CHINA / SOCIETY
Netizens not buying US journalist’s apology regarding report on racist attacks against Asian Americans
Published: Feb 25, 2021 11:08 PM

Photo:VCG
 


Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, a US reporter on China with Axios, apologized on Twitter for her report which talked about racist attacks against Asian Americans, sparking a strong backlash among many netizens who believe she is trying to legitimize violence, and smear China and Asian Americans. Her apology and updates in the wording of her article, however, aroused further anger.

In her report released on Axios on Tuesday, Allen-Ebrahimian wrote that "A rise in assaults against Asian Americans last year seems primarily tied to the coronavirus pandemic, but heightened tensions between the US and China and growing fears of China's espionage activities stateside are further complicating the situation." 

Many netizens made the accusation that such a narrative is trying to justify racist violence against Asian Americans, and regard Allen-Ebrahimian as a racist.

"…So senior citizens being pushed to the ground happen because people are afraid that they are spies? Fear of spies doesn't excuse anything…" a netizen commented.

"Can't believe they are trying to justify crimes and severe racism in the name of fear of espionage. Seems like the racial issues in America will not end soon, since nobody wants to face it, and the victims still have to endure," another said.

Some believed the narrative attempts to link crimes against Asians in the US with China's so-called "espionage activities" where no evidence exists at all, and further smear China, mongering public fear of China and stoking hatred against the country and its people.

Allen-Ebrahimian argued in her tweets that there was a misreading in her article and what she tried to say is that fear of espionage could potentially make racism against Asians worse and "fear of spies does NOT excuse racist attacks."

She later updated the wording in her article and made an apology on Twitter for "any lack of clarity," insisting that the point of her article was to "highlight growing racist attacks against Asian Americans and the causes for these inexcusable attacks, and to amplify what Asian Americans are saying about systemic racism in the US."

The move, however, sparked further criticism online and netizens clearly didn't buy it. Many netizens believe the reporter is hitting the edge of the ball as the update in her wording didn't make any actual change, and that she and her employer Axios should be held accountable for fomenting hatred against Chinese and Asian Americans.

"Can you provide concrete real world examples where someone has physically attacked or murdered an Asian American because, 'muh, spy!' I didn't think so." a netizen commented.

"Do you realize you are fueling hate?" a netizen asked.

The human rights situation in the US has been poor, deteriorating in recent years, especially since 2019, according to a report from China's State Council Information Office issued on human rights violations in the US in March 2020. 

Regarding discrimination suffered by ethnic minorities in the US, the report said the political structure and ideology of white supremacy in the country has caused ethnic minorities to suffer all-round discrimination in various fields such as politics, economy, culture and social life. 

Moreover, anti-Asian sentiment and violence against Asians are on a worrying increase across the US since 2020, according to media reports. A 52-year-old Asian woman was savagely pushed to the ground outside a New York City bakery and sustained injuries to her head on February 16.

In January, an 84-year-old Asian man died in San Francisco after he was shoved to the ground while taking a walk, reports said. 

Records from the hate crime task force of New York City show that 27 incidents involving Asian people were investigated in 2020, a nine-fold increase over the three incidents probed in 2019, local media reported. 

Online reporting center Stop AAPI Hate received 2,808 reported incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans across the US between March 19 and December 31, 2020. Victims said they were spat on, stabbed while shopping, shunned for wearing masks and barred from entering ride-hailing vehicles. 

Global Times


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