Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) is under fire for comments he made during a congressional hearing on discrimination and violence against Asian Americans in the United States.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties met Thursday afternoon, and Roy referenced lynchings and claimed the hearing was an attempt to police free speech.
“We believe in justice. There’s old sayings in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree,” he said before the House Judiciary Committee. “You know, we take justice very seriously, and we ought to do that. Round up the bad guys. That’s what we believe.”
"There's old sayings in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree. You know, we take justice very seriously, & we ought to do that. Round up the bad guys." -- here's Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) glorifying lynchings during hearing on violence against Asian-Americans pic.twitter.com/uy5irfmJCo— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 18, 2021
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said in a tweet that Roy glorified lynchings and that the largest lynching in the nation’s history was against Chinese immigrants.
Chip Roy glorified lynching at a hearing on violence against Asians. The largest mass lynching in US history was against Chinese immigrants.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 18, 2021
I served on active duty in the US military to defend @chiproytx’s right to say stupid, racist stuff. I just wish he would stop saying it. https://t.co/9pHb3ERgaN
Rep. Grace Meng, (D-NY), also testified at the hearing and was taken aback by Roy’s comments.
She claimed Republicans had helped incite the violence against Asian Americans by using language like the “China virus” to describe the coronavirus, just as former President Trump did, according to an article from NBC News.
“Your president and your party and your colleagues can talk about issues with any other country that you want, but you don’t have to do it by putting a bull’s-eye on the back of Asian Americans across this country -- on our grandparents, on our kids. This hearing was to address the hurt and pain of our community, to find solutions, and we will not let you take our voice away from us,” Meng said.
Following the House hearing, Roy defended his comments and said that, despite the backlash, he doesn’t regret his statements.
“Apparently some folks are freaking out that I used an old expression about finding all the rope in Texas and a tall oak tree about carrying out justice against bad guys. I meant it. We need more justice and less thought policing,” Roy said in an interview with NBC News. “We should restore order by tamping out evil actors, not turn America into an authoritarian state like the Chinese Communists who seek to destroy us. No apologies.”
The hearing was held for discussion on how Asian Americans have faced discrimination both historically and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can learn more about the hearing here.