press release


News from Progress Michigan

March 6, 2023

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Senator Bellino’s Inaccurate, Racist Tweet 

In a factually inaccurate tweet about the University of Michigan’s enrollment numbers, Bellino spreads anti-Asian sentiment 

MICHIGAN – In a tweet pushing back about state funding for Michigan’s colleges and universities, Senator Joseph Bellino not only gets his facts wrong, but also pushes racist, anti-Asian rhetoric at the same time. 

“In one tweet, Senator Bellino manages to seemingly pull numbers out of thin air and add fuel to the anti-Asian racism that has flared up since the pandemic – all as a justification for not properly funding higher education in this state,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “We should expect our lawmakers to, at the very least, imply they don’t want to invest in our students without false, racist statements. We should be proud our universities attract students from all over the country and the world. And if Senator Bellino is looking for reasons our students might not stick around after graduation, perhaps—after his six years as a lawmaker in the legislative majority, and his apparent urge to spread anti-Asian hate—he should look in the mirror.”

Despite Sen. Bellino’s baseless claim, data from enrollment numbers over the past four years show about half of the University of Michigan’s students are Michiganders. He also seriously minimizes the percentage of students who stay in Michigan after graduation.  It’s not clear where Bellino got any of his numbers.

Not only does Bellino get basic enrollment figures wrong, he also pushes tropes centered around anti-Asian sentiment and fearmongering about China. He essentially claims that public universities should not be well-funded because of political connections that students’ parents may have to the Chinese government.