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Giya Sahni

COVID-19 has affected and taken so many lives in the United States. The recent pandemic has negatively impacted so many people and has shed light on the deeply embedded inequities of our system. There has been a pointed increase in hate towards Asian Americans. There has been a significant increase in racially motivated attacks -- Anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 150% in major U.S. cities in the past year. In many of these attacks, there is resistance to identify them as hate crimes, and Asian Americans everywhere are bearing the brunt. With the government refusing to address these attacks as hate crimes, it is impossible to formulate accurate statistics on how often these crimes are occurring and makes it harder to spread awareness on this pressing issue. On March 16, Robert Aaron Long, a white 21-year old man, shot up a massage parlor in Atlanta, Georgia. He killed eight people and six of them were of Asian descent, however, the police still have not identified this act as a hate crime. Today and every day we must remember the names of those taken: Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng. Terms such as “Chinese virus” or “Kung flu” have exacerbated a culture of microaggression and hate towards Asians. Racism against Asian Americans has become so normalized, especially in the past year, and we must stand together to address it. Moreover, it is vital to acknowledge that this racism is not new - from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Japanese internment camps in the 1940s, and lash back following 9/11, it is necessary to understand this history as we mobilize for change. Community leaders and activists are advocating for institutional change, better political representation, and the amplification of the most marginalized voices. This is not an Asian American crisis, it is a humanitarian crisis and we must all come together as a community to fight these injustices. We are living in unprecedented and troubling times and it is our job as human beings to learn from each other and lift each other up. One way to help Asian Americans’ rights is to support the needs of protesters who are demanding action from their legislatures. Other ways include reaching out to influential elected officials, spreading awareness, educating ourselves and our communities on the past and present history of Asian American discrimination in America, and standing in unequivocal solidarity with the Asian American community. Today and every day, let’s come together and take the action necessary to Stop Asian Hate.


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