Is the president part of the state?
Is Fox News a media organization?
These both fit the criteria you presented and knock down your objection. We can move onto your other points… but only if you’ve got the courage to admit that your objection has been defeated. If you can’t admit basic facts, then clearly your other objections aren’t worth addressing.
Trump (and others of his ilk) use targeted memes that provoke culturally existing us vs them cognitive/emotional responses. I’ve spent the past 8 years studying the way that biological survival circuits get co-opted by culturally established social identities so that perceived threats to those identities are responded to as if they were threats to biological survival. Hate groups (on right and left) are primed for these knee-jerk responses and this is used by cynical manipulators to gain power and control.
I think you give Trump too much credit, but Fox News is another matter.
Fox’s entire set up exploits the us vs them mentality, and their framing to facilitate hitting their target with carefully crafted shots is unrelenting. I can’t stand watching it for this reason; it feels like an assault. That said, nothing they did in 2020 is comparable to stoking hate against Asians like the Nazis did with the entirety of the German media against the Jews. It is, I think, embarrassing to entertain the comparison (not directed at you). At most their coverage (and they did not routinely refer to COVID-19 as “the China virus”; they called it COVID) either failed to mitigate the effects of Trump’s tweets and press remarks (whatever those were), and their guests’ comments, or it gave both some color of legitimacy through the non-critical coverage. And this color of legitimacy in the eyes of their audience probably amplified the effects.
But, to press my point from the other part of this conversation, the criticism and condemnation against Trump and his #chinavirus meme should not be discounted. This condemnation and criticism was orders of magnitude more widespread and pervaded the public sphere more fully than the meme, limiting, as I said before, its effects, most likely to Facebook groups, Twitter users, and some Fox News viewers. These limits mean their impact on hate crimes is probably going to be minimal. In any case, nothing like an “atmosphere of hate” against Asians emerged in 2020, save in relatively isolated enclaves (I’m assuming these exist, though I’ve seen no evidence first hand), which is a far cry from Rwanda, Germany, and the like. In effect, though the President, Trump’s bigoted stupidity was relatively isolated, both in penetration and likely effects.
And again, this isolation will mitigate against its impact on hate crimes.
It would be telling to see the social media accounts of the perpetrators of these crimes. I hope the investigations include them, and I hope researchers get a hold of the results.
Intellectually honest researchers, that is.
Naw, first we have to admit that Trump, while serving as president, meets your requirements of hateful rhetoric being propagated by the state. If the President doesn’t count as part of the state, then nothing does.