Trumping Jussie Smollett: Elites Deconstruct the Atlanta Murders

Fake news imitates reality, as mainstream media competes with itself in distorting what happened in Atlanta. The commentary surrounding the Atlanta shooting appears to be more fake than actor Jussie Smollett’s insane hoax that he was attacked by Trump supporters on the streets of Chicago. 

But just as nearly everyone who was not wilfully blind saw through Smollett’s terrible acting, the media’s “white racism” angle on the horrifying Atlanta murders exceeded reductio ad absurdum levels. 

What made the professional Left—now featuring Asian American elites—explode with gleeful fury was the emergence of a perfect racist enemy—a white, male, religious zealot who had just purchased the murder weapon. Such a perpetrator now justifies Asian American elites, who tack hard Left, to ignore the unpleasant reality of black on Asian crime. After all, the Ferguson, Missouri shooting was preceded by a violent theft at a south Asian-owned convenience store and the George Floyd episode originated from a complaint from an Arab-owned store. Marginal small businesses in the inner cities are ravaged by some of their residents, while also loyally protected by many others. Yet for decades the Asian elite’s attitude has been “nothing here but us minorities, who must look out for each other.” 

Asians as Victims … of Whom?

No Asian American “civil rights organization” can remain respectable by even pointing to these facts. A mere mention of this reality means no more government or foundation grants, prestigious parties, White House and Department of Justice invitations, and above all, no more grants. 

This silence, along with the silence of many others, merely underscores that Black Lives Matter is the most powerful political interest group or party in the country today. The long march of the “1619 Project” through the institutions is nothing more than academic validation for the truth in the suites and streets. I’ve spoken with Asian American appointees on national commissions who eagerly voice support for supporting blacks over their own ethnic group for the sake of “justice.” Today all roads lead to the racist “China virus” Trump. 

Just a few numbers suffice to refute the absurdity of making “white racism”—with or without Trump—responsible for anti-Asian violence and harassment. In the most comprehensive essay to date on the murders, Andrew Sullivan accumulates revealing numbers. Based on the latest available data (2015-2018), Sullivan concludes, “Of those committing violence against Asians…24 percent [of] such attacks are committed by whites; 24 percent are committed by fellow Asians; 7 percent by Hispanics; and 27.5 percent by African-Americans.” 

So almost 60 percent of reported violent attacks were committed by minorities, including fellow Asians, with the largest number of offenders being African Americans. I suspect that number is underreported, as no business wants to create trouble for itself for petty theft, a slur, or even a violent act that might precipitate worse treatment. Though insults may be another matter, there’s no reason to expect a change from these earlier patterns of post-COVID violence. 

Asian-American groups consolidate crime statistics and update them regularly. The anecdotal evidence is rich as well. Just to start from the 1990s, a Chinese American recounts both terrifying and moving experiences working at his family’s inner city restaurant. Stanford law school graduate Ying Ma recounts the violence growing up as a young immigrant in inner-city Oakland. And back in 1995, Tucker Carlson related a horrifying example of jury nullification that set a black defendant free after murdering a Korean American college student. Adding insult to injury, The Baltimore Sun criticized Korean shopkeepers for their “lack of communication,” advising them to be more like earlier Italian and Jewish counterparts. 

Biden himself recently plagiarized this dishonest trope. His Atlanta speech attacked the shooter, as though he represented all white Christian men. He deceptively and disingenuously declared this truism “… hate and violence often hide in plain sight.  And it’s often met with silence…We cannot be complicit. We have to speak out.” 

Biden is a master-monger of white guilt, but as the numbers show, the unspoken truth is that a disproportionate amount of violence comes from black and Hispanic men. And by far the greatest victim group of hate crimes remain Jews. In condemning “silence” he condemns himself as well as Asian American elites in civic groups, politics, and the media. 

This denial of reality is compounded by the grating portrayal of Kamala “Chameleon” Harris as an Asian American. Of course, Kamala features her aristocratic Indian mother and not her Marxist economist black father, whose aristocratic grandfather Hamilton Brown owned 1100 black slaves in Jamaica. Featuring her father would disrupt the narrative, though Kamala did have another Brown, Willie, in her exotic vita. (Imagine a white politician with such an ancestry.) 

Who is Asian?

“Asian American” is a bureaucratic invention that East Asians, among others, viscerally reject. Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese each see themselves as separate nationalities. Hence hate crimes and unpleasantries are not uncommon between them. 

Preceding and during World War II, Chinese and Filipinos would attack Japanese in America for Imperial Japan’s atrocities in the Far East. (As a tourist, I can attest that Asian memories are long.) Immigrants (and adjoining nationalities) do not forget where they came from. 

Moreover, as the chameleon Kamala’s ridiculous posturing makes evident, the grouping “Asian” in America is far too diverse to constitute an identity. Government agencies count South Asians (Indians and Pakistanis) among Asians. What about Afghans, Iranians, Turks, and Arabs? Whether they are Asian depends on which government bureaucrat you ask, and when. 

All of these elites deny or obfuscate what everyone already knows: that a 24-hour massage parlor is a cover for a whorehouse, and that sex traffickers exploit illegal immigrants in their sordid business. Instead of the Atlanta shootings being the peak of “white racism,” the media narrative should begin with a recollection of the opium dens and red light districts of the wild West. Occasional lynchings and mass expulsions would “purify” the aggrieved communities. And how should we think about the exclusion of Japanese from the West coast following Pearl Harbor? Was that an act of white racism or prudent defense against Japan’s maniacal racist violence?  

All of this is clearly too complicated for a media with ideological blinders to report accurately. Asians did not always aspire to be passive victims. Following the 1992 Rodney King verdict, Los Angeles-area Koreans famously defended their shops with automatic weapons. Chinese-American novelist Gish Jen laments the softness of recent Asian immigrants versus the hardiness of earlier ones: “My parents’ response to my brother’s being beaten up, as he was just about every day in Yonkers, N.Y., was to sign him up for karate lessons.”

And What of Actual Discrimination?

But there is more irony and more reason to expect that the worst is yet to come, as seen in Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow who assailed the COVID-inspired and other violence: “Harvard must stand as a bulwark against hatred and bigotry. We welcome and embrace individuals from every background…. 

Meanwhile, Biden withdrew the Trump Administration Department of Justice’s suit against Yale University for discrimination against Asian American applicants, with its suit against Harvard likely to follow. 

After Asian American enrollment at Harvard, MIT, and other prestigious institutions soared during the 1990s, it declined and plateaued in recent years, as though a quota of around 17 percent had been imposed. Oddly, Asian enrollment at Caltech, which is not committed to preferences (following the recently reaffirmed law-abiding practice of California public universities),  continued to increase during this period. Worse things are yet to come: Selective public high schools in New York and Virginia are now told by the local leftists that they have too many Asians.

Don’t expect any protests from Biden and Harris about such discrimination. Similarly, the Asian elites will meekly go along, and in so doing distance themselves from Asian American lawsuits against quotas. 

The Asian elites’ cowardly, opportunistic Atlanta outbursts drive home the similarity of their character to that of wailing North Koreans

About Ken Masugi

Ken Masugi, Ph.D., is a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute. He has been a speechwriter for two cabinet members, and a special assistant for Clarence Thomas when he was chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Masugi is co-author, editor, or co-editor of 10 books on American politics. He has taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he was Olin Distinguished Visiting Professor; James Madison College of Michigan State University; the Ashbrook Center of Ashland University; and Princeton University.

Photo: (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Michael Nagle via Getty Images)

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