The best data I’ve found for 2020, the salient period for this discussion, are provisional data on complaints and arrests for hate crimes against Asians in New York City, one of two cities which seem to have been most affected. They record 20 such arrests in 2020. Of those 20 offenders, 11 were African-American, two Black-Hispanic, two white, and five white Hispanics. Of the black offenders, a majority were women. The bulk happened last March, and they petered out soon after. If you drill down on some recent incidents in the news in California, and get past the media gloss to the actual mugshots, you also find as many black as white offenders.
This doesn’t prove much either, of course. Anti-Asian bias, like all biases, can infect anyone of any race, and the sample size is small and in one place. But it sure complicates the “white supremacy” case that the mainstream media simply assert as fact.
And, given the headlines, the other thing missing is a little perspective. Here’s a word cloud of the victims of hate crimes in NYC in 2020. You can see that anti-Asian hate crimes are dwarfed by those against Jews, and many other minorities. And when you hear about a 150 percent rise in one year, it’s worth noting that this means a total of 122 such incidents in a country of 330 million, of which 19 million are Asian. Even if we bring this number up to more than 3,000 incidents from unreported and far less grave cases, including “shunning”, it’s small in an aggregate sense. A 50 percent increase in San Francisco from 2019 – 2020, for example, means the number of actual crimes went from 6 to 9.
Is it worse than ever? No. 2020 saw 122 such hate incidents. In 1996, the number was 350. Many incidents go unreported, of course, and hideous comments, slurs and abuse don’t count as hate “crimes” as such. I’m not discounting the emotional scars of the kind of harassment this report cites. I’m sure they’ve increased. They’re awful. Despicable. Disgusting.
But the theory behind hate crimes law is that these crimes matter more because they terrify so many beyond the actual victim. And so it seems to me that the media’s primary role in cases like these is providing some data and perspective on what’s actually happening, to allay irrational fear. Instead they contribute to the distortion by breathlessly hyping one incident without a single provable link to any go this — and scare the bejeezus out of people unnecessarily.
It’s not unnecessary if it’s necessary to their chosen political narrative.
Also, if anti-Asian hate crimes are such a white-supremacist thing, why do most of them occur in deep-Blue cities? (Bumped).
UPDATE: Related: “Everyone who’s posting ‘stop Asian hate’ should need to publicly take a position on whether universities should be allowed to systematically exclude many Asian applicants for the explicit reason that they are Asian. It’s easy to post the trending hashtag of the day in response to a clearly horrific mass murder, but would you ever be willing to speak out against less visible forms of discrimination against Asian-Americans?”
Plus: Dear White Liberals, We Asians Aren’t Your Pawns. “My brother replied that there were over 3,800 incidents of anti-Asian violence last year, yet you didn’t check on us. The friend said he didn’t know. My brother said, of course not—because no one besides us Asians cared. But now that you see a perp is a white male from the South, you start to care. You have to make this about YOU making a political statement rather than really caring about us, the Asian Americans. . . . My brother told his ‘friend,’ or his ‘ally,’ to snap out of trying to be the white savior.”
h/t Glenn Reynold