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I would be lying if I said this wasn’t one of the most difficult pieces I’ve ever had to write. As a member of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, the horrendous uptick in Asian American hate crimes has triggered an intense emotional response from me, my family, and so many Asians across the globe. When the hate crimes began to gain media attention early February, my heart dropped to my stomach and I did what I could online but have had to take a break from the news and social media since then. I broke down in tears to my therapist and that’s when she told me I was grieving. It’s been 3 weeks, the hate crimes continue, and my anxiety is through the roof at the thoughts of the attacks on my community. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
As a young Asian woman, my heart hurts to know that we live in a society that is suffering from deeply rooted hate and xenophobia that continues to persist. We live in a society where so many still dehumanize people of color, discredit the work of immigrants, and believe racism stopped existing when Obama became president. An American society that was so unfortunately led by Trump the past four years, who displayed time and time again that the ravaging effects of COVID were exacerbated by his utter lack of empathy, leadership, and intelligence, but chose to weaponize the situation and blame a whole race for it instead.
Last spring during the beginning of the pandemic, a woman called my boyfriend a “Chinese pig” and said to “go the f*ck back to your country” (how original, by the way). This incident really made me wonder: Have people always been this hateful towards Asians? Did they suddenly become racist towards Asians because of COVID? Did Trump’s rhetoric ignite something that had been there all along?
Who is attacking the Asian community?
I found this great article from Time that summarizes all the major hate crimes in detail.
. . . .
“The analysis released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, this month examined hate crimes in 16 of America’s largest cities. It revealed that while such crimes in 2020 decreased overall by 7 percent, those targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150 percent.” (NBC News)
JUST IN: “President Biden denounces attacks against Asian Americans”
Racism towards Asians has always been severely under-reported and oftentimes normalized, so I was shocked to see the amount of media coverage the hate crimes received over the weeks. I’m also super proud of everyone in my community and BIPOC allies who have spread awareness and demanded the attention we deserve.
. . . .
CONTENT WARNING: The following video contains strong language.
This video by comedian David So is a great representation the anger and grief many Asian-Americans were feeling:
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How to help the Asian community?
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Report Hate Crimes: STOP AAPI HATE
Donate To The Cause: Hate Is A Virus
“6 Ways To Support The Asian Community Right Now” (Pure Wow)
It’s amazing to see people stand in solidarity with the Asian-American community. I’ve also seen so much unity in the BIPOC community and I can’t stress enough how important it is to know that we are on the same side. We need to hold our own communities and each other accountable. We have to admit our wrongs and be willing to evolve, to reeducate ourselves, and unlearn harmful prejudices we may carry. The fight against racism and discrimination continues but we have to do it together.
How are you practicing solidarity? Do you have any experiences you’d like to share? Feel free to comment below!
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