The legacy media has a new narrative: that Asian-Americans are the victims of systemic racism fueled by white supremacy, brothers-in-arms with black Americans in a struggle against an oppressive country.
A barrage of news content to that effect, which accelerated after a white gunman shot and killed eight people, six of them Asian women, in Atlanta on March 16, had one thing in common: they drew from a group called Stop AAPI Hate, which was described as a new nonprofit that started aggregating hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders after a virus that originated in China began to spread worldwide.
But a Daily Wire investigation found that Stop AAPI Hate is tied to longstanding progressive groups pushing policies that some community members say oppose Asians’ actual interests.
The fiscal sponsor of Stop AAPI Hate is Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), which has received funding from left-leaning philanthropic foundations. CAA has advocated for affirmative action in school admissions, a policy that could sharply curtail the number of Asians at rigorous universities. Asians made up about 15% of California’s population, but 36% of University of California admissions in 2019.
Proposition 16, a California ballot measure that would allow affirmative action, was rejected by voters in November 2020, with polling suggesting that Asians played a strong role in the defeat. Stop AAPI Hate is billed as a joint project of CAA, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), and San Francisco State University. Officials from both CAA and A3PCON were part of the unsuccessful campaign to pass Proposition 16.
Stop AAPI Hate appears to seek to redirect anger over a rash of violent crimes against Asians — often committed by non-white suspects — to promote causes backed by progressive black activist groups.
“Our approach recognizes that in order to effectively address anti-Asian racism we must work to end all forms of structural racism leveled at Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color,” its website says.
Stop AAPI Hate’s media outreach is managed by Fenton, a group of progressive strategists whose client list includes the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a George Soros-linked network of liberal billionaires called the Democracy Alliance, and the black activist group Color of Change.
Dr. Russell Jeung, a co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and professor at San Francisco State, has stressed the importance of Asians allying with black people to eradicate racism.
“The racism overall against Asian Americans is another form of white supremacy. As Asian Americans dismantle the racism directed toward us as outsiders, we’re partnering with African Americans in dismantling how they’re racialized and oppressed,” Jeung told NBC. “In a lot of Asian American issues, we become the wedge group to divide and conquer people of color rather than focusing on our unity and trying to dismantle the overall system.”
CAA is involved in a drive “to create alternatives to safety and justice” in San Francisco, even as many Asian communities have advocated for a greater police presence to deter violent attacks.
In February 2020, video showed black men surrounding an elderly Asian man as he collected recyclables in that city. They taunted him, stole from him, and attempted to strike him, while someone is heard saying, “I hate Asians, n*****,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The elderly man appeared to cry.
A black man named Dwayne Grayson was arrested on suspicion of robbery, elder abuse, a hate crime charge and a probation violation. Police said he took the video. Progressive San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin withdrew the charges, citing “restorative justice.”
Cynthia Choi, a CAA co-executive director and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, seemed to acknowledge the tension between her positions and sentiment in the community.
“There are members of our community that believe more police presence, that will lead to safety, that there should be more bilingual cops, that there should be more drive-bys,” she told Vox. “And the data just doesn’t show that.”
The group was launched on March 19, 2020, just days after then-President Donald Trump was criticized for posting a tweet that referred to COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus.” Its founders penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that condemned Trump’s rhetoric and “Republicans in Congress” for continuing “to blame China as the source of the virus, rather than focusing on how to control the spread of Covid-19.”
Over the last year, crimes against Asians have become more frequent in places like New York City, where statistics show that in 2020, most of those arrested on charges of anti-Asian hate crimes were black.
Before the Atlanta shooting, the media was already pushing Stop AAPI Hate. NBC News reported that the data compiled by Stop AAPI Hate indicated the number of anti-Asian hate incidents “is greater than previously reported,” and one piece on the outlet’s web site even encouraged readers to donate money to the group.
After the March 16, 2021 shooting, which police have indicated was not motivated by race, the narrative went full throttle.
There were 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women, in past year. https://t.co/lTAARHzuXg – @NBCAsianAmerica
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 17, 2021
One Washington Post column citing Stop AAPI Hate was titled “Asian Americans must not fight white terror alone.” Another column in the Post stated, “The past year has given rise to a veritable epidemic of anti-Asian violence in the United States. Stop AAPI Hate, an Asian American advocacy organization, documented at least 3,795 incidents of anti-Asian bias between March 2020 and the end of last month,” and “researchers have directly linked tweets by former president Donald Trump.”
“Asian-Americans were targeted in nearly 3,800 hate incidents in the past year,” read a March 17 headline from The New York Times, citing the group. The Associated Press, National Public Radio, and others also ran with Stop AAPI Hate’s numbers.
But it is impossible to draw any conclusions from the data since it was not previously collected, is focused heavily on California, and cannot be compared to any other statistics. The vast majority of the 3,795 incidents were categorized as “verbal harassment” (68.1%) or “shunning” (20.5%). Physical assaults accounted for about 11% of the totals, according to the group’s report.
Stop AAPI Hate says it does not collect data on the alleged perpetrators of hate incidents targeting Asians, claiming “we are not interested in racially profiling other groups or inflaming tensions between groups.”
“Racial data on perpetrators doesn’t help in developing policy to protect Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” it says.
Wenyuan Wu is the executive director of the former No on Prop 16 campaign and the executive director of Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, a nonprofit built upon the success of the campaign. She likened Stop AAPI Hate’s strategy to putting Asians “in the crossfire of a cultural war, with the ascending progressive side seeking to inject traces of white supremacy into every situation to confirm their ideology.”
The fact remains that all but two of the victims in this tragic incident were Asian American women and that these were all Asian-owned businesses. #StopAAPIHate
— Stop AAPI Hate (@StopAAPIHate) March 17, 2021
“It advances the ideological agenda of the groups behind the initiative and their partner organizations,” she told The Daily Wire.
After George Floyd’s death last year sparked nationwide protests condemning alleged racially biased policing, A3PCON published a newsletter that said the United States “was built on racist ideology.” It alleged that America continues to value white people’s opinions, priorities and lives more than other races and said the anti-Asian violence documented by the Stop AAPI Hate coalition showed that Asians are also negatively impacted by systemic racism.
“What our communities have realized, especially those of us who believed we were protected by educational privilege and economic capital – is that we are not exempt from white supremacy,” the A3PCON newsletter said. “No number of degrees or amount of money will make us white or prevent us from being told to go back to our countries of origin – and this is because America has not treated nor ever sought to prevent the spread of the contagion of racism.”
A3PCON called on Asian Americans to speak out “against repeated police violence against African American men, against the lack of accountability of perpetrators of hate violence,” and “against those who foment hate” directed at non-white people.
“This is the time to stand up to ethno-nationalist policymakers and their policies of detention and deportation, racial profiling and surveillance against immigrants and communities of color,” it continued.
Stop Asian Hate says it does not pass on personal identifying information to law enforcement “without expressed consent.” Instead, it collects and analyzes the data “to understand what is happening in our communities,” which “supports our advocacy efforts on local, regional, and national levels.”
California lawmakers approved $1.4 million last month to support ongoing research that addresses anti-Asian hate, including $300,000 allocated to the Stop AAPI Hate initiative.
Related: Everything You Need To Know About Prop 16 And The Anti-Discrimination Law It Repeals