FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Content Warning: anti-Asian racism, sexism, anti-sex worker hatred
CODEPINK, along with Delaware community organizations like The Delaware Chinese American Association and Delaware Asian American Voice, condemns the dangerous, dehumanizing anti-Asian slur and comments that Democratic Delaware State Rep. Gerald Brady used against Asian women and sex workers on June 27, 2021 in an email. The email was written via his official government email address and was made public by Delaware Online and the Wilmington News Journal on July 20. Brady’s use of the slur was mistakenly sent in a direct reply to an advocate for sex work decriminalization calling on Delaware lawmakers to take measures to protect sex workers in the state. Rep. Brady’s harmful rhetoric comes just months after the Atlanta shootings, in which a white male shooter killed six Asian women in massage parlors across the city. Brady’s callousness is yet another harsh reminder of the stigma, fetishization, and disposability with which white America views Asian women — and justifies interpersonal and structural violence against them.
The original email included a study published in the Economic Journal that traced the decrease in sex crimes across 77 New York City precincts to an increase in adult entertainment establishments; the study found that these businesses decrease sex crime by 13% per police precinct one week after opening. Neither the email nor the study mentioned Asian women, proving that Rep. Brady leaped to this stigmatizing association based on preconceived racist attitudes. Brady’s email stated, “Is the dude basically saying, if we provide free Blowjobs for Uncle Pervie there will be few rapes and few chink broads will be shipped in CONEX containers to the Port of Wilmington??”
Since the email’s publication, Brady has made an online apology and has stated that he will not seek re-election in 2022. Outraged constituents including campaigns like Delaware Asian American Voice are not satisfied with this response and have been asking both for his immediate resignation and the Delaware Democratic Party’s support in calling for this demand. Both House leaders and the Delaware Democratic Party have expressed disappointment at Brady’s remarks but have stopped short of calling for his resignation.
Orientalist and xenophobic perceptions of Asian people in the United States have historically framed them as pathogenic, “unclean,” “disease-carriers,” in particular Chinese immigrants. In fact, the Page Act of 1875, the first restrictive federal immigration law in the United States — marking the end of open borders — effectively prohibited the entry of Chinese women, specifically because of gendered, racialized stereotypes of Asian women as hypersexual and “disease-ridden,” seeking to immigrate solely to work in the sex trade.
In addition to the Atlanta shootings, Rep. Brady’s racist, sexist remarks also coincide with the United States’ escalation of its hybrid war on the People’s Republic of China during one of the most intensified climates of anti-Asian racism in recent history. As the U.S. military’s buildup around China’s maritime border increases, the Biden administration, Congress, and mainstream media have all been rapidly heightening their demonization and scapegoating of both China and Chinese people on a daily basis in an effort to manufacture consent for war.
“Rep. Brady’s comments are not an anomaly,” says Madison Tang, coordinator of CODEPINK’s China Is Not Our Enemy campaign, “but, rather, exemplify the harmful gendered anti-Asian beliefs of much of the U.S. public and its leaders alike. By dehumanizing Asian women with his rhetoric, Brady contributes to the desensitization of U.S. citizens to violence against Asian women, a violence which includes the Atlanta shootings and U.S.-led wars and mass civilian deaths in Asian nations.”
CODEPINK joins Brady’s constituents and Asian American activist groups in demanding Rep. Gerald Brady resign from office after making these extremely racist, sexist, and anti-sex worker remarks, which have deadly consequences for Asian and Asian American women, from his position of authority as an elected official.