A “blatantly racist” comment made by Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox against Gov. Steve Sisolak’s (D-NV) wife ignited backlash from both the Democratic and Republican parties.
What happened: The Nevada Independent first broke the news of the three-term Republican commissioner’s racist remark on Sunday.
- Cox claimed “the conspiracy theories we’ve said about the New World Order and Agenda 21 have come to life” as she attacked Kathy Sisolak – born Kathy Won Ong – during the commission meeting on Aug. 3 over the reinstatement of an indoor mask mandate in Nevada.
- “Now how long [Gov. Sisolak had] known her I have no idea, but she is Chinese,” Cox continued. “And you put two and two together, they actually said that her family in China own a company that’s making a lot of money off of this issue. That she’s here in the United States promoting and selling all these masks and emergency equipment and everything, and they’re all being shipped over from China.”
- However, Cox failed to provide proof of her claims when she spoke with the Reno Gazette-Journal on Monday, saying she “didn’t have time to talk” about the topic.
Calling out: Sisolak took to social media to address the racist comment at the meeting without name-dropping Cox in his statement.
See my statement below about recent racist comments made against my wife and Nevada’s First Lady, Kathy Sisolak: pic.twitter.com/XUs8DLSXTR
— Steve Sisolak (@SteveSisolak) August 9, 2021
- The AAPI Democratic Caucus of Southern Nevada, Nevada ACLU Director Athar Haseebullah, One APIA Nevada, Nevada Assembly Republican Caucus and the Senate Republicans Twitter account condemned Cox’s remarks at the meeting, 8News Now reported.
Hate is the virus we don’t have a vaccine for.
Read below for our statement in response to Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox’s racist remarks. pic.twitter.com/YsPacMQagN
— AAPI Democratic Caucus of Nevada (@AAPIDemsNV) August 10, 2021
Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox apparently said “it looks like the conspiracy theories we’ve said about New World Order and Agenda 21 have come to life” before insinuating the First Lady, of Asian descent, is financially benefitting from COVID.
Donna is why mandates exist. https://t.co/I5FtT8AkbF
— Athar Haseebullah, Esq. (@atharesq) August 10, 2021
— One APIA Nevada (@OneAPIANevada) August 10, 2021
We add our voice in support of our native Nevadan First Lady Kathy Sisolak.
Hate has no home in Nevada.
Assembly Republicans denounce in the strongest sense of the term, any prejudice against our Asian American community. They are our friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors. https://t.co/9mVM5L18gj
— Nevada Assembly Republican Caucus (@NVGOPAssembly) August 10, 2021
The recent comments about First Lady Kathy Sisolak were hurtful and misleading. Nevadans expect our public officials to conduct themselves at a higher standard. The county commissioner who made the bigoted and disrespectful comments should apologize immediately. https://t.co/YoEHAB8hwJ
— Senate Republicans (@NVGOPSenate) August 10, 2021
- Clark County Commissioner for District F, Justin Jones, and Clark County Commissioner for District D, William McCurdy II, also took to social media to condemn Cox.
My District has the largest percentage of AAPI residents in Clark County. Vile and racist comments made by Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox do not represent Nevada’s values.
— Justin #GetTheVax Jones (@JustinJonesNV) August 10, 2021
The disgusting, racist comments aimed at our First Lady Kathy Sisolak have no place in our state. Home Means Nevada for everyone, in all of our communities. This kind of racism, bigotry, and intolerance is simply unacceptable, especially from an elected official. https://t.co/pK0967EHvW
— William McCurdy II (@WillMcCurdyII) August 10, 2021
Other details: Kathy Sisolak was born in Ely, Nev., in February 1958 and is the youngest of four children.
- Her family moved to Las Vegas, and her immigrant father became the first Chinese dealer on Fremont Street.
- She earned a degree in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and co-founded Hobbs, Ong & Associates in 1996.
Featured Image via (left), Nevada Women’s History Project (right)