Anti-Asian Violence in America Is Rooted in US Empire

If we are to stop anti-Asian hatred in the United States, we must recognize how US foreign policy perpetuates it.

By Christine AhnTerry K ParkKathleen Richards for The Nation

Shortly after the mass killing in Georgia—including six Asian women—earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced the violence, saying it “has no place in America or anywhere.” Blinken made the comments during his first major overseas trip to Asia with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, where Blinken warned China that the United States will push back against its “coercion and aggression,” and Austin cautioned North Korea that the United States was ready to “fight tonight.”

Yet such hawkish rhetoric against China—which was initially spread by Donald Trump and other Republicans around the coronavirus—has directly contributed to rising anti-Asian violence across the country. In fact, it’s reflective of a long history of US foreign policy in Asia centered on domination and violence, fueled by racism. Belittling and dehumanizing Asians has helped justify endless wars and the expansion of US militarism. And this has deadly consequences for Asians and Asian Americans, especially women.

Anti-Asian violence through US foreign policy has manifested in the wars that have killed millionstorn families apart, and led to massive displacement; in the nuclear tests and chemical weapons storage that resulted in environmental contamination in Okinawa, Guam, and the Marshall Islands; in the widespread use of napalm and Agent Orange in VietnamLaos, and Korea; in the US military bases that have destroyed villages and entire communities; in the violence perpetrated by US soldiers on Asian women’s bodies; and in the imposition of sanctions that result in economic, social, and physical harms to everyday people.

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More Than 100 House Dems Urge Biden to Expand Gun Law to Cover Firearm Used in Boulder Shooting

BOULDER, CO - MARCH 22: U.S. Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO) addresses the media after a gunman opened fire at a King Sooper's grocery store, killing ten people, including one police officer, on March 23, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)
Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) addresses the media the day after a gunman opened fire at a King Sooper’s grocery store on March 23, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)

By Cristina Cabrera | March 31, 2021

More than 100 House Democrats have reportedly signed a letter from Reps. Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) to President Joe Biden urging him to expand the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) to include the gun used in the Boulder, Colorado shooting.

The Democrats told Biden in the letter (obtained by Punchbowl) that the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, which is chaired by Thompson, “calls on you to take strong executive action to address serious inequities in the implementation of the National Firearms Act which is the federal law regulating the manufacture, transfer, and possession of certain classes of firearms.”

The letter pointed to a pistol (therefore smaller) version of the AR-15 known as the AR-556, the weapon that Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa allegedly used to fatally shoot 10 people at a grocery store in Boulder last week. The shooting occurred in Neguse’ district.

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