Marjorie Taylor Greene Refers to 'Yellow People' in Speech on GOP Diversity

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) referred to "yellow people" while pushing back against claims of the GOP being a "white supremacist party."

The Georgia Republican mentioned the term—which was historically used as a racist slur against Asian people—in her Sunday opening remarks on the second day of "AmericaFest", a conference organized by conservative group Turning Point USA.

"So I've never been to one of these events before," said Greene. "I've heard a little bit about them. I've seen a little bit of this event, this type of event before."

"And when I walked in yesterday, I was like, 'What kind of people come here?'" she continued. "So I'm walking around and seeing some good people and I see white people, Black people, brown people, yellow people...

"And then there's talk of freedom and loving America and conservative principles, some crazy people in here were talking about how much they love this guy named Jesus. And I heard—someone I really like—I think I heard that a lot of people here like a guy named Donald J. Trump."

"And then I said 'Oh, oh, I know exactly what this is. The Left calls this a white supremacist party,'" Greene said. "Okay, okay, I know what I'm going to now."

Newsweek has contacted Greene's office for comment.

When used in reference to Asian people, "yellow" is a known racial slur. The term "yellow peril"—a racist ideology that paints Asian people as a menace to Western nations and values—could be traced in the U.S. from the nineteenth century.

This belief resulted in hate speech, xenophobia and violence towards Asian immigrants, in addition to racist caricatures in popular culture. This lasting anti-Asian sentiment has flared up amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet the term "yellow" continued to be used in prominent ranks, and not without backlash. In October, Oklahoma State Senator David Rader reacted to a presentation on racism by stating it had excluded "yellow families."

"Well into your presentation, did you go to yellow families?" Rader asked. "You left yellow families out for quite a while."

"You mean Asian Americans?" Damion Shade, the policy analyst who gave the presentation, responded.

"You use black term, white term, brown term, so I was just gonna jump in there with you," Rader said.

In November 2020, Sacramento County Health Director Dr. Peter Beilenson—then the city's top health official—faced criticism for referring to Asian people as "yellow folk." He later apologized and acknowledged he should have said "Asian American" instead.

In August 2020, Reuters reported an internal United Nations "Survey on Racism" shared with U.N. staff included a racial self-identification question with "yellow" as an option.

This is not the first time Marjorie Taylor Greene made remarks viewed as anti-Asian, as she previously stated she would deport Chinese people who were loyal to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

"If I was in charge and I had my way, I would come down on China so hard," Greene said. "I would kick out every single Chinese in this country that is loyal to the CCP. They would be gone. I do not care who they are."

"You're gone, back to China," she went on. "I don't care how much money you have, how much land you own, how many businesses you own, how much money you've donated to colleges and universities, I don't care about who your kid is, and how many students you've sent to colleges."

"If they are loyal to the CCP, they go back."

Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks to reporters
US Republican Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia speaks to reporters after attending testimony by US Attorney General Merrick Garland before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the United States Department of Justice," on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 21, 2021. In her remarks at a conference by conservative group Turning Point USA, Greene appeared to refer to Asians as "yellow people." OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images