Bigoted demagogue and seditionist liar Donald "Mango Mussolini" Trump always found a way to shift blame for his own failures, never taking responsibility and never admitting he was wrong. As the COVID-19 pandemic exploded last year and his failure to control it became obvious, Trump saw a convenient scapegoat that would appeal to his racist base: China, the presumed origin of the corona virus. In one press conference after another, Trump kept referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus," even after being called out for the explicit racism it represented.
Now, we're dealing with the legacy of Trump's scurrilous, racist smear: Asian Americans are becoming targets of Trumpist thugs on the streets of America. The New York Times reports that attacks on Asian Americans in New York City jumped last year:
"The number of hate crimes with Asian-American victims reported to the New York Police Department jumped to 28 in 2020, from just three the previous year, though activists and police officials say many additional incidents were not classified as hate crimes or went unreported.
Asian-Americans are grappling with the anxiety, fear and anger brought on by the attacks, which activists and elected officials say were fueled early in the pandemic by former President Donald J. Trump, who frequently used racist language to refer to the coronavirus.
In New York City, where Asian-Americans make up an estimated 16 percent of the population, the violence has terrified many.
'The attacks are random, and they are fast and furious,' said Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation, a nonprofit network of community groups. 'It has stoked a lot of fear and paranoia. People are not leaving their homes.'” (our emphasis)
A similar report in yesterday's Washington Post describes the scene in the San Francisco Bay area, where safety patrols have become necessary following an increase in hate crimes:
"They gather almost every night at San Francisco’s Dragon Gate, the ornately decorated entrance to the nation’s oldest Chinatown. Armed with only whistles and pamphlets, the volunteer neighborhood patrol roams the streets, checking out ATMs and mom-and-pop shops in areas where Asian residents have experienced attacks that have left this neighborhood on edge.
Some volunteers drive more than an hour to walk these blocks — largely deserted by a combination of fear and pandemic lockdown — to hand out bilingual fliers that explain how to report a crime to police. Similar patrols have sprouted in Asian neighborhoods in Oakland, Calif., Los Angeles and New York City, a response to what these communities say is a wave of racist violence and harassment since headlines about a virus from China began appearing in U.S. media a year ago." (our emphasis)
If one wants to assign a name for a virus that's ravaged America and caused over 500,000 deaths, "Trump virus" is much more fitting: it was Trump that downplayed the pandemic and put opening the economy over public health and safety here in this country. He disparaged mask wearing and social distancing as the numbers climbed. To paraphrase him, he alone screwed it up. It's his virus.
(photo: Demonstrators protest the murder of an elderly Thai man in San Francisco. Damian Dovarganes/AP)