November 15, 2022
Former President Donald Trump today announced his presidential candidacy for 2024. Throughout his last administration, President Trump’s use of racist rhetoric targeting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities — such as referring to the COVID-19 pandemic as the “Kung Flu” and the “China Virus” — led to a rise in hate, as Stop AAPI Hate documented first in 2020, finding that his Tweets that contained racist, stigmatizing language were liked well upwards of four million times.
As recently as last week, President Trump again used anti-Asian language against Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Truth Social. And just this past Sunday, he once again referred to former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Labor Elaine Chao as “Coco Chow.”
The following statement is attributable to Cynthia Choi, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate:
“As racial scapegoating of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders seems to turn increasingly toxic, Donald Trump’s return as a presidential candidate is chilling. In the week leading up to his campaign announcement, Trump has already targeted Asian communities twice with blatantly racist remarks on social media. And this evening, he doubled down on his playbook of disinformation and scapegoating, referring to COVID-19 as “China Virus” and suggesting China played a role in the 2020 election — a claim that has been proven wrong and only fuels anti-Asian racism in America. While this is no surprise coming from today’s most notorious public figure known to stoke and weaponize anti-Asian sentiment for political gain, the real-life dangers of his racist rhetoric cannot be understated.
Contrary to Trump’s assertion that Asian Americans “were thriving” under his presidency, we know all too well the harm that his words and actions dealt to us. We have seen the devastating impact of Trump’s hate-fueled rhetoric and policies on AAPIs and other traditionally oppressed communities — including a sharp rise in hate incidents, unjust racial profiling and deeper divisions across the nation. Amid the pandemic in 2020, Trump’s systematic use of anti-AAPI racist rhetoric drove such an increase in hate incidents that we are still dealing with the aftermath today. Right now, many AAPIs are justifiably afraid for our communities, our loved ones and ourselves.
But our communities have transformed over the last several years. We are activated and united against hate, and we refuse to be silenced. In the face of racism, we will stand up, call out hate, and fight to ensure that the rise in hate Trump helped sow does not happen again. No community of color should have to face elections with fear. As the fastest growing racial group in the country, we are done with being blamed and instead demand that our issues are on the agenda and our voices are heard.
Anti-Asian rhetoric and its resulting harm on our communities is too often dismissed or relegated to a footnote. We call on leaders and allies — in government, business, media, and everywhere — to disrupt the centuries-old pattern of ignoring or downplaying anti-Asian racism and hold President Trump and all other candidates publicly accountable. With your support, the 2024 election need not repeat the harms of 2020.”