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Could It Get Any Worse For Asian Americans? Trump Made Sure It Did.

It would be something of an understatement to say that race has

never been America’s forte. In fact, it’s been downright damn awful

since the country’s inception. Consequently, the world has looked on

for way too long now at a morally ambiguous United States that has

preached to the rest of the world regarding human rights, but at

the same time, for centuries, has been a race relations train-wreck.

Black Americans have held the massively unfortunate accolade of

being white America’s most visible racial victims of choice. Slavery,

Jim Crow, lynchings, police brutality, socio-economic

disenfranchisement and so on and so on.

Yet that misery is not just

black America’s burden to bear, far from it. White supremacist

hatred really does hate anything else other than white. Sure, the

Irish, Italians and Slavs, to name but a select few, have all come in

for their fair share of mistreatment in the United States, but that

was relatively fleeting. In stark contrast, anti-Asian racism, just

like ongoing black oppression, keeps on going and going.

A later start than black Americans, Asian-Americans first tasted

the acrid bile of white supremacy in the mid-nineteenth century.

Chinese labor that came to America to mine the mines and build the

railroads were excluded from regular society by way of both

legislation and every day societal “regular” discrimination. Fast

forward to the Second World War and Japanese-Americans were

interned on mass on the trumped-up charge of being a “security

risk.” (Let’s be clear here, that was imprisonment on the basis of

race, not guilt).

Discrimination against Asian-Americans in the United States has

then had a long and despicable history. And then along came the

poison of Donald J. Trump masquerading as president. His track

record on race was already well known – appalling. And he damn well

made sure that he was going to make it worse.

Hiding behind the veneer of a cheap populist cry of “America First”,

Trump singled out China as the country’s primary economic and

military enemy. It was low-hanging racially discriminatory fruit.

“China took your jobs” screeched Trump, ignoring the fact that

American big business did that by relocating production to China to

make good of cheaper labor and maximize their profits further still.

American workers? Meh.

Or turning a blind eye to Trump’s tacky branded goods more often

than not, being manufactured in China for the same tacky, profit-

greedy reason.

How about Trump slamming South Korea and Japan, key regional

allies, regarding the cost of defending them in an area of enhanced

geo-political consideration and very much in America’s interests to

actually do so?

And how the MAGA mob bought into all of that bigotry. Then came

COVID-19 and the damn of anti-Chinese / anti-Asian discrimination

burst open, bigly. Trump and his circle of goons were quick to keep

identifying the virus as being “Chinese”, even on occasions making

reference to it as “kung ‘flu” – a remark about as funny as finding

blood in your pee.

Inevitably, such rancid rhetoric came with consequences. Hate-

crime attacks against Asian-Americans have sky-rocketed since

Trump took office, and even more so as the COVID-19 pandemic

ravaged the country, culminating with the deadly Atlanta murders

just a few days ago. The victims were singled out because of their

Asian ancestry, pure and simple. Incredibly, the local (white)

sheriff, in a post-massacre press-conference, made reference to

the now detained assailant as having “a bad day.” That the same

sheriff had recently promoted the sale of anti-Chinese, COVID

related t-shirts online should then come as no surprise.

And that’s the problem. Day-to-day racism in twenty-first century

America, both casual and brutal, has become so normalized that

when it happens, it really is no surprise any more. Sure, it’s tragic,

sad, destructive and infuriating, but surprising? No. Not now.

Asian-Americans therefore have every reason to be as incensed as

their black American brothers and sisters. The United States

remains a white person’s privilege. That’s how it was founded to be

and, true to plan, has stayed that way since the Declaration of

Independence. Trump and his like will do everything that they can

to ensure that continues.

The rest of the world moves forward, the

United States continues to burrow backwards, enchanted and

intoxicated by it’s late eighteenth century white, male, elitist DNA.

Are all white Americans racist? No, absolutely not. Are all

American racists white? Hmmm. You get the picture when it comes

to American home-grown bigotry and one that Trump went out of his

way to ensure became bigger and bolder on the screens of our

decency than ever before.

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