The US mid-term election results – with Democratic winning the House, seems to be a moral victory for Trump. With Senate staying in Republican, there is hardly a democratic wave. While Trump’s ambition may get some checks and balances by Democratic-controlled House, analysts believe that Trump will take opposing party’s modest winning as an encouraging sign to more aggressively push through his national agenda and fuel his Right-wing populism – from expanding his authoritarian style to attacking immigration and free press.
For Republicans, the midterms were a sign of just how willing voters were to embrace Mr. Trump’s authoritarian style, scandals and “America First” policies. “One thing is certain: Right-wing populism—authoritarian, intolerant, isolationist—is now an entrenched reality of political life in the United States. It dominates the governing party. So it will not soon pass from the scene,” says a column in the Globe.
As a robust Right-wing populism tide sweeps across the world, the Toronto Chinese community has also seen a growing trend of increasingly embracing Trump’s far-right voices. Racism and white supremacy seem natural to many Chinese who carry cultural baggage of discriminating against blacks and other minorities. Racist comments attacking blacks have never ceased to flood social media WeChat. Early this year, a restaurant in Toronto Chinese community asked a group of black customers to pay their bills in advance and was fined by a human rights agency.
Trump’s racist ideas and rhetoric seem more visible among Chinese conservative circles ahead of October’s municipal election, according to Vice News. In Sept, a protest against refugees erupted in Markham Civic Centre that soon devolved into episodes of hysteria, as a crowd of over 100 Chinese Canadians chants “Not in My Backyard!” “Defend our borders,” “Refugees are terrorists! “
Their angry accusations against refugees and emotional pleas of kicking them out seem to send a clear message that asylum seekers are not welcome, because they will ruin our peaceful and valuable Markham that only belongs to privileged and well-to-do Chinese.
The illegal border crossers are freeloaders of federal government grant that they don’t deserve, the Markham protesters claim. Freeloaders are against Chinese moral values of self-reliance. “It was our blood, sweats, and tears that have paved our path to Canadian dreams and a middle-class lifestyle, and those who wait for a free handout will forever stay at the bottom of the society.”
Removing the underserved privileges are also on Trump’s domestic agenda. According to Times, Trump proposed a federal regulation known as “public charge” that will deport immigrants who use food support programs, Medicaid and other federal aid programs, including tax credits available to help people buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Now Trump is proposing to abolish birthright citizenship and to stop issue visas to international students. If the regulation gets passed, among the many affected would be immigrants from China.
If Trump’s far right and white supremacy sentiment gains currency, it will put all ethnic communities – including Chinese in its crosshair, cracking them down one after another. It would be a sad reality that the right-wing supporters in the community find themselves victimized by the racisms attacks they have helped fuel the growth.
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