Ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blasted for ‘racist’ tweet saying he’s ‘decided to “identify” as Chinese’
FORMER Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been slammed for a tweet branded "racist" that says he's "decided to “identify” as Chinese".
The 65-year-old has been blasted for the "anti-Asian" jibe he made in an apparent pushback against companies which have criticized Georgia's new voting bill.
Huckabee outraged hundreds on Twitter when he wrote: "I’ve decided to “identify” as Chinese. Coke will like me, Delta will agree with my “values” and I’ll probably get shoes from Nike & tickets to @MLB games. Ain’t America great?"
His comments appeared to be hitting out at businesses that have come out in opposition of the bill known as the Election Integrity Act of 2021.
The bill, also called SB 202, will make widespread changes to pretty much all of the state's voting and election system.
The sweeping legislation makes multiple alterations to the voting process in Georgia, making it more difficult to vote by mail or without a valid ID.
Supporters of the bill said the new law merely ensures the integrity of future elections, despite no evidence of voter fraud being found in 2020 – contrary to Trump's repeated claims.
Critics, meanwhile, say the changes disproportionately effect minority groups, including black Georgians, Hispanics and the disabled.
The responses to Huckabee's tweet were rife with people slamming his remarks – with one saying she had reported his tweet as "hate speech".
Many fumed that the ex-governor and Fox New contributor "claims to be 'Christian'" but spouted Asian "hate' speech".
Another person branded his tweet as "disgraceful", while one chimed in that Huckabee "used to be a decent person".
New Georgia Project also shared its dismay at his comments, replying: "What in the openly racist hell?"
While another added: "WHOA. Racist, much, Mike? The Evangelical Christians are OUT OF CONTROL with hate. You lead the way."
Huckabee's remark has come amid a surge of violence against Asian people across the country – including a shooting in Atlanta that left six Asian women, and two others, dead.
Actress and activist Patricia Arquette hit out at Huckabee, saying: "Elderly Asian women are getting beaten up on the street and you say this?"
Another added: "Wow is this appalling. Six Asian American women were massacred on March 16.
"Last weekend, an Asian woman your age was beaten and kicked in NYC and is still in hospital with broken bones and a concussion. Every day Asian/AAPI people are victimized by hate crimes. Delete this."
The bill has been condemned by civil rights groups and elected officials – including President Joe Biden – who believe it suppresses voters.
Delta Airline's CEO Ed Bastian denounced the bill as "unacceptable".
He wrote: "Since the bill’s inception, Delta joined other major Atlanta corporations to work closely with elected officials from both parties, to try and remove some of the most egregious measures from the bill.
"We had some success in eliminating the most suppressive tactics that some had proposed.
"However, I need to make it crystal clear that the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values."
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is moving the 2021 All-Star Game and 2021 draft out of Atlanta in response to the new Georgia voting law.
League Commissioner Rob Manfred made the decision to move the All-Star events and the amateur draft – which had been scheduled to be held in Atlanta for the first time – amid the voting law controversy.
In a statement explaining the decision, Manfred wrote: "Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views.
"I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year's All-Star Game and MLB Draft."
Manfred's statement came just days after the White House pressed MLB to relocate the event.
Speaking to ESPN on Wednesday, Biden said he would "strongly support" pulling the game out of Atlanta because of the law, which he characterized as being like "Jim Crow on Steroids."
Coca-Cola is also among companies that has turned against the bill after furious activists staged a protest outside its headquarters.
A statement from the soft drink giant said: "You may see comments and calls for protests and boycotts of our state and our company.
"We have never wavered on our point of view and we have and will continue to meet with a wide array of stakeholders inside and outside of Georgia to hear their views, work together, and advocate for greater voting access."
Civil rights activists and voter advocacy groups believe black voters, who account for 30 percent of Georgia's total vote, would be particularly affected by the new measures.
Black voters and other voters of color played a key role in the election of Joe Biden in November, in addition to electing two Democratic senators in the state's January run-offs, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.
Huckabee has not apologised for his "racist" tweet, nor has he deleted.
But he did respond to one tweet to say: "I don't take Twitter or myself that seriously but I do take gospel seriously. I truly wish you only joy & continued blessings."
Huckabee served as the 44th governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007.
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