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The same hatred that targeted Muslims now attacks Asian Americans
Earlier this week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy used the House floor to wrongly blame Democrats for trying to overturn and “outlaw” Dr Seuss, a dead author whose the best-selling children’s books are still available to read. The decision to stop publishing six of his old racist books was actually made by the publisher and his estate, who admitted that the books “portray people” – including Asians – “in a hurtful and reprehensible manner.” Yet the rage of The Frenzied Masses who still mourn the loss of Potato Head’s pronouns but well nullify the Democratic election must have been sated with another straw man to draw. during violent attacks. I haven’t heard McCarthy rage about the more than 3,000 incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a California-based reporting center for Pacific Islanders of Asian descent, or the 150% increase by compared to the previous year in anti-Asian cases American hate crimes in 16 of the country’s most populous cities in 2020. Senator Tom Cotton has promised to “look very carefully” at the reasons why we are granting visas to Chinese students . A year ago at a grocery store in Midland, Texas, after falsely accusing them of being from China, a man nearly stabbed a father and his two young boys to death. The man, who is now visibly marked, is from Myanmar. You might be wondering why I, the Muslim son of Pakistani immigrants, use my column to discuss hatred against another ethnic community. It’s because I experienced it. In 2021, my Muslim and South Asian communities are still being told to “return to our country”. We have just endured a Trump administration that continued and enacted a “Muslim ban”. Twenty years after September 11, our acceptance is still conditional and under constant surveillance. To some, we are perpetual suspects and villains, “invaders” on a trailer with undocumented immigrants, who will “replace” and nullify real American culture, which apparently includes racist children’s books. Hate doesn’t need logic, it thrives on fear, misinformation and anger. When I read the story of the old Thai man recently killed in San Francisco, I remembered Balbir Singh Sodhi, the first victim of a hate crime after September 11. He was a bearded Sikh man who wore a turban and ran a gas station in Arizona, which the murderer boasted that he “was going to come out and shoot some towels.” Bigots and white supremacists are unqualified in their hatred, and all of us who will never achieve whiteness will always be in their target. “After 9/11, Muslims in America knew what it was like to wear an away jersey in their homes. the country. Now in the wake of COVID-19 we are seeing racial discrimination, targeting, harassment and an increase in hate crimes against our Asian American brothers and sisters, ”the comedian and actor told me. Hasan Minhaj. He believes Muslim communities have a responsibility to seek out and protect Asian Americans who currently feel “terrified, scared and vulnerable to go out in public.” President Trump and his federal officials have repeatedly called COVID-19 a “Chinese virus.” or the “Kung Flu”. Since then, Asian Americans have been spat, yelled at, pushed and attacked since the onset of COVID-19. They were scapegoated for a virus that has no ethnicity, gender, religion or political ideology.However, graphic novelist Thi Bui, who came to America with her family as a refugee from Vietnam said what gets lost in the current conversation. is that this hatred is not a new phenomenon. “I guess I would like to remind people who are new to anti-Asian violence and want to do something about it that there is a long documented history of anti-Asian violence in the United States, dating back to the crowds in anger and the exclusionary immigration policies of the 1800s, ”she told me. In fact, one of the first immigration laws to be passed in this country was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which prohibited all legal immigration of Chinese workers due to workers’ “economic anxiety”. white people at the time and the promotion of dangerous myths and stereotypes that portrayed Chinese and Asian immigrants as a “yellow peril” that would replace and conquer Western civilization. Bigots are not original thinkers and often recycle the same material in the 21st century. These same blatant stereotypes and fears persisted and were used to imprison nearly 120,000 innocent American citizens of Japanese descent in “relocation centers” across Western states under the pretext of national security. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, these fellow Americans without whiteness became “them” overnight. “Japanese hunting permits” began to circulate throughout the country, and in a 1944 opinion poll, 13% of the public agreed to exterminate all Japanese. Actor Kumail Nanjiani, originally an immigrant, is sensitive to what is happening to Asian American communities. He said that “Trump’s hateful rhetoric does not happen in a vacuum. It affects the lives of real people, ”mentioning that members of his Pakistani family are viewed as suspects by neighbors who have known them for 20 years. He also criticizes the Hollywood portrayal of Asians and South Asians in general which has incorporated these ugly stereotypes. Historically, he’s told me, “We’re either asexual / non-threatening nerds or murderous terrorists with nothing in between. We play either the model minority or the worst of humanity. In If I Ran the Zoo, one of six books by Dr Seuss that will no longer be published, an illustration shows a white boy holding a large pistol standing on the heads of three Asian men. Subtle The myth of the model minority mentioned by Nanjiani has been one of the enduring and harmful tools used by white supremacy as a wedge to divide communities of color. This flattens out the ethnic diversity and economic challenges faced by Asians and South Americans, in particular, and instead elevates us as the ideal immigrant and American minority who should be emulated by everyone else. It is claimed that we work hard, do not complain, succeed with courage, strive for academic and economic excellence and never complain, all while being politically sterilized and smiling through the pain. We are used to systemic racism and discrimination against blacks and Latinos. America asks, “Why can’t they be ‘role models’ like us?” It’s no surprise that the corrupt Justice Department led by Bill Barr used Asian American candidates to attack affirmative action in their case against Yale University, which Megan Black, who heads the program Common Good at the Western States Center, told me that it was “heartbreaking but not surprising” that some of the attackers of Asian Americans were black and people of color. She told me that the recent spike in anti-Asian violence follows a similar rise in anti-Semitic violence. “Blaming the Jew,” she said, becomes a “disturbingly effective decoy tactic that has been proven to successfully distract and dismantle racial solidarity efforts, leaving the real perpetrators of white supremacist power untouched.” while putting Jews and Jewish communities at risk. She says the “Blame China” rhetoric, which has become so prominent in our political discourse over the past few years, simply follows the same manual with the same results. urges communities of color to stand in solidarity with Asian Americans. Omar is a black Muslim woman who wears a hijab and is a former refugee, and as such has become the ideal scarecrow for the right wing and a frequent target of their hatred. President Trump also told her to go back to where she came from. “There is a concerted effort by white nationalists to target and divide minority communities by pitting us against each other,” she told me. “We must remember that our destinies are linked. An attack on a community is an attack on all. Bui agrees, but she believes that in order to truly fight violence, we need to expose the root causes and name them. For her, this includes white supremacy, the “common enemy” of all our communities, but also chaotic political leadership, income inequality and a meager social safety net that creates conditions where people of color, who should be allies, turn against each other. . With this divided Congress barely able to pass a stimulus package during a crippling pandemic, it’s a tall order. Yet in welcome relief from Trump’s lingering racism, President Biden signed an executive action in late January calling on the Justice Department to tackle xenophobia and hatred against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. . All of us. At the very least, we need to do our part to stand up and speak out against this growing and organized hatred, which has Republican champions in Congress and on Fox News, and work to create an America where a child and an elderly d Asian descent can walk the streets and be fully seen and embraced as ‘us’. Don’t take my word for it. Since America is currently obsessed with Dr. Seuss, it might be more helpful to simply listen to the Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a lot, nothing is going to get better. This is not the case. For more, check out The Daily Beast. Get our best articles delivered to your inbox every day. Register now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside delves deeper into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.