Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) on Thursday shared on CNN’s “New Day” some of the horrific, racist voicemails she was bombarded with after the House last year passed legislation she sponsored condemning anti-Asian hate.
The callers used racist slurs to describe the coronavirus, echoing ex-President Donald Trump’s inflammatory and divisive rhetoric about the virus. As the pandemic has raged, attacks on Asian Americans have spiked, including Tuesday’s Atlanta area massage spa shooting deaths of eight people, six of them women of Asian descent.
“They’re disturbing, to say the least. They are unsettling and unfortunately they’re not new, are they?” CNN’s Erica Hill said of the voicemails.
“Look, I have pretty thick skin,” responded Meng.
“My heart goes out to so many families who are afraid to let their elderly parents and grandparents go outside to the supermarket for fear of being harassed,” she continued. “For the parents, some of who have been texting me saying they’re not going to let their kids play outside anymore because they don’t want them to get bullied. I just feel so sorry for the Asian American community.”
Meng originally shared the voicemails on Twitter in September. She called attention to them again last week, warning that “hate incidents against Asian Americans continue to rise.”
“We must speak up and speak out. Our community has run out of ‘nice,’” Meng said.