posts 16 - 22 of 22
niall5
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by YellowPencil on January 10, 2022 08:33


Question: What do you think BPS could do on this?

I think BPS needs to have a more open discourse with students on Bias Based incidents in general, but especially for Anti-AAPI racism. We need to also support a curriculum that does not minimize the impacts of this racism on our students and communities, nor sideline it as an "afterthought" as it so often has been.

android_user
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Xenophobia and Hate Crimes in the era of COVID

Asian hate is not new in America, and a lot of it dates back to our country’s continuous rivalries with Asian global powers, such as Japan and China, and as the Berkeley News said: ”China is increasingly perceived as the primary threat to America’s global dominance.” A prominent example of Asian hate is referenced to by Courney Sato in the Harvard Gazette looking back at the 1871 Chinese massacre in Los Angeles’ Chinatown that killed 19 residents. To counteract this heinous hate crime the government did not deal-out justice, but instead, a few years later in 1882, they decided to pass the Chinese Exclusion Act which banned the immigration of Chinese laborers.

The American government has always often been a strong supporter of Aisan hate. When the massacre occurred, they looked the other way. When more than 110,000 Japanese immigrants were forced into inhumane internment camps, they were running them. And in 2020, when Asain-Americans all across the country were being assaulted and harassed because of the racist weaponization of covid-19, our former President, Donald J. Trump was the person responsible for the nickname that led those crimes: “the China virus.” Even a “thick-skinned” prison inmate named Felix Sitthivong was affected and hurt by the ex-president’s racism.

A lot of non-Asians are oblivious to the Asian hate that surrounds us on a daily basis, and the fear that many people in the Asian community face just by waking up in the morning. It has become so normalized in our society and approved by some of our political leaders, that non-Asians have completely dismissed a lot of the problems that are hurting these communities. A great example of this was in both the CBS and the Los Angeles Times videos they talked about the harm in non-Asians avoiding their restaurants and businesses because of people’s racist views against the Asian community and thinking that they all had covid. Many of the people who ran these businesses were Asian-American, some not even Chinese, and they were forced to close their businesses, some who had them for generations.

As we learned in class on Thursday, all of this hate is going unnoticed because even people of the Asian community have normalized it so much that these cases are silenced and go unnoticed. Luckily since organizations like Stop AAPI Hate are active and are paid more attention now, more and more people are reporting these incidents. In 2020, Teen Vogue recorded “2,583 incidents across the U.S between March 19 and August 5th.” Although it’s good to look on the bright side of reporting these incidents, it is disheartening to think that there is such an obscene number in such a short amount of time that it’s hard to even imagine the number of cases that weren’t reported.

This discrimination is not only seen on the streets, at a gas station, or in a perfessional work environment, but also within the school system when filling out documents asking for your race and ethnicity. For many AAPI they are forced to check off the term “other” and in the process harming a bit of their own identity. For years and years AAPI have had to sit by while their ethnicity is ignored by the many non-Asians that just see them as “Chinese,” as if that’s the only country in Asia, and after a while it could have the effect of wearing down their sense of individuality. Like many Indigenous people who wish to be identified by which tribe they are from, Asian Americans wish to be properly identified with which country they come from.

Although I don’t think all of the hate and pain that our government and other racist non-Asians cause could ever be fully repaired, I do believe that we should start by not stripping them away from their identity. It is ignorant to think that “Chinese” and being Aisan are the same, or believing that the words you say don't impact others. Non-Asian allies can help promote anti-Asian hate by protesting or even talking more about the problem with others who might not know, it’s also important to note that to be an ally is to not be a bystander and it’s important to act when you encounter an injustice. By talking more about these situations it allows more people to get involved and eventually change will happen.


Question: Have you ever experienced a racial injustice, and what did you do to confront the situation?

android_user
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by niall5 on January 11, 2022 23:19

Throughout history, hate has existed for groups that are perceived as “other”. Anti-Asian sentiments have been around as long as Asian people have migrated elsewhere in the world, and societies itch for a scapegoat to blame. In America, this started with the restriction of immigration to mostly European countries, and the blaming of “other” groups with laws such as The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Alien Contract Labor laws of 1885 and 1887. These established a precedent for being racially selective on what immigrants were allowed into the United States.


Today, many Americans are ignorant of this racist history, because much of our discourse around race is binary. We have a need to make clear categories, and Americans use White and Black time and time again as the only descriptors of people in this country. In reality, we come in many more shades than that, and from different backgrounds, and many people have intersections of several of these identities. According to the Washington Post article, we don't have an obvious place to put Asian Americans in our modern racial discourse. There is a common stereotype called the “Model Minority Myth” that treats Asian minorities as successful and smart therefore downplaying the effects racism can have on them. According to NBC, hate crimes have risen 72% in 2020, yet AAPI racism was “often footnoted or compartmentalized, recounted and analyzed as a subplot in the bigger narrative.” This paints a picture of how Asian racism is an afterthought in our modern conversations of race, yet it is ever more important.


In the world of Covid, this racism has gotten worse but many of us continue to ignore its effects on Asian people across the world. The Los Angeles Times video gives us a glimpse into how the rhetoric of politicians fuels this hate, citing former President Donald Trump and his common refrain of calling Covid-19 the “China virus.” This already hateful term, coupled with his treatment of AAPI on Twitter as “the other” fueled his followers to violently attack Asian Americans and commit acts of racism and terror. Powerful leaders needed a group to blame during this pandemic, and that was Asian Americans. They became the scapegoats of Covid. This was true elsewhere in the world too, as Human Rights Watch cited multiple examples from around the world. In Malaysia, Covid was connected to Asian immigrants and the Rohingya people, and they were brutally detained and mistreated. Other countries imposed lockdowns on migrant workers that were largely Asian. All of this violence has hurt the world Asian community in innumerable ways, but it is not going on without opposition.


The Asian community has refused to allow such blatant racism, and many have raised awareness for this growing issue during Covid. The Los Angeles Times video mentioned the rap group, Year Of the Ox, that in the process of filming for their song against Asian hate, they themselves were targeted in an incident of racism. They spread this story and were vocal about the unacceptable racism that Asian Americans have to face. From PBS news hour we learn of the “#IAmNotAVirus” movement that started in response to world leaders blaming Covid on Asian immigrants. This hashtag allowed incidents of anti-asian racism to be spread more quickly, and the perpetrators to be condemned.


How do we best fight these incidents of racism as the pandemic continues?

We can help fight these incidents by spreading more awareness on news outlets and shedding more light on the damage that happened to Asian communities during this time. It's important to remember that yes, the pandemic and the racist stereotypes that non-Asians believed hurt many Asian owned businesses, but also the physical assault that many endured because of this racism and hate. By spreading awareness we can try to change the perceptions of others who feel the need to blame an entire group of people for an act of nature.

girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 16

The hatred that Asian/Pacific Islanders have faced over the past many years has been pretty brushed under the rug. As the COVID 19 cases have skyrocketed since the very end of 2019, the hate against Asians soared. Blaming an entire pandemic on Asian people and calling COVID “The Chinese Virus” are patterns we have witnessed throughout the spread of the virus. This nickname stemmed from our former president back in 2020. Not only have Asian people been blamed for recent issues, but they also faced hate during events such as the attacks on Pearl Harbor.


Our world became very political in the year of 2020. All I remember was the talk of “Trump vs. Biden” and “COVID 19.” Though a virus is not actually political, it became that way. The Trump vs Biden talk became very intense, and there was a continuous pattern of Trump’s followers trying to spread his ideas. Trump was the one who referred to COVID as the “Chinese Virus.” As the virus did arise in China, Mike Pompeo described the virus as the “Wuhan Virus.” These offensive comments became very popular, encouraging people to spread this hate. An example of this is recent, when our new Mayor Michelle Wu tried to encourage a vaccine mandate. Haters flooded her comments, calling her names such as “Michelle Wuhan.” These people aimed to mock her, implying that she, as an Asian woman, is spreading the virus “from China.” The blatant racism is bursting through the screen, because Michelle Wu is not Chinese, she is Taiwanese American. Another example is from the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941. These attacks greatly caused a rise in Asian hate throughout the country. Regardless of immigration status, Japanese people were forced into camps following the attacks.


In class, we watched a video called “All O******** Look the Same.” There were photographs of many different Asian people of different nationalities who clearly do not look the same, as a man repeated that statement over and over. This video was from the 20th century (must have been from the 70s?). This idea that all Asian people look the same has been used many times since the 1800s when immigration really began. It is very ignorant to make comparisons like this, for example, going back to the nickname “Michelle Wuhan.” The racist haters ignorantly cannot tell the difference between a Chinese person and an American Taiwanese woman.


Non-Asian allies can help promote anti Asian hate by spreading awareness and education. Ways they can do this is protesting, informing people by discussing or posting, and actually acting instead of bystanding when there is an injustice.


Question: In what ways have you specifically noticed anti-Asian hate levels rise during the pandemic?

girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 16

Originally posted by hotchocolate on January 05, 2022 18:47


Question: How have you advocated for something, small or big? For what cause?



In 2020 specifically, countless BLM protests were being held all across the city. Though I advocate for this cause, my mom was nervous for me to attend a protest because of the violence rates happening at all of the protests. Regardless of her worries, I still wanted to attend, so my friends and I went to one. I was glad to advocate for this big cause, as the protest was effective.

Kazuma
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by freemanjud on January 03, 2022 18:26


Readings and Streamings:

Note: It’s important that you read and/or watch at least SIX (6) of the 12 items listed below AND clearly reference them in your post. I would especially urge you to include within your choices #3 from Human Rights Watch (HRW) for a global perspective on this topic:


Reading options:

  1. Ivan Natividad, “Coronavirus: Fear of Asians rooted in long American history of prejudicial policies,” Berkeley News, February 12, 2020 https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/02/12/coronavirus-fear-of-asians-rooted-in-long-american-history-of-prejudicial-policies

  1. Stephanie Garcia, “’I am not a Virus’: How This Artist is Illustrating Coronavirus-Fueled Racism,” PBS, April 1, 2020. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/i-am-not-a-virus-how-this-artist-is-illustrating-coronavirus-fueled-racism

  1. “Covid 19 fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide,” Human Rights Watch, May 12, 2020. https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/05/12/covid-19-fueling-anti-asian-racism-and-xenophobia-worldwide

  1. Anna Purna Kambhampaty and Haruka Sakaguchi, “’I Will Not Stand Silent.’ 10 Asian-Americans Reflect on Racism During the Pandemic and the Need for Equality.” Time, June 25, 2020. https://time.com/5858649/racism-coronavirus/

  1. Sarah Li, “Anti-Asian Hate Has Surged during the Coronavirus Pandemic, Reports Find,” Teen Vogue, September 18, 2020. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/anti-asian-racism-stop-aapi-hate

  1. Felix Sitthivong, “Coronavirus has sparked another epidemic in my prison: Anti-Asian Racism,” The Marshall Project, December 3, 2020. https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/12/03/coronavirus-has-sparked-another-epidemic-in-my-prison-anti-asian-racism

  1. Liz Mineo, “The scapegoating of Asian Americans,” Harvard Gazette, March 24, 2021. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/03/a-long-history-of-bigotry-against-asian-americans/

  1. Michael Eric Dyson, “Why don’t we treat Asian American history the way we treat Black history,” Washington Post, March 26, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/asian-black-atlanta-history/2021/03/26/9f10a9ac-8d98-11eb-9423-04079921c915_story.html

  1. Jay Caspian King, “The Myth of Asian-American Identity,” The New York Times Magazine, October 5, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/05/magazine/asian-american-identity.html

  1. Sakshi Venkatraman, “Asian hate crimes rose 73% last year, updated FBI data says,” NBC News, October 25, 2021.https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/anti-asian-hate-crimes-rose-73-last-year-updated-fbi-data-says-rcna3741

Streaming options:

  1. Video from the Los Angeles Times: Epidemic of Hate: Asian Xenophobia and Coronavirus, February 3, 2020 [7:55] https://youtu.be/7nlenypkMww [7:55] and the accompanying article Suhuana Hassan, “Fear of coronavirus fuels racist sentiment targeting Asians, Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2020. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z4iu--gthgMAwX2iuQdjeCkrGDwqvmTx/view?usp=sharing

  1. Article and video: Erin Donaghue, “2,120 Hate Incidents Against Asian Americans Reported During Coronavirus Pandemic,” CBS News, July 2, 2020 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/anti-asian-american-hate-incidents-up-racism/

__________________________________________________________________________

The former President repeatedly referred to it as the “China virus” or the “Asian flu.” Insofar as we first became aware of a COVID-19 in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, that association has regrettably stuck for many Americans. And what COVID has unleashed, not only in the United States but in far-flung places around the world, is anti-Chinese vitriol and, because of the long history of Asian interchangeability by non-Asians, anti-Asian views more broadly.


Xenophobia directed at Asians isn’t new, as we will see this week in class. What COVID has inspired is just the latest in a long history of anti-Asian hate.


President Biden signed S.937, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, sponsored by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), in May 2021. At the signing ceremony, Biden spoke eloquently of the “why” behind the legislation:


“We heard how too many Asian Americans have been waking up each morning this past year genuinely — genuinely — fearing for their safety just opening the door and walking down the street, and safety for their loved ones. The moms and dads who, when they let their kids out the door to go to school, were worried.

Attacked, blamed, scapegoated, harassed during this pandemic. Living in fear for their lives, as I said, just walking down street.

Grandparents afraid to leave their homes even to get vaccinated, for fear of being attacked.

Small business owners targeted and gunned down.

Students worried about two things: COVID-19 and being bullied.

Documented incidents of hate against Asian Americans have seen a shocking spike — as the Vice President has outlined at the front of her comments. Let alone — let alone the ones that have never been reported.

Gut-wrenching attacks on some of the most vulnerable people in our nation — the elderly, low-wage workers, women — brutally attacked simply by walking outside or waiting for a bus. Asian American women suffer twice as many incidents of harassment and violence as Asian American men.

And the conversation we had in Atlanta is one we’re hearing all across the country, that all of this hate hides in plain sight — it hides in plain sight — and too often, it is met with silence: silence by the media, silence by our politics, and silence by our history.

For centuries, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders — diverse and vibrant communities — have helped build this nation only to be often stepped over, forgotten, or ignored. You know, lived here for generations, but still considered, by some, the “other” — the “other.” It’s wrong. It’s simply — to use the phrase — it’s simply un-American.

My message to all of those of you who are hurting is: We see you. And the Congress has said: We see you. And we are committed to stop the hatred and the bias.”


The Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population in the United States, according to the US Census (as of 2020), is believed to number approximately 20 million people, roughly 7.7% of the total population in the nation. It constitutes the fastest growing population in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, Asian-Americans constitute the “highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States.”


So many non-Asians can’t distinguish among Asians and Pacific Islanders—witness Valerie Soh’s keenly observed short All Orientals Look the Same [pointedly using the pejorative term, “Orientals”] so they lump AAPI all together. Not unlike the Native American voices we heard who wish that we would identify Native peoples by their tribes and not label them all “native” or “indigenous,” many Asians/Pacific Islanders too wish people would acknowledge their specific places of origin, their differing circumstances, cultures, and histories, and not simply assume that “sameness.”


We know that Asians/Pacific Islanders have been the target of dismissive language; think of the episode last fall when then Boston School Committee chair, Michael Loconto, was caught on tape (in fall 2020) mocking Asian names. And they have been the target of growing violence—think most especially of the killings of Asian women at spas in Atlanta in spring 2021.


So why the hate? Why is this hate not new but is based in a long history of anti-Asian discrimination? And why are most non-Asians—and some Asians--minimally aware of this history?


Maybe those are foolish questions. What we know from our work on discrimination and othering thus far is that issues of “us” and “them,” “superiority” and “inferiority,” the desire to identify an “in group” and an “out group” govern much of human interaction.


How have Asians/Pacific Islanders—who we already know are classified as “white” when it’s convenient (think of the example of the Boston School Committee) and are also classified as “other” or “POC”—confronted this othering? The latest version may be triggered by COVID but we know this has a long and sordid history. And what should non-Asians do today to be allies in response to what these articles and the video clips chronicle?


Please weigh in on these questions in a thoughtful, well-supported post, supported by what you learned from class, from the readings and from what you know from your own experiences. And please do post a question for the next person to post (and respond to the question posed prior to your posting!).


The hate we see isn't new because it's a product of pent-up hate. Hate that has existed for centuries throughout our country, but it wasn't seen as socially acceptable. The idea running through people's heads was that they need a reason for their hate or else they're gonna be bad. People that perpetuate that hate believe they are good and want to be seen as good and so they want to make sure that their actions always have a reason, some sort of justification and we can see this in the CBS video. All over the country and even the world, people are being physically harmed, but it goes even deeper than that. People's businesses are being harmed as they are taking massive and severe losses in profits. This doesn't just mean they're losing money but it makes it harder for them to pay their employees. All of these acts of hate towards Asians and Asian-Americans have led to what they spoke about in the LA Times video. In that video, they spoke of how the President and many others always refer to Asians and Asian-Americans more specifically as the 'Other'. This is the concept of the Othering often used to describe the mistreatment of women through all of society, I believe that the same thing is happening here. By not only using the virus as a means for justification for their hate, but they also use it as a way to keep us even more separated from each other. The idea of Americans VS. Asians when it should be Everyone VS. Coronavirus.

It seems that the racism brought about by the pandemic has affected the Asian community even before the surge in hate crimes towards Asian-Americans. In the Time article, we can see Asian-Americans reflecting on their own experiences some of which spoke about how their personal racist experiences tie into the BLM protests. One of these people is Haruka Sakaguchi. She spoke about how before the BLM protests, she hadn't seen her experience as a racist one. After the BLM protests, she was able to see how ingrained racism was in our society and I think that this is an important factor because she wasn't taking in what happened to her for what it truly was. If that mindset continued in her and other Asian-Americans, then no one would know what's going on. This is why documenting these incidents is so important. This even goes back to what they spoke about in the LA Times video about how documenting allows us to see that these incidents aren't one-offs and they are occurring regularly at an alarming rate. Documenting these incidents comes in many forms, but we must do so that we can look back on the numbers. In the CBS News articles, we can see the exact numbers associated with these incidents, but the article also speaks on how this documentation is occurring which has been spoken about in the previous videos and articles as well. While people must go to the various forms and report these incidents, the usage of social media has become critical during these times. As highlighted in the CBS News article, recordings of these hate crimes and incidents are becoming more widespread. Why is this so critical? Because law enforcement and the world know exactly what is going on because more often than not, people are too afraid to report what has happened to them, the majority of people never know. This can change because of social media's involvement and how videos spread like wildfire.

The question of where does this hate come from is a good one to ask as at face value, it seems that this hate is due to the virus and people being misinformed but what Felix shows us in his article for The Marshall Project is that this hate is something that was present within the prison system and this sentiment is shared with inmates who have been there well before the start of the pandemic. Even the experience that Felix speaks about his student. The student uses derogatory language when speaking about Asian-Americans, but it's not just to be mean or to express hate but to also push the agenda of "the othering" and making Asian people seem like outsiders. This idea is also seen in the HRW Article, but it's taken to a completely new level there. The article talks about the increase in hate crimes on a global scale which is so important. So many of the articles focused on the US, but being able to see and hear about the experiences of Asians all over the world adds another level of depth. That isn't to invalidate the experiences of Asian-Americans and Asians present in the US, but I believe that in order to assess the situation properly and be able to stop the hate, we need to hear from all sides.

Do you think that the rise in hate crimes and prejudice against Asians/Asian-Americans will last forever? If yes, why? If not, then for how much longer?

Kazuma
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by hotchocolate on January 05, 2022 18:47

So why the hate? And why is this hate not new but is based in a long history of anti-Asian discrimination? And why are most non-Asians—and some Asians--minimally aware of this history?

I’ve briefly learned about how Chinatowns were made because the Asian American people needed protection and found it in numbers, it wasn’t just for fun or to celebrate their culture like it seems to be now. We also know about how they were put in internment camps and just killed on the streets without justice because they were a threat to white American lifestyles. People always need someone to blame and it’s easy to blame Chinese people for the virus. Within China, there are many different lifestyles and diets and values that are far from how the typical white American lives their life and what they view as civil. There are so many stereotypes that people make fun of such as Chinese people eating dogs and Michael Loconto mocking Asian names. I remember hearing them as a child on the school bus and feeling like I wanted to hide that part of me, while also laughing along at the “jokes”. Hate starts at a young age and as a child, you’re vulnerable to believing what you’re told by an adult so that thinking is engrained. Constant opposition suppressed the celebration and reclamation of Asian identities and it’s a way of telling them who is in power, and that their pride in their culture isn’t worth it. I do think it’s important to teach these histories in school and in public places. I haven’t heard of a high school with an Asian/Pacific Islander history course offered which would be beneficial to students of that group and others who are interested in learning about their cultural history. I think this history is overlooked by discrimination saying that there are more important things to teach.


The Teen Vogue article mentions how only 10% of bystanders intervened in a situation where an Asian/Pacific Islander person was getting bullied. Besides this being a commonality, this reminds me of how when people think a whole group is “dirty” and no good, they don’t want to help because they don’t want any association with them or the “disease” to spread out of that community. And they don’t think their lives are worth protecting, and it’s even unfortunate that minorities need protection and can’t just live freely with the same comforts and rights. Once the terms Chinese virus, Asian flu, and more were just pitting hatred against the population, it’s like a switch that turns on the blame of a people and culture instead of focusing on the science. I mean the US is really bad because we travel and disregard health and science, so it’s unfair to blame an individual who might be Asian/Pacific Islander but has no direct correlation to the virus. It’s like rubbing someone’s culture they find comfort in in dirt and saying “there's nothing you can offer because you’re just a virus.” The youth fear for themselves and their loved ones which is not a feeling that any child should have. It’s not something a child should have to feel responsibility for protecting their grandparents for example. Also these communities aren’t really made aware of resources to help their situations become better, so they have to fear for their safety and don’t have anyone to rely on in the aftermath.


Because of the lack of awareness, people don’t always know the real meaning and truth in their words so Sjoblom brings up how “yellow peril” is associated with coronavirus because of this lack of medical knowledge and racism that distorts the truth. It’s easy to group different events under one umbrella when they are for different reasons and happen differently, which might not always mean something about a culture but another factor like environment. Sjoblom made an excellent point that Asian kids might not have someone to talk to like if they tell a white person they’ve moved away from them, they’ll assume it’s because of health concerns when it is racism. Colorblindness is not a solution.


In the harvard gazette article, I haven’t learned in depth about the Chinese Exclusion Acts or the Page Exclusion Acts and the piece about women being seen as sexual deviants rings true to this day because women are blamed and there’s the longrunning belief that what a women wears means she’s asking for it. While these acts aren’t legally here today, the same idea of discrimination is and these acts really haven’t been addressed, publicized, or acknowledged to the extent that make people care about the longlasting damage they’ve done. It said that some Asian American store owners feared telling customers to put on a mask when it’s for everyone’s safety. Living shouldn’t be having to risk your health when there’s a simple solution that unfortunately people don’t understand and empathize with. It’s unfair how almost everything that happens negatively affects people already struggling. It’s an endless cycle of not being able to better one’s situation, like the effects of redlining. This reminds me of the new exam school policy and the fact that most Asian and white people were against the policy of the absence of the ISEE while Black and Latinx people were for it because it at least gave their children a chance.


Adding on, the HRW article discusses government involvement and how the policies regarding covid assistance is unfair. “Governments also need to adopt special public education initiatives, strengthen policing of hate crimes, and offer support to communities victimized by discrimination and racially motivated attacks”. People aren’t getting the support and reassurance they need through the people who represent them. I hope that will change at least on a local level with Michelle Wu. People are humans who need to be cared for to thrive and their experiences respected. In class, we talked about drive-by racism and how people feel safe to say these racist things and actions because they know they are silencing the victims and don’t give them a chance to respond. It’s crazy to hear the stories of how many trusted people that have superiority are racist and get away with it. We’ve created a culture protecting these racist people. The video talking about Koreatown also shows how the black and Latinx communities were in the same position as Asian/Pacific islanders in LA but turned against them when they needed someone to blame for the inequities because nobody would really listen and help them on either end, and then it ended in murders. The leaders of communities and the nation need to show that they care through successful actions and persistence because while they struggle, people in power choose who is worthy to help based on opinion and not human right.


How have Asians/Pacific Islanders—who we already know are classified as “white” when it’s convenient (think of the example of the Boston School Committee) and are also classified as “other” or “POC”—confronted this othering? The latest version may be triggered by COVID but we know this has a long and sordid history. And what should non-Asians do today to be allies in response to what these articles and the video clips chronicle?

I understand that Asian and Pacific Islander groups want to feel and be respected by being identified for their individual identities inside the umbrella terms. Each culture has different customs and practices and a long history. Today, I know that some countries like in Asia don’t get along so they wouldn’t want to identify with each other. A sad thing is that the amount of discrimination and acts of hatred faced by all minority groups should be an unfortunate thread linking them together, but in the US at least, there is a lot of competition and stereotypes like “model minority” that lead to widening divisions between minority groups. I actually know someone who recently moved to South Boston and their mother didn’t want to move to a predominantly black neighborhood which was shocking.


I am an intern at a program that works specifically in the Boston Chinatown community to unite the people and honor the culture that is disappearing behind skyline buildings. It’s hard to think of ways to get involved as an ally or someone directly experiencing hatred but a good step is to be aware of the news going on in your community and your neighbors, as well as look out for vulnerable people. In the program, I meet with a group of high school students and we learn about Asian/Asian American history, as well as many other minority groups who face similar issues. I like that I’m able to tie in a lot of information from Facing History discussions but it’s sad to see how often these similar actions occur against people of many different backgrounds. I think communities like Chinatown where many members are from immigrant families who have directly experienced different acts and internment camps are aware and want to get everyone involved. Like the Committee we learned about in class in Maine who are trying to bring justice to Native people and better their futures, it takes perspectives of everyone who uses the community resources and cares about it.


In the video on CBSNews, it talks about businesses owned by Asian people to be suffering massive loss because people are too afraid, more like racist, of contracting the virus. I liked what the reporter said about how coronavirus affects everybody and Asian people aren’t more susceptible to contracting it and spreading it. Nothing can really prepare businesses for a pandemic and the ramifications they’ll experience. Clearly, a lot of people have filmed these incidents and have had them appear on the news. The program I’m a part of did an activity where we thought of words associated with advocacy, bonding, and safety and most of them apply to Asian Hate. Advocacy is associated in part with all platforms and media, meant to be publicized loudly for others to hear. Although this applies to both sides, showing support and getting involved online either through joining a movement or finding your community has been a way to combat racism. Within the advocacy, forms of art are used in every instance whether it’s graphic design or illustration like the comic strip made by Korean-Swedish artist Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom. Art can be understood by people who speak different languages and come from different experiences so it’s a useful thing in advocacy. It’s also important to highlight Asian/Pacific Islander artists and every type of worker because it is impactful for others to see people in their community as leaders and changing the world. It’s powerful to get insights from people of these backgrounds who firsthand can identify with this shared experience of racism and can interpret it through art while they grapple with it themselves. This comic strip reminds me of the little graphics in the New Yorker magazines that are comical but ultimately making a social/political statement which grabs many readers’ attention and is a form of communication “through empathy”, as Sjoblom says.


Jay Caspian King talks about his mother who quit volunteering so she wouldn’t scare away customers at the thrift store and how his friend purchased a taser to feel safer. What is necessary for people to feel safe? I didn’t feel safe walking by myself in 2020 and it isn’t something I want to get used to. White men probably feel the safest because well, they’re men, and there isn’t a cop that would target them. How can we change that? Fighting violence because of racism with violence isn’t the answer, but sometimes big things need to happen to get noticed and heard. I’m glad that people, like King mentioned celebrities, are being very open and upfront with their thoughts and experiences of discrimination as an Asian/Pacific Islander. Being public about one’s experiences is brave and a way to combat this strong wave of Asian/Pacific Islander oppression.


Question: How have you advocated for something, small or big? For what cause?



I think in order to advocate for something, you have to get the most attention possible, even the attention of those who are going to scream at you and call you names. In order for real change to occur for your cause, you need to have tons of people who know about the cause whether or not they're willing to support it. It's the spread of information that helps advocate for your cause. It is what you do with that newly acquired attention that will determine whether or not you're able to truly provide help for your cause.

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