The Mallard Fillmore comic strip is crudely partisan and often offensive. But to portray its recent jab at China's President Xi Jinping as promoting racism against Asian people, as one reader recently did, is the same sloppy thinking that shows up in the Mallard Fillmore strip regularly and in those in this country who hold prejudice against people of Asian descent.
That Xi Jinping is Asian is beside the point. He does not represent all people of Asian descent and criticism of him and his government does not equate to endorsement of prejudice against everyone of Asian descent. Just because he happens to be Asian does not absolve him of responsibility for the human rights abuses, persecution of non-Confucian religions, attempts to take control of international waters and foreign lands and the build-out of the largest surveillance society on the planet.
Democracy-seeking people of Hong Kong don't like Xi Jinping and they are Asian. Taiwan’s people view him as threatening; they are Asian. Japan’s people worry about him and his support for North Korean militarization; they are Asian.
Some believe that Xi's goal is for China to replace the United States as the world's leading economic and military power, thus expanding his ability to impose human rights abuses and totalitarian control. Some think he views President Joe Biden’s election as furthering that goal (not a position I myself endorse). That was clearly the point of the Mallard Fillmore strip referenced by Janice Hendrick in her recent letter published here.
Is Hendrick ready to defend the behavior of Xi Jinping and his regime against criticism simply because he happens to be Asian? Is she even aware of the documented behavior of his regime?
Criticizing Xi Jinping is not anti-Asian. It is anti-communist, anti-authoritarian, anti-imperialism, anti-human rights abuses and pro-democracy. He deserves all of the criticism we can give him. To paraphrase Sigmund Freud, sometimes a tyrant is just a tyrant.