Michigan Chinese American Community calls on Rep. Bettie Cook Scott to join all Michiganders in building a Stronger Community after Racially Offensive and Xenophobic Comments


August 18, 2018
Contact: Lisa Wang Gray
(248) 982-8628

Michigan Chinese American Community calls on Rep. Bettie Cook Scott to join all Michiganders in building a Stronger Community after Racially Offensive and Xenophobic Comments​

Chinese American Coalition of Michigan is outraged by statements made by Rep. Bettie Cook Scott (D-Detroit) meant to marginalize the Asian American and immigrant community on August 7th during Primary Election Day.

Early on during the day Rep. Scott referred to one of Rep. Stephanie Chang’s campaign volunteers an “immigrant”, saying “you don’t belong here” and “I want you out of my country”. Later in the day, Rep. Scott was talking to a voter and said, “these immigrants from China are coming over and taking our community from us.” Further, she said it “disgusts” her “seeing Black people holding signs for these Asians and not supporting their own people.” Towards the end of the voting day Rep. Scott approached another campaign’s volunteer and told her not to vote for the “ching-chang”, apparently referring to Rep. Chang. She was overheard telling multiple voters “Vote for me. Don’t vote for the ching-chong!” She also told Rep. Chang’s campaign staff that she called Chang’s volunteers “ching-chongs”, saying “I called them ching-chongs. That’s what they are!”

We strongly denounce such outrageous, racially charged remarks. Xenophobic and racial stereotypes have no place in today’s elections or public dialogue. All civic leaders, especially elected officials and candidates for office should be held to higher standards of professional conduct and respect for constituents. No person, especially in a position of power should use stereotypical imagery and language based on racial or ethnic backgrounds that can lead to a negative effect to social harmony. Use of such stereotypes is counter to the American way and the progress our country has made over last 60 years. We are a nation of immigrants and we are stronger when we work and live together harmoniously. We hope a renewed effort is made towards furthering mutual respect and understanding in our diverse community as a result of this recent episode. Although an apology was released through Rep Scott’s lawyer, we call on her to join us in building a stronger Michigan through mutual respect and friendship.

“Members of the Chinese American community in Michigan are proud Americans. A large percentage are second or third generation. We all see the United States as our home, as “our country”. We see all Americans as “our people” regardless of ethnic origins. Xenophobic and racially motivated ideas like this only lead to hatred, mistrust and sometimes violence among our fellow citizens. Elected officials and civic leaders should be leading by example to create a more inclusive, harmonious and supportive community. Living in this manner only makes us stronger and we hope Rep. Scott comes forward to join us in making Michigan a stronger community. “said Lisa Wang Gray, Chair Chinese Association of Greater Detroit (CAGD). Association of Chinese Americans president Roland Hwang said, "The Association of Chinese Americans joins a list of Chinese American organizations in finding Rep. Scott's statements is an attempt to marginalize the Chinese American and immigrant communities and such statements should not be tolerated."

Chinese American Coalition of Michigan:
Chinese Association of Greater Detroit (CAGD)
Chinese American organizations (ACA)
Detroit Chinese Business Association (DCBA)
Detroit Chinese Engineers Association (DCEA)
American Chinese Culinary Federation-Michigan. (ACCF-MI)
North American Chinese Society of Automotive Engineers (NACSAE)
Michigan New Century Chinese School (MNCCS)
The American Chinese School of Greater Detroit (ACSGD)
Ann-Hua Chinese School (AHCS)
Plymouth-Canton Chinese Learning Center (PCCLC)
North American Association of Chinese Engine Engineers (NAACEE)