This is a disgusting bit of race-baiting. Someone claiming to support Ron Paul’s bid for the GOP presidential nomination has posted an attack ad against Jon Huntsman — who frankly isn’t one of the top contenders — that plays up Huntsman’s connections to China.
It begins with an ominous challenge asking whether the candidate represents “American values or Chinese?” Then it show him speaking Mandarin and asks “Weak on China? Wonder why?” before showing Huntsman with his adopted Chinese daughter.
That’s a stupid stretch for even an ignorant person, that a presidential candidate would secretly support the People’s Republic of China because he has an adopted Chinese daughter. The next clip shows Huntsman, a Mormon businessman and former governor of Utah as well as Barack Obama’s ambassador to China (he quit the post in April to run for president), holding his other adopted daughter, who is from India.
The video ends with an icky Photoshopped image of Huntsman’s face superimposed on a portrait of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung.
The video preys on peoples’ irrational and race-based fears of the Chinese (and, by projection, all Asians), a theme that’s unforunately been a part of American culture since the earliest days of Chinese immigration and the rise of enduring stereotypes such as the evil Fu Manchu and “Dragon Lady,” to the widely parodied 2010 TV ad featuring an evil Chinese Professor chortling about the fall of the United States because of wasteful government spending.
The Huffington Post has Huntsman’s response:
“First of all, it is just stupid. Second of all, yeah, I lived overseas four times … I speak Chinese, of course I do. If someone wants to poke fun of me for speaking Chinese, that’s okay. The thing I object to is bringing forward pictures and videos of my adopted daughters and suggesting that there is some sinister motive there. I have a daughter from China who was abandoned at two months of age and left in a vegetable market, picked up by the police and sent to an orphanage.”
“I have a second daughter who was born in India in a very rural village … and left for dead the day she was born,” he added. “And luckily she was picked up before the animals got her, and she was sent to an orphanage for her safety, was raised and now she is in my family. So I have two little girls who are a daily reminder that there are a lot of kids in this world who don’t have the breaks that you do and face a very uncertain future … and now these two girls are on the presidential campaign trail. I say, how cool is that?”
China bashing is already rampant, and it’s unfortunate that because of the changing balance of world economic power (and China’s growing military capability), the U.S. has pointed out that China is one of the reasons we need to maintain strength even as it scales down the military. But it’s not helpful when ignorant politicos leverage the existing mistrust about China to create more fear and suspicion, and unfairly smear presidential candidates with a broad racist brush.
The other side-effect of such commentary is that Asian Americans often get lumped in and painted with that same brush. You only need to look back at America’s fear and hatred for Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor and how it led to the incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent — half of them U.S.-born and therefore ctizens, and most of those still just children — in concentration camps during World War II.
Seen in such historical context, this ad and other uneducated, overwrought anti-Chinese propaganda appear not just ludicrous, but frightening … they’re much scarier than the fear they try to instill about the Chinese.
I am a Chinese national and a devoted supporter of Ron Paul. Due to this controversy ad, I started to google Jon Huntsman’s family photos and his chinese daughter is simply beautiful, intelligent and carry herself very well. I am impressed with Mr Huntsman’s fluent Chinese. His diverse family member photos are a breath of fresh air. I trust somebody like him who has had real understanding and dealings in another country to take a more sensible approach in working with other countries. Mitt Romney in one of the earlier debates touted penalizing china for currency manipulation (not apologizing for Federal Reserves currency manipulation to debase our dollar and devalue the debts out countries are holding for us!!), it is Jon Huntsman who said that type of rhetorics are pandering. Kudos to him! Speak truth to power. Then Trump came out to lash Huntsman’s approach towards China. American need to look at itself in the mirror and stop being aggressive and arrogant. If Ron Paul has not taken my first love, then Jon Huntsman would be who I support.
I am a Ron Paul supporter, and this ad is just idiotic and tasteless. No wonder Ron Paul disavows it. This was the first time I’d seen it and it will be the last. Sometimes I think some of these “supporters” are just posing as supporters to derail Ron Paul. I just can’t imagine a more blatantly idiotic and racist ad than this. I also can’t imagine what demographic it was supposed to appeal to. The people of New Hampshire aren’t racists. That’s the only place Huntsman is polling anywhere on the same map as Ron Paul. This only appears to have been made to slander Paul. That’s the only conclusion I can reach.
Thanks, Ying and Brad, for your comments. I wouldn’t expect Paul to allow an ad like this, so I assumed it’s a fringe Paul weirdo. It’s appalling that anyone in America would think like this, presidential campaign or no.
Ron Paul is dangerous to those:
1. Who want the Federal Reserve to be unaccountable 2. Who want the government to continue it’s relentless onslaught against our freedoms and privacy.
3. Who want this country to be weaker than other nations.
4. Who want the government to continue to financially reward companies for failing.
5. Who want higher taxes.
6. Who want our education system to continue to be worse than other countries education systems.
7. Who want tax dollars spent to prop up corporations and companies in other countries.
8. Who want the government to increase government welfare dependency.
9. Who want ethnic, and racial divisions to increase and break out into violence.
10. Who want increased foreign energy dependence.
11. Who want to destroy the very fabric of individual independent responsibility which makes this country strong.
Yes indeed Ron Paul is dangerous to those which desire the above.
There are some evidence that the smearing video is actually produced by Huntsman’s insiders. That seems to take all the credibility that Huntsman has with me. I am disappointed. I would rather think another camp did this but it comes with extreme disgrace it might actually be done by Huntsman’s own people.
Gil Asakawa – if you care about defending truth, please do not filter out my investigative links pointing out who are the true authors of the videos. Have you heard a phrase that says carrying heavy stones to just drop on your own feet.
It’ll be really interesting to see how Asian-Americans would be viewed under a Mormon president, and whether that would differ from being under a Protestant/Christian/etc. President. Anecdotally, Mormons have had a interesting view with Asian culture in general (ex. BYU Law School grads are among the most represented in multinational law firms in China because their overseas missions yield some of the highest degrees of fluency). In fact, the only white guy I know to have studied Cantonese Chinese was a Mormon missionary in NYC Chinatown. Then again, it’s hard to be a missionary without developing a paternalistic worldview.
I say better relations with Asians, status quo with Asian-Americans.
I agree, Culcet: Missionary work makes many Mormons more worldly, and that’s a good thing. But I think they might approach other cultures from a paternalistic perspective…. Good point!
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