Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year festivities in China, southeast Asia and their diaspora communities around the world. I grew up celebrating the Vietnamese variation of the holiday, known as "tết," which welcomes spring based on the Chinese lunar calendar. The holiday is the most important event of the year to those cultures, serving a similar function to Christmas for Western societies. The celebrations last for days and people, wherever they are, often travel back to their hometowns and villages to spend time with family. In eastern societies, filial piety, the respect for one's parents and elders, is the most important cultural value—and the quickest one to be lost when second-generation Asians assimilate into Western societies.
Unfortunately, the eve of the Lunar New Year in the U.S. was marked with a deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park, Calif., a predominately East Asian city near Los Angeles. At least 10 people were killed in a shooting at a ballroom venue overnight on Saturday. Authorities revealed little information about the shooting and victims other than that a gunman was at-large.
By Sunday morning, left-wing activists and Democrat politicians seized the tragedy not to inform the public about the shooting and the wanted gunman, but to spread conspiracies and baseless claims the shooting was a white supremacist attack.