Mike Huckabee apparently disagrees with Major League Baseball's decision to move its All-Star Game out of Atlanta, a decision prompted by a new restrictive voting law in Georgia. But the way in which the former Arkansas governor decided to show his displeasure has drawn accusations of racism and insensitivity to Asian communities in the US, per USA Today. "I've decided to 'identify' as Chinese," Huckabee tweeted Saturday. "Coke will like me, Delta will agree with my 'values' and I'll probably get shoes from Nike & tickets to @MLB games. Ain't America great?" Huckabee's mention of Coke and Delta are references to two of the companies that have spoken out against the new Georgia law, while the Nike callout appears to be tied to previous conservative backlash against the company for its 2018 ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, as well as for pulling a "Betsy Ross" sneaker after Kaepernick was said to have weighed in.
Those references and attempt at a joke aside, Huckabee is earning flak from those who say that anti-Asian rhetoric is contributing to a spike in hate speech and attacks against Asians in the US. Insider notes that the tweet from Huckabee, a Baptist minister, came the day before Christianity's holiest day, Easter. "Openly racist," "disgraceful," and "hateful" were just a few of the slams directed his way after the tweet, per USA Today. Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu was among those criticizing Huckabee, posting that he was "adding fuel to anti-Asian hate," per the South China Morning Post. Huckabee doesn't seem fazed by the criticism. One high-profile figure in the evangelist world, Beth Moore, pushed back at him, noting his tweet was "entirely antithetical to the gospel." Huckabee's response, in part: "I don't take Twitter or myself that seriously but I do take gospel seriously. I truly wish you only joy & continued blessings." (Read more Mike Huckabee stories.)