People hold up signs during a ‘Stop Asian Hate’ rally in downtown Detroit, Michigan, on March 27 as part of a nationwide protest against hate crimes targeting Asian Americans in the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings that left eight dead. (Photo: AFP)
White supremacy in the US at times resorts to fatal violence because of its unwritten demand that colored persons from Asia and Africa stay in agreement with white people or swear by white hegemony. Alas, most colored people count their worthiness in proportion to their proximity or ability to associate with whites.
Although the social fabric of the US is framed on this supremacy, all racial acts, abuses and slurs are treated as the work of a freak, as happened in Atlanta on March 16.
Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old “sex addict” and son of a southern Baptist leader from Georgia, is the main suspect in the shooting deaths of six Asian women at spas and massage parlors in Atlanta's suburbs in broad daylight.
The six Asian victims were dreaming big or were asking for more by eking out a living in a wealthy nation, and this might have forced the attacker to go on a killing spree.
In their eagerness to enter the good books of the white majority and to advance and prosper, Asians sneak into a white supremacist system which does not assimilate them and therefore does not protect them.
White supremacists hate the idea of sharing their wealth and resources or space and time with colored people, a tendency dating back to primitive days.
The six Asian victims, who had been in the US for years, were also subscribing to the most alluring falsehood that proximity to whiteness will ensure them of immunity and protection. However, it did not, and it will not.
The Atlanta suspect has said he did not hold racial animus toward the Asian victims. However, police claim he killed the victims to eliminate sexual temptation.
There are other salacious reasons for white youths to target Asian women, who are hypersexualized in the West while Asian males are desexualized.
Pampered by a consumerist popular culture, Asian women have become “desirable objects” to satisfy male egos in spas and massage parlors like the ones targeted in Atlanta, where submissive and responsive Asian Eves seek to satisfy sexual temptations.
The US military deserves its due share of blame for molding the conception of Asian women as hypersexualized.
During the wars in the Philippines in the 19th century and in Korea and Vietnam in the 20th century, US military men found Asian women at their beck and call as they turned to the flesh trade after the war wreaked havoc on their nations.
In the 1960s, the US inked a deal with Thailand to be a “rest and relaxation” destination for the US military fighting a losing battle in Vietnam. In fact, the US military laid the foundation for modern-day sex tourism in Asia, with Thailand as its perennial capital.
Shaped by the US military and patriarchy, the sexualization of Asian women has paved the way for setting up Asian spas and massage parlors in the US, partly because they are assured of clients due to the fetishization and misogyny against Asian females.
The model minority myth
The model minority myth describes the Asian community in the US as “polite” and “law-abiding” and their success and wealth are juxtaposed with other colored communities as examples of success stories in a white supremacist system.
However, the model minority has its own inherent problems, according to the white supremacist. They are incapable of vision and judgment and lack the creativity and emotional intelligence necessary for institutional leadership.
To make the model community submissive, their ways of eating, wearing and parenting are made fun of. By ridiculing the way Asians drive their vehicles, the white supremacy system states that Asians are not comfortable with technology, which dictate terms in modern society.
These mannerisms and etiquette rules make the model minority perpetual foreigners and robot-like caricatures despite living for years or generations in the white supremacists’ land.
Studies have found that most Americans do not consider the Asian as a foreigner unless some palpable aspect of his/her appearance clearly distinguishes him/her as American — like being overweight.
Practically all Asian Americans, elderly men and women in particular, are termed non-aggressive, meek and lacking the wherewithal to fight back, in contrast to men and women of other colored races. So, they are the easy targets of late.
While Asians in the US are not strangers to hate crimes, attacks on them rose by more than 150 percent in 2020 over the previous year.
US racist history has never missed a chance to target Asian Americans. A USA Today and Ipsos poll found that one in four Americans have witnessed Asians being blamed for the coronavirus pandemic.
As Covid-19 began to spread, Asian-owned hotels and stores reported a drastic fall in revenue, though most of the early Covid-19 cases reaching the US were from Europe.
In the initial stage of the outbreak, the coronavirus became the "Kung Flu" (China) virus in the US — a term repeatedly used by then president Donald Trump.
When the twin tower attack took place in 2011, the Sikh community in the US was targeted due to its members’ turbans being similar to the headwear of jihadist Islamic terrorists.
This model minority, known for its hard work, is always treated as a subject of the US bootstrap theoretical system whose members are meant to be used for socioeconomic advancement. This is far from embodying the sobriquet of the model minority.
When hate crimes are perpetrated by white supremacists, he/she is humanized and the victims are vilified as collateral damage, while the police rush to judgment saying that the killer/perpetrator was having “a bad day.”
No wonder the police seem reluctant to charge the one-time Bible-carrying high school drummer Long with committing a hate crime despite repeated calls by the Asian community.
This mainstream discourse on the model minority myth — that it is economically successful, well-educated and quiet — helps perpetuate white supremacy while preventing Asians from being seen or accepted as “full Americans.”
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News.