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Analysis: White supremacy and hate are haunting Asian Americans

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“There is a lot of fear in the community, not just over the hate crimes of the last year, which are the result of xenophobic messages about the pandemic by the former president,” the representative of the l state of Georgia, Bee Nguyen. Erin Burnett on Wednesday. “There is a lot of history of American Asian violence in this country, and many of our parents or grandparents and ancestors experienced it.”

Anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 150% during the pandemic, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino.

NBA veteran Jeremy Lin told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night that although he had experienced bigotry when he was younger, he was now much more accused.

“It feels very different. I think growing up was always something that could be a little more subtle or verbal. But I think what we’re seeing now is a lot of real physical violence. Americans looking to over their shoulders when they go out on the street, when they go to the supermarket story, ”Lin said.

“I think there’s a lot of racial hatred now that we’re seeing and feeling.”

The white supremacist threat

Vivien Tsou, national field director of the American Pacific National Forum of Asian Women, described a personal feeling of dislocation and horror after Tuesday’s killings, which he said he felt deeply in his community.
A day when the new Homeland Security Secretary Alexander Mayorkas told lawmakers that domestic extremism was the greatest threat to the homeland, Tsou argued that Asian Americans were not in a different danger, but were the target of the same hate forces supported by black Americans and were evident in the insurrection against the United States Capitol on January 6th.

“While the focus is on anti-Asian hatred, it all comes from white supremacy and anyone can be a scapegoat at any time,” Tsou said.

“This is something we need to face together and show solidarity,” he said, referring to other ethnic minority groups.

More generally, the ordeal of the American Asian community revealed another dimension of the much-discussed national estimate of race.. A wave of current events, from the crisis on the southwestern border, to efforts to suppress Republican voters, to disparities in the availability of the Covid-19 vaccine, revolve to some extent around ethnicity issues. And they highlight the particular pain of minority Americans who can never be felt and who are rarely really appreciated by the white majority.

On Wednesday, a jury in the trial against Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd, was asked by a defense attorney if he had personal opinions that could shape his trial.

“Being a black man in the United States, I experience racism every day,” the unidentified man said. He was later excused from service despite insisting he could issue a fair verdict.

The exchange not only crystallized the issue at the heart of a case with serious national implications: whether the U.S. legal system can do justice to a dead black man or whether an accused white police officer can get a fair trial in such emotional circumstances. . He exposed the racism that many blacks, Asians and other minorities believe endemic that other Americans only see after national tragedies or outrages.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the Asian American community needed the same consideration that was shown to black Americans after Floyd’s death amid a coup. national police violence.

“Just as African Americans across the country are asking for support and we have asked people to be with us over the summer, it is important that people be with our Asian brothers and sisters in the same way,” he said. “They’re being targeted unfairly and in Atlanta, what we’ve seen: the worst has happened.”

How much is Trump to blame?

The extent to which Trump, who has often refused to unequivocally condemn white supremacy, and its facilitators, are to blame for the rise in racial prejudice is the focus of controversy following Tuesday’s attack.

California Rep. Judy Chu of California told CNN on Wednesday that the hysteria caused by the former president, who sometimes referred to Covid-19 as a “kung flu,” has been disastrous for the community.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, he called it the virus of China,” Chu told Brooke Baldwin of CNN. “So now we’ve had a rebound in anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents.”

The degree to which the situation of Asian Americans was caught up in Trump’s scorched earth strategy was revealed during a debate on a Democratic House resolution condemning violence against the community in September.

A total of 164 Republicans voted against the measure, which some described as “awakening the steroid culture.” Some members opposed drawing a parallel between the impact of the phrase “China virus” and the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II and the historical discrimination against Chinese immigrants, both marked. by American consciousness and still resonating with many Asian Americans.

The World Health Organization has advised against linking the virus directly to any region or ethnic group precisely because of the hatred and harassment suffered by Asian Americans.

But one of Trump’s main allies, OOP Representative Jim Jordan, said in the debate that the measure was an example of “culture cancellation” designed to prevent Americans from speaking truthfully about ‘where the virus was first discovered.

And while Trump is no longer in office, much of the Republican party cannot shake its flavor to increase the spectrum of outsiders (often people of color), hinting that they threaten most of American white culture. .

On a trip to the southern border this week, the House’s minority leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, said that in addition to a stream of Central Americans, Yemenis, Iranians, Sri Lankans and Chinese “until and everything ”crossed the border.

Victims demand recognition

Asian Americans reported being targeted at least 500 times in the past two months

The increase in attacks on Asian Americans over the past year, including older members of the community, have left many fearful of leaving their homes or not wanting to venture beyond their immediate family networks. People have been verbally abused and accused of spreading Covid-19. Lin was called a “coronavirus” in court. There have been particularly troubling cases of xenophobic violence against elderly Asian Americans.

“The Asian American community here is in a state of shock,” Christopher Chan, the advisory chairman of the chapter on Georgia’s Asian American Action Fund, told CNN on Wednesday. “We want attention to be drawn to this growing epidemic of hate crimes, of crimes being committed against Asian Americans.”

The specific reason behind the shooting in Georgia in which Robert Aaron Long, 21, has been charged, it is still unclear according to police.

But Bottoms told CNN’s “The Situation Room” that it was hard to believe the alleged killer’s statement acting for a reason rooted in sex addiction.

“The fact that many of the victims were Asian … and that he was going to these Asian massage parlors. It is very difficult to ignore that the Asian community has been attacked and that it is happening all over the country,” he said. the mayor.

Whether or not the motive for the murder was racial, it appears to have been motivated by some form of hatred.

“I know there have been a lot of questions about whether he has a racial motivation,” Tsou said. “It’s not just race, it’s gender. These women did a daily job of caring for their family. They came out in a pandemic. That’s another layer of fear we’ve put on our communities.”

Proponents of the community say there has long been a problem with objectifying Asian women because they work in massage parlors or spas.

Esther Kao, speaking on behalf of Red Canary Song, a New York collective advocating for labor rights for massage workers (mostly Asians) and sex workers, said women in the industry had recently faced an increase in racism.

“But it’s not specific to the sex industry; Chinese neighborhood restaurants, workers have also received the same kind of threats and they also like to lose their income during that time,” Kao told the newsletter. Meanwhile in America “on CNN.

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