By Edward Locke
The article “The United States Does Not Need to Compensate the Descendants of Black Slaves” was published in the July 9 edition of the Chinese-language newspaper World Journal.
A Chinese American named Xue Yongkang published a racist article titled “The United States Does Not Need to Compensate the Descendants of Black Slaves” in World Journal, a conservative Chinese-language newspaper, in July.
This article is full of propagandistic lies against
African Americans, so blatantly discriminatory and inflammatory that a rebuttal response is needed.
This article has the aim of opposing the recent passage in California Assembly of a proposal to establish a task force to study and prepare recommendations for how to give reparations to African American descendants of slaves, and it calls for voters to cast a “No” vote in case it is approved for a popular referendum.
This article made several baseless claims against African Americans as a “lazy ethnic group” of “villains,” who “can’t perform mental work,” “don’t want to do manual work,” and who “get something for nothing,” “to be increasingly lazy.”
First of all, the article claims, “since Dr. King fought for equal rights for Black people, the American government has no longer treated Black people badly!”
Well, Dr. King did NOT fight for equal rights for Black people only, but for equal rights for all disadvantaged people, including Chinese American and white working-poor.
In addition, as the cases of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality show, many officers abuse power to mistreat African Americans even decades after Dr. Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement.
The article’s claim that, “the American government has no longer treated Black people badly,” is based on the assumption that police officers are not part of the government. In fact, African Americans are not the only victims of police abuse of power.
Even working-poor in Latino or white communities suffer too. This abuse of power by police officers is so wide-spread that it has become a systemic social problem that decent Americans are morally obliged to find a political solution.
The article then states that, “African Americans can get subsidies in schooling and employment, single parent families can get white cards for health insurance, food stamps, Section 8 housing subsidies, welfare benefits and so on. There is almost no need to go to work, just stay at home and get benefits!”
It further claims that “this is the permanent problem of the United States, which only provides benefits and does not encourage any lazy ethnic group to go to work.”
These are clearly baseless lies being used to spew brainwashing propaganda. First of all, although African Americans have a high percentage of people living in poverty and qualifying for public assistance, the highest absolute number of impoverished people in the United States who receive the same categories of public assistance are actually white people; and a lot of them are hard-working people who work either full-time or part-time minimum wage jobs that do not afford enough financial resources to make a decent living.
For hard-working poor people to receive public assistance is part of human rights in America’s democratic society, guaranteed through progressive legislation, since the New Deal, the Fair Deal and the Great Society eras.
No extremist political ideologues could reverse the progressive achievements of the American people without inviting wide-spread resistance.
In addition, impoverished African Americans and white Americans are not the only groups of people receiving social benefits. In fact, Chinese Americans, Taiwanese Americans or Americans of any other ethnic or racial group, when facing the problems of poverty, do receive public assis- tance as well.
I have also noticed that, in recent years, there has been an increase of fraud in which wealthy people from Chinese and Taiwanese American groups engage in stealing from the public treasury by hiding their wealth in China or in Taiwan or right here in the United States. Some of the cases have been exposed in Chinese-language news media as well.
Therefore, Yongkang’s remarks are totally inappropriate and his singling out of Black people only when discussing welfare programs is absolutely biased and discriminatory. In fact, in any ethnic or racial group including African, White, Latino, Chinese, or Taiwanese–there are “hard-working” as well as “lazy” people; thus, to call any ethnic group “lazy” is totally wrong.
Yongkang claims that, for African Americans, “there is almost no need to go to work, just stay at home and get benefits!” He should study the stringent qualifications for economically-disadvantaged Americans to receive welfare, instead of making such baseless claims and labelling the entire African American population as a “lazy ethnic group.”
In fact, due to globalization, a lot of jobs have been moved to developing, Third World countries so that American business owners can pay lower wages, make higher profits, and U.S. consumers including Yongkang can enjoy cheaper products.
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