Stop Anti-Chinese Hate, But Not Anti-China Politics?
Can we expect people of Asian and Chinese descent to unite in a broad front against American imperialism?
I’ve been watching the outpouring of support for people of Chinese and Asian descent suddenly flow from all corners of our mainstream media and political class. Seems everyone stands with Asians (however you define that term) now. Even Meghan McCain, the nepotistic brat who recently went off about the “Chinese virus” and whose dad was a lifelong unrepentant hater of “the gooks” he had slaughtered from his American jet, stands with Asians now. It’s all very nice and civilized.
The ramping up of attacks on Asian people in America shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone — not in our current cultural climate where the Chinese have been set up as a sneaky, inscrutable civilizational threat to America and Western Democracy, and where everyone seems to agree that China is basically Nazi Germany and must be stopped before it enslaves the world. You can’t expect the politics of our empire-in-decline not to blowback and influence things at home — especially if “home” has a long and rich history of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian bigotry and nativist paranoia.
What is find slightly surprising, though, is how little attention America’s imperial anti-China campaign gets. Looking at mainstream reporting from the last few weeks on the the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes, I can’t find any reference to it. The widely praised John Oliver segment on it avoided the issue. Even the official website of Stop APPI Hate, the org that’s been getting the most media attention on this issue, is silent on it. Sure, there’s a lot of talk about Trump and his “China Virus” slurs, which makes it seem like Trumpists are the only ones to blame. But no one in the mainstream is talking about America’s larger anti-China imperial campaign — a bipartisan War With China panic that’s being whipped up by the respectable liberal center as much as the Trumpist/Bannonist/Cottonist Right.
So our mainstream media suddenly discovered that Asian hate crimes are on the rise, yet they can’t make the connection that they are to blame for it. And a big portion of what passes for the left here in America has been roped into the War With China campaign, as well. So…
It’s obvious you can’t tackle the rise in anti-Asian racism without addressing America’s imperial politics and the bigoted domestic propaganda that this politics produces. The question I have is this: Can we expect people of Asian and Chinese descent to unite in a broad front against American imperialism? I ask, but I’m pretty sure the answer is a big no. America is a nation of weaponized immigrants. And aside from a few small pockets, my weaponized immigrant peers mostly support American imperialism. And even if they’re not actively supportive, they’re passively so — they’ll never stick their necks out and go against the political mainstream.
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My parents may be near the pinnacle of being Chinese weaponized immigrants in the US. They're believing everything they hear on the Radio Free Asia youtube channel and feeding it to my relatives that are willing to listen. They've also been trying to cook schemes to "spirit" away anticommunist relatives to the West from those in Mainland China and my idiot cousin who is being prosecuted for taking part in the CIA guarimba in Hong Kong.
They froth at relatives and family friends that refuse their idealisms of American supremacy, free market capitalism, Hong Kong/Southern China nativism, and their narrative of what China is.
They're somehow more extreme than my evangelical aunt and uncle whom organize underground Christian activities in mainland China (and I suspect, specifically anticommunist ones).
It's so sickening, and is like watching a slow motion trainwreak. It will be a very sad conversation when I will meet any them in the future, as I will tell them they've been sold a bill of goods.
PS: After a bit of digging, I found an article from a few weeks ago in the Washington Post that at least addressed the issue and even quoted one of the founders of Stop AAPI Hate. But it's all so tepid — and again puts the blame mostly on Republicans.
“When America China-bashes, then Chinese get bashed, and so do those who look Chinese. American foreign policy in Asia is American domestic policy for Asians,” said Russell Jeung, a history professor at San Francisco State University who last year helped found Stop AAPI Hate (AAPI stands for Asian American and Pacific Islanders). The advocacy group has tallied more than 3,000 incidents of bias and hate during the pandemic. “The U.S.-China cold war — and especially the Republican strategy of scapegoating and attacking China for the virus — incited racism and hatred toward Asian Americans,” Jeung said.