‘Let Them Try And Call Me A Racist’: Indian-American Running For Senate Has Message For Democrats

Manny Sethi. Screen grab

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Dr. Manny Sethi, a Republican senatorial candidate and the son of Indian immigrants, ran an ad during Tuesday’s presidential debate that attacks Democrats on immigration, and said there would be an “invasion” if they win in 2020.

“My husband and I were young doctors in India who wanted to come to America. We followed the law, immigrated legally,” Sethi’s mother began in an ad that ran during the debate. “We waited seven years. We were country doctors in Tennessee for 25 years. I delivered thousands of babies and worked hard to be a good citizen. So why do others get to break the law, get benefits, and if you dare say that’s wrong — you are called racist?”

“My son, Manny, is a Tennessee surgeon. He’s now running for the U.S. Senate, and he knows this is wrong,” Sethi’s mother continued.


The advertisement was a clear reference to the ongoing immigration crisis taking place at the U.S.-Mexico border. As President Donald Trump has attempted to crack down on illegal immigration, he has been relentlessly called a racist by Democrats and his critics.

Sethi, a 41-year-old physician based in Nashville, dared Democrats to call him a racist.

“We’re going to have an illegal immigrant invasion if Republicans don’t win in 2020. The Democrats are going to give this country away. That’s why I’m running,” Sethi said. “Let them try and call me a racist.”

Minutes after the commercial played, Democratic Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a fellow Indian-American, decried the ad as “racist.”

“Horrified to see this terrible ad from [GOP] Indian American candidate @DrMannySenate in Tennessee,” the congresswoman tweeted. “It buys into the same old racist GOP tropes, and does not reflect MY values as an immigrant and proud, patriotic American.” 

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