The East Coast Asian Students Association (ECAASU) condemns Fox News for their segment on “Watters' World” which used racist, orientalist tropes with the intention of characterizing Asians/Asian Americans as apolitical. Despite Fox News’ full-hearted attempt, Fox News’ thesis ultimately fails. Asians/Asian Americans have an erased history of being activists and political leaders, which traces back to Chinese railroad workers going on strike for higher wages in 1867. However, instead of highlighting the true Asian/Asian American political opinion, Jesse Watters chose to bully immigrants who couldn’t respond instead. Fox News’ disregard of the Asian Americans’ legacy of political engagement is a conscious choice to perpetuate the silent model minority myth among its conservative, white viewers.
Furthermore, we stand in firm opposition to the xenophobic manner in which Asians/Asian Americans were depicted in the segment. Fox News’ use of subtitles for accents that were easily understandable, as well as employing video clips/sound effects with the intention to mimic, as well as the use of racist stereotypes to condescend to interviewees, contribute to the false idea that Asians/Asian Americans are ‘perpetual foreigners.’ The segment pigeonholes Asians/Asian Americans as subservient immigrants whose lives are limited to running massage parlors, corner stores, and practicing martial arts. Fox News does not see Asians/Asian Americans as true Americans, and thus, undeserving of a voice to fight back. However, as the rising millennial generation of Asian/Asian American activists and organizations demonstrate, that could not be farther from the truth.