Throughout the years, there have been more and more hate crimes against people of color. Some experiences have been worse than others and way too many people have gone through harassment because of their race and culture. Jenny Hayoung Oh, a Korean American woman, says that in situations in which you experience racism, “You have to be conscious about whether you think you could formally/respectfully engage in a dialogue to eradicate the racist mindset they are holding or if that can put you in danger. [Be] aware of your surroundings so that you don’t get hurt.” Now you must be wondering what is the cause of this racism?
Why The Hate?
Recently, there have been a lot of aggressions against Asians because of COVID-19. Some call it the “Chinese virus” and that they should be punished. Asians have been through so much racism that it has almost become normal and we need to call it out when we see it. In an article by the Pew Research Center, they state that “About 3 in 10 Asian adults (31%) say they have been subject to slurs or jokes because of their race or ethnicity since the outbreak began.” Although many may say 31% is a low number, that is one too many people being affected by racism. We have had so many victims, including the eight women, six of whom were Asian, that were shot in Georgia on March 16 2021; the death of an 84-year-old San Francisco man, Bawi Cung, and his two sons who were stabbed at a Sam’s Club; and many more. Simply being told to “go back to where you came from” is a form of racism because it’s basically saying that you don’t belong here.
Racism against Asians has always existed but there was an increase when the COVID-19 outbreak happened in the U.S. in March 2020. Americans began to blame Asians for the virus outbreak after former President Donald Trump repeatedly called COVID-19 “the Chinese virus.” Due to the fact that the outbreak started in China, people believe they should be held responsible. During March 2020 when former president Trump was still in office, the government let racism against Asians slide, but Kamala Harris has since stated in a tweet that “our Administration has taken to address these xenophobic attacks.”
An Asian’s Point of View
Racism is very common, almost everyone has had an experience with it. Denya Hamilton, a Filipino woman, has experienced racism occasionally throughout her life. Denya believes that racism is evil but now it’s more obvious because we have access to social media and technology therefore it gets around faster. She believes the cause of it is because some peopl or groups think they are superior to others and because it has been taught and passed down from generation to generation. When it comes to racism specifically against Asians, Denya says, “I think that it has been normalized to make racist jokes against Asians, which is not okay. I think it’s because normally Asians don’t fight back because culturally we are non confrontational.” Denya, like many others who experience racism, should be heard and protected.
Jenny Hayoung Oh has a slightly different view of racism. Jenny thinks racism can be stopped, but she thinks we have to own up to our actions and its consequences and want to put work into becoming anti-racist. Jenny thinks racism is a virus and that there is a cure. “Like how scientists do research, we all need to do ours and take action against it.” Just like Denya, Jenny should be protected against racists in our world.
We can’t keep letting Asians and people of other races get hurt just because of their race. We need to come together and fight for each other and stand up for what is right. Say their names: Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun JungGrant, Sun Cha Kim, and Yong Ae Yue.