Dear Asian-Americans: I am so sorry that I didn’t warn you about the GOP.

Or: The GOP – they really don’t seem to like much of anybody!

Last week, I wrote a post asking the GOP to just shut up about black people, a post which got a surprising amount of attention across the web.

In the aftermath of that, I found myself wondering: “Huh. Who is the GOP going to demonize and belittle next in this election cycle?”

And I knew: Asian-Americans. A post began to form itself in my head, one I intended to write sometime this week.

I mean, they’ve demonized and belittled gay people already:

Michele Bachmann: “If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. Personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement.” (She said this 2004, but it got a re-airing this summer).

Michele Bachmann’s husband Marcus: “We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road.”

Rick Santorum: Families headed by gay parents lead to “great dysfunction.”

So ok. They hate the gays. Check.

And they’ve demonized and belittled Latinos:

Newt Gingrich: “We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.” (He said this in 2008, but again, it’s been re-aired).

Mitt Romney has promised to veto the DREAM Act (a bi-partisan effort to resolve the issues facing the children of undocumented immigrants).

All the candidates have completely waffled (and Romney threw in disdain for good measure) on the question of Puerto Rican statehood.

So. Latinos? Good for what are considered their generally conservative social views, but otherwise: Bad for America! Check.

And of course, women, of all colors.

Rick Santorum, regarding wanting to ban abortion even in cases of rape: “We have to make the best out of a bad situation.”

Ron Paul: We should differentiate between “honest rape” and, you know, lie-y rape.

Rick Santorum (again – he’s a peach, ain’t he?): “Look at the political base of the Democratic Party: It is single mothers who run a household. Why? Because it’s so tough economically that they look to the government for help and therefore they’re going to vote. So if you want to reduce the Democratic advantage, what you want to do is build two parent families, you eliminate that desire for government.”

The entire GOP field: “Among the major GOP candidates… not a single one has handed over the title of campaign manager to a female.”

Women – lying bitches who don’t deserve compassion in the face of rape, who foolishly buy the lies peddled by Democrats because they’re so needy with their slutty single-parent families, and don’t really need to be in politics. Check!

AND BLACK PEOPLE – omg! So not-working and gullible and that one in the White House is so worthy of being strung up! Not American. Check.

After all of this (and the anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-poor people, anti-union, anti-anyone-not-white-male-straight-and-wealthy palaver as well) clearly, the Asians were next up.

I was going to call the post forming itself in my head:

“Dear Asian-Americans – Look out, I think they’re coming for you.”

I will admit, however, that I was stymied by an inability to figure out just what the slurs might be. It’s the burden, I suppose, of being the “model minority” — you face discrimination and othering and bigotry, but it comes wrapped in words that are meant to sound like compliments. “Good at math” being one example. “Tiger mom” being another.

AND THEN THEY FREAKING CAME. And good lord, how could I have been so stupid?

I refer, of course, to the ad run not by a Presidential candidate, but by Michigan candidate for US Senate Pete Hoekstra, during the Super Bowl.

Of course! Asians are, first of all, Not American. They are Chinese, and they Want Your Economy.

They are Chinese, but in a really oddly Vietnam-y way, one which will remind you that not only are they Not American, they are Inscrutable, and Peasant-y, and Very Very Dangerous.

They are also oddly interchangeable, because the scuttlebutt is that the woman featured in Hoekstra’s ad (in which she says she’s Chinese in pidgin English while bicycling along a rice paddy in a conical hat) isn’t even Chinese-American. It’s just scuttlebutt at this point, but I would be willing to bet that Hoekstra’s campaign didn’t necessarily make a point of looking for an authentically Chinese-American person to use for race-baiting purposes.

Soooo, it’s been a super long walk to get here, but:

Dear Asian-Americans: I am so sorry that I didn’t warn you about the GOP. I could see it coming — I just had no idea how fast the Racism Train was running.

Oh, and PS: To anyone wanting to suggest that Hoekstra’s ad can’t in any way reflect on the Presidential campaign, as he’s not running for President, I say that unless and until the GOP’s Presidential candidates publicly condemn the racism (and homophobia and misogyny) in their midst? They own it. Simple as that.


  1. Emily!

    Woman, you are a freaking rock star! I love this kick ass post :). That is all.

  2. Ash Can

     /  February 7, 2012

    I’m laying even odds that folks from India will be the next target.

  3. The woman’s not Chinese, the rice paddy is in California, and the GOP’s not racists. Talking Points Memo featured a few other similar adds.

    Grah! I hang my head in shame.

  4. In other words they hate everyone else but one group of males. Yep, that is a sure way to win elections. /s @Ash Can that has been already covered I think, they hate outsourcing industry in India.

  5. you got it EH! older white men on the brink of erectile dysfunction with “christian” values and all american spirit is what the GOP is made of!

    they keep referring back to “our forefathers” – last i checked “our” forefathers weren’t even close to a shade of brown or yellow nor did they have breast! none of the ish they came up with 200 years ago is working!

    time for a do-over!

  6. Who knew? The GOP obviously has a “Denigrate a Minority of the Month” club… maybe kind of like Columbia House of bigotry. “Just send in your penny and we’ll send you a dozen offensive stereotypes to start your collection, and then every month, we’ll add more!. Choose from Racial Stereotypes, Hateful Rhetoric, “That Wasn’t SO Bad” Historical Inaccuracies, Religious Ignorance, and so many more! Hurry! Supplies are plentiful, but those left-wing, socialist freedom haters may shut us down at any moment!”

  7. wearyvoter

     /  February 7, 2012

    On the very brightest side, per Wikipedia, Mr. Hoekstra was born in the Netherlands, and his family moved here when he was 3, so he cannot run for president.

  8. emily!!! look at this racist asian ad that the gop ran during super bowl in michigan. former congressman pete hoekstra said he will not apologize and will not pull the ad!

  9. I made a checklist of voting groups *back in 2004* trying to figure out who would WANT to vote for a Republican platform that was publicly already against decent wages, social services, health care, and various ethnic groups (Blacks, Latinos, Women, Gays, Arabs). I pretty much whittled it down to just older white men and Asians. This was in 2004. I think. I’ll have to go dig up my old ZIP disk where I last saved it… wonder if I transferred it to that flash drive…

  10. BJonthegrid

     /  February 8, 2012

    This sounds really horrible but I thought the Asians were “safe” with the GOP. Seems like they are in the same boat as the Gays, Blacks and Hispanics. It’s really sad.

    By the way, you rocked this post.

    • It’s Othering, plain and simple. To the extent that anyone doesn’t fit the Subject’s predetermined narrative… they’re not to be trusted. What’s interesting is how narrow that old-school GOP base is getting, from election to election. I suspect that by the time my kids have kids, the GOP as we know it today won’t exist anymore, because someone will realize that they’re hatemongering themselves into nonexistence.

      [And thank you!: )]

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