The Rise in Anti-Asian Racism Was Not Spontaneous

Scrolling through Facebook’s “subtle asian traits”—the Asian-American’s Facebook group of choice—I stumbled across a post of actor Daniel Dae Kim announcing a $25,000 reward to identify the assailant of a 91-year-old Asian man in Oakland, California. Within minutes, news outlet notifications start popping up on my screen covering Kim’s post. A string of violent, unprovoked attacks against elderly Asian citizens have left several injured and one man dead. However, while stories like Kim’s have garnered some attention, most instances of anti-Asian violence have not made it to the national news. The minimal media coverage of these cases reflects the widespread nonchalance and ignorance towards the racial violence Asians have endured. While the onslaught is in part attributed to our former president’s inflammatory words, deeming Covid-19 the “Kung flu,” xenophobia against Asians has a much deeper root in American culture, extending far beyond these past two years.

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Republican: A New Beginning

The attack on the Capitol shocked the U.S. as a whole, but it was especially disastrous for the Republican Party. Since his nomination in 2016, Trump has defined the presidency with his own brawling, populist image. But while many Republicans have long been uncomfortable with Trump’s nationalist politics and abrasive style, they turned a blind eye for the sake of party unity. However, Trump inspiring his loyalists to assault the Capitol is a step too far. As Donald Trump Jr. himself explained to a rally crowd soon before the Capitol riots, “this isn’t their Republican Party anymore. This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party.” The right-wing extremists can not be put off any longer; centrist Republicans can no longer turn a blind eye to their violent rationalization—the riots were a failed coup, and each Republican should question whether they will be complicit in the attempted dismantling of American democracy. In the coming weeks and years, the Republican Party must rebrand itself, creating a distinctly separate identity from the far-right extremism of Trump’s Republican Party.

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