An Open Letter On Anti-Asian Racism & Christian Nationalism

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO)

As of 2018, Sen. Hawley attended The Crossing Church in Columbia, MO. He has said that his legal and political career is a natural extension of his Christian faith. On Dec. 2, Sen. Hawley tweeted, “Beijing inflicted #COVID19 on the world and continues to violate its treaty obligations & destroy the liberties of its people, including this latest crackdown in #HongKong.” This tweet illustrates how he and other GOP candidates exploit Hong Kong’s present crisis to perpetuate the myth that the Chinese government “inflicted” the coronavirus on the world. On his recent Twitter feed, Sen. Hawley has repeatedly pushed debunked conspiracy theories about ties between Joe Biden and the CCP. Sen. Hawley also co-sponsored the “Justice for Victims of Coronavirus Act” on May 4, 2020, described above (see Senator Marsha Blackburn). On July 20, 2020, Sen. Hawley co-sponsored the "Civil Justice for Victims of Coronavirus Act" (see Senator Marsha Blackburn).

The Crossing Church, co-led by pastors Dave Cover, Keith Simon, and Shay Roush, is part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Columbia, the city where it is located, is home to approximately 5,600 people of Asian descent. On its website, The Crossing states, “Everyone’s Welcome.” Pastor Cover has tweeted about the “anti-racist power of the gospel.” This year, the EPC held 3 online webinars on “race and justice.”

Missouri as a whole was home to 127,154 Asians as of 2019. Between March 19 and August 5, 2020, 11 hate crime incidents in Missouri were reported to Stop AAPI Hate (8).

1.23.21 update. Sen. Hawley has come under fire for his role inciting the historic Capitol Riots of Jan. 6, 2021. Not only did he lead an effort to oppose (without evidence) Joe Biden's victory in the Nov. 2020 election, he raised his fist in solidarity with rioters and persisted in his unfounded objections after the riot was over. In footage of the seditionists raiding the Senate Chamber, one rioter names Josh Hawley, along with Ted Cruz, as senators who would approve of their actions (6:08 of video).

Sen. Hawley's incitement of violence merely extends his pattern of endangering Asian American lives. His refusal to apologize, even in the face of his mentor's disavowal, displays the same disregard he has shown towards Asian Americans throughout the pandemic. Moreover, his continued popularity with the GOP base illustrates how he and other sanctified Sinophobes will continue to enjoy robust support under the Biden administration, absent concerted and organized challenges to their bigotry.

8.18.21 update. Hawley, who has come under fire for not maintaining a Missouri residence and living most of the time in Virginia, has been attending Holy Trinity Church in McLean VA. The evidence for his attendance at this church can be found here. Holy Trinity Church, a nondenominational church "rooted in the teachings and traditions of the Church of England," is also the home of Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee in Virginia's gubernatorial election this November. In contrast with Hawley's xenophobic politics, Holy Trinity Church features a statement on the need for "racial unity" on its website, signed by (among others) Glenn Youngkin.

11.2.21 update. Josh Hawley has sponsored the "Arm Taiwan" act, which, on the basis of scarce evidence, takes for granted the prospect of an imminent CCP invasion. Hawley's sabre-rattling is in keeping with his declaration that "normal" and "everyday" voters in his state view China primarily as a "threat." Hawley's erasure of Chinese immigrants, for whom China might primarily constitute a homeland, encapsulates the condescending nature of his Sinophobia: in claiming to defend people of Chinese descent, he refuses to allow them to speak for themselves, whether on matters of Taiwanese independence or simply of their own affections for their ethnic origins.

For responses from Hawley's church, consult the timeline.