There’s been a rise in attacks on Asian-Americans in recent months, especially the elderly. This is true. Statistics confirm it.
But when it comes to perpetrators of recent acts of violence against Asian-Americans, it’s hardly white supremacy that’s to blame. Vicha Ratanapakdee, an immigrant from Thailand who lived in San Francisco, was brutally assaulted on video by Antoine Watson, a black 19-year-old.
Many attribute the 2020 uptick to the xenophobic rhetoric of Biden’s predecessor; former President Trump repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as “the China virus,” blaming the country for the pandemic. In doing so, Trump followed in a long American history of using diseases to justify anti-Asian xenophobia, one that dates back to the 19th and 20th centuries and has helped to shape perception of Asian Americans as “perpetual foreigners.”
Blaming the rise in physical assaults by whites on Asians because of the pandemic and Trump using the dreaded “Chinese virus” as a reason to hate doesn’t make any sense. This is especially true since almost all the attacks on Asians have been carried out by members of minority groups.
We don’t know how many of the attacks are even motivated by ethnic hatred to begin with. Yahya Muslim, an African-American man who is the center of one of the highest-profile attacks on Asian Americans, is reportedly homeless and mentally ill and prosecutors have yet to bring hate crime charges against him.
Over the past year, we’ve seen a huge spike in violent crime, particularly shootings and homicides. It’s possible that these crimes against Asian Americans are simply part of a larger crime wave that is making major American cities increasingly unsafe.
Could it be that some activists are trying to take advantage of the worrying rise in violent crimes against Asian-Americans to promote their agenda?
“I was mad, like blood boiling through my veins now, watching my community get slaughtered,” says [Amanda] Nguyen, a civil rights activist who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her work in advocating for sexual assault survivors. “How many more people need to be killed in order for the news outlets, especially mainstream ones, to think that we’re worthy of a story?”
Nguyen should know that the only race-motivated crimes that make headlines are those perpetrated by white supremacists. All other attacks are non-news. Does she really think if a white person had murdered Ratanapakdee on video that the media wouldn’t have played the story to the hilt? Or any other attack on Asians by whites for that matter?
I can’t see the coronavirus as an excuse used by anyone to attack an Asian-American. Perhaps the question should be do any racists of any color need any kind of an excuse to become violent against those they hate? Asians are hated in black communities because they’re successful and many run the small grocery stores in those communities. The food is expensive compared to grocery stores because the small businesses can’t buy in the same volume as supermarkets and must charge more for their products. This has bred resentment and hate of Asian-Americans making them targets of violence by blacks and Latinos.
If we’re ever going to deal with our race problems in this country all sides must admit guilt and build a better future with that in mind. Otherwise, it’s all politics and not worth a warm bucket of spit.