- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 18, 2021

Rep. Chip Roy on Thursday was widely criticized on social media for an apparent reference to lynching during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on violence targeting Asian Americans.

The Texas Republican urged his Democratic colleagues to focus on the bad actors carrying out the attacks, not the rhetoric used by former President Trump and GOP lawmakers.

Democrats have used the hearing to link Mr. Trump’s description of the deadly coronavirus as the “China virus” and “Kung Flu” to rise in attacks on Asian-Americans. The hearing was held the same week a gunman in Atlanta murdered six Asian women at three massage parlors.

Mr. Roy claimed Democrats were missing the point by focusing on language instead of the people who carried out the attacks.

“There’s an old saying in Texas about ‘find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree,’” he said. “You know, we take justice very seriously. And we ought to do that. Round up the bad guys. That’s what we believe.”

Democrats on the committee let the comment pass without a response, but social-media users slammed Mr. Roy’s comments.

SEE ALSO: Chip Roy pushes back on Democrats blaming Trump for Atlanta shootings; ‘Policing of rhetoric’

Star Trek actor George Takei, called the remarks “unacceptable.”

“One of the worst lynching incidents in our history was perpetrated against the Chinese community of Los Angeles when some 20 people were killed and hanged by an angry white mob. This language is unacceptable and Chip Roy is an ignorant inciter,” he wrote on Twitter.

Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, noted Mr. Roy’s connections to other top Republicans, including Senator John Cornyn of Texas and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

I didn’t mishear it. “We take justice very seriously.” For God’s sake — lynchings were not “justice.” And “round up all the bad guys” is not justice. This man is a lawyer and former prosecutor. Served on the staff of Sen. Cornyn, Gov. Rick Perry, and fmr COS to Sen. Ted Cruz,” she wrote on Twitter.

In a statement, to The Washington Times, Mr. Roy says he has “no apologies.”

“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,” the statement said. “We need more justice and less thought policing. We need to stop evildoers, such as those who carried out the attack in Atlanta this week, or cartels abusing little children, or those who kill our cops on the streets.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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