Atlanta: The Real Hate Crime
On Tuesday evening, a 21-year-old man from Woodstock, GA, went on a vicious killing spree, driving to three separate locations to murder a total of eight people. Within hours, the mayor of Seattle — a city 2,500 miles away with absolutely no connection to the crime — was convinced that the slayings were the product of anti-Asian sentiment, conclusively asserting on Twitter that “the violence in Atlanta was an act of hate.” In a joint statement with her chief of police, she went on to loudly lecture us all about how the Atlanta shootings are just another example of “acts of violence related to misconceptions of COVID-19,” stemming from an epidemic of “racism” and “xenophobia.”
Once the racism narrative had been agreed, the leftist cabal of activists — LARPing, as usual, as journalists — went to work. Headlines littered with phrases like “anti-Asian hate crime” immediately sprang up in everyone’s Google News feed. If there was any justification for blaming racism, they were going to find it. Or invent it.
Some of these LARPers didn’t even care if the racism they could conjure up was related to the perpetrator or not. When Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jay Baker held a press conference Wednesday morning in which he revealed an inconvenient fact — that the shooter denies being motivated by race— he became a target himself. CNN promptly decided that Captain Baker was now guilty, too, because in a Facebook post from a year ago he liked a COVID-themed shirt that read, “Imported Virus From Chy-na.” Never mind that China is a country, not a race. And never mind that the mainstream media themselves regularly positions China as a rival. And never mind that the virus did actually originate from China. And never mind that Captain Baker said nothing about Chinese people. Or that the shirt is clearly meant to be funny; a parody of Corona beer, half-mocking former President Trump’s characteristic pronunciation of the word, “China.” And of course, please ignore the fact that the shooting victims were not even Chinese*. To mainstream race-baiters, all Asians look same.
Which brings us back to Tuesday night’s shootings. Of the eight victims, six of them were “women of Asian decent” (mostly South Korean). If all you want to do is scream “RACISM!” and then boldly brag that in the year 2021 you are courageously opposed to “racism,” then I guess that fact is enough for you to run with. Go give yourself a cookie, you hero. You “did the work.” You solved the mystery of the murder. You’re a genius and a saint. Social_Credit_Score++.
But hey, before you go update Instagram with your next virtue signaling, did you happen to notice something about the ubiquitous phrase “women of Asian decent”? There’s this annoying word, “women,” in there. Why is that? In fact, as of this writing, the press is reporting that one of the other two victims is a woman as well, albeit white. I know, I know; we’re not supposed to care about white people anymore, but hear me out on this. If true, that means that seven of the eight victims were women. That’s a statistical improbability that seems just as relevant as the fact that six were “of Asian decent,” doesn’t it?
Well, it turns out the three locations targeted by the shooter weren’t what you might expect from a racially motivated crime. They weren’t Chinese restaurants or even CCP-backed venture capital firms. Instead, they were: Aromatherapy Spa, Gold Spa, and Youngs Asian Massage. All three spas are listed on the website, “Rubmaps: Where Fantasy Meets Reality,” which bills itself as providing user-generated “erotic massage parlor reviews & happy endings.” It also sports an “Escort Reviews” section. To be clear, I’m no prude. As far as I’m concerned, consenting adults can do whatever they want with each other — whether it’s for plain-old cash or the more expensive marriage certificate. But American culture is far from indifferent when it comes to sex. Hang-ups, edicts, taboos, condemnations, moralizing, and self-flagellations abound. If we combine his choice of targets with the shooter’s self-proclamation that he was struggling with “sex addiction” and went on his killing spree to “eliminate temptation,” all framed against the backdrop of a tumultuous and evolving American relationship with sex, then “RACISM!” might not look like the slam-dunk answer the race-baiting activists pine for.
Perhaps — and I know I’m going out on a limb here — but perhaps the recently baptized man who: (i) claimed to be struggling with a “sex addiction”; (ii) targeted what appear to be illicit massage parlors for his killing spree; and (iii) afterward explained that he was trying to “eliminate temptation,” was motivated more by rage against women than against people of “Asian decent.” That’s horrific enough, isn’t it? It is for me.
Of course, racism against various Asian communities does exist. [It’s especially popular in Asia, but that’s a topic for another article.] But according to the latest (2019) figures from the Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), Asians aren’t disproportionately victims of violent crime in America. Still, there are more recent studies that claim violence against Asians has skyrocketed since COVID-19. Although these are cited prolifically by the LARPers, they all seem to be conducted by people whose jobs depend on finding racism, “hate crimes,” and other boogeymen in the pages of every Dr. Seuss book. To a reasonable person, it is certainly plausible — and disheartening — that 2020's COVID-19 rhetoric may have resulted in an increase in anti-Chinese sentiment and therefore crimes against Asian Americans, but I’m going to wait for the 2020 NCVS statistics before declaring it a “crisis.”
Perhaps of greater concern is the motivation of the LARPers. It’s difficult to imagine the mentality of someone whose first reaction to a violent crime is to use the resulting public indignation as emotional leverage to ignite a country-wide race war. Then again, most of us don’t work for mainstream media outlets. Chicago mayor and leftist activist Rahm Emanuel once famously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” and the LARPers seldom let it. There are at least three reasons why the establishment of leftist elites are so eager to squeeze the story of the Atlanta murders into a racism-sized Tweet.
1. Forced Teaming
First, the left is married to the idea that America is fundamentally and “systemically” racist; that the sole purpose of the American experiment is to ensure that wealth and power accrue to white cis-het men (the Oppressors) at the expense of everyone else. But Asian Americans pose a real threat to this world view. They consistently score higher on IQ tests that are supposedly rigged to favor the Oppressors. They get into better colleges than the Oppressors. They earn more money than the Oppressors. They get arrested less than the Oppressors. All this raises the obvious question: Why are the Oppressors so terrible at oppressing Asians while so successful at oppressing everyone else?
This has become such a problem for the leftist narrative that they’ve had to label it the “Model Minority Myth” in an attempt to imply that it’s not true. They write articles about how “Asians” aren’t monolithic, citing variations between Bhutanese, Japanese, and other subgroups. Of course, the rest of us know full well that Asians aren’t a monolithic group — it’s the left that forces everyone else to talk about them that way. Normal people don’t go around obsessively categorizing everyone based on the color of their skin. [There’s a word for that, but I forget it…] To the left, Asians are one big monolithic group only if lumping them together helps push the leftist political agenda. Otherwise, they are distinct individuals, and any attempt at generalizing them is proof that you’re the racist. Got it?
All this means is that many Asian Americans are less inclined to buy a piece of the victim cake that the left is peddling because they don’t often see themselves as victims. This infuriates the left — who desperately need more victims to parade around—and recently, they’ve become so frustrated as to occasionally just give up and lump Asians in with those evil white oppressors. “Asian silence is violence,” they write on placards in Berkeley. “The alt-right likes Asian American women. We shouldn’t be surprised,” reads a headline in The Lilly.
But ultimately, it’s preferable to get the Asians on their side, and one way to do that is through a predatory tactic called “forced teaming.” Forced teaming is a pre-incident indicator identified by security specialist Gavin de Becker when he was researching precursors to violent encounters. It involves creating a shared experience or status in the mind of a victim where none actually exists. For example, a stranger might use words like “we” or “us” instead of “I” or “me” when it’s really not necessary. He might latch on to any remote connection and speak to you as if you are in a group with him, separate and distinct from others. “We don’t need to wait in this line; let’s find a shorter one.” It sounds rather benign — and it can be — but it’s also very effective.
The left’s attempt to paint the Atlanta shootings as the product of anti-Asian racism is simply the application of forced teaming at scale. It’s an attempt to cuddle up to those pesky Asians who persist in rejecting the systemic racism Kool-Aid. “See? Those whiteys are oppressing you, too! Better join us, so we can save you. No, no, it’s not about women or sex; that’s just what the alt-right wants you to think. It’s anti-Asian. Here’s your Antifa flag, a copy of White Fragility, and some hair dye.”
Another motivation behind the racism narrative is that it distracts from what appears to be the actual reason, part of which clearly has something to do with the shooter’s relationship to women and sex. The left is adamant that “sex addiction” can’t possibly be the cause, because “sex addiction” isn’t listed as an official disorder in the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Perhaps if they just explained to the shooter that his perceived “sex addiction” isn’t real because it’s not in the DSM-5, he’d be cured. But does it really matter? Perhaps “sex addiction” isn’t a disorder in the classical sense — whatever that means for a discipline as nascent and sloppy as psychology. Nevertheless, a non-psychologist is communicating something real and relevant when he claims to have a “sex addiction,” and that relevant thing is not “I hate Asians.”
Investigating the shooter’s actual motivation means exploring some uncomfortable territory for the left. Assuming that leftists can get over the concept that men and women are distinct from one another (which may be difficult for some), it requires asking questions about masculinity and possibly the consequences of vilifying normal masculine behavior and attitudes as universally “toxic.” It might mean re-thinking the APA’s Guidelines for Practice With Men and Boys, which treats boys like broken versions of girls and largely pathologizes masculinity. An examination of recent cultural shifts in attitudes toward sex and sexuality might arise, which would raise uncomfortable questions for both the prude and promiscuous, both of whom are often loath to accept any responsibility for negative consequences.
Most importantly, though, the left cannot allow a discussion about the mental health status of white men. This humanizes white men — which is anathema to the leftist agenda — and it might uncover some data that would illicit sympathy for the Oppressor. White men between the ages of 25 and 64, for example, are at least twice as likely to kill themselves as men in every other racial group except Native Americans (they’re only 15% more likely than Native Americans). Although white men make up 30% of the population, they account for nearly 70% of all suicides. And their numbers are getting worse, not better. These are the kinds of numbers that are to be quietly celebrated by smug elitists at cocktail parties in West Hollywood, not gratuitously plastered on the web for any of the riff-raff to contemplate.
3. The Goal
The final motivation for pushing the racism narrative is both the simplest and most disturbing. What actually happened is that an angry man went on a killing spree for personal reasons. But that kind of story won’t do much to increase civil unrest and/or gin up a smoldering race war. The LARPers need to turn it into something bigger. An individual’s personal evil is, unfortunately, commonplace and incapable of transforming an entire culture or country into a leftist authoritarian utopia. A whole race of evildoers filled with hatred and out to oppress and murder all other races, on the other hand? Now that is a story with real potential. Potential to create a crisis, one that the LARPers won’t let go to waste. While the rest of us are still enamored with the quaint idea that civil discourse with the radical left is possible, they’re busy creating an army of emotionally triggered zombies incapable of independent thought and ready to usher in the apocalypse in the name of Marxism, or whatever nom de guerre they’re using nowadays.
That’s what I call a “hate crime.”
* Update: it is now known that at least one of the female victims was Chinese. most were South Korean.