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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene wants to do the Red Scare all over again—this time with Chinese citizens living in the United States, after a year in which Asian-Americans have been targeted with harassment and even violence due to misplaced rage over COVID-19.
Greene went on former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s show on Wednesday to proclaim that if she could, she would deport Chinese citizens deemed insufficiently loyal to the United States.
“The Chinese understand one thing and that is money. If I was in charge and I had my way, I would come down on China so hard,” Greene told Bannon. “I would put tariffs back in place and they would be more strict than [former] President [Donald] Trump’s because those tariffs worked.”
“I would kick out every single Chinese in this country that is loyal to the CCP,” she added. “They would be gone. I do not care. They would be gone… you’re gone, back to China.”
It’s unclear what criteria Greene would use to prove “loyalty to the CCP,” though Bannon referred to “documents,” presumably the loyalty oaths that members of the Chinese Communist Party must pledge to become members of the party—essentially a prerequisite to become a leader in government or business.
Greene’s comments are a throwback to some of the darkest periods in American history, when the loyalties of immigrants were publicly questioned. During World War II, for example, the United States detained Japanese-Americans in concentration camps.
The past year has also been marked by harassment and violence against Asian-Americans. The group Stop AAPI Hate documented more than 6,600 reports of harassment or violence against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders between March 2020 and March 2021.
While Greene has claimed that COVID-19 is a “Chinese-made bioweapon”—a claim which goes far beyond even the unproven “lab leak” theory —she has also argued against both vaccinations and mask mandates as a way to mitigate the damage from a virus that has already killed well over 600,000 Americans, and threatens to kill more due to the ultra-contagious Delta variant.
Earlier this week, Greene laughed off a reporter’s question about whether she felt responsibility for keeping people in Georgia safe, after the reporter noted that Greene’s assertion that obese people and those over 65 were the only ones at risk from COVID-19 was not accurate. But last Friday, a five-year-old child who lived in Greene’s district succumbed to a stroke after being hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19.