A member of the Michigan House of Representatives running for state senate apologized for calling her opponent, 6th district representative Stephanie Chang, a series of anti-Asian slurs.
Bettie Cook Scott, a 65-year-old Democrat from Michigan’s 2nd House District, was accused of making anti-Asian remarks outside the polling stations during last week’s primaries, according to The Hill.
Scott allegedly referred to Chang as “ching-chang” and “the ching-chong” while speaking to multiple voters outside the polling precincts.
“Thanks for voting for me, you don’t need to vote for that ching-chang,” she was heard telling the voters, according to a volunteer with Voices for Women to Win, Kalaya Long, who later relayed to Metro Times.
Chang’s husband, Sean Gray, who is Black, heard other derogatory statements coming from Scott and also asked her to stop.
“I … asked her not to speak about my wife in that manner. At that time she said to the voter that ‘these immigrants from China are coming over and taking our community from us,'” Gray told Metro Times. “Further, she said it ‘disgusts her seeing black people holding signs for these Asians and not supporting their own people.'”
Chang commented that what Scott said did not only hurt her, but it also made an impact on all Asian Americans.
“These comments are offensive to all Asian-Americans,” she said. “It isn’t about me. 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.”
Through her representative Bill Noakes, Scott offered an apology for her comments against Chang and other people involve in the matter.
“I deeply regret the comments I made that have proven hurtful to so many. Those are words I never should have said,” she said in a statement.
“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.”
Chang, who ran against Scott and other representatives for Michigan’s State Senate District 1 position, won the primaries with a vote of 49.05%, while Scott only managed to reach 3rd with 11.49% of the votes.