DETROIT, MI –A Michigan state lawmaker, under fire for reportedly making racist comments about her rival in last week’s Democratic primary, has apologized and asked for forgiveness. The apology came after several groups demanded one from Rep. Bettie Cook Scott for telling voters outside precincts, “Don’t vote for ching-chong,” according to a published report.
Scott, who is black, was running against Michigan Rep. Stephanie Chang, who is Asian, for the Senate seat representing Detroit in the Aug. 7 primary. Chang won her party’s nomination. Meantime, both are currently serving as state representatives for Detroit-area districts in the Michigan House.
Scott was overheard by voters, including Chang’s husband, Sean Gray, making disparaging comments about Chang, reported the Detroit MetroTimes. Among the comments, Scott reportedly referred to Chang as “ching-chang” and “the ching-chong.” The MetroTimes reported that one woman said that Scott told voters outside one Detroit precinct, “Thanks for voting for me, you don’t need to vote for that ching-chang.”
Late Thursday, the MetroTimes reported that Scott issued an apology through a representative.
“I deeply regret the comments I made that have proven hurtful to so many … Those are words I never should have said.
“I humbly apologize to Representative Chang, her husband, Mr. Gray, and to the broader Asian American community for those disparaging remarks. In the divisive age we find ourselves in, I should not contribute further to that divisiveness.
“I have reached out to Representative Chang to meet with her so that I may apologize to her in person. I pray she and the Asian American community can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”
Nineteen groups, including the Michigan Democratic Party, Progress Michigan and Equality Michigan, had demanded that Scott apologize for her statements, according to the Detroit Free Press.
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