The far-right Republican made the comment in her Sunday remarks at “AmericaFest,” a conference organized by conservative youth group Turning Point USA.
“When I walked in yesterday, I was like, what kind of people come here?” Greene told attendees. “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,’” she added.
Whether Greene intended it as such or not, the term “yellow people” is itself a racist trope, critics pointed out.
“I honestly haven’t heard someone use ‘yellow people, for decades,” tweeted activist and “Star Trek” star George Takei. “Perhaps she meant ‘yellow bellied people’ because there are certainly lots in that crowd.”
Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang said on Twitter, “I’ve recently been called a ‘Chink’, a ‘Jap’, a ‘gook’, and more. Racists don’t excel at distinguishing ethnic background. But ‘yellow people’ is something that I haven’t heard in a decade or two.”
“What is this, the 1960s?” she added.
“Yellow” has long been a charged term to describe Asian people and is widely perceived as a slur. “Yellow Peril,” for example, was used as far back as the nineteenth century to vilify Asian people and cast Asian nations as a danger to Western values.
This rhetoric led to xenophobia and hate toward Asian immigrants, which flared again during the pandemic, due in part to other racist language like the terms “Kung Flu” and “China Virus” coined by former President Donald Trump.
In October, Oklahoma GOP state Sen. David Rader was also criticized when he referred to “yellow families” while questioning a study about racial inequities that was presented to the legislature.