"When we say Republican rhetoric and policies embolden anti-Asian hate and violence, this is what we mean," said Rep. Ayanna Pressley.
Democratic U.S. lawmakers and Asian-American and Pacific Islander advocates joined Rep. Judy Chu in condemning Congressman Lance Gooden on Friday after the MAGA Republican—who took part in an effort to overturn the last presidential election—cast aspersions upon the California Democrat's loyalty to the United States.
Gooden (Texas) appeared Wednesday on FoxNews' "Jesse Watters Primetime" and suggested Chu—who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus—should be kept from seeing certain classified materials and investigated for defending Dominic Ng, a Chinese-American banker appointed by the Biden administration to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's Business Advisory Council.
"I question her either loyalty or competence," said Gooden. "If she doesn’t realize what's going on then she's totally out of touch with one of her core constituencies."
"After centuries of being targeted for not being 'American enough' and viewed with suspicion based on looking 'foreign,' this type of insinuation and fear-mongering only further endangers our communities."
Earlier this month, The Daily Caller—a far-right news site known for platforming xenophobes and white supremacists—published an article in which Gooden is quoted urging the FBI to "immediately launch an investigation" into Ng's alleged links to the Chinese Communist Party.
"Rep. Gooden's comments on Fox News questioning my loyalty to the USA is absolutely outrageous," Chu, the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress, said in a statement reported by NBC News. "It is based on false information spread by an extreme, right-wing website. Furthermore, it is racist. I very much doubt that he would be spreading these lies were I not of Chinese-American descent."
\u201cDear @Lancegooden: I served in the US military (unlike you) to defend your right to say stupid, racist shit. Attacking the loyalty of Asian Americans like @RepJudyChu is a racist trope that has harmed Asian Americans throughout US history. Stop harming Americans of Asian descent.\u201d— Ted Lieu (@Ted Lieu) 1677198785
Chu's Democratic colleagues took to Twitter to condemn Goodman's remarks as "racist."
"Insinuating that Chair Chu is disloyal to the United States because she is Chinese-American is categorically wrong," the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) said in a statement. "This type of racist targeting and profiling of Chinese-Americans by right-wing extremists is not only xenophobic, it is incredibly dangerous."
"After centuries of being targeted for not being 'American enough' and viewed with suspicion based on looking 'foreign,' this type of insinuation and fear-mongering only further endangers our communities," the caucus added.
\u201cWhen we say Republican rhetoric and policies embolden anti-Asian hate and violence, this is what we mean.\n\nI'm proud to stand with @RepJudyChu and I condemn these racist and xenophobic comments by Rep. Gooden.\u201d— Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley) 1677258002
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) tweeted that "baseless, xenophobic, and blatantly racist attacks against Rep. Judy Chu by extreme MAGA Republicans are right out of their anti-American playbook."
"Rep. Chu is an exceptional public servant and leader," he added. "House GOP leadership: It's past time to hold your conference accountable."
Taking aim at Fox News for airing Gooden's "xenophobic and racist" attack, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) asserted that "we cannot allow anti-Asian bigotry to go without condemnation."
Some observers noted that Gooden's remarks came just days after the anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's infamous executive order authorizing the concentration camp imprisonment of Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast—largely due to baseless concerns regarding their loyalty.
"More than 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated because of false claims of disloyalty because of their ethnic origin," tweeted Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, an interpretive center at the site of one of the World War II concentration camps. "The U.S. government apologized for it. Now the same kind of false claims are being made again."
\u201cWe will not stand by as racists like this one try to revive one of our ugliest moments in history. \ud83d\ude21 TY @RepJeffries & others for speaking up against ignorant fear mongering. We are American too. \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8\u201d— Grace Meng (@Grace Meng) 1677201536
On Friday, Gooden doubled down on his remarks, accusing both Chu and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.)—who published a statement defending the congresswoman—of "playing the race card in a sick display of disloyalty to our nation."
Gooden is a member of the so-called "Sedition Caucus" of nearly 150 Republicans in Congress who attempted to subvert the 2020 U.S. presidential election in service of former President Donald Trump's "Big Lie" that the contest was stolen.