After mocking Rep. Michelle Steel’s accent, community leaders hold Chen accountable
Garden Grove, CA – Today, 23 local and regional leaders in southern California have signed a letter demanding that Jay Chen apologize for his racist comments mocking Rep. Michelle Steel’s accent. The letter is in response to comments Chen made at a closed door meeting where he said he needed an interpreter to understand Rep. Steel, a Korean immigrant whose third language is English, when she talks.
In the letter, the local leaders call out Chen’s racism and express their disgust for comments that hit hard for a community with a sizable immigrant population, many of whom do not speak English as a first language. The letter also calls out Chen for using such racist remarks when he himself is the child of immigrants.
“I’ve dealt with racist attacks my whole life, but it won’t stop me from proudly sharing my voice. Like so many immigrants, my accent is my story and my opponent’s attacks are offensive to all immigrants,” stated Rep. Michelle Steel.
In response to the attacks, Steel also wrote an op-ed in the Orange County Register highlighting the deep history of racism behind Chen’s remarks and her work to combat the rise in AAPI hate crimes.
Read the full letter here.