“I’ve decided to ‘identify’ as Chinese,” Huckabee tweeted Saturday. “Coke will like me, Delta will agree with my ‘values’ and I’ll probably get shoes from Nike & tickets to @MLB games,” he added, in a reference to criticism against Georgia for its new law making it more difficult to vote.
“Ain’t America great?” he asked sarcastically.
Huckabee appeared to be mocking a connection between opposition to racist hate and concerns about voter suppression in Georgia and free speech criticism against it. Both Coca-Cola and Delta, which are headquartered in Atlanta, have spoken out strongly against Georgia’s new law.
Among several provisions making it more difficult to vote, Georgia’s new law creates stricter voter identification requirements for absentee balloting, limits ballot drop boxes, imposes shorter voting hours, and even makes it a crime to offer food or water to citizens waiting to vote. The law is widely regarded as a strategy by the GOP legislature and governor to suppress the votes of people of color who tend to vote Democratic.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian told employees in a memo earlier this week that the new state law “does not match” the company’s values. He added that “the entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections.”
Major League Baseball is moving its 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta to protest the law. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Friday.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans skyrocketed 150% last year in America’s largest cities even as general crime decreased, according to a study of police records by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University.
Crimes this month alone included the shooting deaths of six women of Asian descent in Georgia. Chinese American woman Xiao Zhen Xie, 78, was punched in the face earlier this month as she waited at a traffic light in San Francisco. A 65-year-old Asian American woman was savagely beaten by a stranger last week on a sidewalk in Manhattan.
Bible teacher Beth Moore challenged Huckabee’s tweet, calling it “antithetical to the gospel.” Huckabee, who seems to know Moore, responded that he takes the “gospel seriously,” but he failed to reconcile his ugly tweet with his religion.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) immediately slammed back at Huckabee that, in fact, Coke “likes me,” Delta “agrees with my values,” he wears Nike and “my hometown Dodgers won the World Series.” Lieu added, “But it’s not because of my ethnicity. It’s because I’m not a sh*thead like you who is adding fuel to anti-Asian hate.”
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.