Let No Shooting Go to Waste

By David Marshall Published on January 31, 2023

Some ghouls at USA Today seemed deeply disappointed that the shooter in the recent Monterey Park mass murder was not a Trump-supporting, MAGA-hat wearing white man.

“Asian-Americans say Monterey Park killings revive fears, trauma of rising anti-Asian hate around U.S.,” the headline read.

Who told them that, I wonder? The shooter’s last name, Tran, is common in Vietnam, but is a modification of the Chinese family name Chen. Few Asian-Americans would think the murder of several Chinese by a Vietnamese man means all Asians should cower in fear over American racism.

Rather than citing ordinary Asian-Americans, they interviewed people in the Race-Grievance Racket. Frank Wu, president of Queens College, City University of New York, argues plaintive desperation: “Even if we cannot be sure an attack was racial in intent, it nonetheless can be racial in effect.”

Gotta Find That ‘Racist’ Angle

Got that? Asian-Americans may suffer fewer murders per capita than any other ethnic group in the country. They may be the wealthiest folks in America. In actual practice they may be threatened less by this so-called “anti-Asian hate” than by college administrators who count their Asian origin against them.

They may feel quite safe in MAGA country. But if a rare act of violence occurs within the East Asian-American community, you can count on someone twisting Heaven and bending Earth to find an angle from which they can blame white conservatives.

The authors, who do not have Asian last names, make it clear how they want us to read their piece:

As the United States began to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the country’s Asian-American community began to experience a different kind of attack as slurs and acts of violence against Asians rose, in part prompted by the anti-Asian rhetoric pushed by politicians and pundits blaming China for the outbreak.

The ‘Trump’ Angle, Too

Which is no doubt intended to remind us that Donald Trump described COVID-19 as the “China virus,” as in this famous exchange with ABC reporter Cecelia Vega: “There are reports of dozens of incidents of bias against Chinese Americans in this country. Why do you keep using this? A lot of people think it’s racist.”

To which Trump replied: “Cause it comes from China. It’s not racist at all, no, not at all. … I have great love for all of the people from our country, but as you know China tried to say at one point … that it was caused by American soldiers. That can’t happen.”

COVID did come from China, and it killed a million Americans. And yes, it may be that a sloppy state-run virology lab accidentally loosed it upon the world.

It’s ‘Racism’ Only When It Fits

But what are ABC and USA Today saying? That we should sweep the Chinese government’s culpability under the rug, for fear that some redneck numbskull will take it out on Asian-Americans? Shouldn’t we then also stop criticizing Russia for invading Ukraine, and supposedly for supporting Donald Trump? It could prompt “hate” against Russian-Americans, too, couldn’t it?

Should Hollywood swear off movies featuring terrorists with thick German accents, and mafiosi who sound like they’re taking an order for spaghetti from romantic Disney hounds? If Italians are stereotyped as criminals, who knows what MAGA bigots will do to Rudy Giuliani?

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Forty years ago next month, I was sitting in a Chinese class at the University of Washington when the professor informed us with horror that the father of one of our classmates had been killed in the Wah Mee massacre in downtown Seattle. He was one of 13 killed in what appears to have been a Triad hit by gunmen from Hong Kong. Like those two crimes, and a subsequent mass murder in Half Moon Bay, the vast majority of murders in America occur within, not between, racial groupings.

Was the Wah Mee massacre Ronald Reagan’s fault? Of course not! So why is USA Today so eager to pin the blame for this set of murders on Republicans?

The Politics of the Macabre

Details are still trickling out, but from what we know now, the shooter apparently met his ex-wife at a dance studio in the area. He gave informal lessons there, but felt that many at this studio were hostile to him. As with most murders, motives appear to have been personal, not political or racial.

This macabre eagerness to make political capital from a mass murder has become far too familiar. Perhaps because Democrats know they would be in trouble if they lost the votes of Asians, Hispanics, and Blacks. Their chief weapon for preventing that has long been “racism.” Never mind that it means being judged by the color of your skin, not by the content of your character, when you apply to Harvard or Google. Forget the Democratic cities’ discrimination as they hand out bundles of cash to residents with the approved skin color.

Pay no attention to the fact that actual hate crimes against Asian-Americans are usually committed by people who belong to demographics and live in districts that favor the Democratic Party. Never mind if the guy with the gun carries a personal, not ethnic, grudge.

Show Some Dignity, Please

The press, as I pointed out in Letter to a “Racist” Nation, is addicted to racism, like an addict is to that tempting white powder. Everything must be racism, because what else does the left have? (That, and our children’s money?)

Most conservatives get that the Chinese Communist Party is not the Chinese people. I have loved Chinese culture, cuisines, landscapes, and people for more than 40 years. You don’t need to preach that sermon to me, Johnny-Come-Lately USA Today.

I understand that for a child with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But please stop your political ambulance-chasing through Chinatown, trampling over still-warm bodies to get in your digs. Show some wisdom. Show some dignity. Let the dead rest in peace.


David Marshall, an educator and writer, has a doctoral degree in Christian thought and Chinese tradition. His most recent book is The Case for Aslan: Evidence for Jesus in the Land of Narnia.

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