Tensions between the US and China have been on the rise for years, and sharply escalated through the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to escalated anti-Asian and Sinophobic sentiments, impacting Asian American communities domestically. As Professor Russell Jeung, cofounder of Stop AAPI Hate, has said, “When America China-bashes, then Chinese get bashed, and so do those who look Chinese. American foreign policy in Asia is American domestic policy for Asians.”
In 2022, we have found that rhetoric that scapegoats China for problems in the US has been become increasingly important to Republican Party strategy, and has also been incorporated into Democratic Party strategy in efforts to win over white swing voters.
What is the connection between racism and foreign policy? How do we address this question within Democratic Party politics? What role must communities play in opposing scapegoating during elections?
This workshop will seek to explore these questions through the case study of Asian American Midwest Progressives’ response to US Senate Candidate Tim Ryan’s “One Word” advertisement. The ad ran in March and April of 2022, and featured the candidate naming China as the main reason why American workers are suffering, putting AAPI communities in Ohio at risk. AAMP’s Ohio chapter mobilized to oppose this xenophobic rhetoric and demand the ad be taken down. We invite those interested in anti-racist electoral work to join this workshop to strategize possible responses to scapegoating in election campaigns and draw connections between foreign policy and impacts on communities of color.