Warning that “anti-China populism provides cover for anti-democratic forces in the United States,” a report released Friday outlines how activists can counter xenophobic scapegoating with messages that center legitimate voter grievances and highlight emphasis on cooperation rather than confrontation.
“Ahead of the midterm elections, candidates who want to win should stop bashing China and talk about the root causes of these problems instead.”
“Narratives that paint China as an exaggerated threat to people’s well-being and way of life in the United States and use China as a scapegoat for social and economic problems in the United States are particularly alarming,” he said. declared the Justice Is Global report, titled How to Counter the Scapegoat Policy-States.
To prepare the report, 21 canvassers for Justice Is Global contacted more than 3,000 Wisconsin voters through phone banks, focusing on economic issues affecting Americans. Justice Is Global says its canvassers, who have engaged more than 600 conversations with voters, have moved about half of them to international cooperation with China.
The canvassers “clearly understood why countering China-bashing and scapegoating stories is important”:
These anti-Chinese nationalist narratives fuel a range of interconnected issues. In the United States, anti-Chinese narratives are associated with a sharp rise in anti-Asian racism and the growing power of authoritarian nationalism that threatens the future of American democracy. They also exacerbate US-China tensions that undermine the international cooperation that is urgently needed to address climate change and other shared global challenges, and encourage militarism in the United States, China and many countries. caught between the two great powers.
“We can ease geopolitical tensions at the grassroots in a way that strengthens international cooperation,” Justice is Global national organizer Sandy Shan said in a statement. “While it is easy for people cheated by bad labor policies at home to match their economic anxieties with those they deem alien, racist scapegoating will only further divide us.”
“Ahead of the midterm elections, candidates who want to win should stop bashing China,” she added, “and instead talk about the root causes of these problems.”
The report recommends that political activists affirm voters’ grievances and understand their plight when they accuse China of ‘stealing’ American jobs, while asking them if they really think they would be better off if the ties with the world’s second largest economy were broken. .
The authors also encourage voters to “imagine alternative solutions and a better future” and emphasize the imperative of cooperation rather than reactionary policies of confrontation.
Prayuj, one of Justice Is Global’s canvassers, said in the report that “what I heard on the phone convinced me that people with very diverse political views generally want the same things: affordable groceries , good jobs and a peaceful world without the threat of nuclear war.”
“People understand that we can best meet these needs by playing a constructive, rather than destructive, role in international relations,” he added. “These conversations were an important reminder that our foreign policy can be rooted in the needs of all our citizens if we are brave enough to imagine a world of greater cooperation.”