In yet another attempt to spread discord, the racist and hate-mongering Steve Bannon has pushed another theory to pit minority communities in the United States against each other.
During an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, the former Trump aide defended his stance that bringing highly-skilled immigrants to the United States may not be in the best interest of the country — a statement that is in contrast to President Donald Trump’s comment that the only immigrants allowed in should be highly educated and skilled, rather than from, what he dubbed, “s***hole countries.”
Zakaria was inquiring about Bannon’s claim from last year that over 60 percent of Silicon Valley CEOs are from Asia and the U.S. is “more than an economic community.” When the CNN host asked whether such a claim is racist, the xenophobic alarmist replied, “If you’re from Asia and you’re here, second-generation, you’re [an] American citizen, that’s absolutely no problem.”
However, he said he did not feel the same about immigrants who come to the U.S. via H-1B visas, many of whom are of Chinese or Indian descent.
“These HB-1 (sic) visas where you come here… basically to take the jobs of American citizens is just not acceptable. And that’s not racist… By the way, the central beating heart of this is that Hispanics and Blacks have to get into the high valuated tech jobs; we’re never going to do that as long as they have unfair competition,” Bannon said.
Make no mistake, this is not some misguided attempt of Bannon’s to help the black and Latinx communities in the U.S. This is done solely to perpetuate hate and misunderstandings between the minorities.
John C. Yang, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) told the Huffington Post that Bannon’s sentiments emerge from the debunked “model minority” myth, which perpetuates the misconception that Asians are better educated than other minorities.
“I think what Mr. Bannon is clearly trying to do is race-bait. He is trying to drive a wedge between races,” he said. “What he’s really doing is trying to limit opportunities for all minorities,” particularly since he has “never demonstrated any sympathy for any minorities or any immigrants.”
Yang also said this is an attempt of Bannon to come into the good books of African-Americans and Latinx-Americans to further his political stances and candidates who spread his anti-immigrant policies.
“He’s just trying to draw a wedge and he’s hoping that somehow that African Americans and Hispanic Americans will read his quote and find alliance with him rather than with all the minorities,” Yang said. “…He should be talking about increasing educational opportunities for minorities. He should not be talking about how one race is supposedly taking from another race. That’s just not the reality here.”
H-1B visas go to those immigrants who have a bachelor’s degree or higher or work in highly specialized fields. A New American Economy study showed placing caps on the H-1B visas actually disproportionately hurt U.S.-born tech workers, especially those who have bachelor’s degrees. H-1B visa denials in 2007 and 2008 slowed down jobs and wage growth and caused over 200 metropolitan areas to miss out on creating 231,224 tech jobs for U.S.-born workers. It also cost college-educated tech workers as much as $3 billion in total annual earnings.
Bannon’s declaration that Asians were stealing Silicon Valley CEO posts has also been debunked repeatedly. Ascend Foundation found that U.S.-born white men and women are 154 percent more likely to have top executive roles in large companies rather than their Asian counterparts.
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