Oklahoma State Senator David Rader is under fire for referring to Asian American relatives as ‘yellow families’ twice during an official hearing – then trying to defend himself.
Rader, a GOP senator, used the term – widely acknowledged as racist – during an October 20 interim study on racial inequality, Oklahoma’s News 4 reported.
Audio footage posted online captured dialogue between Rader and Oklahoma Policy Institute criminal justice policy analyst Damion Shade.
‘…Well into your presentation did you go to yellow families?’ Rader said. ‘You left yellow families out for quite a while.’
Shade interjected, saying: ‘You mean Asian Americans?’
Oklahoma State Senator was recorded calling Asian American families ‘yellow families’ during an October 20 interim study on racial inequity
Replied Rader: ‘You use black term, white term, brown term so I was just gonna jump in there with you.’
Rep. Cyndi Munson – the first Asian American elected to the state legislature – called Rader out on his language.
‘I’m Asian American, not yellow,’ she tweeted. ‘The language used by the Senator is highly offensive and unacceptable.
‘For my fellow colleagues to be so unaware of the words they use and how they might harm people is exactly why we need open and honest dialogue on racism.’
Rep. Cyndi Munson called Rader out on his language, saying: ‘I’m Asian American. Not Yellow’
Munson, the first Asian American elected to the state legislature, found the comments hurtful
The camera was not pointing at Rader when he made the comments, but his speech was picked up by chamber microphones
The meeting was filmed, but the camera was pointed away from Rader when he made the comments, which were picked up by microphones.
Rader also during the meeting said the ‘black family was much more intact and much more able to be together in 1960 than it was even 40 years later.’
The white senator added: ‘In fact, some have asserted – and have the data behind it – that the black family, 100 years after slavery, was doing better than 40 years after government intervention of the 1960s.’
Rader, a former football coach, was also criticized for suggesting that black people had it easier during segregation.
Rep. Monroe Nichols called the comments a ‘disgusting display of privilege and ignorance’
‘Shocking to think someone who made a living on the backs of black athletes has such an archaic and narrow perspective of the communities from which they come from,’ said Rep. Monroe Nichols, who called Rader’s behavior during the meeting ‘just an overall disgusting display of privilege and ignorance.’
Rader did not respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com but fell short of apologizing in a statement to Oklahoma’s News 4.
Sen. Rader is both wrong on the facts and racist in their application. His ignorance is writing our laws.
‘I’ve spent my entire life as a football coach and educator, fostering opportunities for individuals of every race and background,’ he said.
‘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.’
The non-profit Oklahoma Progress Now called Rader ‘wildly out of step with his electorate.
‘Rader’s comments demonstrate exactly why Critical Race Theory or literally anything about race in America should be taught in our schools,’ the organization tweeted. ‘Sen. Rader is both wrong on the facts and racist in their application.
‘His ignorance is writing our laws.’
Rader was elected to the legislature in 2016.
Last March, he voted in favor of a bill that grants legal immunity to drivers who ‘unintentionally’ run over protestors.
He helped author Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 195, an anti-abortion measure that failed in 2019.