Posted on January 26, 2023

It’s Time to Admit That Racial Hate Isn’t Just a White Thing

Christopher J. Ferguson, Newsweek, January 24, 2023

This week saw the latest in a long list of U.S. tragedies: Eleven people were killed by a gunman in Monterey Park, CA. The shooting struck a predominantly Asian-American community during celebrations for the Lunar New Year. At first blush, the shooting appeared to confirm progressive fears about a white supremacist wave of anti-Asian hate—until the authorities identified the shooter as a 72-year-old Asian man.


Prior to this latest California shooting, the most recent high-profile mass shooting of Asian Americans occurred in 2022, at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, California. Once again, the perpetrator was a 68-year-old Asian man, motivated by his hatred of ethnic Taiwanese.

These examples are the rule, not the exception. While white supremacists still exist, emerging data suggests that they aren’t the driving force behind the violence directed at Asian Americans, most of which is perpetrated by non-whites.

In 2018, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released data on violence against Asian victims. And contrary to the prevailing narrative in Democratic circles, whites were actually underrepresented as perpetrators, at just 24 percent, compared to their representation in the population. So were Hispanics, who committed 7 percent of anti-Asian attacks. Meanwhile, overrepresented as perpetrators of anti-Asian crimes were Black Americans, who committed 27 percent of them, and Asians, who committed 24 percent. {snip}

Criminologist Wilfred Reilly found similar results when he analyzed high-profile hate crimes against Asian Americans. According to his data, 40 percent of such crimes are perpetrated by whites, a number consistent with 2021 FBI hate crimes statistics, which found that 56.1 percent of hate crime perpetrators were white, whereas 23.1 percent were Black.

According to 2020 Los Angeles County data, white supremacy was a factor in just 19 percent of all hate crimes. Many hate crimes occurred between Black and Hispanic Americans. 2021 data from LA county were similar: anti-Asian hate crimes were perpetrated 44 percent of the time by whites, 29 percent of the time by Black perpetrators and 25 percent of the time by Hispanics.


Some evidence now suggests that, rather than systemic racism, hate crimes are often associated with mental illness. In this they share a similarity with mass homicides, another crime falsely assumed to be perpetrated exclusively by white men {snip}

It’s time to drop the white supremacy narrative. {snip}