‘This Is Xenophobic’: Rep. Jamaal Bowman Defends TikTok

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Font Size:

Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York has emerged as one of the lone voices speaking in defense of TikTok, according to reports.

Bowman spoke up in defense of the controversial Chinese social media app in a series Tuesday interviews, claiming its detractors are guilty of “fear-mongering,” Business Insider reported. He dismissed the notion that app poses a security risk, claiming that no one has provided evidence to substantiate that claim.

Bowman will host a press conference on Wednesday to defend the app alongside social media content creators. The social media company reportedly paid for their travel to attend the press conference in which they will attempt to sway lawmakers against a national ban, the outlet reported. (RELATED: FCC Wants Apple, Google To Ban TikTok)

“This is a space where these creators have found a platform to share their ideas, their inspirations, their thoughts, their voices with the rest of the country and the rest of the world. And why do we want to take that away?” Bowman said, NBC News reported. “Why do we need to ban a platform that 150 million Americans now use?”

Breaking with the Biden Administration’s threats to ban TikTok, Bowman dismissed the accusations that it poses a threat to American security.

“There are many apps on our phones right now that are Chinese apps. And so the idea that, ‘Oh, TikTok is the boogeyman’ — it’s just part of a political fearmongering that’s happening,” Bowman said, NBC News reported.

Bowman claimed TikTok’s critics are motivated by bigotry in the interview with Business Insider. “This is xenophobic,” Bowman told Insider. “And it’s part of another Red Scare.”

Bowman also stated that the app serves as a critical resource for free speech. He highlighted the app’s ability to rapidly spread information among the youth, which is not replicated elsewhere.

“I mean, the content creators on TikTok are truth-tellers, they are journalists, and they’re sharing information with the general public — particularly younger people — that they really can’t get anywhere else in a similar format,” he told Insider.

The New York representative claimed that the calls to ban TikTok are an extension of the ongoing cultural battles between the two major political parties, and that Democrats have unwisely fallen for a Republican narrative in regards to the popular social media app.

“The targeting of TikTok feels to me, and reeks to me, as part of this overall culture war thing we see coming from the Republican Party,” Bowman told Insider. “Unfortunately, some Democratic lawmakers are buying into it as well.”