Sept. 28, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng has received a barrage of racist and anti-Asian voicemails after passing a resolution in the House of Representatives earlier this month condemning such behavior.
Meng introduced the resolution to denounce anti-Asian sentiment related to the coronavirus pandemic in March and the House passed it on Sept. 17. Since then, her office has had numerous callers leave offensive and obscene messages personally attacking her and Asian Americans.
Meng compiled the audio recordings into a video along with clips of President Donald Trump in which he called the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” and “Kung Flu.”
Last week my resolution condemning anti-Asian sentiment passed the House.
After that, I got many racist voicemails saying the very things we collectively condemned.
— Grace Meng (@RepGraceMeng) September 25, 2020
Several callers used foul language and mentioned the virus by the anti-Asian names used by the president, the video shows.
“Anti-Asian hysteria and discrimination must end,” the video says as it ends.
Meng’s resolution denouncing anti Asian rhetoric didn’t pass the House unanimously, with 164 Republicans voting against it.
“164 Republicans voted against #HRes908 & couldn’t condemn this hate,” she Tweeted. “Words & actions have consequences.”
The video Meng posted also features a clip of President Trump responding to reporter’s question about his use of the words “Chinese virus.”
The reporter asks Trump if referring to the virus that way puts Asian Americans at risk. Trump cut the reporter off mid sentence and said “No.”
Meng denounced Trump for calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” when her resolution passed Sept. 17. She said it was only stoking people’s fears and hatred, while scapegoating Asian Americans.
“These are more than just hateful and irresponsible words,” Meng added. “This language has fueled the increase of threats and attacks against those of Asian descent, and many Asian Americans continue to live in fear.”
The number of reported hate crimes against Asian Americans in New York City has jumped since mid-March, according to the NYPD. The NYPD established an Asian Hate Crimes Task Force in August.
“Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Asian Americans have been forced to endure demeaning and disgusting acts of bigotry and hate, consisting of everything from verbal assaults to physical attacks,” Meng said.
Meng’s resolution calls on federal law enforcement officials to investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes and threats against the Asian American community in the U.S. and bring the perpetrators to justice.
It also calls on the law enforcement to collect data on the rise of hate crimes due to COVID-19.