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Xenophobia and anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 crisis: Acton Institute perpetuates hate

March 24, 2020

We have witnessed with increasing alarm, incidents all over the country targeting the Asian American community in connection to COVID-19. For example, in San Fernando, CA, a 16-year old Asian American boy was physically attacked at school because he was accused of having the coronavirus. In Plymouth, IN, two Hmong men were denied service at hotels under the false assumption that they were Chinese and carrying the coronavirus. In New York, a woman wearing a face mask, who was believed to be Asian, was physically and verbally assaulted in a subway station.

The above comments are from a letter that over 260 Civil Rights organizations sent to House and Senate leadership, calling for unity and publicly denouncing the racist and xenophobic attacks on Asian Americans. A link to the letter can be found here.

While there is great organizing and education being done to combat the anti-Asian racism and xenophobia, there are still too many entities perpetuating harmful and hateful positions that only perpetuates the increase of anti-Asian racism and xenophobia.

One such entity that is perpetuating xenophobia and anti-Asian racism is the Grand Rapids-based organization, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. Last week, they post this headline on their website, How Communist China’s virus coverup caused a pandemic.This post on the Acton site is based on an interview they did with Helen Raleigh, a senior contributor at The Federalist.

Raleigh is an immigrant from China, who is the owner of Red Meadow Advisors, LLC, a Colorado Registered Investment Advisory Firm, and an immigration policy fellow at the Centennial Institute in Colorado. Not surprising that the Acton Institute would use a Chinese immigrant, who not only despises the government of China, but who runs an investment firm. The Centennial Institute, where Raleigh is a policy fellow, is identified as part of a larger right-wing network, according to SourceWatch. 

As was mentioned earlier, Raleigh is a contributor to The Federalist. The Federalist is a conservative online publication created in 2013, which promotes racism, homophobia, transphobia and many other far right positions, according to Media Matters

Putting all of this context aside on who Helen Raleigh is, it is clear that the Acton Institute is engaging in xenophobia and anti-Asian racism primarily because they loath the political ideology of Communist China and because they think that the only economic vision that is beneficial to humanity is free market capitalism. How is free market capitalism working out right now for humanity?

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