Shootings at two Atlanta-area massage parlors left eight people dead Tuesday evening. Six of the eight women appeared to be Asian-Americans, yet the motive behind the shootings remains unknown. Police arrested a suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, on Wednesday. Long reportedly told investigators that he had a sexual addiction and saw the businesses as a temptation he needed to eliminate.
Yet prominent Democrats rushed to blame “white supremacy” for the heinous shootings.
“8 lives were violently stolen. We stand in solidarity & deep compassion w/ our AAPI [Asian American and Pacific Islander] family in Georgia & across the country. Racism, misogyny, & white supremacy are a threat to all of our communities, and we must call out the targeted, violent attacks on our AAPI neighbors,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), a member of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Squad,” tweeted on Wednesday morning.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) also appeared to attribute the shooting to white supremacy. “To our Asian neighbors, family, and friends. I know that the world seems more scary today. More cruel. Know that we love you. We mourn those killed last night in Atlanta with you. We will dismantle white supremacy alongside you,” Bush tweeted, about 30 minutes after police said the suspect was not racially motivated.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) condemned the sheriff who briefed the public about the suspect’s self-proclaimed motivation.
“Too many police in our country are more concerned with protecting white supremacy than serving the communities that pay their salaries,” Bowman tweeted, including a video of the sheriff’s announcement.
Too many police in our country are more concerned with protecting white supremacy than serving the communities that pay their salaries. https://t.co/yDdUuw0GRv
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) March 17, 2021
While these Democrats rushed to blame “white supremacy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wisely refrained from repeating the mantra. Instead, she called for an investigation to “determine whether this deadly attack was a hate crime” and condemned the shootings, which she said “compound the fear and pain that Asian-Americans face each day.”
President Joe Biden likewise refrained from repeating the “white supremacy” mantra. “The investigation is ongoing, and the decision of motivation is still to be determined,” the president said.
The alleged shooter’s true motives remain unclear, and it is possible his “sex addiction” led him to target these parlors due to the fetishization of Asian women. However, it would be an extreme leap to blame “white supremacy,” even if Long targeted these parlors for this reason.
Dictionary.com defines “white supremacy” as “the belief, theory, or doctrine that white people are inherently superior to people from all other racial and ethnic groups, especially Black people, and are therefore rightfully the dominant group in any society.”
It is possible Long had racist motives for the shooting, but Democrats rushed not only to the conclusion that Long had to be racist but that the shooting revealed “white supremacy” in American society. Bowman even suggested that the sheriff had been defending “white supremacy.”
Conservative radio host Jason Rantz argued that Bush tweeted her “white supremacy” accusation “30 minutes after police say the shootings were not likely racially motivated…because she doesn’t actually care about Asian victims, she cares about exploiting tragedy for political gain. Dems are all in on claims of white supremacy no matter what.”
“Victims deserve better than to be used as political pawns,” Rantz added.
It’s not like you can’t condemn violence without claiming white supremacy. It’s very easy to call out violence AND not forward a political agenda. It’s also the right thing to do. Victims deserve better than to be used as political pawns.
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) March 17, 2021
Influenced by Marxist critical race theory, Democrats often claim that any violence targeting racial minorities must be white supremacy, even if the perpetrator did not identify as white. According to critical race theory, white supremacy impacts various aspects of American society, from capitalism to Christianity to an ethic of hard work.
Critical race theory teaches that any racial disparities must ipso facto be proof of some hidden racial bias or discrimination, regardless of civil rights laws explicitly forbidding such discrimination. Similarly, any violence against racial minorities must be part of “structural racism,” whatever the perpetrator’s true motives.
Asian-Americans often suffer from the impact of critical race theory. Since Americans of Asian ancestry are overrepresented in colleges, universities, and certain high-income professions, CRT effectively teaches that American society is structurally biased in favor of Asians.
“Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a hateful, divisive, manipulative fraud,” the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York (CACAGNY) declared in a statement. “One way or another, CRT wants to get rid of too many Asians in good schools. Asians are over-represented. CRT is today’s Chinese Exclusion Act. CRT is the real hate crime against Asians” (emphasis original).
Asian Americans face real threats, both from those who harass them due to misconceptions about the COVID-19 pandemic and from those who consider Asians overrepresented in higher education and certain careers. In fact, not all of the perpetrators of Asian-American harassment have been white. The black man Yahya Muslim allegedly perpetrated one of the highest-profile attacks on Asian-Americans.
The world is far more complicated than critical race theory and accusations of “white supremacy” suggest.
Yet Democrats rail against “white supremacy” in an effort to tar conservatives and Republicans as complicit. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) claimed that former President Donald Trump had been “inflaming hate against Asian Americans” by using the term “Chinese virus” for COVID-19. Yet Trump clearly stood with Asian-Americans and condemned the harassment they face. He used the term “Chinese virus” to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda claim that COVID-19 was cooked up in an American lab.
It is heinous for Democrats to politically weaponize this tragedy.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.