An Open Letter On Anti-Asian Racism & Christian Nationalism

Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN)

Senator-Elect Hagerty is a congregant at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, TN. He has said that his parents raised him "to love Christ, to love my country and to love one another." According to the aforementioned Stop AAPI Hate report, Hagerty is one of 3 Republicans whose tweets collectively accounted for 93% of all anti-Chinese rhetoric, from GOP candidates, between January 1 and August 31, 2020 (3). During that period, Hagerty's account featured 1.7 times more anti-Chinese tweets than Donald Trump's. More recently, Hagerty tweeted on Dec. 9, Dec. 10, and Dec. 21, 2020, “China gave us the Wuhan (corona)virus and took our jobs,” adding to the Dec. 10 tweet, “[Retweet] and NEVER FORGET.” On Dec. 19, 2020, Hagerty accused China of "lying and spreading the Wuhan coronavirus." Hagerty repeatedly uses a racist term that associates the virus with the people of Wuhan and with Chinese people in general. (For more on the effects of terms like "Wuhan virus," see Senator Marsha Blackburn.)

According to its website, St. George’s Episcopal Church, led by interim priest-in-charge Rev. Colin Ambrose (updated 6.17), has been a fixture of Nashville’s Christian community since 1949. In July, the Episcopal Church convened "thousands of racial justice and healing leaders and practitioners" online, as part of a 3-part webinar, "Becoming Beloved Community NOW."

As of 2019, Tennessee was home to approximately 125,742 Asians. Between March 19 and August 5, 2020, 4 hate crime incidents in Tennessee were reported to Stop AAPI Hate (8).

For possible responses from Hagerty's church, consult the Timeline.