NPR’s Bill Chappell Assumes Interracial Disputes are Always Racism

  • White homeless man labeled a racist with no evidence
  • Reporter praises Asian grandmother for donating crowdfunded $1m to “defuse racism”
  • White on Asian violence narrative turns out to be totally false 
  • Later video evidence reveals the perpetrator was homeless, disoriented, and endured physical violence before interacting with Xie 

Chappell, and many other liberal news sites, have reported on an incident in San Francisco where Xiao Zhen Xie, an Asian 75-year-old woman, was punched by a white man. [1] [2] [3] [4] The reporters gush about Xie returning the violence by grabbing a wooden board and hitting Jenkins. Not only did she fight back, but after crowdfunded efforts for her medical expenses reached $1 million dollars, “Xie [insisted] on donating the money to help defuse racism against the Asian American community.” But was this really racism towards Asians? A quick look into the facts say ‘No.’ 

Chappell decries racism by making premature and biased conclusions without waiting for further evidence, blames the powerless, and cites two sources whose legitimacy has already been debunked by Gateway Pundit. 

OUR RATING: = Trash Journalism, aka the Daily Beast.

Indicted Outlet: Bill Chappell | NPR | Link | Archive

Major Violations

  • Premature Conclusion
  • Missing Context
  • Blaming the Powerless

The entire narrative according to Chappell is premature and prejudiced in favor of the event being racially inspired. This is the story given to the reader: 

“Xiao Zhen Xie had been waiting to cross the street when she was suddenly hit in the face by a white man [Steven Jenkins]… Jenkins punched Xie minutes after he assaulted an 83-year-old Asian man… Xie, while badly hurt, responded by grabbing a wooden board and hitting the man… Jenkins… was left with a bloody mouth and is facing charges of assault and elder abuse.” 

So, racist white man runs up to elderly Asian woman in an unprovoked attack and hits her. 

Here’s some useful facts and missing context not included in this article that constitute a serious bias and failure in reporting: Jenkins is homeless. He is not your average, stable white man living in San Francisco. There is absolutely nothing in the NPR article that mentions this fact.  

According to Data from San Francisco’s Coordinated Care Management System: “of the 10,856 individuals who experienced homelessness in 2016/2017 and accessed care at DPH, 58% had been treated for serious mental health disorders…” [5] 

Second, before being sent to jail after the incident, Jenkins was transported to a local hospital for an unrelated, prior medical condition. On March 19, a judge ordered a psychological assessment to find out what kind of mental health issues Jenkins had. The mental health of the perpetrator wasn’t even alluded to in the NPR article. All of these facts were known by at least March 19, but the NPR article, published on March 24, ignores all of them because they are inconvenient. 

An alternative and objective article would have told the facts as they were: “potentially mentally-ill homeless man attacks an elderly Asian woman after enduring unprovoked attacks of violence himself.” This is very different from “racist, white man punches Asian grandma.” 

Chappell not only ignores vital context, but never follows up with what constitutes “bombshell evidence.” In a video released by a San Francisco public defender there is a completely different story revealing that “Jenkins had already been bloodied and brutalized by nearly 50 blows from multiple people” before interacting with Xie or Ngoc Pham. [6]

“The video shows Jenkins enduring a three minute attack from as many as four people at UN Plaza prior to encountering Xiao Zhen Xie, 75, and Ngoc Pham, 83, that same day….In the video, Jenkins appears to be leaving the market area when someone wearing a fluorescent vest and a backpack unloads on him with a barrage of heavy-fisted blows. He had already been punched multiple times by others at a nearby location as the video shows….Jenkins appears dazed as he retreats from his attacker. He turns back around, swinging wildly into the air. Xie, appears to be selling items nearby on the sidewalk as the violence ensues…Jenkins stumbles near her, swings again and lands a blow to her face, whether he intended to or not, as she is standing and sorting her items…With Jenkins pinned to the ground by the guard, Xie picks up a stick to strike Jenkins’ legs with it. When she continues striking, multiple officers, who had by then responded, try to calm her down and stop her.” 

So, Jenkins was disoriented by the violence he had previously endured, and it is unclear if he intentionally hit Xie. 

Not only does Chappell fail to report these facts in an updated version of his story, but he demonstrates a clear disinterest in waiting to hear the actual facts of the case. Instead, he blames the powerless: an abused and socially marginalized homeless man who potentially suffers from mental illness and extreme poverty and was trying to flee a crowd of attackers.

This is what Jenkins’ public defender said: 

“What happened that day was not the norm for him,” Deputy Public Defender Eric McBurney said of his client. “He has no prior convictions for physically hurting anyone. He has struggled throughout his life on the street, largely ignored by society. Even when he is attacked and hit over 40 times in broad daylight in the busy UN plaza, not one person comes to his aid.”

Unfortunately, Jenkins has been condemned without a trial.  Xie was clearly a victim, but so was Jenkins, and it seems that the events of that day were caused by the lack of good policing; Jenkins suffered physical abuse and no one came to his aid. To blame this incident on racism is a false conclusion and a failure in objective journalism. 

In order to prove this particular incident is due to racism, Chappell cites a completely unrelated shooting in Atlanta—750 miles away—calling it “the worst incident in a broader spike in incidents that have targeted the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.” The Gateway Pundit has already fact checked that claim as false. [7] There is no evidence to assume that the shooting in Atlanta was racially based. The only factual claim we can make about the Atlanta shooter is that he had a serious sex addiction. 

Chappell also cites a database from “the group Stop AAPI Hate [that] said it has received nearly 3,800 reports of what it describes as hate incidents — including verbal harassment and physical assault — since the COVID-19 pandemic began a year ago.” This study has been cited before by other mainstream reporters and has already been debunked by the Pundit. [8] 

Verbal harassment and shunning make up the majority of claims, which are not included in the legal definition of a hate crime, which is a “traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias.” [9] The database is also self-reported, thus creating problems of credibility. 

This article earns a rating of 2, for the reporter invents a narrative unsupported by facts and omits major context to do so, including the possibility of Jenkins’ mental illness and the attacks he endured minutes before interacting with the Asian grandma. Chappell fails to report basic facts that would detract from the racism narrative and condemns the powerless despite the truth.  

OUR RATING = Trash Journalism, aka the Daily Beast.











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