Critics have called the controversial Republican ?bigoted,? while she has accused them of 'simping for the CCP?
Republican House candidate Shelley Luther has angered Democrats and drawn accusations of racism for arguing that Chinese students should be banned from studying in Texas. She insists ?communists? have no place in US universities.
In a tweet last week that she's since deleted, Luther wrote that "Chinese students should be BANNED from attending all Texas universities. No more Communists!" Shortly afterwards she deleted the tweet and replaced it with one reading, "Texas Taxpayers should not be subsidizing the next generation of CCP leaders," referring to the Chinese Communist Party.
"It's common sense," she added. "CCP members should not have access to our schools."
Luther was instantly accused of racism and bigotry. Chinese media chief Chen Weihua called her a "notorious Nazi racist," and Rep. Gene Wu, a Chinese-American Democrat in the Texas House of Representatives, said that "Luther's statements are ignorant, hateful, and incite violence against not only Chinese Americans, but all Asian Americans."
China's state-owned Global Times news outlet eventually got wind of the controversy, and on Sunday published an op-ed accusing Luther of "McCarthyism" and attempting to "confuse the public and further sow seeds of hatred for Chinese students and Chinese Americans among voters in Texas."
Luther is likely unafraid of further controversy. A salon owner, she shot to fame in 2020 when she defied state orders and refused to close her business during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. She spent two nights in jail, and on the back of significant media attention announced a run for the Texas House of Representatives in November.
She denies any charges of racism. "As far as anyone thinking that I'm racist, I'm a Spanish teacher of 13 years, and in my salon when I opened it, I was the sole white person that worked in there out of 19," she told the Fort Worth Star Telegram on Saturday. "So, me being called a racist is ridiculous... I do not agree with communist thinking, and I do not want our state to be run, or I do not want our state to be influenced by any communism."