A Republican state senator from Oklahoma on Friday referred to Asian-American families as "yellow" and suggested that Black people were better off in 1960.
Sen. David Rader made the remarks during testimony before the Legislature from a criminal justice policy analyst, Damion Shade, about the racial wealth gap, according to a report from KFOR.
Radar told Shade that he didn't mention "yellow families" until "well into his presentation."
"You left yellow families out for quite a while," Rader said.
"You mean Asian Americans?" Shade responded.
"You use black term, white term, brown term so I was just gonna jump in there with you," Rader said.
"I was just making sure, making sure I understood," Shade said.
"Asian distraction," Rader said.
"Asian Americans," Shader responded, correcting him.
"Because their experience has been totally different than many … others that have come over," Rader said.
He then alleged that Black families were "much more intact and much more able to be together in 1960 than it was even 30 years later, 40 years later from that point on."
Rolling Stone notes that Rader's reference to "yellow families" appeared to push "the false 'model minority' myth that Asian Americans don't experience negative consequences of racism in the same way as other races," while his remarks about Black families "perpetuated the myth pushed by some Republicans that Black culture and not racist government policy is responsible for the racial wealth gap."
"The use of the term 'yellow' has an ugly and racist history," Rolling Stone reported. "The term 'Yellow Peril' was used in the 19th and 20th centuries to describe people of Asian descent as a threat to Western values and to justify xenophobic immigration policies that severely limited Asian immigration to the U.S."
In a statement to KFOR, Rader said: "I've spent my entire life as a football coach and educator, fostering opportunities for individuals of every race and background. As a legislator, I have continued this important work because I believe each and every person in our state and our country should have an opportunity to pursue the American Dream. As I've done throughout my career, I am committed to eliminating barriers that might make the pursuit of that dream more difficult."
Rep. Cyndi Munson, the first Asian-American woman elected to the Oklahoma Legislature, called Rader's comments "offensive" and "unacceptable."
David Rader www.youtube.com