Is Josh Hawley racist? GOP Senator's lone 'no' vote on anti-Asian hate crimes bill slammed: 'Worst man in DC'

The senator was slammed for being the only person to vote against the bill that would improve data collection and provide training on dealing with hate crimes


                            Is Josh Hawley racist? GOP Senator's lone 'no' vote on anti-Asian hate crimes bill slammed: 'Worst man in DC'
Senator Josh Hawley and protests against Asian hate crimes (Getty Images)

Senator Josh Hawley came under fire after the Missouri Senator was the only no vote in a surprising bipartisan vote on a new bill. The Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act was voted for by nearly every Senator, in a rare sign of support from Republicans, and passed Senate 94-1.

The specific legislation puts the spotlight on the increasing anti-Asian hate crimes. It creates a designated Justice Department official to track and review such incidents, provides grants for hotlines and provides training to police on responding to hate crimes. Even though it is limited in nature, the bill is the first indication from Republicans, and the government in general, that hate crimes need to be addressed in more than words. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also lent his support for the bill, saying, "as a proud husband of an Asian American woman, I think this discrimination against Asian Americans is a real problem". 

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The final Senate vote on the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act (TheRealAndrew_ via Twitter)

However, it seems like Hawley couldn't be bothered with addressing the issue. He offered a different defense though. "I’m just concerned the bill is hugely broad, hugely open-ended,” Hawley told reporters. “It’s just, you know, the ability and power to define crimes, to define incidents going forward, and collect all that data, it just seemed hugely, hugely over broad." For reference, the bill defines a hate crime as a crime that is motivated by: 1) the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability of any person; and 2) the actual or perceived relationship to the spread of Covid–19 of any person because of the characteristic described in subparagraph (A).

Not everyone seemed convinced with Hawley's reasoning. If anything, they seemed shocked and angered that the Senator wouldn't get behind a clearly worrying issue. Stop AAPI Hate received 3,975 reports of hate crime from March 19, 2020, to February 28, 2021. The website says, "The number of hate incidents reported to our center represents only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur." Tracking more incidents is a vital first step, as the Hate Crimes Act does. 

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) asks questions during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on December 16, 2020, in Washington, DC, US (Getty Images)

'Thanks a lot, kid Hitler'

Social media was quick to condemn Hawley for his no vote, with almost no support for him. Journalist David Leavitt tweeted, "Josh Hawley was the only person not to vote for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes act because he’s a racist leaking sack of shit who needs to be removed from office." Another user tweeted, "Josh Hawley hates Asian Americans. If he was just a regular guy, I’d be able to deal with it. But it frightens me to my core that he is a duly elected United States Senator." One person said, "99 senators of both parties support strengthening laws involving hate crimes against Asian-Americans. But not Josh Hawley. Thanks a lot, Kid Hitler."



 



 



 

One person joked, "You know how hard it is to make yourself look worse than Ted Cruz? Josh Hawley did just that." Another said, "I really don’t care when the UFO dropped of Josh Hawley...but when the shit are they gonna come pick up his worthless ass?"



 



 

This photoshopped image of Josh Hawley also began circulating widely after the vote on social media (@creamy_centre via Twitter)

Another person trolled, "Missouri is the "show me" state. So Josh Hawley is showing us he's a racist." Journalist Karen Hunter said, "Josh Hawley isn’t pretending. He is wearing his racism and hate with pride. I appreciate that. We don’t have to guess and wonder. Check!" One user called him "The worst man in DC."



 



 



 

The Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act will now pass to the House for a vote, before heading to the president's desk. While it should face almost no opposition in the House, there could be a few surprise votes against it. Recently, Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebart became the only two to vote against the TRANSPLANT Act. Despite the apolitical nature of the bill, it still became a cause for debate. Maybe the Hate Crimes Act will also see a similar outcome? 

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