With all the recent controversy going on between China and HK and how the western media has weirdly picked up an intense interest in this issue the anti-chinese sentiments across the west are escalating rapidly. I specifically phrase this as Anti-Chinese rather than anti-china because in practice this is how it will play out.

Be absolutely sure that the vast majority of the people who are outraged about this issue that live in the west do not really care about this issue at large. Rather, it’s a way for people to justify their contempt for China and likely even its people. Now you can argue that perhaps China does deserve criticism (this is not what I intend to address in this post), but know that in practice the western people who are outraged will not suddenly become arbiters of altruism and go to HK and fight for their perceived “freedom”. Rather, what’s more likely is that this controversy will dramatically ramp up the anti-asian racism that we asian diaspora will face here in the western countries since now racists will have a way to excuse it.

With perceived justification racists will most likely be out in full force. Hanging on their mouths will be words about how they only dislike the Chinese government but what they’ll do in practice is to terrorize western asians who are completely unrelated to the controversy because we’ll be the closest thing to them. Rather than making a sign and flying over to HK to help in the protests they might find an asian restaurant to trash, or a take-out delivery person to harass and even worse.

But that’s only just talking about the petty small-fry racists. The anti-chinese sentiments are [already systematic] (https://www.forbes.com/sites/russellflannery/2019/10/03/chinese-american-groups-trying-to-push-back-against-loyalty-tests-discrimination/#20fb7e2b1ce4) (link inside) and it’s very likely that even things like this will escalate. And as soon as discrimination has public government backing then it’s extremely likely that the racism will go off the rails very quickly, both systematically but as well on the micro-level.

Now, one might think that if you aren’t chinese you’ll be completely fine, but it’s no secret that our society sees race way before ethnicity and while the racism faced might be milder, one is unlikely to not be negatively impacted by this.

Now, I’m not trying to fear monger here and I hope I’m not coming across that way. I am merely worried that in the coming months we might see a drastic escalation in anti-asian racism in the west as a result of controversies happening on the other side of the globe. Does it make sense for us to have to suffer for political issues we have no part in? No. But racism rarely makes sense, unfortunately.

Make sure to stay safe out there. And make sure we help each other out in rough times.

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othrowawayf
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After 9/11 and when Islamic terrorism was a more immediate threat, racist whites were murdering South Asians and Middle Easterners in America. There was a massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012. As late as 2017, when Iran was being depicted as a threat, a white bigot shot at Indian men at a Kansas bar, screaming about them being Iranians and killing one of them.
Their hate towards others isn’t as compartmentalized and neat as they claim.

wheresmygoldenpiggy
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Yesterday my wife told me her Vietnamese co-worker was quick to distance herself from being identified as Chinese. White woman asked her if she made Chinese food for lunch, her response, “No! I’m not the evil kind, I’m Vietnamese”.
Anti-Chinese sentiment is affecting our real lives now and it’s disheartening it’s from a fellow Asian. Kinda sucks being Chinese now.
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xuemei_
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xuemei_
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This is specifically why I keep telling people that China is an issue for all Asians living in the West. Unity is your biggest strength, spreading anti-Chinese sentiment among other Asians only serves to undermine that unity.
I’m Vietnamese as well and that has not once in almost 40 years stopped anyone from insisting that I’m Chinese when it is convenient for their narrative. These are people who c

doublethumbdude
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Viet people have always been quick to identify themselves as not Chinese while throwing hate when they can. I remember experiencing racism from Viets in middle school to high school and being confused as hell, I didn’t understand the point of that. We were all 2nd gen asians too. This is one of the reasons Asians have failed in social activism, our community is so polarized. We look similar but our backgrounds prevent us from getting along as well as black/white communities.

ulkram
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ulkram
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Yea, man. I haven’t had anything happen to me IRL yet, but on the forums/media I follow, which is basically r/nba and Hacker News, the opinion of the majority is becoming absolutely terrifying for Chinese people. They are fully convinced China is as bad as Nazi Germany and that Chinese people are either brainwashed or complicit in evil. Well if that’s the case, then it is their DUTY to rid the world of China. I don’t know what that means exactly, but remember they put Japanese Americans in internment camps last time around. I have taken tangible steps to protect… Read more »

Hoaxcatdat
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Hoaxcatdat
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You’re a bit confused. We just don’t think the CCP should have people in camps, should disappear people, should be able to extradite those in Hong Kong for disappearance etc. Nor do we think people should not be able to buy train tickets based on social credit. Other countries for sure aren’t perfect but freedom of speech means their people can complain and their media (or foreign media) can tell the world how bad they are. If we could have a few interviews with the people in camps for example that would help. If the internet wasn’t censored I would… Read more »

CloudReflection
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I genuinely believe this ramping up of anti-Asian rhetoric on reddit is to a great extent driven by a US state-sanctioned propaganda campaign. Ever since the escalation of the US-China trade war not only has public sentiment of China on reddit deteriorated even more (hard to believe I know) but also the sheer amount of anti-China posts has increased dramatically. Of course if you ask the people participating they’ll sincerely believe it’s a natural result of public sentiment but I think the root cause is much more sinister than that. This US propaganda campaign to label China as unambiguously evil… Read more »

_sowhat_
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_sowhat_
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I do not believe you’re fear mongering at all. We’ve seen the patterns and dire consequences of who Western media chooses to demonise before. Like when the Japanese were the big bad, Japanese-Canadians/Americans were forced into labour camps and the murder of Vincent Chin. Which ever nation that happens to be America’s “enemy” of the week is subjected to biased media coverage. It’s so insidious that communities today are still affected from their fearing mongering from 18 years ago, post-9/11, ie. Quebec City and Christchurch shootings. Yet they call the Chinese brainwashed? Ha! They’ve been bleating about “FreedomTM”, “DemocracyTM”, “LiberationTM”… Read more »

Pompero
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Pompero
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I think you are missing my point. I’m not talking about the bigger political picture or how the influence of the Chinese government plays a role in the decision making of American companies. I am talking specifically about how the controversy will affect us asian diaspora in the west and the racism we are likely to face because of it. Because unfortunately, a lot of people undoubtedly will equate “china = bad” as “chinese = bad” and plenty of racists are frothing at their mouths trying to find any excuse to hate on an ethnic group. This will give them… Read more »

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