- GOP Rep. Chip Roy is not backing down from comments about lynchings made at a hate crimes hearing.
- “There’s an old saying in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree,” said Roy.
- Critics said the comments glorified lynchings, which Asian Americans have historically been subjected to.
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Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas refused to back down on comments he made about lynching in a congressional hearing on anti-Asian violence.
Roy made the remarks on Thursday at a hearing about a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes following Tuesday’s mass shooting at three spas in Atlanta, Georgia, where 6 Asian women were among the victims.
He said his “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.”
Roy went on to criticize Communist China and said the focus should not be on restricting speech but punishing criminals.
“There’s an old saying 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,” said Roy.
The comments drew widespread criticism, with Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat whose family were immigrants from Taiwan, calling on him to apologize.
” The largest mass lynching in American history was against Chinese immigrants. I call on Chip Roy to apologize. He shouldn’t have been glorifying lynching at this hearing and he’s confusing the fears of a foreign government with what this hearing is about, which is attacks on Americans who happen to be of Asian descent,” Lieu told CNN”s New Day Friday.
But Roy in a statement to CBS News on Saturday doubled down on the comments.
“I meant it,” Roy said. “We need more justice and less thought policing. We need to stop evildoers, 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.”
“No apologies,” Roy added.
Some critics have pointed out that the expression Roy claimed is an old Texas saying is probably taken from “Beer for My Horses,” a song by country star Toby Keith in collaboration with Willie Nelson.
Keith has denied the song glorifies lynching, and told Fox News in 2008 it’s about “the old West and horses and sheriffs … and going and getting the bad guys. It’s not a racist thing or about lynching.”
Former President Donald Trump was accused in a UN report last year of whipping up anti-Asian xenophobia during the pandemic, with Trump having repeatedly sought to pin the blame for the coronavirus on China, calling the disease the “China virus” and the disparaging “kung flu.”