An Asian American parental rights advocate attacked Democrats for suggesting that oversight of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s funding of American school programs was racist, during a congressional hearing on Monday.
Congressional Democrats have previously attacked efforts to combat the Chinese Communist Party as racist, such as the 118th Congress’ Select Committee on Strategic Competition with the Chinese Communist Party. During a hearing of the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, regarding the alleged funding of education initiatives by the CCP, parental rights advocate Nicole Neily rebuffed notions that the hearing was motivated by racial animus toward Chinese Americans, citing her own Asian heritage.
“My grandparents on my father’s side met in an internment camp. They met in Manzanar,” Neily said, referring to an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in Manzanar, California, during the Second World War. “I know what anti-Asian racism looks like. My family has experienced it. This is not it.”
My grandparents met in an internment camp, I know what anti-Asian racism looks like.
It’s absolutely ridiculous to claim that exposing how China is influencing America’s K-12 schools is somehow racist. It’s a dishonest tactic meant to shut down the debate on the merits.
— Nicki Neily (@nickineily) September 19, 2023
Neily’s organization, Parents Defending Freedom, has conducted investigations of the role of “Confucius Institutes,” which the U.S. Government has stated are fronts for CCP spending at schools across the U.S., which pose a risk to national security.
“Making ad hominem claims that this is a racist hearing is intended to shut down this debate and not make a case on the merits. This is a matter of foreign funding. The Chinese government is in an adverse position towards our country. And, frankly, there are other countries that are making similar forays into our education system,” Neily testified.
Some congressional Democrats claim that scrutiny and criticism of the CCP by Congress may be motivated by Sinophobia or may lead to it.
“We need to distinguish between justified criticisms of the Chinese government’s human rights record and a Cold War mentality that uses China as a scapegoat for our own domestic problems and demonizes Chinese Americans,” said Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota in 2021 about congressional initiatives aimed at China, according to a report by Politico.
“[W]e must be vigilant about the impacts of such rhetoric on AAPI communities at a time of increased hate crimes,” said Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York in 2021, adding that “we won’t be able to solve the challenges of the 21st century like the climate crisis and global health unless we have relationships that harness partnerships across the globe, including China.”
The hearing was entitled “Academic Freedom Under Attack: Loosening the CCP’s Grip on America’s Classrooms.”
“We are not saying that students shouldn’t have access to foreign language programs. That’s not happening whatsoever. We are saying that parents deserve to know who is funding these programs so they can decide whether they want their children to participate at all,” she said. “For that to be called ‘racist’ is appalling.”
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact email@example.com