There are so many challenging topics in Asia and about Asians and Asian Americans to bring to readers, and I don’t shy away from them here. How do we intend to change ourselves and others for the better if we don’t know how about the issues these groups are facing? Changes don’t have to be big; they can be small, like being an ally when a racial slur is hurled.
The Atlanta spa shootings was a terribly sad day on March 16, 2021. A young Caucasian man targeted three spas in the Atlanta area, and shot and killed eight people, six of whom are of Asian descent.
The incident was another turning point for Asians in the U.S. to do something better, and many others became allies in their time of crisis. Many areas across the country with smaller Asian communities have committed to a monthly happy hour, so they can spend time with people with a familiar backgrounds and experiences. Some have gathered to create bigger change, such as bringing awareness to the spike in reported AAPI hate incidents, protesting, and changes at the state and federal level.
Asians have become more proactive about being seen, protected, and represented. Even with positive changes, there is still so much that needs to be done. Asian women continue to experience more discrimination. According to the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF),
- “74% of Asian American and Pacific Islander women experience racism/discrimination over the last year
- 53% said the perpetrator was a stranger or someone they didn’t know
- 51% of East Asian women said they feel less safe today than at the start of the pandemic”
These numbers are alarming. Based on the responses, things are getting worse for Asian and Pacific Islander women. But, at least we have some numbers to recognize the scope and breadth of one issue facing the community, and more studies need to be done.
Use your agency and be an ally.