On March 16th, three Atlanta spas were targeted in a shooting spree that left eight dead. Six of the victims were Asian women. On March 22nd, a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado was the target of a shooting that left ten dead, including an on-duty police officer. The very next day, 66-year-old Mohammad Anwar—an UberEats driver—was killed in Washington D.C. after an attempted carjacking turned into an automobile collision.
All three of these events were horrific. And, as an American, I mourn for the losses of my fellow citizens. I also remain frustrated with the mainstream media, which continues to utilize violent tragedies like these in order to serve its own divisive interests—rather than truly inform the public.
The Woke Media’s Blatant Disregard for Mohammad Anwar
Mohammad Anwar emigrated from Pakistan in 2014. He was making an UberEats delivery when he was allegedly assaulted by two teenage girls, ages 13 and 15. The girls had a stun gun and attempted to steal Anwar’s car. In the physical altercation that ensued, Anwar’s car switched gears, flew forward, and flipped over, causing Anwar to suffer fatal injuries. Anwar is survived by adult children and grandchildren.
In the truly horrific video footage of the crime scene, the suspects are visibly terrified as they step out of the capsized vehicle and run from the scene. However, it seems that the girls’ terror is not from the gruesome, violent crash that they’ve just caused. Rather than acknowledge the fatally injured Anwar lying on the street, one of the girls expresses concern over her phone being left in the car.
The reader would be forgiven for assuming that such a heinous crime committed against an Asian-American would further ignite the flames of #StopAsianHate advocacy. After all, Anwar’s death follows a broader trend of Asian Americans being targets of violence. NBC News recently highlighted startling statistics: 3,800 anti-Asian incidents occurred this past year, most of which targeted Asian women. The New York Times reported five new possible anti-Asian hate crimes in New York City. And the “Stop Asian Hate” movement continues to sweep across the country.
However, following Anwar’s death, the loudest sound from the woke media was that of crickets. While The New York Times, CNN, and MSNBC published a plethora of racialized articles breaking down the Atlanta shootings, the mainstream media hardly covered the tragedy of Anwar’s death.
Why is this the case? According to the woke media, only white people are capable of committing hate crimes. And in the case of Anwar’s death, the suspects are not white.
The media eagerly pounces on the supposedly “racist” motivations of any white killer, but it becomes strangely hesitant to play this same race card when crimes are committed by non-white perpetrators. According to the mainstream media, crimes are only anti-Asian when they’re committed by white people. The woke media possesses an agenda; it engages in selective outrage, in order to promote disdain for anything representative of “whiteness.”
To be clear, I’m not calling for Anwar’s death to be defined as a racist hate crime. Nor, however, will I impulsively define the Atlanta spa shootings in that manner. Before I choose to make or reject such conclusions, thorough legal investigations are necessary. I’m a believer in due process. And only through due process can Americans effectively expose and combat the true root of this new wave of violence, wherever that root may be found.
My argument is simple. Brutal killings are brutal killings. The legal and media responses to the criminal should be proportional to his crime, not responsive to his race. Moreover, the severity of a criminal’s punishment and media exposure should not be mitigated simply because he belongs to an ethnic minority.
The Wokesters’ Egregious Double Standards
In a now-deleted tweet following Anwar’s death, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser stated the following: “Auto theft is a crime of opportunity. Follow these steps to reduce the risk of your vehicle becoming a target. Remember the motto, #ProtectYourAuto.” Intentional or not, Bowser figuratively spit on Anwar’s dead body. One can only imagine the pushback she would confront had the races of those involved been reversed. Likely, she would have been forced to resign from her position.
Meanwhile, CNN referred to Anwar’s murder as an “accident.” Compare this weak word choice to CNN’s outraged follow-up article on the Atlanta shootings, in which CNN wrote that Asians are systematically “under attack” physically, verbally, and economically “from microaggressions to violence.” Had Anwar’s murderers been white, it can reasonably be assumed that CNN would have jumped at the opportunity to turn his death into a national news headline.
Examples of reverse racism don’t end with comparisons between mainstream media coverage of the Atlanta shootings and Anwar’s death. On the contrary, leftists’ impulsive, racialized outrage was also demonstrated in the aftermath of the Boulder shooting. In another now-deleted tweet, Vice President Kamala Harris’s niece, Meena Harris, wrote that the suspect in the Boulder shooting was white. Harris was quickly proven wrong; the suspect was revealed to be of Middle Eastern descent, which classifies as Asian.
Unsurprisingly, Harris wasn’t alone in her rhetoric. Other prominent leftist voices quickly assumed the race of the Boulder suspect, including Deadspin editor Julie DiCaro, activist Amy Siskind, and Hemal Jhaveri (who ironically serves as the “race and inclusion” editor for USA Today). Rather than wait for the facts to surface, leftists jumped at the opportunity to flood Twitter with more lamentations about the “inherent evils” of white men.
(Only Certain) Black and Asian Lives Matter
First, it was Black Lives Matter. Now, it’s “Stop Asian Hate.” Do black and Asian lives really matter to the woke media? Or do minorities only matter if their suffering and grievances advance a convenient narrative that paints white people as racist oppressors?
If all black lives really matter, then there should be legitimate outrage about the fact that Chicago has seen an uptick in homicides in the past three months alone. There have already been 155 homicides in the Windy City this year, following 744 last year. And more than half of the victims have been young, black men (when compared to 9 unarmed black men shot fatally by white police in 2019). Similarly, if all Asian lives really matter, then the mainstream media shouldn’t be disregarding the death of Mohammad Anwar, while tirelessly covering the Atlanta spa shootings through a racialized lens.
To be sure, the perpetrators of hate crimes, regardless of their race, should face the fullest extent of justice under the American legal system. And as an Asian-American who has dealt with both implicitly and explicitly racist remarks myself, I’m grateful that there’s finally a broader awareness of anti-Asian violence.
However, it’s also saddening to me that the “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop Asian Hate” movements come with racialized asterisks; to the mainstream media, black and Asian lives only matter when the criminals responsible for their deaths are white. Rather than boldly condemn all heinous crimes, the mainstream media selectively and jubilantly highlights crimes that promote its broader, partisan agenda.
For these reasons, if I end up being the victim of a crime, I know that the chances of garnering media attention will revolve solely around the race of the perpetrator. If the perpetrator is a white person, I’ll be on national news. I might even become a household name. But if the perpetrator isn’t a white person, I’ll be nothing more than a forsaken statistic.
*The views expressed in this article solely represent the views of the author, not the views of the Chicago Thinker.
Very well said Perry. I enjoyed your article and I wish you great success in your collegiate and professional career! – Gary
Are you serious, dude? Even a dumb first-year such as yourself should be able to realize that the difference in this case is not the race of the people involved, but their age. As you said, they are 13 and 15 years old. They’re barely even teenagers, let alone adults. As terrible as this was, most news outlets have policies regarding reporting on minors, and won’t publish names or feature these kinds of stories prominently. This article is nothing more than a weak attempt at manufacturing outrage toward the Mainstream Media™, especially when your main argument, that mainstream news outlets ignore hate crimes when the perpetrator is not white, is completely obliterated by the fact that two of the largest news events of the past few weeks were when Vilma Kari was beaten up in NYC and when Vicha Ratanapakdee was killed in San Francisco. Both got wall-to-wall nationwide coverage, and neither of those were perpetrated by white people.
The age of the criminals have nothing to do with the coverage. A 13 or 15 year old white person would be held up as examples of how our system institutionalizes racism and creates white monsters at a young age. To my knowledge, the MSM has not written a single story suggesting that the current of acceptance of violence (e.g., Portland, Seattle, etc.), the call for reparations, and the idea that blacks are victims of a society that must be torn down has created an environment legitimizing violence.
FWIW, I searched “Vicha Ratanapakdee” on CNN and found 5 articles, not exactly “wall-to-wall” coverage. I also searched “Robert Aaron Long” and found 188 articles.
Dear commenter who seemingly misspelled my name,
1. It has nothing to do with the lack of names given, but rather the lack of overall coverage of the death. You are committing a strawman fallacy with this connection.
2. I would caution you in using age as a defensible argument. While I understand why you would think that, I ask you to consider the example of Nick Sandmann. Not only did Nick Sandmann commit an act that can be charged with manslaughter, he garnered far more outrage from mainstream media (refer to sources regarding his lawsuit with WaPo).
3. Refer to the other comment with regards to your argument about the “largest” news events.
Abject nonsense. The media generally does not identify minors by name but it does report about the crimes. You really should try to think before calling other people names.
That children committed this crime makes the event more newsworthy, not less. After school shootings, we want to know everything about the shooter. What kind of home did he come from? What would inspire him to commit such a crime? Society needs to know the same about these killers.
Do you not realize that you completely dismantled your own point in this piece? If media outlets are still seeing this incident as a hate crime against Asians, but the shooter himself is not white, then clearly the media doesn’t require the perpetrator to be white for crimes against people of minority groups to be viewed as a hate crime. There goes that whole argument right there.
Additionally, you compare attempted theft ending up in a death that was not directly or intentionally caused by the perpetrators to a deliberate shooting intended to end people’s lives. That you do not see the difference between these events is ludicrous.
Finally, just as a foot note, not all Middle Eastern people are Asian, many people from Middle Eastern countries do not consider themselves Asian, and most people generally view Asians and Middle Eastern people as distinct groups.
Your logic to prove your points is bad, and as a result, your points are worthless and wrong.
Dear C Flour,
You clearly have misinterpreted the point of my article. First. I argue that there has NOT been consideration of the Anwar death as a hate crime whatsoever. Second. The Boulder shooting was an example to prove that the left likes to assume the race of the suspect before substantial evidence. Also, to clarify, that was NOT labeled as an anti Asian crime; the victims identified have not been of Asian descent.
Let’s use your logic further. You say that intent DOES matter. Then tell me one thing and only one thing. If I “accidentally” dropped a brick from a bridge and killed somebody with it, what is the charge to be pressed against me?
If it was really and truly accidental (suppose you accidentally kicked it over the side), you’d probably be charged with manslaughter. What’s your point?
There have also been a large number of racial attacks in the Bay Area, New York City and now Charlotte North Carolina against Asians. These were rather blatant anti Asian racial attacks…. but…
the perps weren’t White racists.
So the identity of the perps and their racial hatred motivations have been censored by our terrible, “Woke” mainstream media.
Here’s the video of the racist attack against an honest Asian store owner in Charlotte NC.
Nice article, but Middle Easterners are not Asian, any more than Egyptians, Moroccans, or Afrikaaners are Africans. Arabs, Turks, and Persians are all Caucasians. For that matter, Pakistanis and Indians are also Caucasian.
Professor X argues that Afrikaners aren’t “Africans”.
I respond: That’s just ridiculous and very illogical. These Afrikaners live in Africa and these people have lived in Africa for well over 400 years. Their name is African “Afrikaners” and they speak an African language “Afrikaans”.
You seem more than a little confused and don’t seem to have much of a grasp of basic geography. I see this all time with American comedians interviewing American “students” and they can’t identify basic continents or countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East or really anywhere.
This is a huge problem with American education – everything is politicized along trendy PC lines and American students don’t get taught basic geographic of basic history – yeah we know geography and basic history even basic math is now considered “RACIST”.
Why do we even have schools if CTU refuses in person education and the Educrats won’t teach basic geography or basic math?
Dear Professor X,
You bring up an interesting comment and I appreciate the thoughtfulness and consideration put into it. So this is where things get sort of messy and, perhaps, I could have been more specific in my wording.
According to the Census Bureau, those who live in the Indian subcontinent (including Pakistan) are considered Asian, although we know that it’s very difficult to classify somebody under such broad terms of race (consider those of mixed descent). It is true, however, (and I was unaware) that Middle Eastern people are Caucasian using the same definition given by the CB. Then, the question of the Boulder shooting becomes this. When we examine how people like Meena Harris define “violent white men”, does that necessarily encompass recent immigrants like that of the shooter? Or does it pertain more to “established” Americans of European descent (namely Anglo Saxons)?
2) my comment was too long.
Not to make a jump in logic, but Harris uses the argument from precedent, which is that, historically, white men statistically commit the most shootings. But under those terms, it happens that these men she indirectly refers to are rarely, if at all, recent immigrants. So we must be careful with the etymology of race, and, admittedly, it would certainly help if we ALL can be more articulate about this.
Thank you for this article, Perry.
I’ve perused a handful of Chicago Thinker articles and, it seems, that ever since word got out that a non-“progressive” student newspaper would be published by UChicago students it has garnered many a distractor. Usually these distractors appeared to have poor control over their emotions and tend to lash out at the writer, calling them names, and not disagreeing in an intelligent manner, or at least effectively (i.e. C Flour, berry jowl). I would not be too surprised if these were fellow UChicago students, or students from other universities. Highly unfortunate that the writers of Chicago Thinker cannot be met with decent arguments within the comment box; even more disappointing if, as I said, they were fellow UChicago peers.
Please keep up the good work. Here’s to Chicago Thinker for standing up for the “other” side and for non-“progressive” voice. Indeed, no safe spaces allowed.
Perhaps a better illustration for this story is Tony Timpa, the man who called police for help (because he was off his meds) and then was killed by police in a manner very similar to George Floyd. This was about 5 years ago. Since Timpa was white, the story received very little coverage and did not result in nationwide riots. The situational similarities and the lack of media coverage are striking. But it didn’t fit the preferred narrative. Look it up.
Thank U Perry Zhao for noticing the lying American mass media coverage of violent crime. Yes, the killing of Mohammad Anwar by two Black teens – that story was buried, so are the many instances of Black thugs attacking elderly Asian people; these real racial hate crimes either never happened or they are blamed on President Trump for creating a “climate of racism and hatred against Asians”.
If Perry Zhao would like to research and write honestly about media racial bias and LYING – there are many good books/blogs documenting the lies regarding racial hoaxes as the Jussie Smollet MAGA hate crime hoax, Tawana Brawley hate crime rape hoax, the Duke Lacrosse Team rape hate crime hoax, the media lies associated with the death of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown in Ferguson MO.
An elderly Mexican woman was brutally beaten by racist Black thugs on an LA bus last week – they thought she was Asian – again the media didn’t report this racial hate crime attack.
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