With the recent surge in Anti-Asian hate crimes all over the U.S., we need to find a way to combat this. Anti-Asian sentiment did not start with COVID-19, rather when Asians arrived and were viewed as threatening. Anti-Asian sentiment was felt throughout American history in major events, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, World War II, and the recession in 2007/08.
It’s vital that this issue is brought to people’s attentions so we can solve it. I’m doing my part to give this issue a platform: right here. I have been the recipient of Anti-Asian sentiment. Even someone as popular as Jeremy Lin is not exempt from racism.
If we look at American history, every minority has at some point been oppressed to some degree, because those in power viewed every demographic that isn’t theirs as threatening their power, wealth, and high status in society. They used their power and every tactic they could think of to keep the rest of us down.
- Africans/African Americans
- Eastern Europeans
- Indigenous people groups
- Asians/Asian Americans
- Pacific Islanders
- Chicanos/as / Latinx
Please spend about 30 minutes watching an important panel discussion on PBS NewsHour, where Amna Nawaz interviews Helen Zia, AAPI (Asian America and Pacific Islander) activist, and Amanda Nguyen, founder of Rise. There is a couple of quiet minutes at the beginning as everyone gets settled.
If you’re looking for ways to help today, it starts with talking about this issue and educating others about Asians and Asian Americans. Asians and Asian American contributions are intentionally left out of history, just like all of the other disadvantaged groups listed above.
We are people just like you. We want to be seen and accepted just like you. We want to live in safe communities just like you. We want upward mobility just like you. We are more alike than others make us out to be.