A Democratic legislator running for the state senate in Michigan is under fire for allegedly referring to her Asian election opponent as “ching-chang” and “ching-chong.”
According to the Detroit Metro Times, State Rep. Bettie Cook Scott (D)
Bettie Cook Scott was referring to Rep. Stephanie Chang (D), who has denounced the racist remarks. Scott is also accused of calling one of Chang’s campaign volunteers an “immigrant” and saying that she wanted the person removed from the U.S.
Stephanie Chang‘s husband, Sean Gray, told the Metro Times that he had heard Scott make the disparaging comments and asked her to stop.
“At that time she said to the voter that ‘these immigrants from China are coming over and taking our community from us,” said Gray, who is black. “Further, she said it ‘disgusts her seeing black people holding signs for these Asians and not supporting their own people.’ ”
The Metro Times also notes that Scott has made similar comments about Stephanie Chang at another precinct.
“Thanks for voting for me, you don’t need to vote for that ching-chang,” she said to a voter, according to The Metro Times.
Chang told the Metro Times that the racist comments from Bettie Scott were “offensive to all Asian-Americans.”
“It isn’t about me,” she added. “It’s about an elected official disrespecting entire populations, whether they be Asian-American, immigrant, or residents of Sen. District 1 or [Cook’s] own current house district.”
The Metro Times reports that the racist comments have led to numerous organizations, including the Association of Chinese Americans and the African Bureau of Immigration & Social Affairs, to demand an apology from Bettie Scott.
“I deeply regret the comments I made that have proven hurtful to so many,” Scott said in a statement through her representative, Bill Noakes. “Those are words I never should have said.
“I humbly apologize to Representative Chang, her husband, Mr. Gray, and to the broader Asian American community for those disparaging remarks. In the divisive age we find ourselves in, I should not contribute further to that divisiveness.
“I have reached out to Representative Chang to meet with her so that I may apologize to her in person. I pray she and the Asian American community can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”
Stephanie Chang and Bettie Cook Scott were running in the Democratic primary for state Sen. District 1. Chang won the election with 49 percent of the vote; Scott came in third with 11 percent of the vote.