Elaine Chao is accusing Democrats of a “double standard” on racism against Asian Americans, saying she has faced attacks on her Chinese heritage both in office and on the campaign trail.
On Democrats: Chao, who served as the former secretary of Transportation in the Trump administration, said Democrats accuse her of “divided loyalties” while claiming to be “purveyors of anti-discrimination.”
- “They’re the ones who question my ethnicity, question my patriotism, question the patriotism of my family and my husband,” Chao, who is Taiwan-born and married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, told the Washington Examiner.
- In February 2013, a Democratic political action committee called Progress Kentucky tweeted that U.S. jobs moved to China because Chao “has the ear” of her husband.
- Chao told the Examiner that she was “consistently maligned” and continued to face “baseless, false attacks” as she served on Trump’s cabinet.
- She also accused the media of amplifying racist attacks against conservative people of color, saying, “Somehow, if you are a conservative, a Republican, you are not deemed to be of your ethnic race.”
On anti-Asian hate: Chao acknowledged the recent spike in reports of anti-Asian incidents in an op-ed for USA Today.
- In her article, Chao pointed out that she is “not immune” to malicious attacks, claiming that she recently received an email entitled, “Go back to China, China woman.”
- She also shared her family’s journey to the U.S., which started from her father topping Taiwan’s national exams and being given the chance to study abroad.
- She also noted the “growing awareness of the need to be more visible and vocal” among the AAPI communities, which, despite their accomplishments, are “often not seen as influential.”
- McConnell, who attended POTUS Biden’s signing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, is one of the earliest supporters of the legislation, inviting fellow Republicans to join him in passing the bill last month.
Chao was the first Asian American woman to hold a Cabinet position. To date, she is the longest-serving Cabinet member since World War II, having also served as secretary of labor in the Bush administration.