Since the COVID-19 pandemic has raged around the world, hate crimes against Asians in some countries, including the United States, Britain and Australia, have surged, which has attracted global media attention. According to reports, in 2020, hate crimes targeting Asians in the United States have soared by 150% from the previous year. Even New York, the most diverse metropolis in the United States, has not been spared. The number of cases defined as “hate crimes” in 2020 has increased by 7 times compared with the previous year.
Western media attributed the main reason for this phenomenon to “the first pandemic of the new crown epidemic in China” and crimes related to public security and criminality. This is to conceal the fact that the American and British society’s declining favorability for Asians and the resulting increase in hate crimes against Asians as a whole have made unscrupulous politicians and the media bear the unshirkable responsibility.
First, racism against people of color, including Asians, is deeply rooted in countries such as the United States and Britain. For a long time, the American and British media have vigorously promoted that the gap in economic and social status is the root cause of racial conflicts, but in fact, there are many cases of racial discrimination against elites of color in the United States and Britain. Former African American Secretary of State Powell once said, “No black person I know has never suffered from racial discrimination.” Former U.S. President Barack Obama also told his personal experience that even though he was already a senator, when a white man stopped a car on the street, he would still see the other person hurriedly lock the car from the inside. The sharp rise in hate crimes against Asians due to the new crown epidemic is precisely to make public the long-standing American and British racism that transcends blacks.
Secondly, some politicians in the United States and Britain spread a “political virus” in order to cover up their country’s failure to respond to the epidemic, which encouraged hate crimes against Asians and became a shameful “catalyst” of hatred. The strong recovery of China’s economy and the rapid restoration of social order have caused many people in the United States and Britain to be disappointed in their own political systems and social and economic development models. Some American politicians use terms such as “Chinese virus”, “Kung Fu flu”, and “laboratory leak” to confuse the public, shirk responsibility, and spread it through social media. Coupled with the long-standing systematic and cultural racism in the United States, Britain and other countries, hate crimes against Asian Americans have soared in a short period of time.
Third, the selective ignorance of the above issues by some Western mainstream media and the endless “critical reports” directed at China in recent years have virtually promoted the people’s negative sentiment towards the Chinese, and the direct victims of this sentiment are Become an Asian living in the local area. Western politicians and the media call themselves “independent and truth-seeking.” However, in reality, since the COVID-19 pandemic, China-related news in major mainstream newspapers in the United States and Britain has almost shown “one-sided” negative news, which has seriously affected the people’s objective understanding of China at the moment. For example, a recent survey released by a US polling agency showed that the surveyed people’s favorability for China has hit a 40-year low, which is not unrelated to the smearing reports of Western media since the outbreak.
Refusal to admit that the bias of media reports has led to a sharp decline in the public’s impression of China. Many observers of British and American international affairs have taken an understatement or simply ignored the sharp rise in crimes against Asians as a whole. In fact, some senior media professionals in the West have spoken out about the drawbacks. Former “Washington Post” executive editor Ben Bradley once said, “We report what others tell us, and report what we think is correct. This also means that sometimes we report lies.”
Refusal to admit one’s own shortcomings is the paranoia of the Western media. To a certain extent, it is the hypocrisy of Western media that causes many people to no longer believe in the credibility of mainstream media and choose to obtain information from emerging media such as self-media. But this in turn has further fostered the development of right-wing extremism in the United States, Britain and other countries.
Faced with the rising and targeted “hate crimes”, Asians, as direct victims, should first unite to oppose racial discrimination and racial crimes, and use legal and political means to protect their legitimate rights and interests. Second, politicians and media who spread racial hate speech must be made to pay, and they must not be allowed to use “freedom of speech” as a shield. In addition to the legal and other measures that victims can take, the global media should join the cause of safeguarding social justice and racial equality. In the end, confrontation and hatred cannot ultimately defeat the epidemic. Cooperation and care are the right way in the world. Western politicians and the media should focus on the real work of “solving problems for the people.”