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.
It took four decades before Japanese Americans received a formal apology for the internment of 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II. The apology was part of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. The Chinese in America are still waiting for an apology from the top, 129 years after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was signed by President Chester A. Arthur.
The Chinese Exclusion Act was one of a series of laws enacted against Chinese immigrants starting in 1879 through 1904. The 1882 Exclusion Act squeezed Chinese immigration to the US to barely a trickle â€“ and cut down rights for Chinese already in the US, for example by excluding Chinese from citizenship and therefore denying them the right to own any property. Amazingly, the act remained on the books until 1943, when it was repealed in large part because China became an ally during WWII. It remains to this day the only US legislation that singles out people by ethnicity or national origin.
On Oct. 11, with the help of organizations including the 1882 Project, JACL and OCA, the Senate passed a resolution apologizing for the Chinese Exclusion Act. Now these groups are pushing for a similar bill, House Resolution 282, to pass in the House.
Mainstream American culture goes in cycles when it comes to anti-Chinese sentiment, and weâ€™re in one of those periods, mostly because China is ascending to its new position as one of the top world economies and that stirs up race-based xenophobia. Continue reading →