Mexico’s president made a public apology on Monday for the killing of over 300 Chinese people by the revolutionary forces of Francisco I. Madero in the city of Torreón over a century ago.
Gruesome history: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he wants to ensure the 1911 massacre, in which Chinese nationals were mutilated or hung from telegraph poles, “never, ever happens again,” reported the Associated Press.
Obrador said the discrimination was based on the “most vile and offensive stereotypes,” adding “these stupid ideas were transferred to Mexico, where extermination was added to exclusion and mistreatment.”
His apology was part of Obrador’s efforts to atone for the past mistreatment of Indigenous and minority people in Mexico.
“We will never forget the brotherhood of the Chinese during the bitter and anguishing months of the pandemic,” he added.
Chinese Ambassador Zhu Qingqiao was present during Obrador’s apology ceremony.
Pointing to a clip from a March 2020 episode of “The View,” in which McCain said she had no problem with then-President Trump referring to COVID-19 as the “China virus,” the British comedian said McCain’s post was “a fine sentiment to throw up on Twitter after the fact.”
“But there has to be an understanding that saying, ‘I don’t have a problem with calling it the China virus’ is very much giving space for that hate to grow,” Oliver added.
His segment prompted McCain to issue a statement Monday morning.
“I condemn the reprehensible violence and vitriol that has been targeted towards the Asian-American community,” she wrote in a message shared on Twitter. “There is no doubt Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric fueled many of these attacks and I apologize for any past comments that aided that agenda.”
After an official described the Atlanta shooter’s decision to kill eight people as “a really bad day for him,” McCain again took to Twitter. “You know who it was also a bad day for?” she wrote March 17. “The eight people and their families who this man killed!”
“Stop giving radicalized white men different allowances than any of us would have,” McCain added. “When I have a bad day, I eat ice cream and watch Tommy Boy, not gun down innocent people. Bulls—!”
“For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger, and I really am so grateful for everyone willing to listen,” Oh said at Saturday’s demonstration in Pittsburgh.
Its hard to predict whether Dick Gregory will be most celebrated as a path-breaking comedian or a trailblazing civil rights activist. Its impossible to imagine the history of either movement without him—or without his unique blending of the two. In the early 1960s, he became one of the first black comedians to perform before integrated audiences. In 1967, he ran for mayor of Chicago against Richard J. Daley, and a year later for president as the Freedom and Peace Party candidate. The author of and contributor to many politically charged books, Gregory is still a staunch, wry political voice across a range of issues as varied as nutrition, social justice, and the environment. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington interviews the provocative and always unpredictable Gregory.
An angry, hate-filled Twitter call to attack Chinese people in the streets of France after the country went into a second COVID lockdown has been followed by a dozen assaults on Asians and fuelled the flames of anti-Asian sentiment.
The first time anti-Asian racism surfaced in France at the start of the pandemic earlier this year, it was characterised as xenophobia.
It was a fear and distrust of the “other,” with people of East Asian descent lumped together as presumed carriers of the coronavirus that had started in Wuhan, China, says Sun-Lay Tan, spokesperson for Safety for All, a collective of 46 Franco-Asian associations in France.
This time, it’s taken a much darker and angrier tone. “It’s no longer just xenophobia. It’s hate,” he said.
Immediately following President Emmanuel Macron’s televised address to the nation at the end of October announcing a second lockdown across the country, a Twitter call to attack every Chinese person on the street began gaining momentum, garnering about a thousand likes and getting shared in equal numbers.
Replies to the original tweet, which has since been flagged and taken down, were also laced with violence and venom:
“Hitler should have killed all the Chinese, not the Jews.”
“Put me in a cage with a Chinese I’ll have fun with them. I want to watch all their hope fade from their eyes.”
“It’s a hunt for Asians, for slanted eyes and yellow dog-eaters.”
“You’re only good for bringing back disease.”
What concerns Tan and other anti-racism activists is that these Twitter calls have gone offline and manifested in brutal attacks on Asians of all backgrounds in Paris. The day after the tweet was posted, a male Asian student was assaulted in an unprovoked attack while playing table tennis in the park with a friend (permanent ping pong tables are fixtures in some Parisian parks). According to Le Parisien, his attackers shouted “dirty Chinese” while assaulting him with pepper spray.
Asians are no stranger to being singled out by thieves and pickpockets in the Paris region as it’s mistakenly believed that they carry bundles of cash and are easy targets. But the most recent spate of attacks are driven by something more sinister, Tan said. “Previously, Asians were targeted for their money and were victims of robberies and muggings. Now, it’s not even money. It’s just out of hate.”
In another incident, a 37-year-old Asian woman identified as Françoise was attacked by a young couple who followed her off the city bus. Prior to the attack, a few words were exchanged about the young woman’s coughing fit and mask. The couple got off at the same bus stop as Françoise and attacked, pulling her hair, spitting and punching her in the face, yelling, “It’s because of you, you ch**k that we have coronavirus” and “Go back to China and eat dog,” reports Le Parisien.
“There’s been a crescendo of hate since the second lockdown, and a call to violence that we didn’t see before,” said Laetitia Chhiv, president of the Association of Chinese Youth of France.
Along with the coronavirus, the collapse of Asian businesses in Chinatown, and the threat of another terror attack – France is on its highest terror alert following the beheading of high school teacher Samuel Paty and an attack in Nice that killed three people – Asians in France now have to worry about being targeted in hate-related assaults.
“Safety has become their number one preoccupation lately,” Tan said.
Along with fear and anxiety, there’s a feeling of anger and disbelief at the misplaced hate, added Chhiv.
“They don’t understand why there’s so much hate. We are not responsible for the coronavirus and yet we’re insulted, assaulted and held responsible.”
Since the spike in assaults, Tan and Chhiv have launched a joint campaign through their groups warning Asians to be vigilant of their surroundings and to file a police report in the event of an attack. Because more often than not, Asian victims – particularly immigrants and the elderly – are less likely to go to the police, for reasons ranging from language barriers to shame, or lack of faith in the judicial system.
But it’s hoped a recent legal victory will change that. On the 12th of November, the French courts sentenced a trio of men two to seven years in prison for targeting, violently assaulting and robbing exclusively Asian women – believed to be easy targets – in the Paris region in 2019. Of the 28 victims identified, only six took part in the legal proceedings. But it’s a major victory that Chhiv hopes will encourage the community to trust the legal system.
Meanwhile, the Paris prosecutor’s office has launched a formal investigation into the original Twitter call to attack Chinese “for inciting public provocation to carry out a physical attack of a racist nature.”
“We want to send the message that no, you can’t say whatever you want on social media and call for attacks on an entire population for no reason,” Chhiv said.
She also points out that social media played a big role as a vehicle for hate in both the assassination of Paty and the anti-Asian discrimination currently playing out across France. During a lesson on free speech, Paty showed his class a cover from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which depicted a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad naked on all fours. One outraged Muslim parent waged a social media campaign against the teacher, which caught the attention of the killer who had no prior connection to the school or teacher.
“Social media can be a conduit for hate,” Chhiv said. “The fury on social media is nefarious for society. All it takes is for one person with bad intentions to stumble on a hateful post and use it to justify their violent behaviour.”
Twitter tirade: The former GOP senatorial candidate took to Twitter to attack author Viet Thanh Nguyen after her loss to Democratic Senator Chris Coons during the Senate election in Delaware on Tuesday.
Witzke began her attack after Nguyen tagged her in a tweet showing Coons receiving a total vote count of 290,996 (59.5%), while the Republican candidate received 185,442 (37.9%).
Nguyen also added a link to Witzke’s previous tweet where she urged for Western Europe to begin the mass deportation of Muslims in the region.
“It would be a shame if President Trump revoked your refugee status and sent you back to the third world where you belong,” Witzke said in her response to Nguyen.
Witzke assumed Nguyen was not a legal voter in her follow-up response, and doubled down on her remarks, calling him an “ungrateful refugee.”
The former GOP candidate then included the Democratic Party into their conversation and accused them of voter fraud.
“I don’t play the grateful refugee,” Nguyen said in his post. “That’s just a way of being silenced and being patted on the head. We can be grateful for the opportunities we’ve gotten in this country while recognizing its racist and white supremacist origins and reality.”
“This racism sometimes benefits those of us who are Vietnamese or Asian or refugees or immigrants, and this racism sometimes targets us. That’s how racism works. It makes you afraid to be the target so you shut up and hope you just reap some of the benefits. That’s what people like Lauren Witzke want. Compliant minorities who know their place.”
Witzke later blocked Nguyen on Twitter on Thursday night.
Rudy Giuliani accidentally uploaded a video of himself to YouTube on Wednesday night, in which President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer is seen to mock Asians in a racist manner.
The former mayor of New York City and President Donald Trump’s current personal lawyer put on a stereotypical Asian accent while bowing with his hands clasped together and talking about ordering Chinese food in the video.
Within minutes of the debate wrapping up Wednesday, the Biden campaign tweeted a photo of Joe Biden with a fly swatter and a caption that said, “Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly.”
In case you missed it: A fly very noticeably landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s stiffly coiffed head as he debated Sen. Kamala Harris. The fly lingered, and the internet couldn’t stop talking about it.
Joe Biden‘s campaign started selling T-shirts bearing the phrase “Will You Shut Up Man” after the Democratic nominee directed the retort at President Trump during the pair’s first presidential debate Tuesday night.
The Biden campaign store began selling the T-shirts with the phrase superimposed over an image of an unhappy-looking Trump even as Tuesday’s debate was ongoing. The former vice president’s campaign is selling the shirts for $30-$33.
Trump frequently interrupted his Democratic opponent during the debate Tuesday, a tactic the former vice president occasionally reciprocated. The hour-and-a-half debate included a number of heated moments, with candidates repeatedly talking over each other or seeking to cut into the other’s speaking time.