The U.S. government has officially refused the online appeal to ban a controversial song “encouraging violence and crimes” against Chinese people, which has upset the Chinese-American community.
“The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech in the United States. The White House doesn’t make decisions about whether particular songs are available publicly. Individual platforms determine their choice of content and the rules of participation and conduct for their sites,” read a reply on the official White House website on Dec. 1.
The reply came in response to a petition launched on Sept. 21, which had collected over 114,000 signatures as of press time, demanding that the U.S. government ban the song “Meet the Flockers” by hip-hop artist YG from public media, and also “investigate the legal responsibilities of its writers.” Any petition that collects over 100,000 signatures within one month is guaranteed to receive a response from the White House.
“I’m very upset about the result. When other ethnic groups, for instance African Americans, suffer mistreatment or injustice, the government always stands up and tries to defend them. When it comes to Asians, we cannot even get a decent apology or official criticism for such appalling discrimination. We expected the result, though, and we will resort to other legal actions to voice the beliefs of our group,” Wang Tian (pseudonym), a New York-based Chinese-American activist, told People’s Daily Online on Dec. 2.
Some social media groups that formed to support the banning of the song have also registered their discontent with the result. “Civil Rights,” a WeChat public account that was founded in 2013 to support the legal rights of Chinese-Americans, has criticized the government’s reply as “dry whitewash.” It has also promoted the song “Meet the Sucker,” made by Asian rapper Ph Dragon, in which the singer warns YG that “what goes around comes around.”