Anti-Asian American Violence

Jason L. Riley is a Black opinion columnist writing for the Wall Street Journal. His recent column “‘White Nationalism Isn’t American Minorities’ Biggest Problem” starts with these words:

““End the violence toward Asians,” said the promotional fliers. “Let’s unite against white nationalism.””

What he talks about in the column is that most of the violence against Asian Americans has come from Black people and not white people.

I read this and was like, Really? The Wall Street Journal got a Black man to say it? I guess if you pay enough you can get some people to say anything. But let’s think about what the function of this article is. When it comes down to it, all it does is draw attention away from the real and visceral problem of white nationalism and blame the Black community for Asian suffering. And it doesn’t really zoom in on Asian American experience except in passing. The Asian American deaths are just a pawn of the article to revamp the argument that he makes so often, namely that Black people are the problem.

They’re not the problem. The system is the problem. It’s called systemic racism.

What Riley doesn’t notice, or at least he doesn’t acknowledge it, is that there aren’t Black people, with power and privilege, gathering together to plot against Asian Americans. That’s what white nationalists do against people of color specifically, and especially against Black people. And they also have privilege and power in our society.

This is not the time to play devil’s advocate, Riley. White nationalism is a problem and we don’t need this press right now as white people, that further villainizes the Black community, and takes the focus off of our own journey of coming to grips with our complicity in white nationalism as white people who don’t denounce white supremacy often enough. Black people can’t breathe right now, and the WSJ has a Black person writing about how Black people are the problem. Obviously, I get his point, he’s not wrong, but he’s also not fully right. The point he is making is not the point that needs addressing in the WSJ.

Don’t get me wrong: If he had written the column in the NYT I would be over the moon to see it, because it would bring cognitive diversity. This however, is accurate, but not what WSJ readers need. I needed it, but I’m not your typical WSJ reader.

What really needs attention is that there has been a massive uptick in anti-Asian American violence. That is a crisis that definitely needs publicity. We will need to unpack our bias on that issue for a long time as Americans in the emerging post-Covid era. It is a dangerous time for the Asian community, and yes, apparently the racism is coming from many races, and the violence as well. We should be very alarmed. I’ll try to write about this again soon.

Published by Seahurst Wellness and Education Center

I’m a skill-building, proficiency-obsessed tutor and consultant who puts relationships first. I am also a certificated teacher with over a decade of classroom experience. Everything I do is geared to facilitate students’ familial and scholarly wellness and their sense of meaningful contribution to society..

4 thoughts on “Anti-Asian American Violence

  1. I happened upon this blog in a search that included Jason’s name and I’d like to share my opinion.

    Jason L. Riley is part of an unofficial cohort of Black intellectuals that are often marginalized for their opposition to victimhood culture. Cloistered by wokeness in the media to the occasional talking-head appearance on Fox News, their decades of rigorous academic study, thoughtfulness and experience as Black in America, is distilled to “Oh, that Uncle Tom?” Other notable members of the cohort are Shelby Steel, Glenn Loury and Thomas Sowell on the right and Coleman Hughes and John McWhorter on the “sane” left. Thankfully for the curious, all of these brilliant minds are prolific writers and/or YouTube creators who deserve more exposure.

    The Wall Street Journal didn’t “get a Black man to say it.” He’s been saying it.

    It’s not about villainizing the black community. It’s about recognizing that individual responsibility and self-reflection is a far better tool for improving one’s lot than a nebulous blame on another racial group with the sole evidence for that blame being that there is not perfect statistical parity among the races. I wouldn’t expect there to be parity given different historical, economic and cultural trajectories. It would be more odd if there was.

    Though I do not wish any group to be victims of violence, Asian Americans have the lowest rate of violent victimization of any ethnicity, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Asian American households also earn $13,525 more annually than White American households. With violent crime rates trending down overall since the 1980s (with a COVID lockdown-induced spike in 2020), I don’t think it’s a valuable use of our time to focus on the least victimized group.

    I will say that having read a couple of your articles, that you do seem open-minded, even if I disagree with every quark of social justice propaganda.

    Liked by 1 person

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