California state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said today that he received a threatening and racist fax related to his condemnation of recent comments by talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Yee, who is Chinese-American, had publicly objected, he said, to Limbaugh "mocking the Chinese language and culture during his radio program" this month.
Limbaugh had imitated Chinese, and made other remarks related to the Chinese president's recent visit with President Barack Obama.
The fax that Yee received today at both his Capitol and San Francisco offices is laced with profanities targeting black and Asian people. It includes a drawing of a pickup truck with an American flag dragging a noose with the caricature of a black man inside it.
The fax defended Limbaugh and threatened Yee. The senator reported the fax to the Senate's sergeant-at-arms for investigation.
This isn't the first time Yee has received faxed threats, said Adam Keigwin, Yee's chief of staff. He said that Yee also received threats in April 2010 after he publicly pressed for disclosure of how much former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was paid to speak at a State University of California campus.
On the Monday after the shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Keigwin said, he took a call from the Arizona Pima County Sheriff's office inquiring about the April 2010 threats.
Keigwin said a detective in that office said that the language in the threat Yee had received was similar to faxed threats that officials in Arizona were investigating following the Giffords shooting.
Keigwin said the detective didn't tell him who had received the threats.
In a statement today, Yee said: "It is quite disturbing that such racist sentiment still exists in our country. As I have said in the past, it is unfortunate acts like these that demonstrate why we must continue to be vigilant against hate and intolerance. Such vitriol has no place within our political discourse or anywhere in our society."