Thomas Gallatin / April 15, 2021

The Real Gambit on the Anti-Asian Hate Crime Bill

The legislation is little other than a ploy to justify Democrat calls for ending the filibuster.

Senate Democrats recently introduced a bill to address the supposed rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. This narrative was given popularity by Democrats and the Leftmedia as they sought to pin the blame on Donald Trump, who accurately noted that the coronavirus originated in China. It has since been used as a cudgel against anyone who correctly points out that China was responsible for releasing the pandemic onto the world. To suggest such a thing is to promote anti-Asian hatred, the Left dubiously claims.

So it comes as little surprise that Democrats — keen on pushing the false narrative that America is a nation awash in white supremacy and systemic racism, and therefore must be entirely restructured from the ground up in order to bring about “justice” — aim to paint Republicans as anti-Asian if they don’t jump on board this hate crime train.

As Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) expressed, “Combating hate in the Asian American community can and should be bipartisan. Who would oppose this very simple but necessary legislation?”

But just how “necessary” is this legislation? Well, it is true that crimes against Asians have increased over the last year, but the Leftmedia only drops statistics like “150% surge in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020” in a deliberate attempt to promote a dubious narrative that simply doesn’t comport with the reality on the ground.

National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty notes, “When you look at the numbers, you see why the percentage is cited. In Los Angeles the number of anti-Asian hate crimes reported rose from seven to 15. In New York, from three to 28. In a city where tens of thousands died from COVID-19, made up of millions of people, the number of anti-Asian hate crimes seems relatively small. By contrast, in the previous year, 2019, over 1,000 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in New York City.”

The bill boldly asserts the supposed cause of the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes without any genuine evidence to support such assertions. Note that the legislation would have the attorney general “designate an officer or employee of the Department of Justice whose sole responsibility [for at least one year] shall be to facilitate the expedited review of COVID-19 hate crimes and reports of any such crime to Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies.” In other words, Democrats are essentially codifying their own dubious narrative that people are motived to commit hate crimes against Asians because they associate the coronavirus with Asians.

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) voiced skepticism over the legislation, observing, “My understanding is it doesn’t really do much.” He further surmised that it’s little other than a “messaging vote.”

The truth is, the bill has nothing to do with protecting Asian Americans or any Americans for that matter. It’s a political gambit as the Senate Democrats look for ways to create an excuse to justify eliminating the filibuster. If they can bait Republicans into engaging in a filibuster against a dubious anti-hate crime bill, they’ll have the talking points to paint Republicans as anti-Asian at worst or out of touch at best. Either way, they will claim Republicans are obstructing the ability to get badly needed legislation through to Joe Biden.

It doesn’t look like Republicans are falling for this particular trap, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated the GOP won’t filibuster the bill. But Democrats still have their messaging for 2022 and beyond.

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