Posted on May 3, 2021

The Tribalist Left

Dave Seminara, City Journal, April 26, 2021

Most Americans agree that racism in any form is abhorrent. But in recent weeks, far too many who call themselves “antiracists” have inflamed racial tensions with antiwhite bigotry that’s every bit as disgusting as what they claim to oppose. When will the antiracists start rooting out the bigots in their own ranks?

When Robert Long, a 21-year-old Georgia man, killed eight people, six of them Asian, at three spas on March 16, prominent figures on the left reflexively branded it an anti-Asian hate crime. In a piece for The Root titled, “Whiteness is a Pandemic,” Damon Young wrote after the Georgia killings, “Whiteness is a public health crisis. . . . It shortens life expectancies, it pollutes air . . . it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars . . . and it kills people.”

There was a palpable sense of disappointment in the media when Georgia police threw cold water on the theory that Long was motivated by animus toward Asians. Many on the left stuck to this story against all evidence, pretending that statements by police and others who knew Long well must have been wrong. Days later, when early news leaked out of Boulder, Colorado that ten people were killed in a mass shooting, a CNN anchor rushed to assert that “another white male” appeared to be responsible. Meena Harris, a prominent lawyer and Vice President Kamala Harris’s niece, wrote in a now-deleted tweet, “Violent white men are the greatest terrorist threat to our country.”


Other horrific crimes that fail to advance preferred narratives are also ignored or downplayed. In February, police in Milwaukee charged a pair of teenagers with homicide and first-degree sexual assault in connection with a September attack on a Hmong immigrant named Ee Lee. Lee was allegedly beaten, raped, assaulted, and then dragged to the pond in Washington Park and left to die. On January 28 in San Francisco, a 19-year-old man fatally assaulted an 84-year old Thai immigrant named Vicha Ratanapakdee.


On March 31, a homeless man on parole for killing his own mother brutally attacked an Asian woman on her way to church in Manhattan. He reportedly kicked and stomped her to the ground while yelling anti-Asian epithets. On the same day, also in New York City, an Asian man was left unconscious after being attacked outside a subway station.

In each of these cases, the attackers were black men. And all the victims were Asian. The national media has fixated on the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, while leaving Americans with the impression that white men, likely Donald Trump supporters, are to blame. These cases garnered mostly local coverage because the media prefers to tie the anti-Asian hate crime trend to Trump and his use of the term “China virus.” Black-on-Asian crime doesn’t advance that narrative.

Crime statistics underscore how the media distorts reality in presenting white males as inherently dangerous. According to 2018 figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 90 percent of interracial violent victimizations (excluding homicide) were committed by African-Americans; 76 percent of the U.S. population is white; 13 percent is black. FBI statistics from 2019 revealed that whites committed 52 percent of hate crimes, while African-Americans committed 24 percent. In New York City, hate crimes against Asians soared in 2020, but only two of the 20 people arrested were white, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

In 2018, African-Americans made up 53 percent of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and committed about 60 percent of robberies. But you’ll never read politically inconvenient statistics like these in left-leaning media outlets, leaving Americans with a warped perspective on the supposed threat from violent, bigoted white males. Perhaps this is why the Detroit Free Press reported recently that many African-Americans in that city are afraid to venture into white neighborhoods and are arming themselves in record numbers.

The Left’s race obsession obviously isn’t confined to crime. Progressives have long favored discriminatory schemes in college admissions and employment decisions, but prominent politicians are becoming increasingly brazen in acknowledging and supporting these practices. {snip}