In June of 1865, six of the first Chinese immigrants came to Montana and settled in Virginia City. During this period of early Montana settlement, Montana had a thriving Chinese community who contributed greatly to our territory’s trade and infrastructure (by 1870 they made up 10% of our population and 25% of our mining workforce). Unfortunately, the Chinese were also subject to systemic racism and oppression on the part of some Montanans – particularly those associated with the pro-slavery Democratic Party. Like with blacks in the American South, local regulations soon developed that required Asians to be treated like second-class citizens as the strangest notions and racist superstitions spread about the Chinese workers.
The treatment of Asians in Montana during the middle of the 19th Century is a dark blot on our heritage, as a concerted effort to boycott Chinese businesses, ban their immigration, and refuse them services became commonplace in our great state (see below):
Today, the Montana Democratic Party is trying to capitalize on the faint remnants of our state’s unfortunate history of anti-China sentiment for purely political purposes, praying there might just be enough racism and xenophobia left in the Big Sky State to put Steve Bullock and Mike Cooney into office.
Apparently inspired by the failed impeachment strategy of the National Democratic Party to unseat President Trump known as “RussiaGate,” Montana’s Democrats are reaching deep into the well of xenophobia to duplicate that effort. Desperately trying to tie Donald Trump to Russian election interference through manufactured dossiers, illegal wiretaps, and disproven, wild accusations, the Democratic Party tried to unseat a fairly elected American president. Short on ideas, Democrats here in Montana are replacing Russia with China and trying to tap into our dark past.
The Montana Post, a political junk-blog operated by a radical leftist school teacher in Helena who indoctrinates students on the public payroll, once argued that any reference to Coronavirus as having come from China was “racist.” In fact, they attacked Montana’s Republican Secretary of State, Corey Stapleton, for even mentioning that China was the origin of COVID-19. However, the Montana Post now is presenting China as the epidemiological boogeyman that’s responsible for the spread of COVID-19 because it’s politically expedient to do so. According to the talking points laid out by the Montana Democratic Party and their deep-pocketed funders like Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Greg Gianforte has financial investments in a Chinese company.
This alone is enough for Democrats to play-off anti-Asian racism they believe is still present in Montana and manufacture a conspiracy theory that Gianforte might be a puppet for the Chinese government.
Gianforte, a self-made businessman and tech-millionaire unsurprisingly has financial investments in tech companies around the world. According to his financial disclosures to the House of Representatives, one small investment is in a Chinese company named Baidu, a search engine that has been alleged to cooperate with the Chinese government to censor information regarding Taiwan, Tiananmen Square, and even the Wuhan Flu.
While this has been made a point of scandal for Montana Democrats who are accusing Gianforte of helping to oppress political dissidents, as with most of their moral preening, it proves itself hypocritical. Democrats need to be reminded of the American companies that they – as progressives – love, like Google and Facebook, also abide by China’s restrictive censorship policies. One would hardly think it scandalous if an American politician had investments in Google or Facebook. The most progressive entertainment company in the world, the NBA, recently and very publicly submitted to China’s oppressive censorship guidelines. There were no complaints from Democrats. One would hardly think it scandalous if an American politician had investments in the NBA (or if they took their money, like the 1 million donated to Democrats by NBA commissioner, David Stern).
Montana voters also recently received an explicitly xenophobic mailing with strong racist undertones against U.S. Senate candidate, Steve Daines. Picturing the sitting senator against the backdrop of the red communist color scheme (something far more endearing to a party that almost nominated Bernie Sanders for president than to Republicans), the mailing insinuated that Daines was bought-and-paid-for by the Chinese government. It was eerily similar to the now-debunked claims that Democrats unsuccessfully made about Donald Trump in regard to Russia.
This is a claim made on the website for Montana Democrats (see below).
What is Daines’ supposed malfeasance? He lived among the Chinese people while working for an American pharmaceutical company. Of course, these types of associations – like the investments of Gianforte or the work experience of Daines – could be avoided if Republicans, like their Democratic peers, spent their entire lives working at taxpayer expense. But Republican candidates have a tendency to become successful entrepreneurs in the private sector before running for office, unlike most Democratic candidates whose bulk of their careers consist of climbing rungs of the government ladder for greater stakes of the public dole. Their strengths – private sector experience – are exploited as weaknesses, as progressive conspiracy theorists seek to tie their resume’ to whatever seed of racism, xenophobia, or bigotry they can manufacture.
Daines has used his private sector experience in China as a U.S. Senator to foster a working relationship with what is arguably the world’s largest emerging market, something that all but the most xenophobic extremists would applaud. And yet Democrats are turning his unique service into scandal (see below).
What is exactly the allegation? Are Montana’s Democrats claiming that Daines is a secret agent for the Chinese government because he’s performing his duties as a U.S. Senator in fostering positive trade relationships? Apparently, that’s precisely the claim and it’s of the radical variety that hearkens back to their accusations that President Trump was a “Russian Agent.”
These types of accusations, clearly trying to strike a chord with Montana’s very distant past of anti-Asian bigotry, is simply beyond the pale. While the Democratic Party presents itself as the epitome of ‘wokeness’ and racial sensitivity, its political operatives on the ground are trying to harvest fear in Montana’s voters that the Chinese people are somehow trying to “take over” the Big Sky State.
This accusation has been made before.
On January 24, 1866, an advertisement was published in the Helena newspaper alleging that the Chinese people were trying to “take bread out of the mouths” of their children by who they called “heathens” (see below).
The Montana Democratic Party could not say it any better. Indeed, this type of racist and xenophobic hysteria undergirds the current advertising blitz against Greg Gianforte and Steve Daines by their political foes.
Montana is better than this. We are not a racist people, we do not hate immigrants from other nations, and we do not support unsubstantiated fear about those who look or speak differently than we do. While the Chinese Government is surely guilty of a plethora of human rights abuses, this does not imply that all those who invest in the Chinese people or reach out to them in diplomacy are part of a bizarre plot to take over Montana.