Alex Marlow, the editor-in-chief of conservative media outlet Breitbart, has criticized as “absurd” what he called “the idea that the left is now in charge of Asian hate” — given that many of those blaming former President Donald Trump and the Republicans for an increase of anti-Asian sentiment support policies that discriminate against Asians in the name of “diversity.”
Activist organizations and figures have cast Trump — who criticized China’s communist regime for covering up the initial outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 and called it the “China virus” — and other conservative officials and politicians as the culprits behind the wave of verbal and physical harassment against people of Asian descent following the pandemic.
The Chinese American Civil Rights Coalition is seeking to sue Trump for $22.9 million, blaming his use of such terms for the rise in Asian hate crimes, claiming his “extreme and outrageous conduct” caused Chinese-Americans “to suffer emotional distress.”
The relative increase in suspected hate incidents occurred following the global spread of the disease from China in early 2020. Previously, reported incidents against Asians was in the hundreds, but shot up to several thousand through 2020 and past the election in November.
Asian-Americans numbered an estimated 22.9 million in 2019, including 5 million people of Chinese descent. They made up about 7 percent of the U.S. population (328 million) that year.
In his book Breaking the News: Exposing the Establishment Media’s Hidden Deals and Secret Corruption, Marlow took aim at the “Stop Asian Hate” campaign, which he argued is a political move by Big Tech and the Democratic Party to blame conservatives disguised as concern for racial discrimination.
Progressive support for affirmative action
In particular, Marlow wrote that the progressive movement has long supported affirmative action policies that openly discriminate against Asians and Asian-Americans applying for universities in most parts of the country.
“We’ve been reporting for years how the Ivy League, for example, discriminates against Asians because they want more colors. They want more pretty colors. It doesn’t matter who’s going to school, they just want them to not look like Asian people, apparently,” Marlow wrote.
In recent years, the Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) took legal action against Harvard University, alleging that its racial quotas discriminate unfairly against applicants of Asian descent. The case was struck down by a federal appeals court on Nov. 12 last year, but it may still be heard by the Supreme Court.
According to a landmark decision in 2003, universities are justified in using race as a criterion in choosing to accept or reject applicants — a standard that differs from those set following the Civil Rights movement.
Affirmative action is defended as necessary to allow more minorities and people of marginalized groups into the nation’s top schools.
Opponents, like Marlow, say that applicants should be considered for their personal merits, not their racial background.
Criticizing policies in states like California and Oregon, Marlow said, “They don’t have testing requirements. Why? Specifically, because Asians do better on tests than everyone else, so there’s too many Asians [in colleges and universities]. This is unfair because, culturally, Asians take school more seriously, thus they perform better in school.”
Concern or hypocrisy?
U.S. President Joe Biden has recently passed legislation addressing the rise in Asian hate crimes due to the pandemic. The new law “aims to make the reporting of hate crimes more accessible at the local and state levels by boosting public outreach and ensuring reporting resources are available online in multiple languages,” according to NPR.
It also gives the Department of Justice authority to designate personnel to expedite hate crimes related to COVID-19 and conduct programs intending to prevent and respond to hate crimes.
But Marlow says the concern is false.
“We’ve been writing for years about how the left, in the name of diversity, has been discriminating against Asians,” Marlow added. “Now they’re acting like they’re the authorities on Asian hate. Overnight, they decided to be the authorities on Asian hate… You should keep in mind that most of this violence against Asians, they’re not taking place at the hands of white people and they’re taking place in Democrat-run cities. So remember, most of the horrible stuff that’s happening in America right now—Democrat-run cities.”
The overwhelming majority of the incidents thought to be targeting Asians have occurred in urban areas —where most Asian-Americans live — and are committed by members of other minority groups.
Ina statement after the new legislation was passed, Attorney General Merrick Garland said that “Investigating and prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority, deeply rooted in the department’s founding. We will use the new law to enhance the aggressive measures we are taking to combat crime motivated by bigotry and discrimination.”
Stop AAPI (Asian-American and Pacific Islander) Hate, which was created in 2020 as a response to the escalation of Asian hate crimes, approved of the legislation passed by the Biden administration, but believes more action is needed.
“Because the Act centers criminal law enforcement agencies in its solutions, it will not address the overwhelming majority of incidents reported to our site which are not hate crimes, but serious hate incidents,” Stop AAPI Hate said in a statement. “We need legislation that addresses the root causes of systemic racism and oppression.”