Point of View Columns

An Afro-Asian Misunderstanding, When Hate Speech Becomes Murder Speech and Election Nightmares

An Afro-Asian Misunderstanding

It is a sad case of irony that Asian American organizations have joined with the right-wing white conservatives in the effort to eliminate affirmative action from university admissions protocols. Clearly the irony is lost on the Asian American spokespersons who claim that initiatives meant to address centuries of oppression directed against Black Americans results in discrimination against Asian Americans.

Part of the irony is that from the days of the Chinese Exclusion Act to the current wave of random violence committed against Asian Americans, Asian Americans know what true discrimination really looks like.

The other part of the irony is that the very (very) modest efforts to increase Black admissions at colleges and universities represent only a good start towards true redress of the grievances of the national Black community. For members of the Asian American community to suggest that these modest efforts are at their expense is both myopic and wrong.

Obviously, there is plenty of opportunity for addressing any perceived discrimination by examining the admissions policies that still result in many institutions having predominantly white student bodies, faculty and administration officials. Targeting Black people is the result of misguided thinking as well as ignorance of the very real fact that the true opponents of affirmative action are seeking an even greater presence of white students, not Asian Americans.

It is very strategic for right-wing white conservatives to have Asian Americans in the forefront of the battle against affirmative action policies that benefit Black people.

Sadly, these same Asian Americans will find that their victory in the current Supreme Court cases will result in their being the next target of their current partners.

When Hate Speech Becomes Murder Speech

Just a few days ago Paul Pelosi, the 82-year-old husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked in their San Francisco home by a hammer wielding intruder, fracturing his skull and arm. And, it turns out that the real target of the intruder was Nancy Pelosi – he intending to interrogate her and “break her kneecaps” with one of the two hammers that he brought to the house (along with a bag full of zip ties).

This was not a random break-in.

This was not the work of a madman.

This was what happens when hate speech turns into murder speech (it is only by the grace of God that Paul Pelosi did not die from the attack).

This is what happens when MAGA denizens, right wing republicans and the far-right militants spew hate speech on a daily basis on any and every media platform.

Nancy Pelosi has been a target of this hate speech for several years and the only surprise is that this is the first direct attack on her (that we know of). And we should remember that on January 6, 2021, armed right-wing terrorists roamed the Capitol chanting “Nancy” as they searched for her – certainly intending to harm her if not kill her.

Republicans have responded to this atrocity with perfunctory “thoughts and prayers” and jokes and silence. Condemnation of the hate speech that preceded this particular attack is not and will not be forthcoming.

And this is the way that civil discourse and democracies begin to fade away as something terrible begins to take its place.

Election Nightmares

For anyone waking up from autumnal hibernation, election day is November 8th. Of course, millions of Americans have voted through early voting and mail-in voting, two modes of voting that are being targeted by the right-wing throughout the country.

Some brief observations:

  • The unexpected volume of early voting activity throughout the country is matching the voting levels in presidential election years. This should augur well for the continuation of democratic traditions (maybe).
  • There are several senatorial races that will determine Republican or Democratic control of the Senate. Thanks to state level gerrymandering by Republican legislatures the Republicans re virtually guaranteed to take control of the House of Representatives (can you say Speaker Kevin McCarthy?).
  • Between voter intimidation, voter fraud and election denial the 2023 could be the year that the Republican conservative autocrats could be controlling the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives and the Senate – leaving President Joe Biden in the role of Horatio at the gates of Rome trying to protect what might be left of the integrity of many American institutions – a nightmare scenario to be sure.

IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO – PLEASE VOTE.

Standard