Stop China Bashing with Unity and Solidarity

Book covers showing Japan bashing and China bashing

Japan Bashing and China Bashing Contribute to Hostility Against Asian Americans

Anti Asian violence has roots in the anti-Chinese immigration movement from the 1860s to the anti-Asiatic movement of the 1920s. They agitated, and succeeded in, stopping immigration from Asia.

Since the early 20th century, Americans and the US government feared losing global economic, military, and cultural dominance to Asian countries. In the 1970s to 1990s America feared “Japanese takeover”, and politicians stoked that fear.

Japan bashing, in books, on television, and in the news, happened daily.

Auto worker Jim Coleman (left) and businessman Charlie Cobb (right) swing sledgehammers in Indiana at a Japanese-made car for $1 a shot. The money went to help the families of laid-off workers, Friday, Sept. 10, 1982.
Swinging at a car made in Japan. Credit: AP

Japan bashing contributed to hostility against all Asian Americans, because we don’t really know the different nationalities, and see Asians as hostile “perpetual foreigners”.

In 1982, in Detroit, Michigan, Vincent Chin, was killed by two white autoworkers angry at Japanese autos gaining market share and leading to layoffs; labor activist Helen Zia organized Asia Americans to demand justice.

In 1989, in Stockton, California, a man resentful of Asian working class people competing for jobs killed five Vietnamese and Cambodian children. He was pissed about adults, so he went and murdered children, who had nothing to do with it.

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Stockton schoolyard mass murder victims. Killed before they had a life to live.

US Foreign Policy Interest Shifts to China in the 2000s, COVID-19 Catalyzed Hate Crimes

In the 2000s, American fear shifted to China, because China grew to the second largest economy in the world.

China bashers wrote numerous books about “Chinese takeover”.

In 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic increased fear of China; hate crimes and hate incidents against East-Asian-appearing Americans, skyrocketed.

See the source image
Photo by u/FadingEcho, projection onto Chinese consulate
Alt-right/fascist extremists sporting “fuck China” shirts.

“Asian American” was Invented to Unite Asians Against Racist Oppression

“Asian American” was invented in the late 1960s, by Filipino, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese ethnic people in America, part of the larger Civil Rights movements, which included Black, Chicano, and Native American groups.

Asians were never alone in fighting for our rights, and we returned the support, in kind, to the other races in solidarity.

Everyone Can Help: Don’t Abandon Chinese Americans

China Bashing Puts All Asian Americans at Risk of Violence

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Jesse Kelly quote from his Tucker Carlson interview.

The Country Will Try to Separate Us

Different Asian American groups have been pitted against each other, especially during wars:

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Life Magazine photo, WW2 propaganda pit Asian American against Asian American.

During WW2, the USA pit Chinese Americans against Japanese Americans, and they largely succeeded, excepting the Chinese Workers Mutual Aid Association. [1]

Unity During the “War on Terror”

During the early days of the “War on Terror”, Asian American organizations reached out, inviting the Muslim American, Arab Americans, and Middle Eastern and other groups into the Asian American coalition. By supporting the politically weak, they built strength together.

The goal was explicit: never again should we have concentration camps for Americans.

Unity to #StopAsianHate Today

#StopAsianHate united all kinds of Asians in America:

  • anyone who identified as Asian, and anyone who looked Asian
  • all political positions and parties
  • how long they’ve been here
  • whatever past political relationship with the USA

The violent people don’t distinguish between us, so we should unite to fight the violence.

We should take that energy to resist breaking unity.

Suppose you’re called the c-word? Don’t be ashamed, and say, “I’m not Chinese,” to dodge the haters. They don’t care that you’re not Chinese; they just don’t like Asians. Don’t wear this:

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This shirt divides Chinese Americans from all Asian Americans

That shirt should read, “I don’t like being Asian.” It reeks of shame.

Non-Chinese people, of any race, should react to China bashing with a defensive, protective response.

Say that China bashing is going to increase Anti-Asian Violence.

If you need to criticize the government of China, do so, but also explain that China bashing will increase Anti-Asian Violence.

In return, we hope Chinese American people remember and return the favor.


Supplemental materials:

Critical “Uyghur Genocide” Questions: A CBC Interview Follow-up: https://youtu.be/O7IbsPFM2Xg

Foreign Correspondent: What’s Really Going on with China’s Uighurs? https://progressive.org/latest/whats-going-on-china-uighurs-erlich-210219/

(U.S.) State Department Lawyers Concluded Insufficient Evidence to Prove Genocide in China: https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/02/19/china-uighurs-genocide-us-pompeo-blinken/