The first step to stopping Anti-Asian hate is to see it clearly.
I just did a paid subscription based on this essay. This is the first publication of any type I have seen that has called attention to this issue of blaming white supremacy for attacks on Asians. People need to wake up and stop watching and subscribing to media sources that won't tell the truth or that outright misrepresent a story to promote a woke agenda.
This Big Lie - that White Supremacists are targeting Asians - was invented by the Left to mitigate the damage caused by their own anti-Asian bias regarding school admissions and Asian success as a minority. The Left wants to promote the narrative that Asians are a minority group persecuted by Whites, so they can continue to count on Asians voting Democrat as a bloc -
A little more insight into the media narrative. John Robb, a former USAF counterterrorism officer and Yale graduate, covered this topic extensively recently in his blog. (Bari - he would make an excellent interview...David Brooks at the NYT is a big fan of his.)
Robb said China used reflexive control information warfare to pummel the U.S. on this issue. Reflexive control operations build triggers that pierce the weak points in a target's information filter...so there is little to no critical evaluation of the information before a decision is made.
He said the trigger was on February 10 when the WHO released its results of the origins of Covid. Over the next few days numerous media stories appeared decrying a spike in "anti-Asian violence" (a new term). All the stories included empathy triggers - a picture,
video, or story that provokes a strong empathetic response in the people who see it.
China knew American media outlets would amplify the story...and they did.
The effect (and the one desired by China) was to politicize the violence, linking it to Trump's inflammatory rhetoric about the virus. This led to blaming Trump supporters for violence that statistically isn't their fault, sowing more discord throughout the country. From China's POV, mission accomplished.
This explanation gave me far more context about how the media narrative is being shaped here.
Dear Ms. Weiss, Great piece, but also please have the courage to speak out against government officials who promote anti-Asian hatred. See https://www.wsj.com/articles/schools-offer-empty-words-to-asians-11616690951?mod=searchresults_pos2&page=1 including: "New York Mayor Bill de Blasio claims the city’s transparent and objective process for admissions to specialized schools such as Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech has led to too many Asian-American students. He called the racial composition of those schools a 'monumental injustice.' Mr. De Blasio changed the admissions policy to make it harder for many Asian-American students, many from low-income families, to get in." This mayor is nothing more than a modern day Theodore Bilbo or Ben Tillman.
Anyone who could watch another person get beaten to within an inch of their life without intervening doesn't deserve the sobriquet of 'human being'--no matter what their job instructions tell them to do. Just awful, as is the progressive Left's determination to label every attack as 'white supremacy'. You get the distinct impression, likely true, that they don't give a shit about the victims aside from their ability to advance the preferred narrative of the week. The whole thing is disgusting on every level.
This article has two points. One is about the evil of standing by while another human is attacked. The other is about bringing to light how sometimes minorities attack other minorities. I'd like to share on this.
My wife worked in downtown Portland, OR for years and up until the pandemic. A few years ago she had a succession of harassment incidents. The first was when a transgender person physically walked into her and used their shoulder to push into my wife. My wife was called a "f**king dyke" by this person and told "you're not cool" with menace. Weeks later another incident like this happened with yet another transgender person. My wife was harassed for absolutely no reason than existing and being "visibly lesbian." We were utterly befuddled by both moments and did an internet search to see where this animosity was coming from. Several rabbit holes later, we learned of a new type of homophobia coming from others within the LGBTQ+ milieu. We discovered the disparaging and often incorrect term TERF, and we saw many Twitter accounts where lesbians were disparaged to the point of encouraging violence. It all was a shock to say the least.
Another incident involved a black man who followed my wife for a couple blocks, screaming ugly words at her. He called her an "it" and a "fag." He said loudly that he was going to "f**k her up" and that he hated white people. Both this man and my wife were surrounded by people waiting forthe trolly during morning rush hour. Many looked at what was happening but no one intervened. My wife had to rush into a store to get away from the man.
It was at this point I went to the city of Portland's Human Rights committee. I was allowed to share these experiences and my perspective. That the rhetoric of the constant demonization of Trump (who I didn't vote for) and his supporters and whites and men and cisgenders was fostering more minorities railing against minorities. I told them it almost seemed as if the bystanders in the last example I shared, were trying to decide who the more oppressed person was - the white appearing lesbian or the black man.
My plea for help went unacknowledged. So I took my concerns to the city council which included Mayor Ted Wheeler. I related all the same information and asked that they consider how their rhetoric may have consequences for the city. I urged consideration for embracing civility, not as a means to shut others up, but to serve as an example of how we humans need to treat each other...before all we are doing is performing acts of dehumanization in the name of what's politically beneficial for those who won't likely ever experience what my wife did.
My concerns went unacknowledged. It was then we began to really see where Portland was going and we started the process mentally of figuring out where to move to.
One would think a same-sex interracial appearing couple like us would be at home in such a progressive place. Instead we found zealotry disguised as justice, and minority on minority hated to be acceptable. The insult to injury came from our former Mayor's (we have moved away from Portland) Twitter post. It said:
"...the burden should not be on BIPOC communities to aspire towards resilience or be resilient in the face of racism's physical and psychological violence. The burden remains on dominant communities to do the work necessary to make Portland safer, welcoming..."
Meaning minorities are supposed to wait around until "dominant communities" decide if and when they want to help us and that minorities shouldn't have to be responsible for our own hated or be strong when one of "our own" or others attacks us.
I'd like to end this comment with a quote from musician and blogger, Regie Hamm.
"Once you decide to see every single person on Earth as an individual, and not the group they may or may not be a part of, you get set free."
Freedom includes responsibility and resilience. I hope we can foster more of that when anyone is being harmed and when we examine our own capacity to hate and disregard mercy.
White supremacy, in action again. Not as the perpetrator, but as a convenient scapegoat for progressives pushing CRT as a foundation for grabbing power. Disgusting. Thanks Bari.
Your essay is spot on! When viewing the video and reading the details of the story (details is now a loose term), I was shocked and saddened. The response from the bystanders was alarming, as much as the actual attack. We are not only losing our freedoms, but we are losing our humanity! "Liability"......I would be worried about the "liability" that I'm going to be judged on for not helping another human!
It’s as if Martin Niemoller’s poem is being re-written for America before our very eyes.
First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew,
Then they came for the Asians, and I did not speak out because I was not an Asian
What will paragraph three say? Both groups share one similarity as far as the Narrative goes: the Jews and the Asians are “white passing” or “white adjacent” or some such bizarre formulation. Classified as “white” and therefore oppressors for purposes of the victimization Olympics, they get no pity or empathy. They deserve each punch, each kick, each stab and each gunshot. They can never be victims. By playing by the rules of America and succeeding in society, they are complicit with the white privilege.
Consider the interesting position of Arab-Americans, one which should expose (but won’t) the lunatic logical conclusion of the Narrative. I read recently that Alissa, the Syrian-born shooter in Boulder, CO, is being viewed as white or, as Michael Moore put it, white assimilated. Yet, when Arab-Americans claim to be victims of Islamophobic attacks (even though few are actually verified), the Narrative sees those Arab-Americans as a “brown” oppressed minority that needs protection - a consideration withheld from both Jews and Asians.
I have never been a fan of “hate” crimes. If you assault or kill me I don’t really care about your “feelings” towards me or my race. Crime is crime. Interestingly there is “systemic racism” against Asians.
It's partially by design from the radical left : Defunding the police, removing qualified immunity from the police, while getting criminals out of jail and not prosecuting - all this leads to skyrocketing crime. It will only get worse in NYC, unfortunately. As far as bystander and not getting involved: are we on the streets demanding the innocent be acquitted and go free? Or are we prepared for intimidated jurors to find Dereck Chauvin guilty, because that's what the leftist's mob wants? And they ARE on the streets demanding it. Al Sharpton and such leading the crowd, ready to lynch. All of us doing nothing are passive bystanders, afraid to look at the facts, make our voices heard and insist on justice prevailing despite the media narrative.
Great article, Bari. Asian Americans are often overlooked by the elites until they can't be. And then they shout white supremacy. Also, that tablet article - will you write an article about how secular Jews with often left leaning views routinely demonize, deride, lie about, and are perhaps the greatest purveyors (because of their reach) of antisemitism against Orthodox Jews? No less than three articles came out before Passover in Slate, NYT, and NYP (not left leaning and not by a Jew) about Orthodox Jews that were shocking and had they been written about another minority - well, let's put it this way: they would have never been written. The content itself was ridiculous. It's straight out of the Elders of Zion, this content - and why? "Because they bring it onto themselves" "well, they believe women are inferior" "Welllll. Is any of it wrong?" These are some common comments I see from leftist Jews. They are all untrue. But in their fragile, "well-educated" minds, it is true, and so their attitude against them is justified, the attacks are justified, the libels are justified.
Which brings us back to Asian Americans, who are getting support now because public outcry won't allow them not to, but Orthodox Jews will never get support, even while bearing the brunt of most anti-Semitic attacks in this country, because there's no expedient narrative that allows for that support, and that is what this country's sense of moral duty and compassion, sense of fairness and veracity, has boiled down to: is it hashtagable. Will it make me look good to retweet it. That's all. I think it's pathetic.
I've lived among the violent psychopaths of this world. I've felt their cold, blind, rage. They seemed like they were programmed to be viciously brutal. All humanity leaves them in an instant. They pounce like the mercilessly programmed mechanical dog in Fahrenheit 451.
It's not much consolation but I assure you they eventually come to a bad end. They either age out and drink themselves to death or die fighting someone younger or more vicious or their drug of choice kills them. Karma is real although it comes too late to give solace to the brute's many victims. But you must believe me karma is real and it will eventually get them.
I now live among the folks who believe the narrative. (See I didn’t even have to spell that out.You all know what narrative.) My new hood is filled with “Hate has no...Bla, bla signs and black BLM flags. If Monty Python were to write a script about this new cult there would be a chanting procession of guilty white folks with black BLM flags and “no hate” signs self flagellating and holding a sacrifice lottery. But alas comedy is dead-er than the lottery loser. So far they usually go to someone else's neighborhood to break windows. Cowards do that don't cha know. I hope their victims don't follow them home.
Perhaps we should start by mocking these imbeciles and their narrative. That would be karma enough for me and a good start.
I read the essay in Tablet. I'm not surprised. Some of the most bigoted people I've ever known have been well educated, and not just toward Jews.
Maybe Lebron can do a protest?
I don't know what bystanders could have done to actively intervene; I get that. I have been within a few feet of a beating inflicted in public by strong young males on several occasions. It's breathtaking how severe of a damage can be inflicted by a young male human in just seconds, and although I wanted to help, there was nothing I could do physically. To physically step in between the perp and the victim looked to me akin to stepping into a tornado. Made of whirling bricks.
But what I do see in the all-too-common videos of violence that have been captured and posted in this modern cellphone age is a distinct change in the ATTITUDE of the bystanders. The default behavior seems to be apathy, disengagement, or even glee. If I were near this assault I would have at least been screaming, calling 911, looking actively for police etc. What I saw from the bystanders instead was a lot of "Huh. Would you look at that?"