good conscience continue to support her candidacy. We will continue to speak out in support of our AAPI community.”
In her own statement in response to the revocation of two important endorsements, Kim expressed her astonishment at the backlash she has received. “I am shocked that in an effort to counter Asian-American hate the liberal media is targeting me, an Asian and an immigrant, in an effort to paint me as anti-Asian and anti-immigrant just for speaking against the oppressive Chinese Communist Party,” she wrote.
“I will not back down from speaking the truth about the Chinese Communist Party stealing intellectual property,” she added. “I will not back down from speaking the truth about the Chinese Communist Party spying on Texans. And I will not back down from speaking the truth about the Chinese Communist Party’s role in spreading coronavirus around the world.”
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