Disgusting, vile and unacceptable—all apply to the increase of violence and prejudice against Asian Americans. However, claims that this springs from “white supremacy” are unfounded and specious—clearly another effort to pit us against each other for political purposes.
I find racial animus bizarre in general, but I admit that my life experiences make the focus against Asian Americans even more so. One of my best neighborhood friends I grew up with was nisei. I remember that my father, a very hard-working aerospace engineer, spoke of his father with respect about how he was out before dawn in his old pick-up truck running his landscaping business. Decades of martial arts training immersed me in the Korean culture; my teachers were amazing men I respected deeply, who had a profoundly positive impact on my life. I was blessed to have one of the most amazing human beings (truly) I have ever known work for me for over a decade—she was the first generation daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, and I have never know a more balanced, hardworking, intelligent, good hearted person, ever. So, you can see why this is a head scratcher for me.
Asian Americans aren’t perfect, they are just folk like the rest of us. Good ones, bad ones, and everything in between. They do on average seem to work harder than many, both academically and in their careers, and they accordingly have the highest median household income of any ethnic group. Perhaps some people are envious—perhaps that is part of the problem. It is true that in America during the 1800s there was organized discrimination against Asians like the Chinese Exclusion Act, and much of it by white supremacists. Certainly, the criminal incarceration of ethnic Japanese by the FDR administration during WWII is a stain on our history. The fact is that the world was universally an overtly racist place until recently, and indeed Imperial Japan’s WWII moto was “Asia for Asians.” But this is the 21st century, and although history provides perspective, we need to have clear eyed assessments to effectively deal with problems.
Is there a basis for the assertions in the media, from politicians and some demonstrators that increased hate crimes against AA is from white supremacy? Fact is that when it comes to murder or violent assault, if you are white, Black or Hispanic, your attacker will most likely be of the same race, overwhelmingly. However, Asian Americans are the only ethnic group who are more likely to be physically assaulted in America by people of another race. It is very difficult to find real statistics about the horrendous uptick in violence against them, but it seems clear that the criminal perpetrators are of all races. So how could it be an outgrowth of white supremacy, and why is that myth being perpetuated? Politics, and critical race theory, of course. The stated theory is this: America is inherently racist, always has been, and the power structure here was created by “white supremacists.” Therefore, if some minority Americans feel resentful of Asian Americans and attack them, they themselves are only brainwashed victims of white supremacy. Pundits even assert the common positive perception of Asian Americans as hard working over achievers is part of the evil plot by those sneaky white power brokers. Professor Scott Kurashige of TX Christian University stated: “The model minority stereotype really isn’t meant to define Asian Americans. Rather, it’s meant to define African Americans as deficient and inferior to white people by using Asian Americans as a proxy or a pawn to serve that purpose.” Got that, America? By having a positive perception of Asian Americans, you are playing a part in a white supremacist plot to keep Black people suppressed. Oh brother.
This isn’t just stupid, it’s dangerous on several fronts, including perpetuating racism and lies that distract from addressing real problems, like hate crimes against our countrymen of Asian descent. Once this narrative takes root, it self-perpetuates. Robert Long, who murdered eight people in Georgia in massage parlors, including six Asian women, is a psychotic madman sex addict who told police he killed them to stop his “sex addiction” (not racism). In NYC where hate crimes against Asian Americans spiked nine-fold last year, only two of the 20 people arrested were white (11 were Black, seven Hispanic). Yet the drumbeat continues that this is white supremacy in action. It just isn’t. It is ignorant people engaging in reprehensible prejudice and violence, and ignorant people come in all ethnicities. Asserting otherwise is, well, racist.
Why is there such a concerted effort to pit Americans against each other by race? Fight back against it! Bigots need to be denounced, criminals jailed, and the rest of us need to protect and nurture each other in unity as one people. Kamsahamnida.