“As the recent wave of attacks on older Asian Americans prompts calls for action and activism, experts urge the use of precise, accurate language in discussing the violence.”
She continues to say, “The robberies and assaults in several big-city Chinatowns have led to significant media coverage and outcry from activists, many of whom have labeled the incidents hate crimes. But recent higher-profile cases that have gone viral on social media aren’t being investigated as such, law enforcement officials say. Officials say the occurrences don’t show signs of being racially motivated.”
In other words, when an African-American is attacked by a Caucasian or Asian person (the latter being extremely rare), the incident is immediately labeled a “racist” attack. When a police officer kills an African-American suspect, “All police are evil. Defund ALL police!”
But when African-American suspects attack and murder Asian elders, “Let’s not judge the entire African-American community like they judge the entire police force.”
Yam continues to say, “Asian Americans have every right to their fear and anger at this time, said Michael Eric Dyson, a race and religion scholar at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
‘We have to acknowledge the pain. Asian brothers and sisters can no longer be demanded to be quiet as the entry, as the price they have to pay for acceptance in the broader community of American ethnicities,’ Dyson said.
While anti-Asian sentiment has risen markedly during the coronavirus pandemic, experts say it’s important to evaluate each case individually. They said both defendants and victims deserve a fair, rather than a public, trial no matter what race they may be. They emphasize that that’s particularly important if suspects are of color in the context of a justice system that hasn’t been proven to be colorblind.”
Yam stated, “In a video from January, a 91-year-old person can be seen being violently pushed to the ground in Chinatown in Oakland, California. The suspect, Yahya Muslim, who is accused of two other attack the same day, was charged with three counts of assault. A separate attack last month that was recorded on surveillance video showed Vicha Ratanapakdee, 84, being shoved to the ground in San Francisco. Ratanapakdee later died from his injuries.
Sliman Nawabi, a deputy public defender who is representing Antoine Watson, 19, in the San Francisco incident, said there is ‘absolutely zero evidence that Mr. Ratanapakdee’s ethnicity and age was a motivating factor in being assaulted.’
‘This unfortunate assault has to do with a break in the mental health of a teenager. Any other narrative is false, misleading, and divisive,’ Nawabi said.
Yam cites Stanley Mark, a senior staff attorney for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a civil rights organization.
Mark said criminal statutes enhance penalties for bias crimes in some states. If incidents are proven to be hate crimes, he said, sentences can be lengthened.
Dhingra said the media should be precise, not just because of the impact of coverage in the courtroom.
‘Coverage should attend to nuance, be clear about what is not known in a case, seek out answers to difficult questions and more, not just so that potential jurors are not misled, but also so that those at stake have their stories better told,’ he said.
Dyson said that when cases aren’t determined to be hate crimes, ‘we want to be a bit reserved to make certain we’re not unnecessarily inflaming tensions and undue hostilities.’ He said prematurely declaring them as such, particularly because the suspects in some cases have been Black, can have a deleterious effect.
‘It can have a negative impact on either side, on reinforcing the vicious stereotype of the natural Black inclinations for crime and that we’re thugs,’ he said. ‘And on the other hand, alerting Asian communities or heightening their awareness about their safety and security may be sending a false signal that there is a nonexistent attempt on the part of some Black communities to target Asian brothers and sisters.’
Yam paraphrases Dyson toward the end of her article, “Dyson said history has shown that marginalized communities can be manipulated by white supremacy and that communities of color must be vigilant. Ultimately, regardless of the intention behind the crimes, the fear and pain felt by the Asian American community are real and valid, the experts said. Dhingra said that such incidents are crimes nonetheless and that images circulated of them have been terrifying.”
Meaning she wants us to believe even though African-Americans are attacking the Asian community, almost none of it should be considered a hate-crime, and white supremacy is magically pulling the strings and making the African-American perpetrators attack Asians.