Graphic created Aida Guo
Only a few days ago, I had planned to write a celebratory article on the Minari, Nomadland, and Sound of Metal Oscar nominations: milestones for Asians and Asian Americans in America. Yet now, my Asian friends and family and I have been stripped of that happiness and satisfaction. We now feel grief, fear, and anxiousness from the white supremacist terrorist attack killing eight people, six of them Asian women.
But what is even more painful is how this could have been prevented, and how it feels like it’s inevitably going to be repeated again.
It hurts when a twenty-one year old white man chooses to shoot and murder six Asian women at Asian-owned businesses, and he is fed sympathy for having a “bad day”.
When the Georgia police justify eight lives being taken to a “sex addiction”.
When we knew this has been going on since the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Internment Camps, and Vincent Chin.
When we have been speaking out on the rising Anti-Asian sentiment in the United States, but have not been listened to until our elders started to get murdered.
When Asian women have long been stereotyped as dismissive, weak, and have been hyper-sexualized, creating terms like yellow fever.
When Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Julie Park, Hyon Jeong Park, and two other human beings are now gone because of ignorance.
How can a shooting that terrorizes Asian communities be anything other than a hate crime? Why does our legal system try so hard to take away our sense of validation? What will it take for our government, our schools, and our communities to acknowledge our pain and fear? How many more times will we have to repeat ourselves before systemic change is made?
To Wake County Public School System, many of my Asian brothers and especially my Asian sisters are scared. We have comparatively large Asian and Asian American student populations compared to the rest of the nation. We are tired of the invalidation and ignorance of our pain. We are exhausted at your lack of ally-ship. How many more lives will it take for you to speak up?
To Green Level High School staff, if the vision for our school is really to cultivate “an equitable, inclusive, and culturally responsive environment”, isn’t acknowledging the Asian community’s terror and grief an essential step? Isn’t speaking out against Anti-Asian racism at a school that is 38% Asian part of being an ally?
To my Asian family, you and your feelings are valid. It is okay to take a break from the news and social media. For mental health resources, you can text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor or search Asian Mental Health Collective to find a community for Asian mental health support.
If you’re looking for more ways to support the Asian community, there are a list of ways to get involved or donate here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CGLrII9ycdPPcavGkatzGpoqGsdwJm46AgDXVWla3H8/mobilebasic