On the recent rise in Anti-Asian Hate
There are much smarter people out there writing much more articulate pieces on this, but here we go — I think the language around how “anti-Asian hate and violence is on the rise” really obscures the reality that this country has propagated anti-Asian violence at every moment in its history.
From the Chinese Exclusion Act to Japanese internment to flattening Tokyo/Hiroshima to murdering 3 million Koreans to firebombing Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia (yesterday was literally the anniversary of the My Lai massacre) to supporting mass Indonesian massacre to “the China virus” or “the Kung Flu,” to…the list goes on.
The question then becomes, “why is this happening?” While it’s easy to point fingers at Trump for stoking the flames of anti-Asian hate, that analysis misses the broader point that Trump (and now Biden) are simply playing their roles as figureheads of U.S. imperialism and hegemony. At the root of all this racism and violence is quite simply a desire — an obsession — with domination (of resources, wealth, people, etc.) upheld by a doctrine of white supremacy and powered by a political economy of racial capitalism. Any depoliticizing or disconnecting of domestic anti-Asian hate in the U.S. from this country’s legacy of oppression, violence, and attempted domination in the Pacific misses the point.
Lastly, let us not forget the complicity of (western corporate) media (and that includes both ‘progressive’ or non progressive outlets, NYT, WaPo, Economist, Fox News, Axios, et al.) and their role in stoking Sinophobia and manufacturing consent for the U.S. war machine. It is for that reason that we should not be surprised that these outlets don’t frame the incident in Atlanta as racially motivated nor should we rely on these sources to accurately diagnose these issues. For doing so would require these media outlets to turn inwards and recognize their role in crafting anti-Asian narratives that push individuals like the Atlanta shooter to violently harm Asians. All media is propaganda, and asking the U.S. corporate media — an extension of the U.S. empire — to diagnose and denounce anti-Asian racism (or any racism for that matter) is asking them to go directly against their designated role in upholding U.S. empire and capitalistic domination.
If there’s anything I hope you take away from this, it’s this — if you are staunchly against anti-Asian hate and violence (or racism, in general), you must recognize that the rise in anti-Asian violence and the murder of our Asian brothers and sisters is a direct manifestation of U.S. imperialism, racial capitalism, and western propaganda. Stop striving for representation and assimilation into a white supremacist world and start demanding the dismantling of systems of oppression.