MSNBC Tries to Blame 'White Supremacy' for Black on Asian Violence

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

Over the weekend on The Sunday Show, MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart devoted a segment to blaming "white supremacy" for recent high-profile cases of African Americans violently attacking Asian Americans, often times caught on video.

Capehart began the segment by recalling that, after he wrote recently about hate crimes against Asian Americans, focusing on a white man who murdered several Asian women in Atlanta, readers called him out for not also acknowledging violence by blacks. Capehart began:

A few weeks ago in my byline, I addressed the surge in hate crimes against the Asian American community and the deadly shooting in Atlanta targeting mostly women of Asian descent by a white man. Afterwards, I was flooded with feedback asking, "What about hate crimes towards Asian Americans perpetrated by black people?" And it's prompted a conversation I think we need to have. Some of the most widely circulated footage of the anti-Asian attacks have been of black perpetrators.

It is true that, for months -- dating back before the Atlanta murders -- much of the media has been highlighting a number of brazen attacks on Asian victims, often by black perpetrators. Such recent crimes include murders in Oakland, in San Francisco, and Milwaukee, as well as several other violent incidents in New York, including a recent subway attack.

After then brought aboard liberal activists A'Shanti F. Gholar of EMERGE and Linh Nguyen of RUN AAPI, noting that the two recently co-authored an op-ed about Asian and African American activists supporting one another, and soon quoted from the article as he posed:

And you write, "In the wake of recent -- of a recent spike of anti-Asian violence and with little evidence, many have begun to point to a divide between black and Asian Americans as the real issue facing our communities instead of naming the true culprit, white supremacy." Talk more about that.

Gholar downplayed tensions between black and Asians, citing her work with Asian American activists, and concluded by hyperbolically claiming that "white supremacy" is the biggest problem in the country: "The reality here is what is dividing our communities is white supremacy. This is another tactic to not own up to the fact that white supremacy is the biggest threat not only to our communities but to our country."

In one of his follow-up questions, Capehart fretted over conservatives defending Asians when they are discriminated against in the college admissions process:

You know, one of the things that also, you know, came up in my reading about all of this is how the right and conservatives are pitting us against each other when it comes to higher education and trying to use Asian Americans to blow up or do away with affirmative action programs or race-conscious programs, particularly in the Ivy League colleges and universities, as a way of achieving their own ends.

Gholar then went into a rant accusing whites of trying to foment hostility between blacks and Asians:

Again, it's another tactic of white supremacy. "You're the good Asian. You're the good black. You are who we need in this country. You are who we need in society." It's also ways that they just try to pit us against our own people in our community, like, "Oh, you're the -- you're the right black person. You're the right Asian person." And we need not to give in to those types of stereotypes. 

It is another tool and tactic of white supremacy. There's no one right way to be black. There is no one right way to be Asian. We are who we are. Our communities are diverse. We are Americans, and we just really need to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to keep the eye on the real issue at hand which is, again, white supremacy, and we need not be burdened by all of these distractions.

Nguyen then agreed: "Yeah, I will say, I mean, this is white supremacy and this is the model minority myth in full action, right? This is a system that's meant to pit us against one another and to oppress us..."

MSNBC's obsession with race on this show was sponsored in part by RAM. Their contact information is linked.

MSNBC

The Sunday Show

April 11, 2021

11:15 a.m. Eastern

JONATHAN CAPEHART: A few weeks ago in my byline, I addressed the surge in hate crimes against the Asian American community and the deadly shooting in Atlanta targeting mostly women of Asian descent by a white man. Afterwards, I was flooded with feedback asking, "What about hate crimes towards Asian Americans perpetrated by black people?" And it's prompted a conversation I think we need to have. Some of the most widely circulated footage of the anti-Asian attacks have been of black perpetrators.

(...)

You're here because you both penned an op-ed in USA Today headlined, "How Black and Asian American Women Are Working Together to Overcome Racism." And I wanted you for this segment to talk about this because I do think we need to talk about this. And if anything, so that the folks who are all up in my feed saying, "Hey, but what about black people?" to deflect from what happened in Atlanta to hear that what they're pushing isn't being bought by a lot of people.

(...)

And you write, "In the wake of recent -- of a recent spike of anti-Asian violence and with little evidence, many have begun to point to a divide between black and Asian Americans as the real issue facing our communities instead of naming the true culprit, white supremacy." Talk more about that.

A'SHANTI F. GHOLAR, EMERGE: I sure will. Thank you for having us. The fact is, I'm one of those Americans who is outraged at the violence that's happening against the Asian community, and I'm one of those black Americans who is really upset that yet again this dangerous narrative was reemerging that there's a divide between the black and Asian communities because I know it's not true. When we look at Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate, we have been showing up for each other. When I look at my friendships -- Linh and I met two years ago -- she immediately became family. And we've been working together to increase the representation of more black and Asian women in politics.

And I look at the work that we do at EMERGE. I'm the first black woman to lead this organization. I took over right when the pandemic hit, and the first public statement I had us put out was standing in solidarity with the Asian community. We have had conversations in our network about how to support Asian women. It is important for us to live our values. The reality here is what is dividing our communities is white supremacy. This is another tactic to not own up to the fact that white supremacy is the biggest threat not only to our communities but to our country.

(...)

CAPEHART: You know, one of the things that also, you know, came up in my reading about all of this is how the right and conservatives are pitting us against each other when it comes to higher education and trying to use Asian Americans to blow up or do away with affirmative action programs or race-conscious programs, particularly in the Ivy League colleges and universities, as a way of achieving their own ends. I would love both of you to give me your view real quickly about being used in that way. Ashanti?

GHOLAR: Again, it's another tactic of white supremacy. "You're the good Asian. You're the good black. You are who we need in this country. You are who we need in society." It's also ways that they just try to pit us against our own people in our community, like, "Oh, you're the -- you're the right black person. You're the right Asian person." And we need not to give in to those types of stereotypes. It is another tool and tactic of white supremacy. There's no one right way to be black. There is no one right way to be Asian. We are who we are. Our communities are diverse. We are Americans, and we just really need to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to keep the eye on the real issue at hand which is, again, white supremacy, and we need not be burdened by all of these distractions.

CAPEHART: And, real fast, Linh, last word to you.

LINH NGUYEN, RUN AAPI: Yeah, I will say, I mean, this is white supremacy and this is the model minority myth in full action, right? This is a system that's meant to pit us against one another and to oppress us...

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