Most Americans agree that racism in any form is abhorrent. But in recent weeks, far too many who call themselves “antiracists” have inflamed racial tensions with antiwhite bigotry that’s every bit as disgusting as what they claim to oppose. When will the antiracists start rooting out the bigots in their own ranks?
When Robert Long, a 21-year-old Georgia man, killed eight people, six of them Asian, at three spas on March 16, prominent figures on the left reflexively branded it an anti-Asian hate crime. In a piece for The Root titled, “Whiteness is a Pandemic,” Damon Young wrote after the Georgia killings, “Whiteness is a public health crisis. . . . It shortens life expectancies, it pollutes air . . . it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars . . . and it kills people.”
There was a palpable sense of disappointment in the media when Georgia police threw cold water on the theory that Long was motivated by animus toward Asians. Many on the left stuck to this story against all evidence, pretending that statements by police and others who knew Long well must have been wrong. Days later, when early news leaked out of Boulder, Colorado that ten people were killed in a mass shooting, a CNN anchor rushed to assert that “another white male” appeared to be responsible. Meena Harris, a prominent lawyer and Vice President Kamala Harris’s niece, wrote in a now-deleted tweet, “Violent white men are the greatest terrorist threat to our country.”
The Nation published a piece by a woman who wrote, “One of the principal benefits of the pandemic is how I’ve been able to exclude racism and whiteness generally from my day-to-day life.” And how about the bizarre poem penned by the (Democratic) mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, who lambasted her city as a place “anchored in white supremacy” that “rapes you” and “suffocates your hopes and dreams.”
When the Boulder assailant turned out to be a Syrian immigrant, progressives pivoted to their second favorite obsession after race: gun control, because every tragedy must be exploited to advance preferred narratives. Police shootings aren’t noteworthy unless the cop is white and the victim is black. The Oregonian all but acknowledged this recently after Portland police killed a white man, tweeting that it was identifying his race “in light of social unrest prompted by police shootings of Black people.”
This dynamic may explain why the name Peyton Ham doesn’t ring a bell. He’s a 16-year-old from Maryland who was armed with a toy gun and knife when he was recently shot dead by police, prompting little media attention or outrage; he was white. While it’s questionable whether police acted appropriately in that case, even far more egregious police shootings involving white victims tend to elicit crickets from the media. In 2016, a white male named Daniel Shaver was gunned down while begging for his life on his hands and knees in the hallway of a La Quinta Inn in Mesa, Arizona. The bodycam footage makes the incident look like a cold-blooded assassination, but a jury acquitted the officer who killed Shaver. The case received scant media attention, perhaps because it didn’t advance the systemic racism narrative.
Other horrific crimes that fail to advance preferred narratives are also ignored or downplayed. In February, police in Milwaukee charged a pair of teenagers with homicide and first-degree sexual assault in connection with a September attack on a Hmong immigrant named Ee Lee. Lee was allegedly beaten, raped, assaulted, and then dragged to the pond in Washington Park and left to die. On January 28 in San Francisco, a 19-year-old man fatally assaulted an 84-year old Thai immigrant named Vicha Ratanapakdee.
Six days after the shooting in Boulder, two girls, ages 13 and 15, were charged with murdering Mohammad Anwar, a Pakistani-American Uber Eats driver, after allegedly assaulting him with a taser and killing him during an attempted car robbery in Washington, D.C.
On March 31, a homeless man on parole for killing his own mother brutally attacked an Asian woman on her way to church in Manhattan. He reportedly kicked and stomped her to the ground while yelling anti-Asian epithets. On the same day, also in New York City, an Asian man was left unconscious after being attacked outside a subway station.
In each of these cases, the attackers were black men. And all the victims were Asian. The national media has fixated on the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, while leaving Americans with the impression that white men, likely Donald Trump supporters, are to blame. These cases garnered mostly local coverage because the media prefers to tie the anti-Asian hate crime trend to Trump and his use of the term “China virus.” Black-on-Asian crime doesn’t advance that narrative.
Crime statistics underscore how the media distorts reality in presenting white males as inherently dangerous. According to 2018 figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 90 percent of interracial violent victimizations (excluding homicide) were committed by African-Americans; 76 percent of the U.S. population is white; 13 percent is black. FBI statistics from 2019 revealed that whites committed 52 percent of hate crimes, while African-Americans committed 24 percent. In New York City, hate crimes against Asians soared in 2020, but only two of the 20 people arrested were white, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
In 2018, African-Americans made up 53 percent of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and committed about 60 percent of robberies. But you’ll never read politically inconvenient statistics like these in left-leaning media outlets, leaving Americans with a warped perspective on the supposed threat from violent, bigoted white males. Perhaps this is why the Detroit Free Press reported recently that many African-Americans in that city are afraid to venture into white neighborhoods and are arming themselves in record numbers.
The Left’s race obsession obviously isn’t confined to crime. Progressives have long favored discriminatory schemes in college admissions and employment decisions, but prominent politicians are becoming increasingly brazen in acknowledging and supporting these practices. California governor Gavin Newsom, for example, recently told MSNBC’s Joy Reid that he would choose a black female for Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat if she retires. Black females make up just 3 percent of California’s population, but apparently because California previously had a mixed-race senator (Kamala Harris), Newsom is ready to disqualify 97 percent of his constituents from consideration for a Senate seat.
Illinois senator Tammy Duckworth said that she would vote against any Biden Cabinet nominees who aren’t people of color or gay. Hawaii senator Mazie Hirono agreed. And Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf announced that low-income people of color, but not poor whites, would be eligible for a new program guaranteeing a monthly income of $500.
All this Tammany Hall-style tribalism reminds me of the two years I spent living in the Balkans after the breakup of Yugoslavia. I worked at the American Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia (now North Macedonia), a country starkly divided along religious and ethnic lines. Politicians represented their ethnic constituencies, every appointee was viewed through the prism of their tribe, and very little communication or cooperation took place between warring factions.
I’m concerned that this is the direction America is heading. Many hesitate to condemn the anti-white bigotry of the Left for fear of being branded a white supremacist. But I worry more about what kind of country my sons, aged 13 and 11, will inherit. Census projections indicate that the U.S. will be majority nonwhite by 2045, or sooner depending on immigration levels. But among children, nonwhites are already a majority.
I don’t want my sons to be part of a minority group that is disparaged and dehumanized based upon immutable characteristics as a kind of penance for the sins of past generations. President Obama was right when he remarked in 2016, “We are going to have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism or ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around an us and a them.” We can’t erase the stain of bigotry with more of the same, directed at fresh targets.