In an alleged bid to reduce crime and improve living conditions, a conservative Republican Southern California Mayor says he wants to bring in more Asians and “the gays” to his city.
Lancaster Mayor Raymond Rex Parris told Vice in an interview that his city now needs to have more Asians and members of the LGBTQ community. The city has recently become increasingly known for the rise of meth labs and Neo-Nazis, Vice pointed out.
“Good things happen when you’re able to increase your Asian population to a certain threshold: Crime rates go down, education levels go up,” Parris, a known staunch conservative was quoted as saying.
“Interestingly, the same thing happens with the gays. That’s why I put the new performing arts center right downtown.”
It is worth noting that Parris has made some fairly controversial actions or comments in the past.
He reportedly once called an African American City Council candidate a “gang candidate” who might turn the city into a “magnet for street gangs.”
The Wall Street Journal also reports that the mayor used powerful speakers to blast bird chirping recordings for five hours a day at a boulevard in a period of 10 months, in an effort to reportedly calm residents and reduce crime.
Observers believe that Parris’ comments may have got to do with his earlier plans of attracting Chinese businesses in Lancaster to help boost the economy. Over the years, the mayor has exhibited a huge amount of interest in Chinese investments.
Aside from his multiple business trips to the country, he has initiated programs that would help entice Chinese families to live, study and start a business in Lancaster. Although such actions earned him some criticisms, he remains positive that Chinese businesses would contribute significantly to the city’s economy.
“To me, it made perfect sense,” he said in response to critics. “You have affluent Chinese coming over here, and their children become U.S. citizens. We don’t want that?!? … What we should be doing is saying, ‘If you have a Ph.D. in money, we’ll pay you to come.’ Seriously!”
Make no mistake about it, although Parris may seem to favor Chinese immigrants, his statements still reek of certain prejudices.
Looking at Chinese people through the Asian “model minority” lens shows his racial prejudice, which is actually not that distant from the “gang candidate” label he branded the African American City Council candidate. The same goes with the way he views gays as a comunity who would automatically be excited about a “new performing arts center.”