The Truth About Asian Americans and Hate Crimes

“From San Francisco to New York, the recent attacks have been cowardly and horrific. A few weeks ago, two black teenagers punched 59-year-old Tian Sheng Yu in the mouth in downtown Oakland, before and after they assaulted his son. The father fell on his head and passed away a few days later. In January, black teenagers kicked and beat 83-year-old Huan Chen after he got off a Muni bus in San Francisco. He, too, died from his injuries.”

These descriptions are ripped straight from the headlines . . . 11 years ago. The words belong to my friend Ying Ma, a native of China who grew up in a predominantly African American neighborhood in Oakland, in an op-ed for the San Jose Mercury News titled, “Black-on-Asian Violence Raises Troubling Questions.”

Another account from 2010 came courtesy of veteran Bay Area journalist C. W. Nevius. Headlined, “Dirty Secret of Black-on-Asian Violence is Out,” Nevius quoted a Chinese American community organizer in San Francisco admitting it was “San Francisco’s dirty little secret.” The organizer described sitting before a city task force that analyzed 300 assault crimes—of which 85 percent were black-on-Asian. This in a city that, at the time, was just 6 percent African American and 33 percent Asian American.

Clearly, the much-publicized horrific attacks on Asian Americans, largely at the hands of young African American men, long preceded Donald Trump’s administration and obviously have nothing to do with “white supremacist terrorism.” Community leaders knew it then. They know it now. The pattern hasn’t changed.

Deceptive and Disingenuous

And yet, in light of recent attacks, many of them are slandering white people anyway. In the current racial hierarchy, hating white is always right. These community leaders refuse to speak the truth, because calling out the criminal violence of many young black men against their own community might be damaging to “solidarity” or could make them uncomfortable. 

Instead, they have chosen to slander white people—which is a kind of hate crime in itself. We don’t live in a white-supremacist society. We live in a white-shaming society. And everyone with more than two brain cells to rub together knows it.

The deceptive and disingenuous attacks on white Americans, and white Trump supporters in particular, have been almost ubiquitous from Asian American journalists, activists, leading scholars, and reporters commenting on the recent violence. 

Time magazine’s Cady Lang suggests “Many attribute the 2020 uptick to the xenophobic rhetoric of Biden’s predecessor,” despite noting in the same article that such attacks are concentrated in the Bay Area, one of the most left-wing metros in the country. Lang quotes a professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University asserting “a clear correlation between President Trump’s incendiary comments, his insistence on using the term ‘Chinese virus’ and the subsequent hate speech spread on social media and the hate violence directed towards us.”

Not to be outdone, Princeton American studies professor Anne Cheng wrote in the New York Timeswithout evidence—that “This recent onslaught of anti-Asian violence can partly be attributed to our former president, who spoke nonstop of the ‘Chinese virus’ and even the ‘kung flu.’” Cheng attacks “systemic racism” while failing to explain why such systemic racism would make blacks (12 percent Trump vote), rather than whites (58 percent Trump vote), target Asian Americans for violence.

Cheng adds that while some Asian American leaders (appropriately) wanted a crackdown on crime, “many others felt deeply uncomfortable with contributing to the criminalization of African Americans.”

Sorry, professor, but the perpetrators themselves are the only ones contributing to their own criminality. You are just deciding whether you are going to hold them accountable or make excuses for them while blood-libeling white people because telling the truth would be too politically inconvenient.

Vivien Ho and Abené Clayton, writing in Britain’s left-wing Guardian, blame Trump’s trade war and “racist taunts” for the upsurge in violence.

In case you’re simple enough to think criminals are responsible for the crimes they commit, Clayton and Ho are eager to disabuse you of your wrongthink: “Some have pointed the finger, not at the white political leaders who have long trafficked in xenophobic rhetoric, but at another minority group.”

A Rich Vein of White-Hating Insanity

Remove oneself a bit from the august pages of the New York Times and Time, and the craziness and anti-white racism increase further. 

Melissa Pedlinka, writing for Mic, urges that any response to the crime upsurge not benefit “white supremacy, which is invested in turning Black and Asian Americans against each other” She quotes a Filipino activist who says, “We can’t rely on the white settler colonial state to validate us because it never will.” The “white settler colonial state,”is of course America—where he lives and votes and to which, in theory, he owes allegiance.

The “activist” community is a particularly rich vein of white-hating insanity. One Asian American activist claims “Supporting our Asian community is not about dividing us. This support is for all of us suffering under white supremacy.”

Another activist in full tinfoil hat conspiracy mode who happens to be co-chairman of Chinese Americans for Affirmative Action called attention to the 1992 Los Angeles riots in which African American rioters devastated the city’s Koreatown. “The lesson that keeps coming up for me is that this powder keg that is always about to ignite is by design.”

But perhaps the gold medal for intellectual gymnastics goes to the activist who notes that at age 10, growing up in China, he had never met a black person, yet knew derogatory Cantonese slang for black people—a fact he quickly blames on white supremacy. So, evidently, Chinese people in China engaging in ethnic slurs against black people are, in reality, a product of American white supremacy. That’s where we are as a country in 2021.

The Asian American community activist mentality is exemplified by a statement of 72 Asian American community organizations condemning the recent violence. 

“We are committed to working with Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Pacific Islander communities for long-term shared vision and solutions to stop the violence in all our communities.” White people are curiously absent from the list.

The group wants to “[r]esource cross-community education and healing in Asian American and Black communities that humanizes all of us rather than demonizes or scapegoats any community of color.” They don’t want to avoid scapegoating anyone by race—which would be a worthy message—but “any community of color.” Scapegoating white people is hunky-dory. 

The fruits of this mentality were on display in a flyer for a rally for Vicha Ratanapakdee, an elderly Thai American who was killed in a random attack by a young black assailant. The flyer urged people to “unite against white nationalism.”

In all fairness, by engaging in anti-white racism, these Asian American leaders are simply following white liberals’ lead.  People like Bill Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have been libeling white people for decades now. 

A “deeply concerned” President Clinton tweeted “ignorant rhetoric driving this type of violence”—a not so subtle attempt to blame Donald Trump.

Inconvenient Truths and Reasons for Hope

A press conference called by Democratic congressional leaders piled on more: Pelosi was eager to finger white supremacy as a culprit, as was Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) who accused Trump of “months and months of inflaming prejudices.” 

Tina Tchen, Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, likewise put the blame on whites again, contradicting all available evidence. “The increase in racist attacks against Asian Americans—and Asian American women in particular—is absolutely unacceptable. White supremacy perpetuates this violence and has no place in our country.” Actually, lying and racial scapegoating because the truth is politically inconvenient should have no place in our country. But maybe that’s just me. 

Even the Stop AAPI Hate report from a left-wing group that chronicles anti-Asian American hate crimes acknowledges that 60 percent of recent incidents occurred in the cerulean blue states of California and New York. Meanwhile, the red state of Texas, home to 7.6 percent of the Asian American population, had just three percent of all hate crimes. So, according to the logic of the Democratic Party, Donald Trump is inspiring violence in states where voters hate him but not in states where he is popular. Quite a trick.

There are signs of change—not just among conservative Asian American activists like my friend Ying who have long condemned anti-white scapegoating and critical race theory. 

The Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York recently denounced critical race theory as a “hateful divisive manipulative fraud.” Young Kim and Michelle Park Steel, two Asian American Republicans with deep roots in the Asian American community of Orange County, California, were elected to Congress in 2020, the first Korean American women to serve in that body. Grassroots pressure from Asian American citizens is putting pressure on leftist elites to actually do something about hate crimes rather than uselessly blame white people who are not responsible for them.

Sadly, the fact remains that almost two-thirds of Asian Americans still support the party that refuses to call out the perpetrators of hate crimes and instead pushes a politically convenient racial fantasyland. And since their leadership is evidently preoccupied with slandering their white fellow citizens, they may have a hard time getting GOP voters (who are over 80 percent white) to prioritize their cause, no matter how worthy it is. 

 For too long, Asian Americans have suffered disproportionately. To end this hate crime spree, they need leadership that won’t also help to perpetrate them.  






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About Jeremy Carl

Jeremy Carl is a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute. He served as deputy assistant secretary of the interior under President Trump and lives with his family in Montana. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeremycarl4.

Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images