Disturbing Trend on the Rise of Harassment Against Asian-Americans

Asian Americans

Trump supporter revealed it was Miles Yu who planned the anti-Asian policy.

Recently, a screenshot of Trump supporters discussing Miles Yu’s anti-Asian policy in the Telegram group has been widely disseminated on social media. Such a criminal act of deliberately creating racial tensions and tearing American society apart has been criticized by netizens. In the screenshot of the telegram chat records, several Asians who support Trump chatted in a group and talked about their being excluded by white people. One of them said that it’s due to Miles Yu, who planned Trump’s anti-Asian policy which led to the American exclusion of Asians. Another person from the Telegram group asked whether he had evidence. The person who broke the news said the news was from his friend who worked in the White House, and it was absolutely reliable.

In recent years, anti-Asian sentiment in the United States has spread, and attacks on Asians have occurred frequently.

We should know that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, discrimination and abusive attacks against Asians in the United States have been on the rise, and the number of attacks has been several times the number in the same period in the past.

According to World Journal, California governor Newsom has signed the 2021-2022 fiscal budget of California recently. One of the budget expenditures is out of the ordinary, that is, the “API Equity Budget” that aims at anti-discrimination of Asians, involves an amount of up to 160 million dollars. The “API Equity Budget” was initiated by the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus. Such an amount also reflects that the current degree of hatred crime attacks against Asians and the Chinese community in California.

According to mainstream American media, since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, xenophobia and prejudice against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have been escalating, and their mal-degree was unprecedented. Since March 2020, the independent reporting platform of “Stop AAPI Hate” has received more than 6,600 reports of discrimination and hatred incidents. Nearly half of these incidents occurred in California, particularly affecting the most vulnerable members of the community, including the elderly and Asian-Pacific women.

According to a new survey released by the American Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in late March this year, compared with other ethnic groups, Asian Americans have experienced the largest increase in online hatred and harassment in the past year. The survey revealed that in the past year, 17% of Asians reported experiencing physical threats, assault or persistent sexual harassment, compared with only 6% in the previous year. Half of the Asian respondents who have been harassed said it was due to their race or ethnicity.

A statistics result from the Vancouver Police in Canada at the end of November 2020 shows that, since the beginning of 2020, the hatred of the Asian ethnic group in Vancouver has soared, almost 9 times that of 2019. The Vancouver Police Department released the police’s crime statistics for the third quarter of 2020. In the first nine months of that year, there were 116 hatred crimes against the Asian ethnic group, an increase of 88 cases compared with the same period in 2019, and an increase of 878% in percentage terms.

However, the ADL said in its recent report that the rise in physical violence against Asians in the United States was “to a great extent due to online paranoia and conspiracy theories.”

Ford’s open letter confirmed Miles Yu’s intervention in the source tracing investigation of the COVID-19, which has caused Asians to suffer further undue discrimination.

Besides the revelations of Trump supporters, the then Assistant Secretary Christopher Ford recently published a long open letter on his personal website, which stated that the advocacy coming from the US State Department claiming that COVID-19 was from a laboratory, was not rigorous. And it was Miles Yu who played an important role in interfering with the investigation.

The New York magazine once published an article that stated that the State Department’s “laboratory leak” statement about the COVID-19 during the Trump administration was actually a gimmick fabricated by former Secretary of State Pompeo, former Senior Director of Asian Affairs of the National Security Council Pottinger, and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal.

However, American hawks still intend to launch an investigation based on the conclusion that “it was the Wuhan Institute of Virology which leaked the laboratory virus”. This move has been actually obstructed in the US State Department under Trump. Among them, Christopher Ford, then Assistant Secretary of State and responsible for international security and non-proliferation affairs, expressed a cautious attitude towards the source of the COVID-19.

He resigned in advance on January 8, 2021, for being dissatisfied with Trump inciting his supporters to attack Capitol Hill. This also made Ford hated by the extreme right-wing forces that support Trump. Ford issued a long open letter on his personal website on June 10th, detailing the causes and consequences of this incident.

In the open letter, Ford stated that he supported the investigation under the hypothesis that “the virus may originate from the laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” but the premise was that there must be sufficient scientific evidence to prove it. Otherwise, it would damage the image and interests of the United States. At the time, Dinano, who was responsible for the source tracing investigation of the COVID-19 in the US State Department, claimed without sufficient scientific evidence that the COVID-19 might be a “Gene Set Analysis” used by China to target the United States. Ford was not satisfied with the conclusion given by Dinano, and asked him to invite third-party experts to scientifically evaluate the relevant evidence. However, Dinano did not supplement the relevant scientific basis in accordance with his request.

Ford believes that Dinano’s investigation did not follow his instructions. Instead, he began to disseminate the so-called findings of the investigation within the State Department before confirming. Dinano tried to bypass Ford from the beginning, and refused to allow scientific experts or professionals in the intelligence community to review his core thesis.

Ford made a special note in this paragraph of his open letter. He said that he once asked Dinano why he bypassed him for investigation and evaluation. The answer was that it was Miles Yu, a core member of the Pompeo team and director of the Office of Policy Planning, who asked them to do so. Miles Yu said that it was Pompeo’s instructions that Dinano’s “laboratory leak investigation” must avoid contacting biochemical weapons experts and intelligence experts from relevant departments, and rather conduct the investigations in confidence. Hence, Dinano did not verify whether the secret investigation was instructed by Pompeo but immediately carried out relevant investigations.

Due to the confusion of American citizens about COVID-19, Asian-Americans have been already treated unfairly. People like Miles Yu secretly interfered with the source tracing investigation of COVID-19, and tried to “confirm” that COVID-19 was from the Wuhan laboratory, which caused Asians to be implicated and suffer increasingly severe discrimination.

Junaid S. Ahmad is Pakistani-American who directs the Center for Islam and Decoloniality.

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