Republican Congressman Chip Roy made controversial remarks during Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on the rise in anti-Asian American violence.
At the hearing, Roy said: “We believe in justice. There are old sayings in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree. We take justice very seriously. And we ought to do that. Round up the bad guys. That’s what we believe,” he added.
“My concern about this hearing is that it seems to want to venture into the policing of rhetoric in a free society, free speech, and away from the rule of law and taking out bad guys.”
Last year, violence against the Asian community spiked when former POTUS Donald Trump repeatedly referred to the covid-19 virus as the “China virus.” Several GOP jumped on the bandwagon and have continued to spew Trump’s dangerous rhetoric.
The nonprofit organization, Stop AAPI Hate, has recorded at least 3,795 reported incidents of hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The hearing was attended by Rep. Grace Meng, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus’s first vice chair. She let Roy know under no uncertain terms that her community would not be silenced.
“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, on our grandparents, on our kids. 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,” Meng said.
Following the hearing, Roy did not walk back on his earlier remarks and doubled down.
“Apparently some folks are freaking out that I used an old expression about finding all the rope in Texas and a tall oak tree about carrying out justice against bad guys. I meant it. We need more justice and less thought policing,” he said. “We need to stop evil doers, such as those who carried out the attack in Atlanta this week, or cartels abusing little children. … We should restore order by tamping out evil actors, not turn America into an authoritarian state like the Chinese communists who seek to destroy us,” he said. “No apologies.”
This week in response to the increase in violence and discrimination, President Joe Biden issued an executive order “Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.”
But with leading lawmakers using their platforms to help fan the flames of hatred from inner government, an executive order may bear little fruit.