Glenn Youngkin, the Republican gubernatorial candidate for Virginia, used the word “yellow” to describe Asian people in an interview that recently resurfaced with podcast host Chris Arps back in April.
Vying for Asian votes: Speaking on the “Water Cooler Politics” podcast, Youngkin said, “I so look forward to being governor . . . so that all Virginians — Black Virginians, Brown Virginians, White Virginians, yellow Virginians — can all achieve their aspirations and their ambitions.”
- “Yellow” is a known derogatory term used against Asians. Yellow Whistle, a campaign that aims to fight anti-Asian hate, noted on its website that the term “yellow” has been “weaponized against Asians as the color of xenophobia.”
- Youngkin secured the GOP nomination for governor days after the interview.
- The politician has attacked anti-racism education and vowed to ban “critical race theory” from schools, according to American Independent.
- He has reportedly supported a ban on transgender children playing on sports teams of their gender. He also took the side of a public school teacher who refused to call trans and gender-nonconforming students by their preferred pronouns.
Unacceptable: Youngkin’s use of the offensive term has since earned criticisms from Asian American politicians.
- Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus chair Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) said, “’Yellow’ is not, and has never been, the appropriate way to speak about the Asian American and Pacific Islander community – a large and diverse community. With the drastic rise in Anti-Asian hate crimes over the past year, language like this exacerbates the problem and paints AAPIs as perpetual foreigners.” She further highlighted the diversity of experiences and needs within the members of the community.
- State Del. Kathy Tran, the first Vietnamese American elected official in Virginia’s history, said: “Glenn Youngkin’s use of this slur to describe our community is not only grotesquely offensive – it is downright dangerous. It evokes “yellow peril,” where Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are considered to be threatening and dangerous.” She pointed out how Youngkin’s offensive comment comes when anti-AAPI violence and bigotry are on the rise.
Dems also use “yellow”: In response to the criticisms, the Republican Party of Virginia posted a video on Twitter showing prominent liberals using not only “yellow” but also “red” in a similar context, the Washington Post reported.
Virginia Democrats say it’s racist to use the term “yellow.” So why was it used at their own party’s convention? pic.twitter.com/1vEEi0naM4
— Virginia GOP (@VA_GOP) June 30, 2021
- The clip featured actress Whoopi Goldberg, Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, Harvard professor Cornel West, civil rights activist Al Sharpton, as well as Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).
- Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter defended the candidate, saying, “Glenn Youngkin will always seek to uplift and empower Virginians of every color. None of these Democrats had a problem with this same language being used at their own Democrat National Convention last year, or being used by elected officials in their own party.”
Featured Image via Water Cooler Politics