Tag Archives: Michigan politics

Michigan’s Hoekstra’s race huckstering: Will it get him votes?

Come on folks, let’s play “Are you offended?”

Michigan Republican Peter Hoekstra wants to engage the Asian American community!


Good thing Peter Hoekstra puts his claim on this, and has approved this message.

Usually people are too ashamed to own up to such blatant racist actions. That’s why God created hoods.

But Hoekstra says he’s using “satire.”

If it’s satire, I’m not laughing. Are you?

I’m a big fan of satire, and admit to using a little of it myself.

Satire uses humor, or exaggeration, against big targets to make a point.

If Hoekstra is making China a target here, that’s fine. Political leaders are fair game. China is a strange hybrid now of capitalism and communism. Debbie isn’t the right target in a policy debate. Blame Debbie only if your real intent is to create anti-Chinese sentiment in the U.S., whipping up the kind of xenophobic reactions that lead to real misunderstanding and spills over into acts of Anti-Asian American violence.

Sounds like a good divisive strategy in Hoekstra’s Michigan, where many are still trying to recover from a slow economy.

Hoekstra’s simplistic “satire” is the kind of sentiment manipulation that leads to a real misunderstanding of the imbalance of trade between China and the U.S.

It doesn’t lead to people writing Congress and demanding action. It doesn’t even lead to something that might make a difference–like not shopping at Wal-Mart.

But is sure fuels emotions that lead to street level tensions and scapegoating.

Don’t forget, when the U.S. auto industry was besieged by the Japanese more than a generation ago, an autoworker took a baseball bat to the head of Vincent Chin.

Thank you Peter Hoekstra for your part in opening up another chapter of “Yellow Peril” in America.

The truth is Americans shouldn’t fear China as much as race hucksters like Hoekstra.

Hoekstra needs votes and is willing to do anything to get attention. Just as Romney doesn’t care about the poor, Hoekstra doesn’t seem to  care about the racial sensitivities of Michigan voters.

If it’s a satire, the last laugh is on Hoekstra, who approved that message.