By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close
sundin13 said:

Is it really so far-fetched that White Supremacy would be at the root of Black-on-Asian violence? 

Let's break things down real quick. When we hear "white supremacy" we largely think of individuals who hold the belief that whites are inherently better and that they should have the power in society, but that isn't what we are talking about here. In this context, White Supremacy refers to the system of values in our society which places traits commonly associated with whiteness above traits associated with non-white groups. This can be something as simply as valuing light skin tones over darker skin tones, or something more cultural such as valuing a nuclear family set-up over other types of family structures. It also speaks to the series of beliefs and ideas which have largely been created and perpetuated by white individuals in power (more on this below).

This series of beliefs and values is passed down throughout the culture, regardless of race. Let's look at an example real quick:

It is largely through the power of white supremacy that the anti-Mexican sentiment that "the immigrants are taking our jobs" arose. Is it really that far-fetched to assume that a black individual who is unemployed, or under-employed may internalize this idea and develope animosity towards the Mexican population? And if they did, what would be the root cause? I would argue that the root cause is two fold: The structures that caused the individual to be unemployed or underemployed (often White Supremacy) and the structures which created this messaging (often White Supremacy). 

Because these values and beliefs emerge from power, it is often a pretty safe assumption that these broad, culture-wide sentiments can be attributed to White supremacy to at least some degree.

Now, what about Anti-Asian racism in the era of covid? I feel like you would pose little objection to the belief that this largely emerged from whites in power, be they White Republicans in politics, or white talking heads on Fox News, but I'll provide a source anyways: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01419870.2020.1839114

So, when a black person commits anti-Asian violence because of the beliefs they hold about the victim's role in the coronavirus, what stands at the root of this? Largely, racist sentiments perpetuated by whites in power and internalized by other communities. And the history of Black-Asian tensions have been going on for much longer than Covid. It is largely through white racism that a sense of competition between minority groups emerged (similar to the tension with Mexican immigrants described above). This article breaks down some of the history of Black-Asian tensions pretty well, but you can also look into the "model minority myth" if you want to do further reading: https://www.vox.com/22321234/black-asian-american-tensions-solidarity-history

Now, does this mean that you are to blame, or that any of this is a criticism of you personally? Of course not. This type of defensive attitude is something I see all too often and it is altogether misplaced. I work in the sciences. One of the most important things that we learn is about cognitive biases. It doesn't make me evil or bad or stupid for these biases to exist within my head. It is simply a part of human nature. However, it is through learning and understanding in which I am able to ensure that I don't act upon these biases. The same thing applies for racial biases. It doesn't make you a bad person to have biases in your head. Everyone does. That is the power of white supremacy. However, learning and understanding can help immensely in not just ensuring you aren't perpetuating White supremacy, but in dismantling it. 

As for your final point, I'll just say quickly that it should be telling that seemingly your best sources to back up your claims that the "Defund the Police" movement is causally linked to increases in violent crime is how some people feel and Tucker Carlson... I've said before that some people have demonstrated that they do not value truth and as such they are not worth listening to. Tucker is at the top of that list. If you wish to prove this point, you'll have to produce a better source than that. And this post is getting long, but I'll provide a quick source on why I don't believe this claim is particularly well supported: Crime has risen even in cities that didn't decrease funding for police. In Democratic-led cities, the homicide rate increased 36.2%, while in Republican-led cities, the homicide rate increased 35.6%. Further, while this has been a particularly loud issue, few cities have actually decreased their police budgets, and many of the ones that have didn't go into effect immediately. https://www.salon.com/2021/02/01/did-defund-the-police-lead-to-an-increase-in-murder-almost-certainly-not/

I don't want to say it, but it certainly seems like the power of white supremacy may be leading people to make improper assumptions about the effect of decreasing police funding, in order to keep funding up for one of the most powerful perpetuators of systemic racism...

Concerning your case about white supremacy, I am basically familiar with what the concept refers to in critical race theory, but find many of the resultant conclusions adherents draw obscenely simplistic and disingenuous. For example, you argue that a black person who blames immigrants for unemployment or under-employment does so because of white people in positions of power were the original nativists. This begs the question of how it's possible that other countries wherein white people are a minority -- sometimes only a fringe minority without any political power to speak of, like in the case of say Japan, for example -- one also often finds exceedingly restrictive immigration policies and bigoted, hostile attitudes toward migrant workers? You see what I'm saying? Once you get outside of a U.S.-centric worldview and mindset, the entire argument you're making here about "whiteness" being responsible for nativist attitudes falls apart.

Something similar can be said of the racialized association people often make between ethnically Chinese people and Covid-19. Donald Trump personally and specifically bears more responsibility for the popularization of that narrative than anyone else on Earth and that can be statistically demonstrated. However, Donald Trump's opinions are not exactly reflective of those of most white people in positions of power even in this country, are they? Is the matter then, in fact, systemic, or more like the disproportionate influence of a particular narcissistic, xenophobic asshole who was the worst president we've had in my lifetime and only served one term because of it? What I'm proposing here is that perhaps indeed Asian hate is exactly that: Asian hate and not "whiteness". It might be part of Donald Trump's idea of whiteness, but I really doubt that the black person who attacks an Asian-American over Covid-19 does so because they view themself as inferior to white people.

Anyway, fair enough on the city-by-city breakdown of the crime rates. But I still feel that Carlson has a valid point when he highlights the fact that crime rates have, by contrast, fallen most everywhere else in the world since the onset of Covid-19 and that as much frankly makes sense when you consider the nature of stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies. We seem to be the exception to this rule here. I've seen the argument made that the explanation lies in our recent record-breaking surge in gun sales. That too is a fair enough point, but guns don't just sell themselves. People buy them for reasons. Namely and most often because they feel unsafe. The question then becomes one of why so many Americans specifically suddenly feel that much less safe than a year ago. There's little question that, frankly, the main reason that this sudden surge began right around late May and early June of last year and has persisted since, running parallel to jumps in violent crime in this country, obviously has to do with 1) the murder of George Floyd and increased fear of police violence going along with that, 2) corresponding social de-legitimization of the police by Black Lives Matter resulting in less active police forces broadly, cutbacks in funding for police departments on a smaller scale, lack of prosecution for many crimes in various cities, etc., and 3) violence in the streets itself; it becomes a self-perpetuating problem that continually creates more fear in more people, resulting in turn in increased gun purchases and more concurrent social violence. That would be my personal assessment.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 31 May 2021