My “The Hill” Article About Anti-Asian Discrimination on Left and Right – Reason.com

0
17
My “The Hill” Article About Anti-Asian Discrimination on Left and Right – Reason.com

The Hill just published my new article on discrimination against Asians left and right. The article also explains how the two have a lot in common. Here is an excerpt:

The dramatic increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans over the past year has drawn attention to persistent prejudice and discrimination against this minority. Many leftists understandably accuse Donald Trump and other right-wing politicians of irresponsible rhetoric about the coronavirus crisis, which often marks the line between guilt for the Chinese government (which indeed deserves condemnation for its actions) and guilt for the Chinese people Generally blurred. The law also deserves condemnation for its growing hostility towards Asian immigrants and refugees embodied by GOP Sen. Ted CruzEfforts to grant asylum to Hong Kong refugees fleeing Chinese repression are being made on the grounds that they pose a threat to national security.

For their part, many Conservatives have highlighted the growing trend of elite universities and high schools trying to reduce the percentage of Asian-American citizens in their student groups. This type of anti-Asian discrimination is mainly promoted by left-wing officials and university administrators.

In this partisan war of words, the reality is lost that both right and left versions of anti-Asian bigotry deserve condemnation. The two rest on similar flawed foundations and commit similar injustices….

Though superficially different, left and right versions of anti-Asian discrimination actually have much in common. Both draw on broad ethnic generalizations about a very different group. There is no point in dividing groups as diverse as Chinese, Japanese, Indians, and Filipinos into a single category – as school and university administrators routinely do – from the point of view of “diversity” or the compensatory justice that is offered to justify racial preferences in education. Among other things, it ignores the fact that many Asian-American groups have historically themselves been victims of discrimination. The same goes for right-wing tendencies to label Chinese immigrants and students as a threat to our culture and national security – a generalization that ignores the fact that many of them are here precisely because they want to escape the repressive policies of the Chinese government. In these cases, both right and left Asians judge by the color of their skin and their racial and ethnic origin, not by the “content of their character”.

Right- and left-wing hostility towards Asians is often based on the misconception that there is a zero-sum game between the interests of different ethnic groups.