Do We Really Need New Anti-Asian Hate Crime Laws?

A holistic look at the data shatters the narrative about bias-based violence.

In March, a man opened fire at Young’s Asian Massage, just north of Atlanta. Later, he shot up two more Atlanta-area Asian spas. All told, eight people were killed. Six of them were Asian women. Was this a hate crime? Clearly, it targeted a certain sort of business.

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Yet if Long was motivated by anti-Asian or anti-female bias, this would be considered, under Georgia and federal law, a hate crime. If he was motivated by hatred of sex workers, it would not. This ambiguity perfectly encapsulates the tangled logic behind U.S. hate crime laws.

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The first half of 2021 was awash in stories about an alleged spike in bias-based actions against Asians in the United States. From TV ads to newspaper articles to the halls of Congress, stopping “Asian hate” became a major rallying cry. A New York Times headline from April 3 conjured “swelling anti-Asian violence” in America. “Covid ‘hate crimes’ against Asian Americans on rise,” warned the BBC, while Voice of America reported that “Hate Crimes Targeting Asian Americans Spiked by 150% in Major US Cities.”

The narrative was based on a grain of truth: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asians do seem to have faced an increase in verbal harassment—and occasionally worse—in some U.S. cities. But increases were far from consistent, and overall incident numbers remained quite small.

For instance, New York City saw an 833 percent rise in anti-Asian incidents between 2019 and 2020, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). That certainly sounds dire. Yet the leap represents a rise from three incidents in 2019 to 28 incidents in 2020—in a city with an Asian population of 1.2 million overall.

Many reports of a supposed surge in anti-Asian animosity relied on data from CSUSB, which culled police records to assess bias-based incidents in 16 big U.S. cities. It found only one (Washington, D.C.) with a decline in anti-Asian incidents and one (Chicago) with no change. Data from the other cities looked grim: Anti-Asian incidents were up 150 percent in San Jose, 133 percent in Boston, and 114 percent in Los Angeles.

Yet expressing the data in terms of the percentage increase can be misleading. The raw numbers went from four to 10 in San Jose, six to 14 in Boston, and seven to 15 in Los Angeles. Cleveland, Dallas, and Philadelphia each saw six incidents in 2020, up from zero to two in 2019. Cincinnati and San Diego went from zero to one; Phoenix from two to three; San Francisco from six to nine; and Seattle from nine to 12.

Another much-cited figure came from a group called Stop AAPI Hate, which reported a staggering 3,795 hate incidents against Asians and Pacific Islanders between March 19, 2020, and February 28, 2021. But unlike the CSUSB study, this figure came from self-reports to the group’s hotline, not police records. And its reporting went far beyond potentially criminal incidents.

The Stop AAPI Hate tally lumps together physical attacks and serious crimes with verbal insults, discrimination, and “shunning.” If someone crossed the street or moved aside when an Asian person walked by, and the Asian person perceived it as deliberate avoidance based on race, that would be counted among the group’s statistics. (Notably, the period in question was during a pandemic, when many were going out of their way to avoid crossing paths with others, regardless of race.) Overall, 68.1 percent of reported incidents were verbal harassment, an additional 6.8 percent were online harassment, and 20.5 percent were shunning. Only around 11 percent of incidents reported to AAPI—or 421—alleged physical contact.

None of this is to diminish the emotional pain or fear that taunts or avoidance can cause. But it does add important context. Talk of hate crimes and bias incidents tends to conjure images of vandalism and violence. This makes the idea of even a small increase appear extremely dangerous to the targeted group and drives up trepidation among members of the community. As an example, several Asian teen girls told NPR in April that they were afraid to leave home or partake in ordinary activities.

Source: Do We Really Need New Anti-Asian Hate Crime Laws?

“When you shame white children, you’re actually also shaming black children”

I answered 5 BIG Questions for Campus Reform: “because you’re sending a message to them that somehow in our society they start out less equal, that somehow in our society they don’t have a fair shot, that somehow in our society hard work and dedication is not going to pay off because there’s this systemically racist system that is putting them down…. Their fate in life is to be oppressed. I think that’s about as bad as you can get.”

Source: “When you shame white children, you’re actually also shaming black children”

 

The Surprising Origins of Critical Race Theory

The origins of Critical Race Theory have a dark history.

Source: The Surprising Origins of Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory (CRT) has been cited as an offshoot of Karl Marx’s theory of class struggle, which was designed to pit one class against another so as to foment worker-led revolutions. It is also widely accepted that the Marxian Frankfurt School in Germany reworked Marx’s “social conflict theory” in the 1950s by adding “race” to their long list of “oppressed” minorities. But historically, the Frankfurt School theorists were latecomers to the racial theory table. They were not the originators of Critical Race Theory. A revolutionary socialist movement had already existed decades before in Germany. These racial justice warriors sought to pit one race against another and encourage the oppressed to overthrow the oppressor. They called themselves German National Socialists.

 

Some Non-Covid Links

(Don Boudreaux) This letter in the Wall Street Journal is excellent:

Regarding Joseph Epstein’s op-ed “Black Lives Matter Poisons a Young Athlete’s Mind” (Aug. 17): In criticizing the negative messages of the BLM movement and naming many heroic civil-rights leaders of earlier generations, Mr. Epstein asks, “Why hasn’t a stronger black leadership arisen since this earlier generation of brave and highly intelligent men?”

It has arisen, though it is mostly overlooked by the mainstream media. Among today’s great black public leaders, such as Robert Woodson Sr., Carol Swain, Glenn Loury, Jason Riley, John McWhorter, Thomas Sowell, the late Walter Williams, Ian Rowe and Shelby Steele among others, can be found an optimistic and grateful strain of thought on black agency, progress and life in America.

I had the privilege of hearing Mr. Woodson and Ms. Swain speak to a racially mixed audience. They noted how much improvement they’ve experienced in their lifetimes and their optimism for the future. Mr. Woodson characterizes his outlook as “radical grace,” encouraging his people to look ahead, not back, and to exercise agency for their personal and family success. “Things that are all black should not be seen as bad,” nor should black success depend on “what white people do or think of us,” he said. Ms. Swain noted that she was not raised to hate white people but to accept individuals as they come, and judge them likewise. She, too, has no time for self-pity or worrying about what some may think of her.

Arnold L. Goldman
Canton, Conn.

Source: Some Non-Covid Links

CRT Falls Apart When You Look at Afghanistan

The crisis unfolding in Afghanistan makes a compelling case that a central contention of critical race theory is fatally flawed.

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The absence of the U.S. military has led to vile and almost unimaginable levels of evil and suffering.

This would come as a surprise to promulgators of critical race theory. CRT-inspired teachings claim that America is fundamentally racist. Our founding ideals — that all men are created equal and have unalienable rights — were a façade used to disguise the country’s inherent white supremacy.

“Racism is a system infused across society,” Robin DeAngelo, author of “White Fragility,” claims.

That foundational belief leads to some radical claims. The United States uses “race to establish and justify systems of power, privilege, disenfranchisement and oppression,” which gives “privileges to white people resulting in disadvantages to people of color,” a Bank of America training memo stated. Journalist Christopher Rufo released the training materials.

“At some point we are going to have to stop denying that we have metastatic racism,” Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” said in a 2019 speech. “Because if you didn’t already know, it is literally killing America. It is literally killing this world.” The solution, Kendi contends, is to change the “very underpinnings and structures and systems of this country.”

What happened in Afghanistan over the past few weeks was in many ways an ideal scenario for testing the CRT hypothesis. The United States quickly went from an established military presence to having virtually no influence in the country. Even our embassy has been overrun. If U.S. racism is “literally killing this world” as CRT-inspired advocates claim, the U.S. withdrawal should have advanced human flourishing.

Instead, the Taliban filled the power vacuum — creating a government characterized by overt structural oppression enforced by large doses of violence.

This is what CRT gets wrong. The United States isn’t uniquely evil. Evil has been the norm throughout human history. People around the world have slaughtered and enslaved each other for thousands of years in pursuit of power and money.

What’s unique is a country that eliminated slavery because it violated its principles. What’s unique is a country that eventually offered full civil rights to women and minorities in pursuit of those ideals. What’s unique is a superpower that could conquer the world — and didn’t — because it believes in liberty.

Afghans are risking their lives and handing their children over fences for the chance of living under the American institutions and ideals that CRT seeks to destroy.

Source: CRT Falls Apart When You Look at Afghanistan

Larry Elder, the white supremacist

About Larry Elder :

A Friday column in the Los Angeles Times ran the headline, “Larry Elder is the Black face of white supremacy. You’ve been warned,” calling the conservative Los Angeles radio host’s candidacy “an insult to Blackness.”

That’s actually rather interesting, in addition to its obviously risible quality. The piece posits an entity, Blackness, that stands apart from actually being black and which an actual living breathing black person can fail to sufficiently demonstrate or to which he or she can even be in opposition.

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This was Larry Elder’s response to the LA Times piece:

You’ve got to be real scared and desperate to play the race card against the brother from South Central.

Source: Larry Elder, the white supremacist