Stop Asian Hate
By Lindsay Shen (9)
The Coronavirus has affected daily life whether it be for students with adjusting to virtual schooling, workers who changing their livelihood to make ends meet, or for families who are no longer able to see one another. However, there are universally uncontrollable struggles due to this pandemic, and other issues that have risen out of plain ignorance.
Marginalized communities have been especially affected by the pandemic, through the Black Lives Matter movement, the LGBTQIA+ Community, and through misogynistic laws. A community that hasn’t been talked about much though, yet has been affected extremely, is the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have been the victims of countless attacks, specifically East Asians. Constant nicknames for COVID-19 have purposefully targeted East Asians due to its origin in Mainland China. Nicknames like “China Virus,” “Wuhan Virus,” "Asian Flu,” and more terrorize the community in everyday life. Although these nicknames sound harmless, the long-lasting effects cause irreparable damage.
Students in school already face more than enough stress, but holding constant fear due to your race is unimaginable. According to Nextshark, an organization that updates events in the AAPI community, “an Asian woman in Salem, Oregon was allegedly pushed and kicked by two men in an attack now under investigation as a possible hate crime.” This occurred near Willamette University, where the victim was studying on March 1st. It was said that “derogatory as well as sexist” comments were made towards the victim.
This blatant case of racism is just one of many that have taken place since COVID-19. The Asian elderly have been especially at risk during this time, as the elderly have the least capability to defend themselves. An article written by Asianfeed, another source for Asian news, explains a situation where 75-year-old Pak Ho was assaulted in Oakland, California.
According to Asianfeed, “the attack occurred as Ho, who uses a cane to walk, was out on his daily morning walk around the neighborhood when witnesses said a brown truck with two people pulled up. One person knocked the cane out of Ho’s hand while the other shoved him to the ground.”
Although Asian hate crimes can occur anywhere, a great many have occurred in the more densely populated states, like New York and California. This inevitably affects the heavy population of Asians, especially the elderly and children, forcing them to make adjustments to benefit their safety.
Freshman Anmary Bautista said, “Going outside to other places such as the mall or the nail salon is very daunting as anyone could walk in and cause harm.”
Everyday changes, no matter how big or small, unfortunately have to be applied. “I have been more distant with strangers and I prefer going out with at least one more person,” said Ariel Chung, an 8th grader at Cal Aero Preserve Academy. “I have to be prepared to defend myself or call for help.”
These crimes have also made Asians more ashamed of who they are in their daily lives or the way they look. Bautista explained, “[Her] mom tells [her] to cover up any physical feature of [hers] that gives away that [she] is of Asian descent.”
The need to look different purely for safety represents how even looking Asian is enough for racism to occur. “This isn’t the most guaranteed way of protection but it makes [them] feel safer as [their] eye shape isn’t too perceptible.”
Though times have changed and surely seem bleak right now, change is slowly happening throughout the world. Globally, people have been educating themselves and standing up for one another. So despite all the hatred displayed in the everyday world, there is still hope for a better future someday.
Movements, organizations, and activism have all risen tremendously throughout the pandemic, and the AAPI community is no exception. Although COVID-19 has been a deadly virus to many, the oppression displayed is just as fatal. Despite it being easier said than done, simply standing up when injustice takes place is crucial, not just for the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community, but for society as a whole.