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White Supremacists... Of Color?
Progressive activists think White supremacy is an omnipotent force.
There were two mass shootings in California earlier this month. As I am writing this, the media has already moved on, as they were unable to find a good angle to spin it.
But they did try.
In the first shooting, at a ballroom in heavily-Asian Monterey Park, all the victims were Asian. The media and our elected officials thus started speculating that the Monterey Park shooting was an anti-Asian attack.
When more information came out, it turned out that the shooter was a 72-year-old Asian male that had a long history of mental illness. He was a loner and often harbored grudges against others, which fit the profile for many mass shooters.
Then there was another mass shooting in Half Moon Bay where the suspect and most of the victims were Asian. It turned out that the suspect had disputes over money with one of his coworkers and had held grudges against his other coworkers. The suspect thus fits the profile for most workplace shooters.
They was nothing uniquely Asian about any of these shootings. This did not stop progressive Asian American media pundits from framing this as a race issue. Jeff Yang wrote in the New York Times that Asians that go on mass shootings were trying to assimilate into American culture:
Ours is a nation where the unimaginable has somehow become inevitable. If Mr. Chou, Mr. Tran and Mr. Zhao committed mass shootings, they did so not because they were Asian but as Americans. Mass murder may be the fullest act of assimilation possible into a culture that has proudly chosen as its colors the red of innocent blood, the white of panicked eyes and the hazy blue of semiautomatic smoke.
Really? These Asian mass shooters that spent their time in Asian enclaves and killed other Asians were… trying to assimilate into broader American culture? Then why did they spend all their time in Asian-heavy enclaves?
An Asian progressive activist argued that this issue was racialized because Asians “overwhelmingly support gun control”, while White racists opposed it.
Look carefully at the phrasing of that poll question. It says “please tell me how important the following issues are to you personally in deciding how to vote…Gun control”. The survey isn’t asking if Asians support or oppose gun control. It asks how many Asians make the topic of gun control a priority in voting, which includes both Asians for gun control and Asians against gun control. Kurashige is fudging the poll’s meaning for his own political ends.
Asians are a diverse group. Some Asians support one issue, other Asians oppose that issue. Some Asian Americans are anti-gun, other Asian Americans are pro-gun.
There is a diversity of thought within Asian American communities. Why would there be not? Asians are humans with thoughts and opinions of our own. Some Asians are liberal, some Asians are conservative, some Asians are libertarian, some Asians are leftist, some Asians are reactionary, and so on. There is no answer to the question “What do Asians think about this issue?”, because we are all different.
But progressive activists frame Asians as a monolithic hive mind. These so-called “antiracists” think all Asians must be alike.
A few days ago, bodycam footage from the killing of Tyre Nichols was published online for the public to see. The video showed five police officers, who were all Black, beating a Black man. The Memphis Police Department is majority Black, with a Black police chief at the helm. Yet this case was still commentated on by progressive activists as White supremacist violence.
Progressive activists like Jemele Hill have claimed that policing as an institution is structurally racist, and that any action an officer takes is inherently rooted in White supremacy.
These people claim that policing is a fundamentally anti-Black institution, and thus, every cop is operating under White supremacy.
This is a very American-centric view of the world. Every country in the world has police, including countries where there are no Black people and countries where there are only Black people.
There is a universal identity-based argument to be made here. Policing, in any nation, tends to be biased against poor people. Police departments also tend to attract people that like being in a position of power. Call me cynical, but most human beings cannot handle being in a position of power, which is why we have a system of checks and balances.
Let’s focus on American police for a minute. Harvard professor Roland Fryer, who is Black, has shown that there are no racial differences in officer-involved shootings.
Take, for example, the killing of Daniel Shaver. Shaver was a young White man that showed his friends a scoped air rifle that he used at his job as a pest exterminator. A receptionist at the hotel Shaver was staying in thought the rifle was real and called the police. The bodycam footage below (warning: it’s quite graphic) shows Daniel Shaver crying as he complies with officer Philip Brailsford’s (who is also White) orders. Shaver was unarmed and begged Brailsford not to shoot him. Brailsford demanded that Shaver crawl towards him, and Shaver did. Even though Shaver complied with all orders, Brailsford proceeded to shoot Shaver 5 times with an AR-15, instantly killing the young father of two. The gun had the words “You’re Fucked” etched into it in violation of department policy, a peek into Brailsford’s bloodthirsty mindset.
The brutal bodycam video of Shaver’s death is horrific. Yet there were no riots over the killing of Daniel Shaver, not even when Brailsford was fully acquitted of all charges. Brailsford had claimed that he was fearful of his life and claimed he thought Shaver had a weapon,
You may be wondering why you’ve never heard of Daniel Shaver, or why his killing lacks the same volume of coverage of police killings of Black people. The reason you don’t hear about cases like Shaver’s is because the narrative is inconvenient for both sides of our highly polarized climate. Liberals insist that policing is a White supremacist institution, and thus ignore White people shot dead by police. Conservatives engage in “backing the blue”, thus avoid criticizing police officers in general. The only people willing to bring unarmed non-Black people killed by police up are libertarians, and libertarians are a tiny portion of the population. Police officers kill civilians at around the same rates per race. But for political reasons, some killings get more coverage than others.
Elie Mystal tweeted that “the race of a cop is “cop””, before blaming Nichol’s killing on White supremacy, because that’s what progressive activists do.
Ironically, Mystal’s tweet implies that it is not about race, but about police themselves. Cops do back other cops first and foremost. There are definitely racist cops out there, just like there are racist humans in every profession. But that doesn’t mean every police encounter is a racist one, especially when both people are the same race.
Mystal gets even more ridiculous in his article:
You could drop a Martian in the middle of a local prosecutor’s office and, unless they actively and consciously looked for ways to subvert and sabotage the system, they too would soon start charging Black suspects with stunning haste while using their discretion to aid and appease white wrongdoers.
And if you dropped that same Martian into a patrol car, it wouldn’t take long before they got out of that car and started cracking Black skulls.
The claims Mystal makes are a bit out-of-this-world. How does Mystal know what Martians even think? Why would he assume that a Martian is automatically pro-White and anti-Black? The concept of a “Martian White supremacist” just sounds alien to me.
There’s a quote from James Baldwin that is being circulated right now in which goes
Black policemen were another matter. We used to say, “If you must call a policeman”— for we hardly ever did—“for God’s sake, try to make sure it’s a White one.” A Black policeman could completely demolish you. He knew far more about you than a White policeman could and you were without defenses before this Black brother in uniform whose entire reason for breathing seemed to be his hope to offer proof that, though he was Black, he was not Black like you.
Back in Baldwin’s day, I can see how this quote rings true. Yet in the case of the Memphis Police Department, this quote is hard to justify. Tyre Nichols was killed by Black officers in a majority-Black police department helmed by a Black police chief. What White people were these 5 Black officers trying to prove themselves to? If the department was 100% Black, would these progressive activists still say the same?
It didn’t matter to Philip Brailsford that Daniel Shaver was a fellow White man. Shaver was killed just the same, and a jury let Brailsford walk. The one thing Shaver and Nichols have in common is that they were killed by bloodthirsty cops. This is something both liberals and conservatives don’t want to bring up, as it would go against both the liberal “all cops are White supremacists” narrative and the conservative “all cops are good people and the dead guy should’ve just complied” narrative.
But that’s just how we’re all polarized today.
Some people want to make everything about race. They blame violence within members of the same minority group on White supremacy instead of actually getting down to the root causes of violence. This leads to more minorities dying.
We have an ideology today that divides us and stereotypes us all as one-dimensional characters. Critical race theorists boil everyone down to skin color and ignore each individual’s uniqueness.
No two Asians are alike. No two Black people are alike. No two White people are alike. We can fight against racism by seeing other people as complex beings with our own hopes and dreams and desires and neuroses and struggles, rather than as simple stereotypes. One can acknowledge that racism exists while acknowledging that not everything is about race. Today’s polarized society seems to have lost a sense of nuance, and it’s killing us all.
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